By Laurel Callaway
Opelika Observer

Golden State Foods came one step closer to opening its $40 million meat processing facility after the Opelika Planning Commission voted for preliminary and final plat approval during Tuesday’s voting session.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company is one of the largest suppliers to the Quick Service Restaurant and retail industries.  The facility, which will be located in the Northeast Industrial Park, will sit on approximately 50 acres and will employ 173 people.
Golden State Foods services over 125,000 restaurants in over 60 countries. It has 45 locations on five continents.
According to the OPC during the Feb. 17 work session, the Opelika plant will produce 25 percent of meat products for McDonald’s across the U.S.
At the Feb. 17 city council meeting, Mayor Gary Fuller showed his excitement for the plant opening.
“We are thrilled to welcome Golden State Foods to Opelika.  They will make a great addition to our diverse manufacturing community,” he said.
The commission also approved the conditional use of property located at the 2300 block of 1st Avenue for a farmers market. Currently, the farmers’ market is located on Pepperell Parkway; however, due to expanding business, the owners need more space and parking.
The new facility will be 13,200 square feet with 5,000 square feet designated as the customer service area.  It will also have 80 parking spaces.
There will be two access points into the farmers market on 1st Avenue. According to Blake Rice of Barrett Simpson, an additional access point may be possible in the future.
“The conditional use proposal as it stands is the current plan.  There is a possibility that the adjoining property owner will enter into an agreement in the future for an access point to 2nd Avenue,” he said.
The commission also:
-approved preliminary and final plats from subdivisions on three lots on Rocky Brook Road, one lot on North 30th Street and two lots on First Avenue,
-approved preliminary plats from subdivision on 149 lots on Gateway Drive,
-approved conditional use of an R-5 for 56 duplex residential units on Century Park Blvd, a C-3 for a lounge and pool room on Pepperell Parkway and a M-1 for outdoor storage and display of products on Market Street, and
-discussed a rezoning of a parcel of property on North 30th Street from an I-1 to C-3.