City of Chandler passes backyard chicken ordinance, allowing up to 5 hens

Homeowners will be able to have hens in their backyards, but no roosters.
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 9:00 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:37 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Chandler City Council voted this evening to approve an ordinance allowing residents to have up to five hens in their home. The council voted 5-2 in favor of the ordinance, and the plan is for the ordinance to go into effect early next year.

But some Chandler residents aren’t happy with how this ordinance process was handled. “To put this initiative through is shameful,” one resident said at the city council meeting. “They’re rushing this through because six council members and the mayor decided they’re going to make a decision for 284,000 people,” resident Les Minkus added.

Minkus says his primary issues with the ordinance are the dangers these chickens could bring in terms of attracting wild animals like coyotes, diseases and viruses like the bird flu and dragging down the real estate value of Chandler properties. “I have respectfully requested of the city council to wait until January until the new city council members come in,” Minkus said. “Since two of the new city council members are against backyard chickens.”

The Chandler city clerk says starting tomorrow, residents against having chickens can start organizing a petition. They’ll need to gather a little over 5,600 signatures in the next 30 days to put it on the ballot. But Chandler mayor Kevin Hartke says these chickens are like gardening, a simple way to bring enjoyment and potential revenue to families.

Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale all already allow backyard chickens. And Hartke says he’s ready for Chandler to join the club. “We are an island of a city that does not allow backyard chickens at this point, where all of our neighbors do,” Hartke said. “Their experience and negativity is minimal so we are confident that this is the right direction for Chandler.”

To those saying chickens smell, are loud, or carry diseases, Hartke says they are stretching the facts. “They’re not noisy at night,” he said. “We’re not allowing roosters (male chickens). And I’d say most of them are probably not used to chickens.”

If enough verified signatures are gathered, the ordinance will be put on hold until Chandler residents can vote. Chandler’s HOAs would still be able to make their own rules on allowing or not allowing chickens. Those would come before any city ordinance.