“Not In My Back Yard!” Neighbors Object to Crematory Add-on

crematory smoke     “Not In My Back Yard!” Neighbors Object to Crematory Add-on

Odor, smoke, toxic mercury and dioxins are released during cremation

          It may come as a surprise for many to learn that in Georgia
there are no current regulations on toxic emissions from crematories, which can include dioxins and mercury vapors from amalgam fillings. Since mercury is known to be one of the most poisonous substances, causing serious neurological issues, it is astonishing that no effort is required by the funeral industry to prevent this release, and no independent, unbiased third party is charged with monitoring the pollution of our air, water, and soil from a completely preventable source. Yet this is just what was discovered when a Gwinnett County homeowners’ group began to investigate the impact of a proposed addition to an adjacent funeral home intended to house a crematory unit.
          Just behind and around the Bill Head Funeral Home on Hwy 29 in Tucker, within 100 to 1000 feet, is Mimosa Estates, a subdivision of more than fifty houses. Most of us accept that there is a funeral home nearby, but we strongly oppose the Special Use Permit request that, if granted, would allow a crematory to be added to that location. We have legitimate concerns about property value loss, which some sources indicate could be as much as 50% of the already deflated current value. The existing funeral home may deter some potential buyers, but the pool of interested parties will decrease dramatically when it is learned that right next door, or around the corner, is an operating human remains incinerator. The creepy factor is just too much for most people. Even if the current homeowners cannot or do not wish to sell their property, the issue of odor, smoke, fine particulates, and toxic chemicals will so drastically impact the quality of living, physiological and psychological welfare that it does not constitute a best use of the land.
          On September 7th, the Gwinnett County Planning Commission Board will consider the request by Bill Head; opposition to this permit will also be heard. Our community plans to do everything we can to prevent a crematory addition in our neighborhood. Whatever impact we will have on the zoning issues is to be determined at this meeting. For the sake of our collective benefit as residents, please attend.
          It also seems to be a matter of public health concern that
Bill Head is operating a crematory in an undisclosed location which
has no signs indicating that fact, directly across the street from
Lilburn Middle School, and right next to a residential area with
apartment buildings and homes. The crematory at this unmarked,
unlisted location has been in operation there for nearly two decades, and according to the letter of intent sent to some residents in the affected area is the unit intended for relocation at the funeral home owned by Bill Head. When asked about the toxins sure to be released by a retort that is nearly twenty years old – the story was changed to “We plan to put in a new low-pollution model.”
          Old or new, we don’t want a crematory in our back yard.
          For more information or to sign our petition, contact Tia
Severino tiaseverino@gmail.com or Ben Roberson
benroberson@bellsouth.net

(8-31-2010 on GwinnettForum.com – Thank you Elliott Brack – Read GwinnettForum.com for Gwinnett Co. matters that really matter

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