The towns people are listing here are too far away and too expensive, though they can be crunchy. Traffic to near Ohare from Oak Park or Evanston can be a nightmare. and that is going to be major quality of life issue for your husband. You should check out the current "feel" of Park Ridge, Niles, Morton Grove,and Mount Prospect, etc. Skokie maybe if the commute is okay. None of them were hip or hippie back in the 70's or 80's when i was a kid. But all sorts of people have moved all sorts of places. For instance, Berwyn (a bit too long of a commute, but much cheaper than neighboring Oak Park), has gone from being Bunker-ville, to very diverse, gay friendly, family friendly (don't know about the chickens yet).
Franklin Park (12 minutes from OHare) is where La Leche League started, by a group of women who were crunchy in their way back then. See what it's like now.
Park Ridge, Schiller Park, Franklin Park etc. might be TOO close, if you cant get over the plane noise. See what you think by hanging around at night.
Within Chicago itself, I would stick to places along the Blue Line if CTA commuting could work. Otherwise, avoid Chicago from the commuting standpoint alone. Though you can keep 4 chickens in your yard. The towns that are closer to Chicago, even though proximity itself isn't important to you, are less sprawly than those in what we, not so affectionately, call "the land beyond O'Hare."
Edited by Lilyr - 9/24/12 at 9:54am