"It's difficult to invite guests over for a barbecue when you don't know if the plant is going to smell like a garbage dump or if you are going to find a chicken head in your backyard."
Todd Ford is a decade-long resident of Ramsay, a residential neighborhood in the southeast quadrant of Calgary, Alberta. Across the street is the Lilydale chicken production plant, which Ford and other neighbors believe to be a blight on their community.
"It's very frustrating," said Robin Tufts, who has lived in the area for 20 years. "Some days are better than others, but some days, I can't even sit on my front porch and have a coffee."
Complaints over noise levels, odor control and improper waste storage are outlined in a statement filed by the group's representative, Ecojustice.
"This plant interferes with the residents' ability to use and enjoy their property," said Barry Robinson, Ecojustice staff lawyer.
A Lilydale spokesperson said the company has broken no laws and will defend itself against the claims.
"Lilydale is of the view that our operations comply with all zoning and bylaw requirements and will be defending the claim made against us," said spokeswoman Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard.
The Lilydale plant has been in operation since the late 1960s. However, only recently did it transform into a 24/7 operation.
In 2009, an ammonia spill at the plant forced an evacuation of some homes in the area. The leak was located and stopped within 90 minutes and, fortunately, nobody required emergency care.