By Brian Meyer
News Staff Reporter | The Buffalo News
City zoning officials have approved plans by two Brooklyn businessmen to open a slaughterhouse on William Street where they plan to butcher poultry, goats, lambs, rabbits and calves.
The Common Council will likely approve the business' license, Council President David A. Franczyk said today.
The building at 1285 William St. at Babcock Street also houses a Subway sandwich shop, and its owners are worried the slaughterhouse could put them out of business.
The Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved the plan, but with some conditions. No outdoor animals pens will be allowed. The roof and walls must be insulated to prevent odors from seeping outside, and a vent must be installed. All proper permits will also have to be obtained from the city, county and state.
Mustasa Jaarah said he's pleased with the decision and expects to begin renovations by early May. He hopes the slaughterhouse will be open by August or September. The project will include a butcher shop and farmers' market.
The Zoning Board announced its decision one day after project supporters and opponents faced off at a City Hall hearing. The outcry against the slaughterhouse is "getting louder and louder," said Bobby Horton, who owns a Subway sandwich shop in the same building that would house the new business. Horton said 300 people have signed a petition that opposes the plan.
Any odor from the slaughterhouse could doom his business, he told zoning officials.
"If there's a stench, and even one or two people get a whiff of that, we're done," he said.
His wife, Felicia Horton, said the mere thought of having butchering operations under the same roof as a Subway shop could turn off many of her customers.
"If they're cutting up [animals], are you going to want to come up front an eat some meat?" she asked.
But Jaarah said he's convinced the two businesses can coexist under the same roof and thrive.
"They definitely will not smell anything bad. We're not going to create any problems for them," said Jaarah, who is opening the business with his father, Yousef.