If you’re driving down certain suburban roads in Phoenix, Mesa and Chandler, you may come across a house or two with horses roaming through a homeowner’s fenced-in front yard. As Phoenix and the surrounding area continues to grow, how do city and HOA regulations affect homeowners who are seeking their own type of sustainability?

Urban farming is all the rage these days. With an emphasis on knowing where your food comes from and eating high-quality, organic ingredients, you might have been dreaming about keeping chickens (or even horses) in your backyard. If you’re dealing with an HOA, though, it can be challenging to secure permission from both the association as well as your municipality.

Here’s our best advice for navigating chicken and horse HOA regulations in Arizona:

  • Find out about your city’s local laws: Your city is very likely to have laws on the books regarding what kind and how many animals you can keep within their territory. In Phoenix, it’s legal to keep chickens, provided you follow the rules about location (80 feet from your residence unless explicitly excepted) and quantity (20 chickens per half-acre). Roosters, however, are prohibited. You should also look into your town’s nuisance laws, which often extend to any kind of animal that creates a disturbance.
  • Look into your HOA and CC&Rs: Next, find out what your HOA rules and your Codes, Covenants & Restrictions say regarding backyard farming. Even if it’s not allowed, you may still be able to convince your HOA that it’s a worthy and permissible endeavor.
  • Consider what drives complaints: Before you march down to your next board meeting, it’s time to start preparing your argument. Why, exactly, would people object to your keeping chickens or horses on your property? Consider noise, smell and appearance as potential objections, and come up with ways to mitigate those concerns.
  • Get others on board: It’s always helpful if you’re not the only one petitioning for a rule change or exemption. Find out if your neighbors are interested in their own backyard farming, and see if they’ll get on board with presenting your case.
  • Prepare your case: Finally, when it’s time to talk to your city and HOA, come prepared—bring copies of all applicable laws and regulations so you can show you’ve considered this request at great length, and are willing to compromise.

Get advice on horse and chicken HOA regulations in Arizona

Goodman Holmgren Law Group can help you wade through your city’s and HOA’s restrictions in Arizona. If you’ve been thinking about a backyard farm and are concerned about what your HOA will have to say about it, call the experts. Our practice focuses on HOA law in three major areas: collections, compliance enforcement and general counsel services. Whether you need one-time advice, seasonal guidance or year-round assistance, we can help you deal with or manage your HOA, in compliance with all applicable state and local laws. Reach out to us today to find out more or schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.