Small poultry processing facility proposed for location outside of Micanopy

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:54 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A minor poultry processing facility may be coming to a neighborhood outside of Micanopy. A special use permit application submitted to the Marion County Board of County Commissioners is proposing the plant to be built west of I-75 on NW 193rd St.

The Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission was scheduled to discuss there proposal during a meeting on Monday.

TV20 talked with residents who said they are concerned about where the poultry processing facility may be built but the agent who filed the application said the facility could actually benefit residents near Micanopy.

The applicant, King Tut Corp., has requested to build the slaughtering and processing facility to help supply product for Zeezenia International Market, an ethnic grocery store in Gainesville.  Zeezenia International Market currently sells their chickens out of a farm in Newberry and wants to build its own facility to expand their farming capacity.

Some nearby residents said they are worried about potential run off and odors from the site.

“This is a neighborhood, there’s plenty of farmland around the area. There’s plenty of better places, commercial areas for something like this,” Resident Clayton Mellen said.

According to the proposal, all processing would be conducted indoors and the staging facilities for animals will  will be designed to minimize off-site odors.

“Any smells that come out of our facility, the USDA inspector will shut down our facility, period,” King Tut Corp Agent Dr. Fawzy Ebrahim said.

According to the proposal, notices were mailed to nine property owners about the Planning and Zoning Commission’s public hearing.

Resident Peter Hambleton said his property is on the southern border of the proposed plant site and he did not receive receive a notice.

“Expansion of the facility in the future is another major concern because this is largely an unregulated enterprise”

Residents like Mellen and Hableton said they would like to the the poultry processing plant be built somewhere else.

Dr. Ebrahim said he has no future plans to expand the proposed poultry facility other than what is detailed in the application and that his family has received negative backlash about the facility.

“I just want to confirm to anyone who is concerned, I would never do anything that would cause any discomfort to our neighbors,”

City of Newberry leaders and residents near the poultry farm located in Newberry have sent letters in support of the proposed plant to the Marion County Commission.

The board is set to discuss this permit application on November 17th.

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