Former governor Barnes can keep his cows, city says
by Jon Gillooly
February 17, 2011 12:00 AM | 6926 views | 9 9 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - The cows Roy Barnes keeps in a pasture by his Victorian-style home off Whitlock Avenue can stay, Mayor Steve Tumlin said Wednesday.

During Barnes' campaign for governor, a number of calls came into City Hall inquiring about the legality of the cows, city attorney Doug Haynie said.

Livestock may be kept in the city if the property owner has at least five acres and the property is zoned R-1. Haynie said Barnes had enough property, but it was zoned R-4. Barnes' cows are grandfathered in, however, because he kept livestock on the property without a six-month lapse since purchasing the property in 2008, before which former owner the late Dr. Charles Henderson kept horses there.

"I'm glad the weighty matters of state at the city of Marietta have finally ground to a correct decision," Barnes said. "The irony of it is they're off visiting the bulls right now."

Barnes keeps about 30 polled hereford cattle at a west Cobb pasture, where he breeds them for beef.

While there aren't any cows at the Whitlock pasture at the moment, expect one named Dolly and one named Freckles to make an appearance soon, he said.

Barnes' wife, Marie, said the cows are a popular sight, with school buses pulling over to let students see them, neighborhood children stopping by for a look and even a man setting up an easel once to paint them.

"They're a big hit with the whole neighborhood," she said.

Tumlin said he was pleased with the outcome.

Besides, Tumlin said, the city would probably have lost $500,000 fighting Barnes in court. Tumlin referred to how Barnes represented a Roswell man who wanted to raise chickens in his yard.

"If he got chickens in Roswell, he could get cows in Marietta," Tumlin said.

Haynie said he considered the matter "put out to pasture."

Comments-icon Post a Comment
February 18, 2011
4.59 Acres on Whitlock Avenue.

Total 2010 Property Taxes: $273.52 (per

1 Former Gubnah.

Must be nice.
February 18, 2011
This cow issue is "Loophole" Roy at his best (Or is it his worst?) The ONLY reason Barnes has these cows at his residence is to claim the Agriculture property tax exemption which saves him tens of thousands of yearly property taxes. He is taking underserved advantage of property tax exemption which was intended to be for people legitimately engaged in agricultural pursuits and we need to change the law so "loopholers" like Barnes are prohibited from such actions.
February 18, 2011
Geez...all of this bickering over cows. And, I'd bet Roy and Marie would share that beef with anyone who was truly hungry, too.

City of sad.

Whitlock from Burnt Hickory all of the way to the square...Pothole Patrol needs to visit. The roads are in horrible shape all around town. Traffic lights are not synchronized. People in city hall front offices who act as if they are ANGRY that you walk in the door and ask a question. Illegal parking all around the square that goes unchecked. And, on the WEEKENDS DO THEY HAVE NO ONE WHO ISSUES PARKING CITATIONS??? City Council needs to find a more meaningful reason to waste our money researching and whining about...I'd have to bet that before Roy Barnes bought that land and built that house that he did the research, he may act like Matlock, but he's no fool. Unlike city hall...
February 17, 2011
You can bet these are "hobby farms" for tax write-offs, not for husbandry.
Mike Jones
February 17, 2011
This country is 50 Trillion in debt, our Social Security system is busted and we are on the verge of a Depression and what are we talking about. That's right, Former Governor Roy Barnes's cows.
not a fan of Barnes
February 17, 2011
I wonder if the properties (since there are about 6) he owns are conjoined for tax puposes. If he owns 5 acres on Whitlock I would guess the property value to be at least 3 million dollars. Is he paying the fair market value of tax?
North of the Border
February 17, 2011
Where is Jack and Jill?

We tax payers had lot of money invested in them.

By the way, I would like to borrow the cattle trailer that David and Charles bought with tax payer money to transport them.
February 17, 2011
Why would someone complain about a few cows?
February 17, 2011
well bless his heart
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