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Despite efforts to have the ordinance changed by presenting the Village Board with a petition, a Caledonia woman will not be able to have 11 chickens on her half-acre residential lot.

Cindy Pradarelli, 1543 Johnson Ave., had 11 chickens on her property, which is zoned residential and less than five acres. Pradarelli has since moved the birds to a farm, but tried to get the ordinance amended so that she can get them back. Caledonia village board members voted on Monday at a village board meeting to accept the petition, but chose not to take action on it.

Caledonia doesn’t allow chickens on residential properties that are less than five acres and aren’t zoned for agriculture, but Pradarelli said she thought residents could have chickens since Racine passed an ordinance allowing them.

While some neighbors didn’t have a problem with the chickens, others complained that they heard roosters crowing. Pradarelli said that she did have a rooster, but she removed the rooster after the complaints were made.

“I had roosters, but now all of my chickens are now living on farm on Michna road,” Pradarelli said.

But Pradarelli’s defiance of knowing that she couldn’t have them after she inquired about the law and then getting them anyway did not set well with board members. Village trustee David Prott and Kathy Trentadue both agreed that Pradarelli was going about changing the ordinance the wrong way and that she should not have gotten the chickens knowing that she was violating the law.

“When there is a violation, there is someone that is offended,” Prott said. “So there is ‘no one offended.’ And I take offense to that statement knowing that there was not a way to get  the ordinance changed, you got the chickens anyway and that’s where we are at right now.”

Jean Howe, who lives at 4833 Parry Ave., wrote a letter to the board voicing opposition to changing the ordinance. She explained that Pradarelli moved to the area knowing that chickens weren’t allowed in the residential area, but built a chicken coop anyway.

“She imposed on her neighbor’s rights and built the chicken coop anyway,” wrote Howe.

Howe said she did not want to live near chickens and moved into the residential area because it is a suburban-type neighborhood.

But this wasn’t the first time this issue has come up, explained village trustee Kevin Wanggaard.

“Caledonia does not ban chickens, but residents have to be zoned properly to have them,” Wanggaard said. “In 2008 and 2009, we had several instances of residents having chickens that came before the board and at that time the residents were held accountable by county zoning….At that point we elected not to change it.”

At the end of the discussion, the village board voted unanimously to accept and file Pradarelli’s petition, but took no action on it.


Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.