Marion County residents are concerned a proposed crematorium maybe built near the neighborhoods

Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 6:56 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Residents in Marion County held a meeting expressing their concerns about a crematorium possibly being built close to their homes.

Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery on HWY 441 has requested a zoning change for a part of their property. They want parts of their land to be changed from residential to business to be able to build an 8,000 sq. ft. crematorium.

“It’s just unacceptable to build a facility that may well run 24 hours a day, day and night seven days a week in a residential area,” said resident Dr. Charles Litman.

The funeral home’s request includes an additional 25 acres to allow expansion to their facility, but neighbors like Rose Moreno-Jones said there are hundreds of homes, horse farms, and three schools within two miles of the proposed site.

“We’re talking about air quality so this is an incinerator and it will burn 24/7. We’ve done a lot of research to know what health hazards come from burning bodies mercury, carbon dioxide, ash,” said Moreno-Jones.

Litman added he wants other residents to put themselves in their position.

“Sitting in your backyard and seeing the heat or the smoke coming from a smoke and knowing that human remains are being incinerated just on the other side of your property line.”

Neighbors said this will also hurt their property values.

“This is what we’re famous for we’re the horse capital of the world so now we’re going to put a crematorium, we don’t have a problem with the crematorium it needs to be in an industrial area this is a residential area,” said Moreno-Jones.

The county planning and zoning meeting for the proposed development is on September 26.

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