Earlville continues to play 'chicken' with local law

EARLVILLE – Since 1963, a law has been on the books in the Village of Earlville which prohibits the keeping of farm animals. However, when the village passed an updated local law in 2007 which prevented residents from receiving variances to that law, issues began to arise which are still being addressed two years later.

One village resident, who was cited and found guilty of violating the law, appealed the village court’s decision, and on June 10, the Madison County Court granted his appeal, overturning the lower court’s original ruling. However, the issue of keeping farm animals in the village is far from over.

Michael Kicinski moved to Earlville in 2003, and despite the fact that a law was on the books prohibiting the keeping of farm animals, he was granted a variance, permitting him to keep up to 60 chickens and 125 rabbits. Three years later, Kicinski was granted another variance, allowing him to increase the number of chickens from 72 to 102.

Just a year later, the village passed a new local law, which unlike the previous one, left no room for variances, simply prohibiting all farm animals.

Kicinski explained that a few months after the law was filed, he received a letter saying a resident had filed a complaint; he soon received a ticket and was scheduled for a court appearance. On May 14, Kicinski went to Village of Earlville Court and Justice Frank Faulkner found him guilty of the charge against him and ordered Kicinski to find a home for the chickens and rabbits within the next 30 days. Kicinski was fined $100.

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