Carson Valley Meats has previously pointed out during public meetings and a community forum that its animal processing facility will be set back from the highway and use visual barriers, like trees, to obscure the view.
Carson City residents Doreen Mack, Jennifer Verive, Robert Buttner, and Kathleen Franco Simmons have appealed approval of a permit for an animal processing plant at U.S. Highway 50 and Detroit Road.
All parties claim a slaughterhouse project at that location will be detrimental to the use, peaceful enjoyment, economic value, or development of surrounding properties or the general neighborhood, which violates a condition of the project’s approval.
Simmons’, Buttner’s and Verive’s appeals add claims the project is not consistent with the city master plan, will overburden public services and facilities, is detrimental to health and safety and will cause material damage or prejudice to other properties in the vicinity.
Verive previously submitted a 2,100-page report against the slaughterhouse, researching and writing on behalf of herself and the Coalition of Citizens for Peaceful Enjoyment. She and Buttner submitted one appeal together, so there are three appealing parties total.
The appeals will go before the Board of Supervisors, who will decide whether the Planning Commission was justified in its approval of the project’s special use permit.
During their Dec. 15 meeting, the Planning Commission agreed 5-1 that Carson Valley Meats’ application for a slaughterhouse on Highway 50 meets all the findings required for approval.
Commission Chair Charles Borders referenced all the conditions that the planning department added to the application. The animal processing facility will be required to operate entirely indoors, and it will not be allowed to hold more than 60 animals at a time. The commission may revoke Carson Valley Meat’s permit if during an annual review they find that a person can smell offensive odors or hear noise related to the processing of animals at the property line.
“(The commission is) putting teeth into the special use permits that we approve,” Borders said.
Commissioner Teri Preston backed him.
“This is not a feedlot. It’s not a stockyard,” she said.
She added Carson Valley Meats will be required to make improvements to the city sewage system, which will benefit nearby residents who complained about issues with their sewage. She also pointed out Carson City, unlike rural areas, has the infrastructure to support a slaughterhouse. Some residents (including the appellants) have pushed to move the project to a more rural area, but most rural areas would not have the water and sewer connections necessary to mitigate pollution.
Commissioner Richard Perry said he visited Wolf Pack Meats in Reno and did not smell any offensive odor. There are residents living within 500 feet of that slaughterhouse.
The “no” vote came from Commissioner Nathaniel Killgore, who commended the project plans and conditions but said, “That does not change that I serve the community.”
During nearly two hours of public comment time, residents expressed worries about noise, odor, pollution, and more. Supporters of the animal processing plant pointed out it would support youth in 4-H, an agriculture program, and benefit the farm-to-table movement.
The Board of Supervisors has not set a date to hear the appeals of the slaughterhouse.