Joliet, Illinois Considering Lifting Ban On Electric Fencing

The city of Joliet, Illinois has prohibited the use of any electric fencing since, at least, 1981, but that might soon change, thanks to an appeal from FedEx regarding a change in the city’s legislation.

The logistics company is looking on getting a power fence around its newest Joliet operation, located in the CenterPoint Business Center, and has appealed to the Joliet City Council regarding the matter, with the company arguing that the use of electric fencing is much safer now thanks to modern technology.

The City Council is discussing the matter, having already agreed on such an agreement with the Estes Express trucking facility at Route 52 and Laraway Road, which allowed the property to have power fence put up back in 2016, among other agreements.

Currently, Joliet city code prohibits the posting of electric fencing in businesses within the city limits, and some council members want to keep it that way, saying that it was akin to the city changing in order to accommodatethe business. There are, however, some members on the council who are seriously considering the proposal.

Two members of the City Council; Larry Hug and Jan Quillman, say that, should Joliet make electric fencing legal for FedEx, they should be fair and make it available for all businesses in the city, should they make it available at all.

The staff has proposed allowing the use of electrical fencing in industrial areas as their response to FedEx Freight’s request regarding its CenterPoint Business Center.

Joliet City Director of Planning, Michael Schwarz, says that they haven’t really been inundated with similar requests, and that they’re considering it carefully. He recommended the city council take a conservative approach on lifting the power fence ban, allowing them in industrial areas and evaluating the restrictions with other businesses.

Should it come to pass, companies looking to get electrified fencing will still need to acquire a special use permit from the City Council, which they would only grant on a case-by-case basis, and that said permit would only allow for fencing in areas zoned for industrial use.

Schwarz says that the proposal will be going to the city Plan Commission for a public hearing, and will be evaluated by the City Council, only to get the go ahead once the Council approves.