Letter to Bill Head re: Parade 10-23-2010

Out of courtesy to Mr Head, this letter was hand delivered today  to the Tucker Funeral Home to inform him about our parade.

10/10/2010
 
To: Bill Head
Bill Head Funeral Home
6101 Lawrenceville Hwy
Tucker GA 30084
 
RE: Tucker CAN! March for Clean Air Campaign
Neighborhood Parade on Lawrenceville Hwy
Saturday October 23, 2010 9:30 – 11:30 am
 
 
          We are writing this letter to you as a courtesy to your business, employees and patrons, to let you know about the PARADE we have planned. The plan has been approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation. On Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 our group CAN! (Community Awareness Network) which represents 17 subdivisions all within a half mile of your funeral home, with the aid and assistance of three of Gwinnett County’s finest Police Officers to manage traffic flow, we will be marching down Lawrenceville Hwy from the Lilburn Alliance church to the old Tim Stewart car lot. Each subdivision is going to have their own section in the parade, and it will be very much like a parade in spirit and style. We wanted to let you know that we will be doing this to protest your plan to add a crematory to your business in our neighborhood, so you might want to consider NOT scheduling any funeral services on that day during the hours of 9:30-11:30 am. We do not wish to offend any families who may be grieving. Our parade will be short, around one hour long. You are welcome to view the parade from your parking lot – no one from our group will go on your property but we do plan to make a statement (each subdivision) to the media, to you, and to the community, We want this to be a safe, peaceful protest march, but we also want to show you who your neighbors are – we are a large group of residents, our backgrounds are diverse and we come from different cultures, but this issue has caused us to join together, and we feel very strongly about protecting our homes and families. We want to let you know that we are not against you personally; we respect the fact that you’re a businessman and you provide a much needed service to our community. We don’t mind you staying and continuing your business here in Tucker, as long as you respect the fact that we do not want a crematory here.
 
          We understand that you do not believe your business would pollute our air, and that is your position on the subject. However, current data we have found disputes that claim and draws a different conclusion. Until it is proven that these toxins would not impact our health, we will continue to take this as is our position for opposing your plan. We also strongly feel that it is going to be hard enough to sell our homes with the economy the way it is right now, and many potential buyers would choose not to buy our homes because of your funeral home. If you were to add a crematory, it would make the pool of interested buyers even smaller, and that is the reason we believe it will impact our property value. Perception is everything in a situation like this, and we believe it will impact us negatively. You yourself told one of our residents that you would not buy a house next to a funeral home. All we are asking you to do is respect that we did not move here with the expectation that you would one day expand your business to include a crematory. Many of us were here when you moved in, and we feel that you are trying to act as if our neighborhood is transient, therefore we should not care what your business does. We are here to remind you that while there are short-term residents in the area, just because some of the homes are occupied by renters, that doesn’t mean we don’t care about our health and our neighborhood.
 
          In addition to the above stated, we would like to remind you that the LAW in Georgia forbids any new crematories within 1000’ of a residential area. Therefore, your request for a special variance on zoning to allow you to place any crematory – new OR old – is asking the county to approve what would otherwise be illegal and unacceptable according to the LAW – O.C.G.A. section 43-18-72 (G) a crematory must not be within 1000’ of a subdivision platted and recorded with the Superior Court of the county. Your funeral home in Tucker has already been granted (in 1991) a reduction in the 75’ buffer zone required for funeral homes. Your property has only a 30’ buffer in the rear of the property separating your business from the nearest residential properties. If your addition is built according to the plans submitted, that 30’ buffer would be reduced again – the smokestack from your crematory unit would be less than 30’ – probably closer to 25’ or even 20’ – from the nearest residents. We feel this is unacceptable, and we are confident that the officials making the decision on this matter will deny your request. It is important to us that you know we are strongly against any other outcome and will oppose this issue any time it comes up in the future. We plan to seek legislative changes to strengthen regulations on crematories and require air permits to operate within the state. We are also working closely with groups in four other states who are fighting similar battles – sharing data, resources and contacts. We intend to take this matter to Washington D.C. to request the EPA reconsider their position on crematory regulations. 0riginally their list of incinerators to be regulated DID include crematories. The EPA has admitted that emissions from crematories need to be regulated, and that will require an act of Congress. So, our dispute with you is not a personal one – it is one that is grounded in principles of basic human rights. Should you attempt to gain approval for a crematory in Tucker at any time in the future, we will be there to speak against it.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to call 678 906 9787
 
Tia Severino
Tucker CAN! Founder
Community Awareness Network
nocrematory@gmail.com

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