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Neighbors protest proposed slaughterhouse on Dianne Drive
meat facility protest pic
Capital Cultivators is planning to build a meat processing plant, where live hogs would be housed and slaughtered, at 307 Dianne Dr. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal

Residents along Dianne Drive are getting used to sharing their once country road with companies drawn to Turlock's Enterprise Zone just west of Highway 99, like SupHerb Farms and Dust Bowl Brewing Company, which is currently constructing a new 30,000 square-foot facility.

One proposed project, however, is definitely not welcome by a group of long-time residents.

Capital Cultivators is planning to construct an approximately 100,000 square foot meat processing facility at 307 Dianne Drive. Live animals would be delivered to the facility 24 hours a day and housed in a 17,700 square foot covered and enclosed pen before being slaughtered, according to the project plan submitted to the City of Turlock Planning Department.

"It's ridiculous to house and slaughter animals in City limits. The filth, disease, flies, smells, feces, carcasses is outrageous so close to neighbors and the city," said Fran Hinrick, a resident of Dianne Drive for over 30 years.

Lowell Pierce, a resident of Dianne Drive for over 40 years, said he would have no problem with a meat processing plant, it's the killing of live animals so close to town that has him concerned.

"I am just not sure that is the right place for a kill plant in Turlock," said Pierce.

Pierce voiced concerns about odors, the amount of water a meat processing plant requires and the impact of potentially hazardous waste from the animal slaughters would have on Turlock's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Hinrick and Dianne Drive residents Robert and Charlene Cunningham also submitted written comments to the City of Turlock with concerns about increased traffic the meat processing plant would bring to an already-busy West Main Street.

The meat processing facility would be constructed in three phases with a start date in 2016. Phase one is expected to generate 10 truck trips every day and employ 160 to 200 individuals to process pork for wholesale markets. Phase two, which is not expected to begin until 2018 and would require a Minor Discretionary Permit from the City, would include expansion of the cooler space for further processing of pork into retail cuts for consumers. During this phase, the facility would employ an additional 60 to 80 individuals.

Phase three of the proposed project would be a further expansion of the cooler and processing space to develop a retail brand. This phase, projected to start in 2019 or 2020, would see the hiring of an additional 60 to 80 employees.

The project is scheduled to go before the Turlock Planning Commission at their Nov. 5 meeting.