Senate Panel Opens the Door to More Urban Fowl

Feb 3, 2014

A Senate panel voted today to open the door to your neighbor raising chickens — whether you like it or not. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.


The legislation would leave in place the ability of cities to set limits on the total number of animals any property owner could have. And, roosters could be banished entirely unless they’ve been rendered incapable of making any noise. But, an outright ban like that kind that exists in some cities would be nullified. And, restrictions on the placement of pens near property lines — and other people’s homes — also would be forbidden. Sen. David Farnsworth said his legislation essentially amounts to allowing Arizonans to get back to their roots.

“Many of our ancestors raised our own food and had animals which helped us with enjoyment and also food. As our society changes, many of us moved to the big city and lost the flavor of the home-town freedom that we once had,” Farnsworth said.

The vote came over the objections of Patrice Kraus, lobbyist for the city of Chandler. She said this is best left to local control. And, Kraus warned the measure is not as simple as it sounds.

“This isn’t just restricted to chickens but includes all fowl — ducks, geese, turkeys. And there are different concerns with those animals,” Kraus said.

But, Farnsworth said nothing in his measure overrides nuisance ordinances against things like noisy geese.