Homeowners Against Proposed Crematorium In Spring Hill
By Mark Bellinger
SPRING HILL, Tenn. - Opposition to a proposed crematorium in Spring Hill appears to be growing. The Spring Hill Memorial Park and Funeral Home wants to build it on property in Maury County.
The funeral home wants to build the crematorium because cremations are up from 10 percent ten years ago to 28 percent now.
While homeowners who live next to the proposed site understand the increase in demand, they do not want it in their backyard.
Beata Abbott does everything she can to keep her 2 and a half year old twins safe. She believes a proposed crematorium at the funeral home and cemetery behind her home will harm her children.
Abbott is one many home owners in Spring Hill's Witt Hill subdivision organizing an effort to stop the project.
Andrew Zirschky is president of the homeowner's association.
"It is clear from scientific studies and from governmental reports that the emissions that come out of crematories are not just heat but actually contain a variety of noxious emissions including mercury," said Zirschky.
They fear the release of mercury from older dental fillings. As recently as last year the EPA reported serious health impacts from low levels of mercury.
The crematorium is proposed by Pam Stephens and her family. They own funeral homes in Spring Hill and Franklin.
Stephens insists the Spring Hill Memorial Cremation Center will be safe.
"People have a fear of the crematory because of the toxins that have been mentioned, but we are using a very renowned crematory company," Stephens said.
She said the company is recognized for protecting the environment. Homeowners don't believe it's possible to stop the harmful emissions from reaching them.
They hope to stop the project by arguing the property is not zoned properly. The crematorium will sit in what called a B-4 commercial business district.
The city's zoning ordinance prohibits offensive fumes or odors in B-4.
The homeowners have gathered a petition of more than 100 signatures that they hope will convince the planning commission to reconsider the proposal and keep their children safe.
The funeral home will also have to get permits from the state of Tennessee to move forward with the project. Homeowners said they're willing to go to court to fight this.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:24 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:24:42 GMT
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