Marion County residents fear crematorium project being built near neighborhoods

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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) — Residents of Marion County held a meeting expressing concerns about the possible construction of a crematorium near their home.

The Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery on Highway 441 has requested a rezoning for part of their property. They want parts of their land turned from residence to business so they can build an 8,000 square foot crematorium.

“It is simply unacceptable to build a facility that could operate well 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 for expansion of their facility, but neighbors like Rose Moreno-Jones said there are hundreds of homes, horse farms and three schools within two miles of the funeral home. proposed site.

“We are talking about air quality, so this is an incinerator and it will burn 24/7. We have done a lot of research to find out what the health risks of burning mercury, carbon dioxide and ash are,” Moreno-Jones said.

Litman added that he wants the other residents to put themselves in their shoes.

“Sitting in your yard and seeing the heat or the smoke coming from a smoke and knowing that human remains are being cremated just across your property line.”

Neighbors said it will also hurt their property values.

“That’s 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, it’s is a residential neighborhood,” Moreno-Jones said.

The county’s planning and zoning meeting for the proposed development will take place on September 26.

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