Dozens of residents for hours at a Tuesday meeting described their worries of foul smells, decreasing home values and environmental problems if a proposed chicken slaughterhouse opens in Islip.
“We’ve come together to oppose something that will not fit into everything that our community stands for,” said Laura Rogacki, 49, who was among about 300 people, including animal rights advocates, at the zoning board of appeals meeting. “Can you guarantee with 100 percent certainty that no water, air or soil contamination will take place? We have two elementary schools less than mile from this proposed site. How will this affect our children, my children?”
The board is considering an application from Joseph Rosario of Huntington — who is operating under 1 Beaver Dam Road LLC — to build a 6,000-square-foot slaughterhouse at that address. Rosario needs a zoning variance for a special exception for the "poultry slaughterhouse with accessory retail use," the application states.
Rosario tried to reassure residents his business will be "highly regulated" by the state agriculture and health departments.
The business will hold no more than 300 chickens at one time that will be delivered to the site about three times a week, he said. The business plans to operate six days a week. It will be available for retail business as well as deliveries to restaurants and customers, he said.
“My family has been in the poultry business for 43 years. Me, myself, for the last 34 years," he said. "The business' waste will be self-contained ... and then removed by professionals who are government-approved.”
Daniel R. Falasco, an engineer on the proposal, said, “When chickens are needed to replenish the stock, an order is made to a Brooklyn distributor who delivers the chickens to the facility.”
The crowd became upset when they repeatedly asked for the name of Rosario’s business. He declined, along with his lawyer, Eugene Barnosky, who said, “This is not part of our application.”
Board member William D. Wexler asked Barnosky: “He (Rosario) raised it. He made it part of the application. What is the corporate name of his outfit in Brooklyn?"
Rosario stated, “I can’t do it — all the angry people.”
Shannon Bubak, 38, told board members she is “going to be protesting" if they approve the slaughterhouse.
“They’re not just chickens, they’re sentient beings that are capable of pain and love and fear, ” Bubak said.
The board made no decision Tuesday night but directed Barnosky to name Rosario’s business in a week. The board also gave Rosario 60 days to submit additional materials for its application, including the business’ impact on traffic, how the business will operate and details on its heating and cooling system.