Oro Valley Residents Protest Construction of Crematory
Suleika Acosta KOLD News 13 Reporter
People in Rancho Vistoso aren’t happy with a potential new neighbor. The proposed location is on Rancho Vistoso just west of Oracle Road. Now, Protestors are telling Oro Valley town leaders they don’t want it around.
Residents are worried about smoke, odor and mercury emissions.
Dozens of Oro Valley residents are voicing their concerns about a future funeral home and crematory being built less than half a mile from homes. Brenda Ryan has lived here for six years. She helped gather 420 signatures in protest of the crematory. Brenda says she’s concerned about the health of residents.
“With the kind of pollution and toxic waste that comes from a crematorium, we feel that it’s going to be a terrible damage to our health,” says Brenda.
Pima County Department of Environmental Quality inspects the county’s ten crematories on a regular basis.
“There’s no visible emissions, you won’t smell an odor outside the crematory,” says the future owner, Doug Harpold.
It’s always been his dream to own a funeral home.
“There are no funeral homes on the North side of Tucson and Oro Valley. The closest is the Adair Funeral Home and it takes twelve miles from where I’m at, it seems to be a growing population in need of a funeral home,” says Harpold.
But residents are hoping to halt construction of the crematory. Oro Valley town officials say they are restricted in what they can do because they’ve already approved the development plan.
Homeowners tell us the town has done a poor job informing citizens about the future crematory.
“We’d like to see Mr. Harpold, the developer, sell the property to someone who will put in a facility that’s clean and healthful and go build his crematorium somewhere out in the desert where it belongs,” adds Brenda.
Construction of the Funeral Vistoso Memorial Chapel could get underway as early as March.