In Septmeber, the Chandler City Council held a Work Study Session to discuss potential code changes related to backyard chickens, aka urban chickens.
Currently chickens are permitted only on two types of residential lots, AG-1 (43,000 square feet) and SF-33 (33,000 square feet), which equates to about 200 homes in Chandler. There are no limits to the number of chickens allowed on these residential lots, however, roosters are not permitted.
Homeowner associations have the authority to prohibit backyard chickens and residents living in an HOA community must adhere to their CC&Rs. More than 70% of neighborhoods in Chandler are part of an HOA.
Based on Council direction, City staff will begin drafting new code amendments to allow for backyard chickens in Chapter 14 (Animals). Potential amendments would include:
- Chickens will be permitted on all single-family lots
- There will be a maximum of five hens per lot; no roosters will be permitted
- Chicken coops/enclosures will be required in the back yard with a minimum five-foot setback from all property lines
- Neighborhood complaints and concerns related to backyard chickens would be handled by the City’s Code Enforcement team. Complaints would follow the standard code enforcement process.
- Violations will be handled in accordance with the enforcement procedures in Chandler Code Chapter 30, which provide first for a “Notice of Violation” and an opportunity to voluntarily cure, followed, if necessary, by a civil citation and a potential criminal complaint for recidivist offenders.
- Changes also would be required to the City’s Zoning Code (Chapter 35) related to chicken coops, as well as minor edits to the Property Maintenance Code (Chapter 30).
Staff also was directed to explore greater setbacks for placement of a chicken coop. Most Valley cities use five feet; the Council has requested a possible setback ranging from 10-20 feet.
A proposed timeline was presented to Council for the next few months:
- September 2022: Conduct a public outreach period to get additional feedback from residents on the proposed code changes. Feedback may be submitted below.
- October 2022: Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting
- November 2022: Introduction and Tentative Adoption of Ordinance by the City Council
- December 2022: Final adoption by the City Council
During the next few months, staff also will provide additional information and address follow-up questions from Councilmembers as needed.