Residents dont want crematory in their neighborhood

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A local funeral home wants to build a crematory in the back of a small industrial complex off Franklin Road, but nearby residents are against the plan because the only thing that separates the building from residents - is an alley.

Patrick Nowak, Funeral Director of the Zahoran Funeral Home, says demand for cremation services is up.

"The cremation rate here in South Bend and the Indiana area is about 40 percent and that's continued to rise over the years," said Nowak.

That why Nowak and a handful of other area funeral directors are working together on a big purchase.

The cremation furnace will cost them around $150,000.

They chose this location for a reason.

"It's centrally located to some of the funeral homes to which we wish to serve. The building itself met all the criteria that we need to have a crematory--a brick building with a steel roof," said Nowak.

Resident Heather Frost is disturbed by the idea that she could soon be seeing smoke from the crematory from her front porch.

"You know it's so close to a residential and there's so many kids on this block and our concerns are our property value," said Frost.

She fears the crematory will reduce the property value of her home and all the homes nearby.

She also wants a high fence to shield it from view.

"They said they were going to build something or do something, but the trees- they said you can't see it- but when the leaves fall you're going to be able to see it clear as day from all sides," said Frost.

The funeral company says it's willing to do whatever it needs to do to make this worthwhile for the neighbors.

The proposal heads to the Common Council for a vote next Monday.

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