from the pages of Oregon’s Hermiston Herald
United Horseman’s President Wins No Friends in own Hometown
Hermiston City Manager Ed Brookshier told the City Council this week a proposed horse slaughtering plant would be “detrimental” for the town.
“I do not believe that project is anything but detrimental to the long term development and image of this community, and I believe it has very significant land use problems associated with it,” Brookshier said Monday.
The City Council approved a motion to authorize the city’s land use attorney, Mike Robinson, to investigate potential issues for the proposed site near the intersection of Westland Road and Interstate 84.
Brookshier said Robinson will prepare a report to bring back to the council for review within the next two months. The report should show how the potential horse slaughtering plant site would “stack up under Oregon land use law,” according to the city manager.
Legal costs for the land use review are slated to cost about $1,000.
According to the Umatilla County Assessor’s Office, four parcels of land totaling about 243 acres at the potential plant site were sold to a California company in June. Dave Duquette, president of the United Horsemen’s Association, initially proposed the facility in March. Duquette asked the company to purchase the land until it can be utilized as the site for a horse slaughtering facility.
No land use application has been submitted for a horse slaughter facility, according to Tamra Mabbott, county planning director. Mabbott said the city has the option to object to the application if a formal land use application for a horse slaughtering plant is submitted to the county.
Brookshier said if the City of Hermiston decides to object to a formal land use application for a plant in the future, legal costs could range between $7,500 and $15,000.
Councilor Frank Harkenrider spoke out against the proposed horse slaughtering facility.
“We’ve got to fight that,” Harkenrider said.
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