Marion County commissioners unanimously deny proposed crematorium near residential homes

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:05 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - After hours of public comment, Marion County commissioners unanimously denied a proposal for a crematorium, in a 5-0 vote.

Ocala Memorial Gardens had requested a permit to build a crematorium. They proposed the facility to stand on the premise of the Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Memory Gardens, which is in a single-family zone.

According to the proposal, the facility would’ve occupied approximately 21 acres of land. One resident was concerned and said his backyard faces the cemetery. He told TV20 the process of cremation releases toxins, like mercury. Other residents were worried about property values.

“My major concern is that my wife and I have worked 50 years to acquire some assets, the majority of which is invested in our home,” stated Ed Plaster. “We’re concerned that the marketability of our home will vastly be decreased if a crematorium was put in.”

Before the meeting, staff recommended the approval with conditions; however, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the denial of the permit. Staff from the funeral home sent out a statement.

Residents told TV20 that commissioners listened to the people. They made clear there are industrial areas where the crematorium would be a better fit.

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