Please HELP!! I don't want to loose my girls! Phoenix, Az

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by brooklynbirds18, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2012
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    I live in a suburban area of Phoenix, Arizona. This past week, members of my city council came to my doorstep and said chickens were spotted roaming in my backyard. I do live in a community with an HOA and they also have said in the past we must get rid of them. At that time we had a total of 8 girls but we gave four away to reduce the noise. And still as I stated, were expected to get rid of them.

    After reading many posts with people having the same issues my family and I decided we will fight for them if we can. We do not use them for meat, just eggs we basically treat them as normal pets. They are all very loved and are held on a daily basis. The neighbors on each side of our house are aware we have them and don't care at all. We suspect someone behind us is complaining about noise, but it is not certain.

    I should point out that where we live most people have dogs and cats. The dogs bark all night long and the cats roam around the community and poop wherever they like. The cats are the bigger of the issue, as they make holes in the ground for they're defecation forcing us to dispose of it manually. It's hypocritical because the letter we received regarding the chickens says we cannot have them based in the fact that they're intentions
    (HOA and city), are "to preserve and promote a clean and safe living environment by eliminating conditions that contribute to blight and deterioration." When we said that to them they told us to contact the police, which doesn't even make sense to me.

    With that being said we do not eat them, we do not sell they're eggs, they all have names and unique personalities. They don't make a mess in the backyard and they live a great life for a chicken. The coop is usually clean, obviously they poop all night so that's cleaned up. My yard is very nice, a nice lawn and various plants surrounding the sides which gives my girls a great place to sit and relax to avoid the heat. They are loud when they want to be but it never lasts long and the dogs are much louder.

    I know having an HOA makes this seem impossible but there must be something I can do.
    We treat our girls like family and they are spoiled and we love them soo much!
    Please if anyone can help that would be most appreciated.

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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I would join this group and see if you can get local help.

    http://www.meetup.com/PhoenixBackyardPoultry/

    I have to say the city ordinances are a tough nut to crack but not impossible. HOA rules are much tougher yet.
    I'm an organizer of a meetup in St. Louis, Our county has 93 different cities besides the city of St. Louis - all with different rules. I had to battle my city that sent me a letter after learning in a newspaper article that I had chickens. The letter gave me 6 weeks to remove them. At least 6 more people they didn't know about had chickens too. 4 on my road.
    We went to battle, motivated our neighbors, city residents and chicken people from the whole metro area. We packed city hall every meeting and brought the newspaper reporters and all the local news stations.
    It took about 9 months but long story short, chickens and roosters are now allowed. The ordinance states that anyone that had chickens could basically continue to do what they were doing, those without could get a permit for 5 and a rooster.
    Since that time I and other meetup members worked with 7 cities. We won in 5 and lost in 2.

    In the case of HOAs, several members have and are in litigation with them to keep theirs. In that regard the city is easier and cheaper.

    You can PM me if you want more info.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I just made account there but there aren't any meetings set up to happen regarding chickens. My mom and I are going to try to speak with the city council today and see what we can do, even though I don't think much will happen.. Idk, just going to hope for the best.
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    First, it would be extremely unusual for city council members to show up at your doorstep like that, and they certainly would not have anything to say vis-a-vis HOA restrictions, and they would be unlikely to know what the HOA's restrictions actually are. POSSIBLY HOA board members might show up if you are in a self-managed community. If you are in a managed communit, it is possible that teh management company might send someone out to check it out, but even then they would be more likely to investigate and then send a letter informing you of the violation and what is required of you to avoid fines.

    If it WAS the city who showed up, it would be code compliance inspectors, not city council members. You will have to check your zoning and city ordinances, but I am pretty sure that Phoenix allows up to 25 hens, so long as there are no complaints.

    My guess, since someone showed up at your door claiming to be city council members, is that someone is playing a prank.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    All good points. The OP said city council came to the door which I thought was unusual.

    In my case the code enforcement was lurking on the outskirts of my property a couple days before the letter arrived.
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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  7. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HOAs can be very difficult entities with which to work. The city council, however, might be open to hearing/entertaining some type of ordinance change. You may be able to request a variance or 'special exception' from your council or zoning board. Most city councils do entertain these requests. We researched our local ordinances before purchasing chicks several years ago. Unfortunately, we perused the section of ordinances pertaining to animals - not land use. After a year and a half, our neighbors (having chickens, also) were cited by the city as being in violation of the code of ordinances for keeping "livestock" on less than three acres. A group of us subsequently organized and went before the city council. We did a bit of research and presented them with about four pages of documents addressing everything from noise, disease, rodents and predators, to property value. After holding public hearings, the council voted to approve chickens within the city limits on ALL residential properties. I will see if I can locate our petition (4 pages) and forward it to you if you like. It might just offer a few ideas. I wish you the very best of success with your council and HOA, and sincerely hope that you get to keep your chickens!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  8. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for replying everyone, I really do appreciate that.. Just to clarify this wasn't a prank by somebody we know the actual people from the HOA and have met with the guy from the city council. As dumb as it sounds, when the HOA came to us initially about the hens, my mom was the one who went to the city council to see what they're rule was and that made it worse I think.

    I think our best bet is what most of you said and what I've read, to prepare some research on the subject and explain it to them and hopefully persuade them to at least let us keep the remaing ones. We used to have more and it killed us when we cut it down from eight to four girls. :(
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
  10. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2012
    Arizona
    Someone is coming to my house on the 24th and if my girls are not gone by then we will be in big trouble. :(

    They said I can prepare my reasoning as to why there are not in violation to the rules and send it to someone at my city council who will decide if it will make it to court or not.

    Things are not looking so good :(
     

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