Mechanicsville butcher shop approved

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Aug. 18, 2022)—The county Board of Appeals unanimously approved a plan to construct a butcher shop on South Sandgates Road last week in a portion of the county's rural preservation district.

The project received support from several neighbors in the Della Brooke Manor subdivision, where it is set to be located, as well as a local farmer who said the facility would see significant amount of use from livestock producers.

The facility would be located on just under 21 acres, according to county planning documents.

The applicant, and the owner of the property, Steven Stauffer, proposes to use a barn already standing on his property as the butcher shop where carcasses of meat animals—slaughtered at another facility—would be brought for cold storage, cutting and processing.

The butcher shop required a conditional use permit to operate under the St. Mary's County zoning ordinance, necessitating a public hearing before the pappeals board.

The facility would comprise a front office, a cutting room, a freezer and a storage space, planning documents show.

The facility also includes a holding tank underground on the property.

The county's advanced agricultural facilities continue to increase with facilities such as the new butcher shop; a slaughterhouse operated from within the Amish community has recently received its approvals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the county has committed to building a Regional Agricultural Center near Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School which would provide meat processing as well as product sales to the wider farming community.

Jamie Raley, president of the St. Mary's County Farm Bureau, said he and other farmers who engaged in raising livestock would need such a facility to keep their own operations profitable.

"We've had a tremendous demand for our beef," Raley said. "But we don't want to upscale to retail operations.

"He's (Stauffer) going to provide a critical service to the farming community."

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