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Decision on Permit for Swift's Cabel Street Lot Postponed — Again

Cabel St lot
Jacob Ryan

A zoning hearing on the future use of JBS Swift’s lot on Cabel Street in Butchertown has been delayed yet again.

Louisville’s Board of Zoning Adjustment has been tasked with deciding whether Swift should get permission to continue using the Cabel Street lot as a staging area for two-to-three dozen refrigerated trailers that store pork from the nearby slaughterhouse. The company has been using the lot this way for nine years, but it wasn’t considered permanent until Swift bought the lot from Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District last year.

The presence of numerous refrigerated trucks, running diesel motors 24/7, has raised concerns in the residential neighborhood. The Butchertown Neighborhood Association has come out against BOZA granting Swift the permit, citing the negative health effects of living next to constantly running diesel trucks.

BOZA held a hearing on the permit in August but asked for additional information and scheduled another hearing for today. At today’s hearing, Swift attorney Glenn Price asked to postpone to a later date.

Price said that all BOZA members weren’t present at the hearing — including chairman David Profitt — and he argued that for such a serious issue, all should be there. Also, Price had submitted some of Swift’s air monitoring evidence past the set deadline, which meant that the opposition attorneys hadn’t seen it yet.

Price said the evidence was submitted late because conflicts didn’t allow the company’s expert to do the monitoring until last week. He said if BOZA would push the hearing back, everything else would be submitted on time.

“We should not have a situation going forward when anything will be submitted to staff later than 14 days before the hearing, except, I hope, for one exception,” Price said. "And that is if the parties can get together on an issue and resolve it ... and therefore neither party would have an objection, then those kinds of things can probably be entered, but otherwise, no.”

Butchertown Neighborhood Association attorney Jon Salomon said he was concerned because his experts hadn’t had ample time to review the air monitoring evidence. This is why, he said, a deadline was set at the last BOZA hearing.

“Everyone was on the same page, and then for some reason, on Oct. 15 we’re getting new data submitted by JBS, a revised development plan that came in over the weekend, as well as revisions to the demonstration of appropriateness, new conditions of approval, new findings of fact,” he said. “And that puts us in a position where we’ve not had an opportunity to review those, respond to them, be prepared to rebut them. It’s kind of just unfair to everybody.”

Salomon said BOZA could decide to exclude the late evidence or continue the hearing. The board decided the latter, and set a date for a special hearing on Nov. 30.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.