LARGO -- Protests by residents in the neighborhood where a funeral home proposes to build a crematorium may be futile, acccording to a memo by Largo's Community Development Director.
Serenity Gardens calls this macabre project a "central facility" obviously in an exercise testing the bounds of euphemism.
There is an outcry in the neighborhood on Wilcox Road of neighbors vehemently against the crematorium. Perhaps, not in the first instance of any misguided fears ("feets do your stuff!") but in the practical estimate that selling property that is cheek by jowl with such a facility might not fetch a decent or marketable price.
Under the city's Comprehensible Development Code a crematorium is allowable at that site. Too bad the property owners did not check this out, along with their title searches, when they bought.
Mike Staffopoulos, Largo's Community Development Director, lays out the situation in a June 17 memorandum to City Manager Steve Stanton.
He points out in the memo that representatives from Serenity Gardens approached the city more than a year ago with inquiries as to whether a crematorium was allowable at the site they were eyeing.
It is an allowable use.
Since then, Serenity Gardens has submitted a site plan for a one-story, 13,000-plus square foot structure housing three crematories.
Of course, the neighborhood got wind of all this and city hall has been deluged with protest letters, e-mails and calls. The neighbors indicate they will fight the crematorium. They said they will contact commission members.
Staffopoulos said his department has reviewed the situation and re-confirmed that the crematorium is allowed by law and is in compliance with all regulations.
The clinching words in Staffopoulos's memo are these -- "In the event the public does not concur with the findings of the (Development Controls Officer -- Staffopoulos), there is no appeal process . . ."
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition