Apiaries & Chicken Coops

Apiaries and chicken coops are a great way to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. The Village of Park Forest has a Unified Development Ordinance which allows for apiaries and chicken coops! The standards for these structures are below and the application to start an apiary and/or a chicken coop can be found on the following link: Apiary-Chicken Coop Application.

Article III-4.C.  Use Standards for Accessory Structures.
The following standards apply to accessory structures designated as permitted (“P”) or permitted with building permit (“B”) in the districts noted in the “Use Standards” column of Table III-4-A. Accessory Structures.   (NOTE: Apiaries and Chicken Coops are P-permitted in the zoning districts noted below.)

1. Apiary. Bees may be kept in apiaries in accordance with the following standards.

a. Permit and Registration. Prior to erecting an apiary, an applicant must provide written notice to all adjacent property owners and obtain a permit from the Zoning Administrator. Such permits must be renewed annually. Apiaries must be registered with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and inspected as required. Proof of completed inspection shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator within 30 days of inspection.

b. Location.
(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.

d. Number.
(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.



3.   Chicken Coop. Chickens may be kept in chicken coops, chicken runs, and similar structures in accordance with the following standards.

i.   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.

ii.   Height. The maximum height of a chicken coop shall be eight feet.

iii.   Location.
1.   Chicken coops, chicken runs, and similar structures are allowed in the rear yard of any single-family use in the R-1 or R-2 District.
2.   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.

iv.   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.

v.   Number. No more than four hens are permitted per zoning lot. Roosters are not permitted. There is no limit on the number of chicks, age six months or younger, that may be kept.

vi.   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.

vii.   Sales. There shall be no retail sales of any products on-site.

viii.   Slaughter. On-site slaughtering of chickens is prohibited.