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Chandler residents can now own up to 5 backyard chickens thanks to new city ordinance

The ordinance goes into effect on Jan. 5. Those against it can collect signatures to take the decision to voters.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Chandler residents are now allowed to own backyard chickens after the city's council approved an ordinance Monday night.

In a 5-2 vote, all single-family homes can have up to five hens that must be contained within the rear or side yard. Roosters are still banned.

Before Monday’s vote, 228 people filed public comments on the city’s website forum that was open from June to November. Of those responses 150 were in favor, 46 against, and the remainder only provided comments about the ordinance.

“We like to be a little sustainable, we enjoy gardening and growing our own produce,” resident Scott Guthrie said. “We feel that having chickens would kind of take that to the next level and let us produce our own eggs and have our own chickens.”

Those against the measure said they worried about numerous things associated with chickens, including:

  • smell
  • feathers blowing to neighboring homes
  • chickens attracting rodents, insects, or wild animals
  • disease and viruses like the bird flu

“I don’t feel comfortable with my neighbors having such animals around,” Sandeep Sane said. “It can make the city change and maybe affect the value of our homes.”

Multiple departments and city staff recommended the proposals’ signoff, the city said. A recent study they conducted found that other metro cities that already allow backyard chickens, such as Phoenix, had minimal complaints and, when they occurred, owners voluntarily complied.

The ordinance is set to go into effect on Jan. 5. Chandler residents who oppose it have 30 days to collect 5,600 signatures to make it a ballot initiative and leave the decision to voters.

A city spokesperson told 12News the council could also choose to repeal the ordinance in the future if they choose.

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