Arizona cities differ over backyard chicken zoning bylaws
Hundreds of Phoenix-area farmers have faced nuisance and zoning violations after neighbors have complained about smelly coops or clucking hens.
By Dustin Gardiner
Nov 24, 2012
The couple talks about the legal troubles they’re facing as a result of the chickens, an experiment that began last December with four hens. They wanted to be more eco-friendly and reap the nutritious benefits of farm-fresh eggs.
Joe Papay, who’s looking to see if any neighbors are watching over the wall, said they had no idea it’s illegal to keep backyard chickens in much of Chandler. They’re appealing a criminal charge and fighting to keep the birds they call pets.
“We’ve got quite a force of people who are behind us and want chickens,” he said of clandestine chicken owners in suburban Chandler. “It’s like an underground society.”
Like many who’ve joined the growing ranks of backyard chicken farmers, the Papays are accused of running afoul of city zoning laws. Chandler code-enforcement officers say the family is violating an ordinance prohibiting chickens in most residential areas.