In December 2021, the Carson City Planning Commission approved Carson Valley Meats’ application for a slaughterhouse on Highway 50. The Board of Supervisors overturned that decision in February.
The company that proposed a slaughterhouse in Carson City is suing to overturn the effective denial of the plan.
In February, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of appellants to effectively deny Carson Valley Meats a permit to operate a slaughterhouse on Highway 50. The applicants are asking for judicial review before Carson City District Court.
Represented by attorney Carolyn Tanner, Carson Valley Meats asserts that, “The denial by the Board of Supervisors on the basis of CCMC 18.02.080 (5) was arbitrary, capricious, and characterized by an abuse of discretion.”
In January, the Nevada Supreme Court denied an appeal from the company filed over the denial of a permit to conduct a similar business in Carson Valley.
The request for judicial review, filed March 4, says that Supervisors Stacey Giomi and Lisa Schuette based their decisions on one appellant’s request for a “feasibility study,” which was new evidence not presented to the Planning Commission.
Carson Valley Meats is asking that the court find that the appellants lacked standing and order the city to affirm the decision of the Planning Commission. They have also requested attorney’s fees and the cost of filing the lawsuit.
In December, the Planning Commission approved Carson Valley Meats’ application for a special use permit to operate a meat processing facility on Highway 50. Residents submitted three appeals of that decision, and the appeals went to the Board of Supervisors in February.
Mayor Lori Bagwell and Supervisor Maurice White voted against the appeals, saying the Planning Commission did not err in its decision.
Supervisors Stan Jones, Schuette, and Giomi all voted to uphold the appeal of the Planning Commission decision and effectively deny Carson Valley Meats a special use permit.
Jones said he wanted to protect quality of life. Schuette said she was worried about the project’s impacts on a wetland area. Giomi said he worried about the possible negative impacts, and how difficult it would be for the city to mitigate any consequences. He agreed with appellants that more information on the project would help him meet the conditions of approval.
Prior to the vote, the appellants Doreen Mack, Jennifer Verive, Robert Butner, and Kathleen Simmons challenged almost every condition of approval. They said the slaughterhouse would cause noise, odor, and pollution, and it would decrease home values, use more water than stated in the application, and infringe on the enjoyment of surrounding areas.
Carson Valley Meats argued that residents wouldn’t even realize the slaughterhouse was there and that operations would follow USDA humane treatment standards.
“There’s no signage. This isn’t – hey, ‘Livestock Slaughtered Here,’” said Chris Baker, a representative with Manhard Consulting.
A previous chairman of the Planning Commission, Charles Borders, spoke during the meeting, asking for the board’s vote of faith.
“I would ask you, as the outgoing chairman of the Planning Commission, to give us the confidence that we would do the right thing. Stick with us,” he said. He added, “I think that the community will learn to tolerate it.”
Some members of the audience audibly groaned and laughed at the word “tolerate.”
During public comment time after the vote, other residents expressed their disappointment with the decision. Participants in the 4-H program and supporters of the farm-to-table movement had backed Carson Valley Meats’ proposed facility in previous meetings.
The facility would process 60 animals per week, one day a week, according to the application. Animals would be stored inside for a maximum of 24 hours.
The court has not yet set a date for the hearing.