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."