SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As neighbors go, it is an awkward fit at best.
A poultry slaughterhouse in Sacramento is planning to move onto vacant property within a stone's throw of the SPCA, and the nonprofit animal-welfare agency is gearing up for an uphill fight against the plan.
"It just makes no sense to have a facility that is killing animals so close to one that is trying to save them," said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "It's just not OK. It's bad karma."
The New American Poultry chicken processing plant, which has operated for a decade on Broadway near Fifth Street, has purchased the property less than a block from the SPCA on Florin-Perkins Road, owner Harry Cheung confirmed.
The property is zoned for heavy industrial use, according to principal city planner Greg Bitter. Cheung said the chicken plant "will be a very good neighbor."
Still, the project has caused a stir among animal advocates, who plan to show up at a public hearing today at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall to oppose it. The hearing will address Cheung's request for a special-use permit.
New American Poultry is a family owned, wholesale operation where live chickens are trucked in and then slaughtered. The company then distributes the birds, raised at Pitman Farms near Fresno, to restaurants and markets in the Sacramento and Bay areas, Cheung said.
He said production at the existing plant "is four times bigger than when we first started" and the new property would allow it to expand. The business has about 30 employees now and estimates it could add 25 more at the new facility.
"We will create more jobs, buy equipment, hire local contractors," said Cheung.
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