CHANDLER, Ariz. - The City of Chandler could soon allow residents to have chickens in their backyards after city council members voted to approve a new ordinance.
"It's a very, very reasonable ordinance, and it allows for freedom of people to do in their yard what they want to do," said Chandler City Councilmember Mark Stewart.
This is not the first time city council is talking about this matter: a similar ordinance was brought up in 2013, but that ordinance ultimately failed to pass.
For this particular instance, Councilmember Stewart said the council will decide on Dec. 5 if residents can have up to five chickens in their backyard.
"Councilmember [René] Lopez brought it forward earlier this year. We did a huge study on it, and we noticed there weren't any problems in neighboring cities. There weren't chickens running around anywhere," said Councilmember Stewart.
If approved, the new ordinance would take effect on Jan. 5, 2023.
"I had neighbors that were contacting us about, you know, basically mirroring our ordinance to our neighboring cities that have had backyard chickens for decades, and so as we looked into it, it made sense for us to bring this forward," said Councilmember Stewart.
The new ordinance does have some restrictions, like a limit on the number of chickens on each property, and a ban on roosters.
"Councilmember [Matt] Orlando made sure that we don't want your chicken coop to be closer to your neighbor's backyard than your home, so we have some offsets of the property," said Councilmember Stewart.
The ordinance, if passed, also will not apply to people who live in communities with a Homeowners Association (HOA). 70% of Chandler residents reportedly live in communities with an HOA, and they would have to start a petition before they can keep chicken on their property.
Councilmember Stewart went on to say it is a small change that could impact a family in a big way.
"With inflation the way it is and the farm-to-table movement, in fact they make great pets for kids to keep, and it just made sense for Chandler," said Councilmember Stewart.
City of Chandler - Backyard Chickens Ordinance information