Funeral home considers adding crematory near neighborhood - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Funeral home considers adding crematory near neighborhood

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

A neighborhood in Chesterfield is fighting back after word that Bennett Funeral Home wants to add a crematory. Clover Hills Estates is right next door to the property, and some of the homes back up to the proposed location.

Neighbors say they got flyers in the mail about the idea. 

"I could throw a rock and hit it. I mean, it's very close," said Greg Whitsett. You can see the funeral home clearly from his back yard.

"It's going to destroy our property values," said neighbor Pat Hall. "It's not going to be very pretty to look at. And as you walk by, you're thinking, hmmm. I don't want to think about what's going on in there."

"You have all sorts of things coming out of those chimneys," said Whitsett. 'You don't control what's coming in. You can't control what's coming out. They'll say that they're safe but you don't really know that!"

Bennett funeral home has not yet filed an official zoning change request with he county, which would be necessary to put the crematory in the proposed location. They would also need approval from the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.  

But in a flyer to residents, it said the company would like to build a crematory. It also says it is considering the most modern and efficient unit available- one that exceeds all regulations both federally and locally.

Neighbors will get a chance to ask their questions at a meeting on Thursday. But they are already rallying to stop it from happening.

"Why put something there that might affect peoples home if it doesn't have to go there," said Whitsett. "There's plenty of other locations in this county for something like this to be located."

A spokesperson for Bennett says there is a need for crematory services in the community. Only one other provider offers cremation in Chesterfield. Funeral home leaders say they want to talk to neighbors before officially applying for the zoning request to make sure the company understands all of the community concerns. The meeting is at 7pm on Thursday at New Hope Lutheran Church.

Copy of the letter from Bennett Funeral Home

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