By Caitlin Switzer
MONTROSE-On Wednesday, Dec. 27, a legal notice ran in the Montrose Daily Press entitled, Pre-Treatment Violations Public Notice. The company in question is Star Chicken, located at 1850 Launa Drive, reportedly owned by Ty Coram of Montrose.
The notice reads: “Notice is hereby given that the following industries have been in significant Non-Compliance of the City of Montrose Sewer System for Technical Review Criteria Pursuant to 40 CFR 403.8 (vii)…Violation of Discharge Authorization Order exceeding effluent limits for 3rd quarter reporting: Ammonia, BOD5, Fecal Coliform and total suspended solids.” Samples were collected Sept. 5, Sept. 25, and Dec. 13. The legal notice also states that a required slug control plan for Star Chicken has not been submitted.
The Colorado Secretary of State web site notes, however, that the Star Chicken Company, a limited liability company, was actually formed by Ira Goldfarb, the Texas-based owner of the Prairie Dog Treats Factory located on West Main Street in Montrose. Star Chicken has received large out-of-country shipments of antlers as well, according to documents found online, which state that the company recently imported 8065KG of Antlers from a German supplier. When reached in Texas for comment, Goldfarb claimed to be unaware of the legal notice concerning fecal coliform and other pollutants. “I have not received anything yet. If you can send it to me I will take a look.”
When asked if he intended to clean up the area around the Prairie Dog Treats factory, which close neighbors have accused of ruining property values and lives, Goldfarb hung up.
Calls to City Manager Bill Bell, who pushed for a zoning change to allow the pet treats factory to be located where it is, have not been returned.
Fernando Morales, 36, whose parents have been heavily impacted by the presence of the factory across the alley from their home, told the Mirror in October that Prairie Dog Treats had destroyed their quality of life.
“Growing up, there was never a problem there,” Morales said. “Little by little it has gotten worse and worse. Now, when I visit I never want to stay.”
He cited noise from trucks and equipment at all hours of the day, waking his young baby, and acrid smoke. “Now Mom has a chronic cough.”
When out-of-town family come to visit, “They are repulsed by the smell,” Fernando said. “And there is nothing we can do about it. It’s embarrassing. But we gave up documenting after 20 hours of video, because what’s the point? In Montrose, nobody responds.
“We have even thought about calling the American Civil Liberties Union; it’s really just another form of environmental bigotry.”
BACKGROUND-In 2015, the Mirror reported that Minutes from the Montrose City Council meeting of Nov. 5, 2012, reflected that initially the City’s request for a change of zoning from B-2 to B-2A of the 12,000 sf property (now the location of Prairie Dog Treats) owned by Nevada Corporation B.I.G. Main Street Properties, LLC, was denied by Council after the City’s Planning Commission recommended denial. It was noted at the time that adjacent neighbors had registered concerns about parking. Also according to the meeting minutes, “City Manager Bill Bell spoke on behalf of the applicant which is the City of Montrose. Mr. Bell stated that the staff report addressed the reasons behind the application but did not address the economic state of the City and the need to transform this section of the city for the long term. Approval of the rezone would bring other property owners out of nonconforming use. Mr. Bell emphasized that the rezone would not adversely affect the health, safety and welfare of the community.”
Despite the initial denial, however, the minutes of the Jan. 2, 2013 City Council meeting show that Council, which at the time consisted of Bob Nicholson, Kathy Ellis, Thomas Smits, Judy Ann Files and Carol McDermott, were asked to approve Ordinance 2313, amending the zoning district designation for the 146 West Main property from B2, Highway Commercial District, to B2A, regional commercial district. After a motion was made by Kathy Ellis and second by Carol McDermott, Council approved the request.
By Caitlin Switzer