Kevin Young

Allen Woman Wants to Make City More Chicken-Friendly

A grassroots effort to change Allen's livestock ordinance is gaining support.

Allen does not allow chickens in most backyards, and resident Amber Pizano wants to change that.

"Oh, my gosh, they're adorable," she said.

Chickens are becoming popular pets across the country, and Pizano, a mother of two small children, said chickens can be pets with benefits.

"We want some chickens to help with organic eggs, which are crazy expensive," Pizano said.

By law, chicken coops in Allen have to be built more than 150 feet from a property line. That's not possible in a backyard the size of the Pizano's.

"In Allen, that makes it absolutely impossible," she said.

Up the highway in McKinney, it's a much different story. The city of McKinney allows residents to own up to 12 hens. Managers at D&L AgMart in McKinney say the store sold more than 9,000 hens in 2015.

Now, the effort Pizano has started would make Allen more chicken-friendly. It would mean homeowners, like her, could build backyard coops.

More than 500 people have already signed an online petition to change the city's ordinance.

And Pizano hopes the city warms up to the idea, too.

"It's healthier for the kids," Pizano said. "I want them to understand the food chain."

Pizano will go before the city council Tuesday night to try to convince them to change the city's ordinance. The meeting is at Allen City Hall, 305 Century Parkway, at 7 p.m.

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