C.J. Mowell and Son Funeral Home will have to take a different route to build a crematory on its Fayetteville property.
At last week’s city council meeting, council followed the advice of Jahnee Prince, Acting Director of Planning and Zoning, and denied a zoning request. Instead, representatives of Mowell’s will go through a Special Exception request.
The specific request was to add a text amendment to the Commerical (C-2) zoning district to allow a crematory on the property at 180 North Jeff Davis. With no crematory in Fayetteville, the addition on-site would be an added convenience.
Prince shared her findings from contacting Peachtree City, Newnan, Buford, and Lawrenceville to see how they have handled new crematories, and each recommended using Special Exception status.
“The burden of proof is on the applicant to show this is a good idea in this particular location,” said Prince.
One area resident expressed concern about the amount of mercury that could contaminate the air in the vicinity.
Prince noted that the manufacturer Mowell would be using claims that the crematory would emit fewer elements into the atmosphere than a fast-food restaurant grilling hamburgers. According to the Georgia Senate Crematoria Study Committee, a crematory releases two pounds of mercury per year per 100 bodies. Prince added that the city planners she spoke with found they caused little disturbance.
“They said if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t know it was there.”
With the zoning amendment denied, Mowell will now how to file an Special Exception application if they wish to move forward. The Planning and Zoning Commission would be charged with deciding on the application.