Slaughterhouses not allowed

A slaughterhouse proposed for the James Lake Industrial Area will not go ahead now that municipal council has amended its zoning bylaw.

A slaughterhouse proposed for the James Lake Industrial Area will not go ahead now that municipal council has amended its zoning bylaw.

The amendment prohibits abattoirs on properties with M1, M2 and M3 zoning designations. These designations are for light, heavy and agricultural industry.

Council passed second, third and final readings of the bylaw at a special meeting on Monday evening, before a full crowd in council chambers.

Most of those who spoke at the public hearing were opposed to the abattoir. In addition, council had received earlier letters in opposition as well as a 75-name petition opposing slaughterhouses in the industrial area.

Allan Murray, who presented the petition, said residents were concerned with the amount of activity from the proposed abattoir.

“There seems to be no limit to the number of animals which can be brought in,” he said.

Kim Lawton said she is concerned about a decrease in the value of her Palmer Place property if an abattoir is set up nearby.

“It doesn’t need to be in an industrial park, right beside a residential area,” she said.

Kelsey Van Alphen of Alder Street Auto Body said the proposed slaughterhouse will have a much more noticeable effect on the area than industrial operations.

He said he tries to be respectful of his neighbours by limiting the times when he is using equipment at his shop, “but cows aren’t respectful because they’re animals,” he added.

He said abattoirs belong in agricultural areas, not residential areas.

Lisa Scott, who has lived in the area since 2005, said air, smell and noise are all retained in the area. She added that controls are needed for abattoirs.

“Regulations are only as good as they are enforced,” she said.

Brenda Murti said she has concerns about the effects of a slaughterhouse on the community.

“Summerland is a good-feeling, healing area,” she said. “What about the negative vibrations from the animals?”

Brian Adams, who lives on a hobby farm and raises cattle, said good regulations are needed. He said he has butchered cattle on his property without incident.

“Noise shouldn’t be a factor if it’s organized properly,” he said. “Smell shouldn’t be a factor if it’s organized properly.”

He added that the proposed operation is small and that other communities have had abattoirs in operation without problems.

Coun. Lloyd Christopherson suggested the proposed abattoir be relocated to land within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

“It’s a land use issue,” he said. “An abattoir should be on agricultural land.”

“I don’t think it’s an appropriate location,” added Coun. Martin Van Alphen. “I would support an abattoir on agricultural land. That’s where it belongs.”

Coun. Peter Waterman, the only member of council not in support of the bylaw amendment, said commercial land uses are not allowed on lands within the land reserve.