Having wrapped up its role in de-planning Whatcom County’s rural areas, the County De-Planning Commission has turned its attention to de-planning agricultural land.
The De-Planning Commission is considering a proposal for “small-scale” slaughterhouses. Well, that was the original proposal. A trip through De-Planning Land has turned it into something else:
Slaughtering and processing would be a permitted use with no size limit. As many animals as you want, covering as much ground as you want, with no setback requirement. The proposal would allow animals to be imported from anywhere -- the east side of Washington State, B.C, Oregon. Slaughtering, rendering, PLUS processing would be allowed. Spam! Corned beef! Leather! Or, what the heck, any other kind of processing, even if unrelated to Ag (who needs LAMIRDs!?!).
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the planner in charge of this matter told a citizen who asked about the current proposal:
You are correct that animal slaughter facilities of unlimited size, with unlimited numbers of employees, and with animals from any source would be a permitted use in the Agriculture district. . .
You are correct that neighboring property owners would not be able to comment through any public process, except the current one which is occurring under the planning filename "Small Scale Slaughterhouses." While the public may submit comments to be a part of the official file of any proposal, there is no procedural requirement for a public process through WCC 20.40.050 Permitted Uses.
. . .You are correct that the requirement that agricultural processing be related to primary permitted use such as crop production or animal raising which are dependent upon soil and large parcel sizes such as found on the Ag district, process at least 50 percent Whatcom County agricultural products, and have adequate and necessary public facilities such as highways, police, and schools to support the proposal would no longer be required even for facilities with more than 20 employees. . . .
I hope this helps. If you have further questions, please fee; free to
Natural Resources Division
Whatcom County Planning and Development Services
5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, WA 98226
But don’t take his word for it. Read Planning Commissioner John Lesow’s comments on our prevous blog. John is the sole remaining Planning Commissioner. From the Planning Commission. Back when it Planned.
I think that the others deserve the title “Slaughterhouse 8.”
As for the picture at the top of the blog: I entered the word “slaughterhouse” into Google Images. The things that I do for our readers. This is not an activity that I recommend if you have a weak stomach.
Of the images that didn’t relate to heavy metal bands or Kurt Vonnegut, the picture at the start of this blog is the only one that was, well, palatable.
(And yes, I do eat meat, and I grew up on a farm that raised beef cattle, so I know where meat comes from. It comes from the pretty Black Angus cattle that used to graze in the field out our back door. It just didn’t seem necessary to splatter blood all over our blog.)
The picture came from an article about a slaughterhouse in a residential neighborhood in New York state. Buncha wimps live in that community. They’re complaining about a new slaughterhouse that “would be 26,000 square feet, and stand less than 100 feet from some neighboring houses.” Here’s the article.