The JB Swift Plant between Story and Mellwood avenues in Butchertown is ready to expand. So ready, a tipster tells us, that construction has begun without approval or apparently even a permit. An unpublicized meeting with the Metro Board of Zoning was held yesterday where the Board decided to delay approval for the already-started project until a public hearing could be held.
In all, Swift proposes adding about 6,000 square feet to its facilities including an “Unloading Chute” to deliver pigs to their holding pens. The concrete work above is the beginning of the new chute that will eventually be covered in metal according to plans filed with the city. It’s unclear at this point whether the additions are part of requirements put in place by the Air Pollution Control Board or for some other purpose, but the fact that they began construction without permission and then tried to get permission under the radar of the public and the Butchertown neighborhood shows what kind of neighbor the Swift Plant really is.
Construction on this actually started earlier this year, as noted in an entry from February 12 on the Butchertown blog.
This is actually not an "expansion" but a modification. People want them to improve but complain when they do. Make up your minds already!
From what I understand of the matter, there would be a lot less outcry if JB Swift would have gone through the proper channels for this construction project. Building without a permit or approval is no way to conduct business. Besides a building permit, Swift will need a modified Conditional Use Permit from the Board of Zoning Adjustment. Communication with the neighborhood and abiding by the law are the issues here.