Bob Dylan, zoning & a miniature horse

By Barbara L. Morgenstern, Esq.
Publisher, Queen City Pets®

Your home is your castle, the saying goes.

And for most of us, it is our largest financial investment.

With so much at stake, the zoning ordinance of Blue Ash, Ohio, prohibiting farm animals at residences is common, municipal law.

Barnyard animals and their smells easily could threaten property values in a suburb such as Blue Ash.

But change forces new paradigms. This change involved testing the boundaries of reasonable accommodations for the disabled, despite Blue Ash’s zoning restrictions.

The change reflected medical recognition of “Hippotherapy”—therapy through the use of horses. Complicated, evolving federal law came in to play.

In the federal court battle that just settled in Blue Ash (see “Miniature Therapy Horse Rocks Zoning Law…“), one of the top doctors at the world-renown Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center recommended Hippotherapy for a severely disabled child, by means of a miniature therapy horse named Ellie, just 28 inches tall.

The settlement allows Ellie to remain in the girl’s backyard, with strict rules. Waste removal figures prominently. The consent degree allow U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black to remove Ellie for violations. Time will tell.

Artists, not so much miniature horses, often challenge the status quo.

This year, musician Bob Dylan won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in recognition of his poetic lyrics from the tumultuous 1960s.

A miniature horse and poetry, both nudging change.

As Dylan sang in The Times They Are A-Changin’:

“Come gather ‘round people wherever you roam

And admit that the waters around you have grown….”