Couple hopes for ordinance change to keep chickens, goats in city limits

A Columbus family who thought they lived in the country now hope the city might change its farm animals ordinance, allowing them to keep chickens and goats on their property.

Mike and Mindy Sheard, 2565 W. County Road 200S, were cited by Columbus Code Enforcement in January for having about 30 chickens, guineas, goats and roosters on their 1 1/2 acres near Shadow Creek, on the southwest side of Columbus.

The couple contends they have about 25 chickens, two goats, three cats and a dog. Mindy Sheard told Columbus Board of Works members this week that the family didn’t know they lived within the city limits.

The Sheards approached the board seeking a variance from the city’s ordinances dealing with farm animals within the city limits. The newest portion of the ordinance deals with chickens, approved last year.

However, after consulting with city attorney Alan Whitted, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop said the board did not have the power to change the city ordinance to help the family. He also said the board could not rule that code enforcement was dealing with the family unfairly based on the couple’s admission that they had 25 chickens and two goats on the property.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.