Apiaries & Chicken Coops
You can keep bees and chickens in Park Forest!
Apiaries and chicken coops are a great way to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. The Village allows you to keep up to 8 hens and up to 2 beehives in residential areas. The standards for these structures are below. Click on the buttons below to apply or re-certify your apiary or chicken coop. You can also download and print a paper application here, to be returned to Carrie Malfeo at the Sustainability Office. Apiaries and chicken coops must be recertified every year.
Apiary and Chicken Coop Ordinances
Article III-4.C. Use Standards for Accessory Structures.
Apiary. Bees may be kept in apiaries in accordance with the following standards.
b. Location (Check your zoning here).
(1) Apiaries are allowed in the rear yard of any single-family use in the R-1, R-2, or R-4 District.
(2) Apiaries are allowed in the rear yard of any use in the C-3 or M Districts.
c. Setback. Apiaries shall be located a minimum of 10 feet from any lot line and a minimum of 10 feet from the principal structure on the lot.
(1) A maximum of two hives are allowed per zoning lot in the R-1, R-2, and R-4 Districts.
(2) A maximum of six hives are allowed per zoning lot in the C-3 and M Districts.
e. Safety. Beekeepers shall requeen colonies that exhibit unusually aggressive behavior, such as stinging or swarming, and shall ensure that a source of water is accessible on the zoning lot within 50 feet of the apiary.
f. Maintenance. Apiaries shall be maintained so as not to become a nuisance. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives with adequate spacing and management techniques to avoid overcrowding and swarming.
g. Screening. Apiaries shall be screened to provide a flyway barrier. Such screening shall be at least six feet tall, and consist of a solid fence, vegetative barrier, or combination thereof. The entrance to the apiary shall include a latched gate that shall remain closed when a beekeeper is not present.
h. Sales. There shall be no retail sales of any products on-site.
Chicken Coop. Chickens may be kept in chicken coops, chicken runs, and similar structures in accordance with the following standards.
- Permit. Prior to erecting a chicken coop, chicken run, or similar structure, an applicant must obtain a chicken coop permit from the Zoning Administrator and provide notice to all adjacent property owners. Such permits must be renewed annually.
- Height. The maximum height of a chicken coop shall be eight feet.
- Size. The chicken coop and run, combined, must total a minimum of four square feet per hen, with a minimum of one square foot per hen allocated to the coop, and a minimum of three square feet per hen allocated to the run.
- Chicken coops, chicken runs, and similar structures are allowed in the rear yard of any single-family use in the R-1, R-2, or R-4 District.
- Chicken coops, chicken runs, and similar structures are allowed in the rear yard of any urban agriculture use in the C-3 or M Districts.
- Setback. Chicken coops shall be located a minimum of 10 feet from any lot line and a minimum of 10 feet from the principal structure on the lot.
- Number – First Year. No more than four hens are permitted per zoning lot during the first application year (12 calendar months) in all zoning districts. Roosters are not permitted. There is no limit on the number of chicks, age six months or younger, that may be kept.
- Number – Subsequent Years. After one year (12 calendar months) of owning four hens, an applicant in the R-1, R-2, C-3, and M zoning districts may submit an application to increase the number of hens to no more than eight hens. The Zoning Administrator shall approve this application if no substantiated complaints have been received by the Village regarding the applicant’s hens in the previous 12-month period. Applicants in the R-4 zoning district may not have more than four hens at any time.
- Perimeter fence. The rear yard of any property where hens are kept must be fenced with a minimum four-foot high fence.
- Maintenance. Chicken coops, chicken runs, and similar structures shall be maintained in a manner that provides adequate lighting and ventilation, and protects chickens from cold weather, precipitation, rodents, predators, and trespassers. Chicken coops, chicken runs, and similar structures must be maintained in a sanitary condition and shall be cleaned of droppings, uneaten feed, feathers, and other waste so as not to become a nuisance.
- Sales. There shall be no retail sales of any products on-site.
- Slaughter. On-site slaughtering of chickens is prohibited.
(§ III-4.C.3 Chicken Coop, revised 9-21-20, Ord#2146)