Chandler family argues that city allow pet chickens - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Chandler family argues that city allow pet chickens

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CHANDLER, Ariz. -

It looks like your typical east valley neighborhood, but it's probably the last place you'd expect to see chickens.

The Papay family of Chandler has pet chickens roaming their home, located near Pecos and McQueen.

"We were interested in pets that were useful as well as interesting and fun," says Joe Papay.

The Papays are part of growing trend -- urban farming and a push for self-sustainability. Their chickens provide their daily egg needs.

"We usually get 7 to 9 a day. The flavor just doesn't compare to a grocery store egg. I think store eggs taste like a dirty dish rag."

But according to Chandler city code, the Papays' home does not meet the zoning requirements for chickens, and after neighbors complained -- code enforcement tried to shut them down.

It even went to trial -- a trial they lost.

"This is the proverbial what came first, the chicken or the code," said City of Chandler employee Jim Phipps.

Phipps says even though the Papays lost in court, their chicken fight may actually spark change after all.

"We love chickens in Chandler, we have areas you can have them. This area isn't one of them."

The city is looking into whether the code needs to be evaluated.

"Whether there's options we haven't considered, whether there's best practices other communities have done," says Phipps.

A change in the law may further anger their neighbors -- but the Papays are leading the charge for chickens in Chandler anyway.

"Government doesn't need to be in my backyard telling me if I should have chickens. We love our chickens, we want to keep them."

The city has not made a decision on whether to change the chicken codes, and any proposed change would be opened up for public debate sometime next year.

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