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Chino Valley Review | Chino Valley, Arizona

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9/5/2012 11:50:00 AM
Meat processor, neighbor in dispute
New homeowner says he didn't know slaughterhouse operated next door
Matt Santos

Correction: Clarification

The Chino Valley Review article on the dispute between Wade's Custom Meats and neighbors George Garewal and Tonee McAfee inadvertently stated that Garewal said gunshots were being fired directly at Wade Caslin's home. The paragraph should have read as follows.

"Garewal said that when it comes time to slaughter cattle, Caslin and his employees use a gated area that faces his home to contain the animals, then kills them with a rifle pointed directly at his home. The gated area is walled with steel plates."

For more than 35 years, the property at 1333 S Road 1 West has been the site of a slaughterhouse, first as Beefway Ranch, then when Wade Caslin took over in 2009, as Wade's Custom Meats.

When the site first opened in the mid-1970s, the surrounding area just north of Outer Loop Rd. was miles and miles of open ranch land. Now, Wade's Custom Meats is bordered by homes, and of course, homeowners, like George Garewal.

In recent months, Garewal, who moved into his home next door to Wade's in 2011, has been involved in a back and forth debate with Caslin over various issues, including Caslin's kill process, which Garewal claims is unsafe, unsanitary, and poses a danger to both humans and animals in the area. Garewal says that when it comes time to slaughter cattle, Caslin and his employees use a gated area that faces his Garewal's home to contain the animals, then kill them with a rifle pointed directly at Garewal's home. The gated area is walled with steel plates.

"My biggest concern is, first and foremost, safety," says Garewal. "A rifle is being fired in the direction of my house. Then there's the quality of life. We can't really use our backyard, we have to keep our dogs inside, and we have to adjust our mealtimes around the gunshots."

Garewal also said that when he moved into his home in May 2011, he owned horses that became so agitated at the sounds associated with the slaughter,he was forced to sell them.

Garewal added that when he moved to Chino Valley, neither the seller nor realtor informed him or his partner, Tonee McAfee, that a slaughterhouse was on the other side of the fence.

"We started to look at the property in early 2011, then visited in April, and moved in May of 2011," said Garewal. "If I had known that they were operating a slaughterhouse, I never would have moved in."

Garewal said that when he did move in, the only sign present was an old Beefway Ranch sign, but in recent months, Caslin has replaced that with a new Wade's Custom Meats sign.

"When we moved in, the old sign, Beefway Ranch, was still up and it was kind of faded, so we didn't think they were operating."

After moving into his home, Garewal contacted Chino Valley Code Enforcement to file a complaint, but was told that Caslin was not in violation of any town code.

At the time, code enforcement was under the umbrella of the Development Services Dept. and Code Enforcement Officer Mike Bovee. All code enforcement now falls under the control of the Chino Valley Police Dept.

"I spoke with Mike Bovee and he said that everything is within the parameters of police and town code. I then emailed Police Chief Chuck Wynn and he also said that everything was up to code," said Garewal. "I just can't believe that they can operate this type of business in a neighborhood

zoned residential."

"When Mr. Garewal contacted me, I looked into his complaints and found that Wade's Custom Meats was in full compliance with our codes, and there were no violations," said Bovee. "That property has been continually licensed, under either Beefway or as Wades, without a lapse, since the early to mid 70s."

According to Bovee, the property is currently zoned as commercial light and multiple residences. Permitted uses for commercial light are varied and itemized on with a search for "zoning."

Bovee added that the property is listed under legal non-conforming use, which means that the operation of the slaughterhouse was a legal use before the current zoning laws were in place, before Chino Valley was incorporated, a process commonly referred to as grandfathered zoning.

According to CVPD Cmdr. Mark Garcia, Caslin is operating within the boundaries of the law.

"Wade Caslin has not been cited. Our determination is that he is properly licensed and zoned and is within compliance," said Garcia.

Caslin also said he has never been cited, and plans to place an additional barrier between his property and the property next door. He declined further comment on advice from his attorney, Andy Jolley of Jolley Law, PLC of Chino Valley.

"Wade has requested an injunction against harassment, but only to make sure that his employees are safe," said Jolley. "There have been threats made in the past, but only going in one direction, and not from Wade."

Jolley declined to comment on the specifics of the alleged threats, but did say he hopes the issue will be resolved soon.

"Wades Custom Meats would like cooler heads to prevail and neighbors to get along," said Jolley. "They understand that Mr. Garewal has concerns and there are ways to take care of that."

Jolley said that Caslin filed a workplace harassment injunction on Aug. 24 in Prescott Justice Court.

Garewal denies ever making threats against Caslin or any of his employees.

"His claim is baseless. I never threatened anyone. My deal is to approach this in the legal way," Garewal said.

When he was notified of the injunction, Garewal said he filed his own against Caslin.

"I went over to the judge and also had (Caslin) served. The judge wants to see both parties on Wednesday, Sept. 5, so he can talk to us both," he said.

McAfee said it's her and Garewal that should feel threatened.

"I want to feel that I could be in any part of my property and not have to feel that I could be shot. I want to know that my animals, my dogs, won't be shot," said McAfee.

In addition to the physical threat she feels, McAfee says the emotional strain is also a factor.

"I don't want to have to see them shooting and killing animals. Most slaughterhouses kill the animals inside. You just don't expose people to that. It's just decency, how you treat your neighbors," said McAfee. "If they (the Town) are going to allow him to do that in a residential neighborhood, then he should have to take it inside."

Garewal presented his concerns to the Chino Valley Town Council as part of the Call to the Public portion of the Aug. 14 meeting.

Following the meeting, Caslin parked a large box truck as a buffer to the area between his property and Garewal's

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: Enough Said

@ Mr Protected, Exactly what "time" is a good time for bullets to fly at a home? As to moving property in front of the outdoor kill area... really...He moved a old beat up ice cream truck in front of the outdoor in full view shooting/killing area (actually he didnt move it because it doesnt run... he towed it to the area). What good will that do? As for your cows he killed, what do you have against killing them in his own bldg that was supposed to be for "slaughtering"? Not to mention doing it in a humane/safe way. They are not "vegans" lol and they are not "anti guns" it's the bullets/guns pointed at their house not to mention the stench and the noise when the cow (possibly your cow) suffers and doesn't die after the shots are fired. It's time for y'all to leave them alone! Shame on the realtors involved for not disclosing this!!! I hope a complaint is filed against the realtor involved here. By the way... they are allergic to carrots!

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: G Garewal

Ms McAfee, there are 2 grown men running around crying for protection and all I had in my hand was a camera. Every person looks at the world through their own sphere of glass and some of the time, logic doesn't play a part in what they see. So with that in mind, don't waste time.
On your way home could you buy a Perrelli book for that guy? He ate the last one. "Now that's an example of a good neighbor!!!"

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: R Castro

Where is the town of Chino Valley in all of this? Everyone is so quick to judge these people. If the town would not have approved a slaughter house to be built in a residential neighborhood, this never would have happened. Mr. Garwell and Ms. McAfee's house was built in 1969. (43 years ago) The slaughter house was established 35yrs ago. So that means the house was there 1st! Shame on the town of Chino Valley for allowing a slaughter house to be opened in the middle of a residential neighborhood. What great planning!

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: G Garewal

Good Riddance..The ridiculousness is only a mirror image of some of the comments I see and that you now recognize. As for support, some people may feel intimidated. I don't even know how intimidation feels. As for knowing Alan Schusters feelings... I, and a lot of people know how he felt just before his demise and if you knew him so well, (you would know exactly what I am referring to).
Mr Protected. You moved one cow head. And when you talk about improvements, You sound like the guy who says " You didn't build it,somebody else built it for you"! The same guy who doesn't want to see things for what they are.
"Carrot Stick"? C'mon your not one of those Perrelli guys are you? That might explains your comments!!

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: Tonee McAfee

As far as George's comments on crack heads he was merely trying to get you to think about the absurdity of allowing live rounds to be fired in a residential neighborhood. Mr Caslin is not a bad man he just has no regard for the consequences of his actions on other people and their lives. That is why he chooses to live elsewhere.

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: Tonee McAfee

Some of you people are unbelievable! There are live rounds being fired at my home. As for the slaughterhouse activities what does it matter at what time that bullets are being fired, the point is they are still being fired. Moving an old ice cream truck between the live rounds and my home is nice but I am in no less danger. As much as you would like to think this was some master plot against Mr Caslin. Get real, do you think for one minute we would have moved there if we had any idea whatsoever what we would be subjecting ourselves to. This is beyond belief that anyone would want any part of this.

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: Mr Protected

@ G Garewal
The property is in much better condition today than it was 10 yrs ago!
Your comparison between smoking crack,& a slaughter house just doesn't fly with anyone!
At least 3 of those bullets that you have heard have been shot at my animals!
I know for a fact Wade has bent over backwards to be a better neighbor to & your other half, You just don't want animals killed period! ( moving stuff from your half of his property,changing times he kills, etc...)
It's time for you to leave him alone!
He is legal, & is not going anywhere!
If you don't like it go eat your carrot stick elsewhere!

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: Good Riddance

Mr. Garewal, you comparing a family owned, licensed, and permitted business which has operated in Chino Valley for 30 plus years to drug users/dealers really shows your true character. I knew Al (the past butcher) and he wouldn't have taken any of your bull, he would've handled it himself instead of inside a courtroom. Al passed before you even thought of moving into a house next door to a slaughterhouse so don't act like you would have even had any idea of how or what he would have thought. You and Ms. McAfee are not gaining any support via your ridiculous comments. You moved to this area for a reason and then you try to change it into something else, I say go home.

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: R Castro

After reading the several comments about how the slaughter house was there first and has been in operation for over 35 years, I had to respond. That information is INCORRECT. The operation stopped for 2 years after the original owner passed away. Therefore, the slaughter house has not been in operation for 35 years. It has been located there for 35 years, but only recently started operating again. It was closed from 2007-2009 What I do not understand is why would the town, state, department of agriculture, or anyone for that matter would allow this business to open back up again knowing full well that the area had become residential. The town should have never allowed the “grandfathering” of this business in a residential area. Make the slaughter house move to a new, safer location if he wants to continue shooting animals out in the open.

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: Tonee McAfee

Big Thank you to Mr. Mastromatto. We will be filing a complaint.

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: Thomas mastromatto

The Arizona Dept of Real Estate has laws on
disclosures.File a case with them and you may be able to collect from Real Estate Recovery Fund

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: G Garewal

The original owner who started this business 35 years ago is NOT the one running the business today. What his feelings would be about discussions concerning the hard work HE put into this business is not known. It would only be fair to say that he himself might have regrets about the decisions that were made after his demise and that he might feel the same about the opportunity that his hard work presented to the proprietor today.

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: G Garewal

To better understand the logic that is being presented to the citizens of Chino Valley, let me use a scenario:
Suppose you moved into a neighborhood where Crack Heads were abundant. You then complained about the Crack Heads. One contention is that you shouldn't have moved there in the first place. So ..your focus is on anyone UNKNOWINGLY moving into the neighborhood rather than on the Crack Heads in the neighborhood. So your contention is implying that the Crack Heads are more important to the neighborhood because they have been there longer? I get the feeling that if you were a Crack Head as well, you would be blaming the people who UNKNOWINGLY moved into the neighborhood of your peers.

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: Tonee McAfee


Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: Born & Bred In Chino

I feel bad for those who weren't properly given important disclosures by those who sold them their home. I agree, that it would be hard to swallow.

At the same time, blame THEM for not telling you, blame YOURSELF for not looking into it, don't blame someone who has been in the location since LONG BEFORE it was a "residential neighborhood".

If you are afraid of being shot, then perhaps you should take some gun safety or shooting courses to help realize that a properly handled firearm is no more dangerous to you than the car you park in your driveway each evening. It is a tool used for its primary purpose - in this case, killing animals for slaughter.

It seems to me that Wade has done many things, and is planning to do more to try and help ease the concerns of the neighbor. THAT is how you treat your neighbor, not trying to essentially force them, and their livlihood, out of business, or the area, just because you moved in and decided you don't like it.

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