Certain businesses do not belong in residential neighborhoods, slaughterhouses being among them.
There are practical reasons for slaughterhouses to exist. But when such operations are being proposed for densely populated residential areas, officials must reject the request.
Masaab Darwish wants to open a restaurant and poultry slaughterhouse on the site of a former Dairy Queen on Walden Avenue in Buffalo. The location, at 822 Walden near Academy Road, is highly inappropriate. He wants the Buffalo Zoning Board of Appeals to grant a use variance allowing him to convert a block building in the rear of the site into the slaughterhouse.
The slaughterhouse would be used mainly for fresh chicken and turkeys. It would be one of the few slaughterhouses in the area operating under halal, the Muslim dietary laws that mandate how animals must be killed for consumption.
Darwish, who lives in Cheektowaga, says he has talked to residents of the Walden Avenue neighborhood who support this project. He needs to talk to those neighbors interviewed for a recent Buffalo News article who strongly objected to suddenly finding there could soon be a slaughterhouse in their midst.
Julia Ruffin, who lives on St. Mary’s Road, parallel to Academy, never bargained for such an operation so close to home. “There are no slaughterhouses in Buffalo,” she said. “We are a neighborhood, and we don’t want that in our neighborhood. I don’t think anybody would.”
The neighborhood, blocks away from the Cheektowaga border, has seen better times and could use new business opportunities.
Ulysses Williams, who lives on Academy, directly behind the slaughterhouse site, said that other businesses, including a MetroPCS, the Dairy Queen and an electronics repair shop, have all left the site.
The once-thriving area now has many houses with barred windows and doors, “beware of dog” notices and signs for the neighborhood watch program.
These neighborhoods are home to good, hardworking people who want to see new businesses lead an economic revival, but not at any price. There are limits.
It might be possible to find an appropriate location for a slaughterhouse in the city – there is a halal slaughterhouse in Lackawanna. But the use is completely incompatible with a residential neighborhood.