Letters for Nov. 7, 2019
Editor’s Note: The Record-Courier received a significant number of letters regarding the proposed slaughterhouse. Our apologies to anyone who was missed.
Attack ads not worth consideration
In the Oct. 31 Record-Courier, we got the Halloween installment of gutter political ads from “Concerned Citizens of Douglas County.” The malicious ads from this group poison the well of local politics.
These ads purport to establish a second-class citizenship of Douglas County residents not born here. The authors of these ads have appointed themselves the champions of righteousness, granting themselves more authority in the affairs in Douglas County. Perhaps they were ill the day their high school social studies class taught the theory of American civil rights, free markets, and good citizenship? (Shaking my head).
Douglas residents should know Nevada Revised Statutes 294A require any group spending $1,500 or more on political ads (as this group has) register as a political action committee. The Nevada Secretary of State website and telephone inquiry to same confirm such registration does not exist. This is a violation of the law.
Before these self-righteous taskmasters fill the local political sewer with their own special formula of fear mongering and vitriol, they should, well, you know, learn the applicable law and comply?
I don’t plan on deciding which commissioner candidates I’ll support for several months, but I’d rather not have to swim through the sewer to do so.
Perhaps these reckless, personal attack ads and their author’s disregard for the law are enough to render their commentary on Douglas County irrelevant?
Wrong location for slaughterhouse
I am sure that Karin Sinclair is a wonderful person. Everyone that knows her seems to agree. She supports agriculture, as do I. It is unfortunate that she is the “face” that her California financial backers have chosen to lead the efforts to construct a slaughterhouse on Centerville Lane near the roundabout. A slaughterhouse is wrong at this location for so many reasons.
After the Planning Commission denied permission to construct the slaughterhouse, Sinclair appealed the decision to the County Commissioners. Commissioners will meet to hear Sinclair’s appeal on Nov. 13.
To approve the plan, Commissioners must make several findings. Among them, they must find that the slaughterhouse
preserves the character and integrity of adjacent development and neighborhoods. It does not. Otherwise, why would more than 150 neighbors show up at the Planning Commission to oppose it?
mitigates project noise impacts. It does not. Nighttime noise levels in the west valley are typically around 35 dB. Sinclair’s proposal asks to omit 65 dB of noise. An environmental review (which has not been done) would categorize this as a severe impact.
mitigates odors. It does not. Neighbors would have to withstand the smells from slaughter operations. Sinclair’s group uses Wolf Pack Meats in Reno as the gold standard for slaughterhouses. A neighbor 2200 ft. from Wolf Pack says on hot summer days the smell can be pretty awful.
mitigates visual impacts. It does not. The plan features an industrial waste disposal facility located immediately adjacent to the 88 at the Centerville traffic circle.
will not be materially detrimental to the public health or result in material damage to other property in the vicinity. Sinclair is asking to slaughter up to 3120 head of beef per year. According to a slaughterhouse feasibility report by Sinclair’s own, publicly funded ag consultant, this would result in more than 936,000 gallons of industrial waste that would be disposed of on the property. The property is surrounded by residences with private drinking water wells. Even the threat of Sinclair’s industrial waste getting into these wells will depress surrounding property values. This pollution threat extends to Carson Valley’s aquifer and all the surrounding municipal wells, and the drinking water supply of Minden, Gardnerville, and the Ranchos.
The County Commissioners must stop this slaughterhouse on Centerville. Commissioners must stop industrialization along the 88 corridor. They must stop Californian carpetbaggers from bring their pollution to the Carson Valley. Please show up to voice your slaughterhouse opposition at the Commissioners meeting at 1 pm, November 13, at the CVIC building, 1604 Esmeralda Ave in Minden.
We are writing to you to directly address our deep concerns regarding the proposed use permit to operate a slaughterhouse at the corner of Centerville and Highway 88. We understand that the Commission denied the use permit at a recent meeting. We are further aware that the applicant is appealing the Commission’s decision on this issue.
We live right off Centerville Lane, within close proximity to the proposed slaughterhouse site. We are greatly concerned that if a use permit is granted, the slaughterhouse will pollute our neighborhood with significant noise and increased traffic, causing greater issues at the intersection of Centerville and Highway 88 that has not been well mitigated with the recent round-about traffic control that was placed there to assist with traffic issues. In addition, we are extremely concerned about the odors that will pollute our environment, producing smells that would be damaging to us and to our neighbors. We are further deeply concerned about the probability of groundwater contamination since everyone who lives out here are on wells and septic systems.
The proposed site is in a 100-year flood plain, within a large water shed, on top of a 2 to 4 foot water table with an aquifer running under it. This provides us and our neighbors drinking water. We strongly believe that the wastewater treatment system at the proposed site is inadequate and would contaminate all our water supply in the event of a system failure. This is something that is too important to ignore and can not be allowed to occur.
Approximately two years ago, we moved to the beautiful, quiet countryside of Sheridan Estates to retire. We love the area, the people, and the environment in which we now live. Allowing a use permit for the operation of a slaughterhouse so close to where we live will negatively affect the property value of our residence and our neighbors due to the pollution (noise, smells), traffic impacts, and, most importantly, contamination of our water. In years past, we lived within a two-mile radius of a slaughterhouse and we were significantly and negatively impacted by the noxious smells of death, noises, and the traffic impact of trucks bringing in cattle for slaughter, not to mention the noise and nasty smells emanating from the holding pens. This is absolutely NOT what we had wanted, nor had any idea might be considered for this area, when we purchased our home. We do not want to live in this type of environment again.
We strongly oppose this special use permit and ask that you deny the appeal filed by Ms. Sinclair.
Thank you for listening, and hopefully acting, on our concerns.
Michael and Christine Thomas
Deny slaughterhouse permit
We are writing to request that the Douglas County Commissioners deny the Special Use Permit for the proposed slaughterhouse at the intersection of State Route 88 and Centerville Lane.
The water concerns are compelling. The water table is so high in this area that there’s a pond on the south side of Centerville Lane. The pond feeds Rocky Slough, which flows through the property and into the West Fork of the Carson River. What exactly are the plans for disposal of all the remains — the blood, the offal, bones, etc. — and the chemicals used to clean up post-slaughter and used in tanning? If there is any leakage of the toxic, caustic, or bio-hazardous materials, it would be a disaster.
The concerns regarding property values and marketability for all the homes in the vicinity of the slaughterhouse are compelling as well. The applicant said they refrain from feeding the livestock for 24 hours before slaughter. What kind of bellowing and bawling will that create? Not to mention the foul and rancid odors created by the slaughter and tanning. There are numerous homes that will be affected by the noise, odors, and traffic: the Gardnerville Ranchos alone has over 4,400 residences, add to that Chamber’s Field, Sheridan Acres, and the numerous other developments and individual homes scattered throughout this part of the Valley.
It is not the slaughterhouse per se, but the proposed location that we are against. This location is completely unsuitable for this industry. This is an industry, not an agricultural endeavor, and should be treated as such.
John and Irene Gurley
Slaughterhouse is a bad idea
My name is Fred Costello and I live at 1002 Cobblestone Drive Rocky Terrace, Gardnerville. Placing a slaughterhouse in the area requested is a bad idea. Other than the flood plain problem the round about located there is already overloaded. Commute traffic from Lake Tahoe,
High School traffic going and coming from Douglas High, tourist from California.
I suggest the east side be considered, there is a huge area between Hwy. 395 and the fair grounds. No flood plain, no residential areas and easy access to Highway 395. Please vote against the existing request to place the slaughterhouse at Certerville and Hwy.88
Slaughterhouse in bad spot
I have been researching the proposed wastewater system for the slaughterhouse at Centerville and Hwy 88 and it appears this is a disaster in the making. The proposed system is an industrial size leach field that will dump about a million gallons of wastewater a year into the Carson Valley aquifer. This leach field will be built on land where the water table is only two feet below the ground surface.
During Sinclair’s presentation of the Recirculating Vertical Flow Constructed Wetland at the Planning Commissioners’ meeting on Sept. 10, 2019, statements were introduced which were factually incorrect. These systems are not “common” throughout the United States and the technology is relatively new. I have talked to both the office of Douglas County and the Division of Environmental Protection and no one has ever seen or approved such a system. The state has indicated that they will need to find outside expertise to advise them.
Water users along Rocky Slough should be very concerned about the future of their water quality as this industrial leach field will be within yards of this watershed conveyance canal. Users of this system need to remember the most recent floods that inundated the former dairy and surrounding property in 2017. There will be devastating consequences to the water supply if this proposed slaughterhouse location is approved by our County Commissioners.
I ask that residents of the community immediately contact your County Commissioner and urge them to not grant the special use permit for the proposed slaughterhouse at Centerville and Hwy 88. This is NOT the appropriate location for this type of operation. The impact to our valley will be devastating.
Has concerns with slaughterhouse
The fact that the proposed Slaughterhouse at Centerville & 88 may be financially beneficial to Douglas County does not change the fact that it is extremely harmful to the residents, especially those within close proximity. There are numerous concerns, like noise smell, increased traffic, property value loss and marketability issues. Worst may be that our waters may be contaminated. Certainly,
no one wants animals being slaughtered where they live. There are numerous other alternatives for the placement of such a business that would not involve our neighborhood, or any others for that matter. Why must Ms. Sinclair have her slaughterhouse in our Nevada
neighborhood? There is plenty of open space away from homes in California, or if necessary desert land in Nevada, which would prove far less harmful to our homes and families. We are hopeful and dependent on you to protect us and the future of our valley. Please shoe us your support by fighting against this proposal.
Richard and Elizabeth Ferko
Hope slaughterhouse isn’t approved
I am writing this letter in opposition to the proposed slaughterhouse. I was assistant to the Douglas County Planning Commission, Water Conveyance Advisory Committee, Redevelopment Committee, Administrative Hearing Panel + for nine years and pretty much attended and recorded all of the Master Plan hearings until adoption, so I feel knowledgeable and aware of most of the development, zoning, application process etc. in this area. I have been in Douglas County since 1988, coming from Reno as a fifth-generation Nevadan.
There are many reasons I oppose approval of this application;
It’s adjacent on two side to wetlands and I’m concerned about the irrigation ditches/historic irrigation in this area, especially in floods, which could create a horrible situation.
The proposed site is also in a flood plain, within a large water shed, on top of a 2-4 foot water table with an aquifer running under it (servicing municipal, domestic, commercial and irrigation wells). I’ve read horrible situation with slaughterhouses and flooding. Extensive research and interviews with experts advise that the applicants’ wastewater treatment system is inadequate under these conditions and could contaminate our water supply should it fail.
You have a man, Julian Larrouy, who was water master for Douglas County his whole life and whose family has lived adjacent to this property for generations and it’s going to devalue his property, not to mention many others and some of these people are actually vegetarians that will have to endure the thought of, the smell and sound, the location. I did live in the Ranchos and if I still did and had to drive by this twice a day I would definitely have to move and everyone shouldn’t have it shoved down their throat. Put it somewhere out of sight. If peoples’ property is devalued and has reduced marketability there will have to be consequences for them.
There is a large amount of traffic in this area as well. Having this slaughterhouse open in full sight of traffic, not only for residents for but people traveling through the area would be a dark cloud on the beauty of this valley.
It might not make any difference, but I looked at their advertisement getting people to support it and it shows a person hugging a cow, a mama and baby cow loving each other, baby pigs and baby other animals running around like it’s a sanctuary?. That’s dishonest and showing exactly the opposite of what’s going to happen there and it’s Doesn’t Balance?.. They’re here to end these animals’ lives, not hug and support their happiness. Deceiving people while they’re trying to negatively affect their lives isn’t acceptable?.
I am fully aware what happens sometimes, that money talks. They spend a lot of money on an engineer that we all know and other professionals and it’s going to be approved regardless of what the residents say, but in sincerely hope that is not the outcome in this case. Please please think of the residents and what this would do to them, as well as our beautiful land and clear clean water, and liability.
Many objections to slaughterhouse
As a home owner in the Rocky Terrance development I would like to register my wife and my objection to the proposed slaughterhouse at the corner of Centerville and Highway 88.
Our objections center on noise, smell, property value loss, but most importantly on water quality issues.
James and Karen Cramer
Slaughterhouse needed, but wrong location
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed slaughterhouse and meat processing facility at 876 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville. My opposition is to the location and not the facility, which I believe would benefit ranchers in the Carson Valley.
There are several reasons I oppose it.
Transitioning this area from agricultural to industrial with a slaughterhouse/meat processing facility is likely to depreciate property/home values considerably within several miles of the facility. For many of us, our homes are our biggest investment. This is money lost that can never be recovered.
The proposed area for the facility is also in a known flood plain with a very high water table. I am concerned that toxic affluent by-products and biohazardous materials could reach our flood plain, the Carson River, streams, ground and irrigation water, affecting the quality of our water – both for drinking and agriculture – in the Carson Valley.
The proposed site sits right on top of an aquifer that serves the Carson Valley and the Carson River Watershed.
There is always the risk for error or spillage in any operation. A risk that I am not willing to take.
Most of the affected property and homes are located downwind from the proposed site. Can the County or owners guarantee in writing that the stench from the slaughter of animals and decomposing animal by-products won’t reach us?
The intersection of highway 88 and Centerville is already busy with drivers moving through the roundabout from all directions – many unaware of the proper use of a roundabout.
In other words, it’s still a very dangerous intersection. Adding large trucks to the mix that will be turning on to Centerville Lane from Highway 88 is a recipe for congestion and accidents. Not good.
The agricultural fields along Highway 88 embody the rural character and beauty of the Carson Valley.
Approving the proposed site for the slaughterhouse and meat processing facility would go against current Douglas County zoning that forbids industrial use (slaughterhouses) in areas zoned agricultural.
Many of us chose to live in this part of Gardnerville because of its agricultural designation. Approving this proposed site would be another blow to the citizens of Douglas County that live in this area.
I would like to see an alternative site proposed that meets the needs of both Sinclair and the residents of Douglas County. I believe that with a little time and effort, a more feasible win/win location could be found away from residential areas in the Carson Valley.
Tooth Fairy didn’t come to Douglas County
Would someone please wake up the deceived denizens of Douglas County. When they wake up will they finally realize the Tooth Fairy did not drop 2,500 homes overnight. Sincerely, Commissioner Engels’ favorite annoying lady.
Not in favor of master plan amendment
We are writing in opposition of the proposed amendment to the master plan regarding the future land use map of Park Ranch Holdings. The proposal for converting agricultural land to receiving area violates the quality of life and growth principles addressed in the Master Plan as well as our Trust placed on our elected officials by the citizens of Douglas County. The current land use as “Rural Residential” supports the concept of quality of life and growth by allowing Urban to Rural Transition. There is no need to change that expectation. The current amendment threatens to create a postage stamp development on precious Ag land, which is not in the community’s best interest. Additionally, the proposed “substandard” Muller bypass will end up being for the benefit of Park Holdings. It would be more appropriate to wait until the right of way is acquired thru Eminent Domain, and proper financing secured from Federal Sources. Otherwise the current amendments are highly irregular for a proposal of such magnitude. The proposal, if passed, would only benefit the applicant at the expense of the citizens of Douglas County for the following unacceptable issues:
Water: increased water consumption and lack of adequate aquafer recharge
Flooding: Serious flooding occurrences from paving over Ag land posing a dangerous liability to existing property, services, schools and the sewage treatment plant.
Pollution: Air, noise, light including traffic concerns
Lack of enviromental impact reviews: For both the density and future bypass
Added tax risk: Financial impacts to Douglas County citizens for additional infrastructure to include First Responders, Schools, Roadway and Parks
Violates current master plan and community trust: The proposal to transfer land from TRE to prime agricultural land in Minden Gardnerville goes against the rational of TDR’s. In this case, precious AG land is being sacrificed.
Lack of transparency from our county leaders: As to why a project of this magnitude is being fast tracked and minimized as an amendment to the county Master Plan, when the final draft of the Master Plan has not been even accepted yet? It makes one wonder what are the true motivations.
Receiving areas: The County and applicant should be reminded that a receiving area does not guarantee 16 homes per acre. Per county code, these areas need to conform to surrounding land uses.
In summary, because Douglas County is very desirable to both live in and visit, it is also very tempting to exploit by a few influential people. We place our trust in our commissioners to protect us from this exploitation.
Currently we feel that this massive proposal has been downgraded to an amendment. We as concerned citizens now question the trust placed in our representatives for placing the proposal on the “Fast Track” without apparent due diligence such as an in-depth investigation on environmental, financial, and quality of life impacts to this community.
We implore you, our elected commissioners, to protect all Douglas County Residents, and not to let one family’s greed take precedence over the values, needs, and risks to this community. This project should be rejected.
Mark and Susan Brune