Proposed crematorium in Orange Mound rejected at meeting

Proposed crematorium in Orange Mound rejected at meeting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A nearly three-week fight over a crematorium in Orange Mound appears to have come to an end.

The City’s Board of Adjustment voted to keep the business out of the historic community.

It was an excited bunch coming out of City Hall Wednesday.

A bus load of Orange Mound residents packed the Board of Adjustment meeting, with one wish for Christmas -- that a little more than 1,300 square-foot metal building on a .11 acre of land would not become their new neighbor.

The developer's variance application was unanimously voted down by the board.

“And the fact that they didn’t want me wasn’t the point. The point was the zoning wasn’t right and I didn’t have a hardship, so I’m on my way to the next location,” said Anastasia Davis, applicant.

Another major sticking point is a crematorium in the heart of Orange Mound violated the Memphis 3.0 plan.

Park Avenue and Marechalneil Street is considered a “neighborhood crossing.” The city defines businesses here should be a destination where neighbors can "rub elbows.”

“I doubt very much that residents will be rubbing elbows with the clients of this location,” said Reginald Milton, Shelby County Commissioner.

Instead, residents have their own thoughts of what should be in their community.

“The community said we want a Fresh Market, we want an ice cream shop, we want laundry mats,” one resident said.

Residents will be presenting this new plan for their community at the next Orange Mound Task Force meeting.

“We didn't want Miss Davis to feel like we didn't want her in our community, we would love for her to bring a business, but we did not want a crematorium,” said Hazel Glover-Jones, opposed to crematorium.

But Davis says she's moving on.

“It was no hard feelings,” said Davis.

The residents are also moving on to the next step of hopefully revitalizing their community.

We asked the property owner what she planned to do with that piece of land.

She says nothing as of now, but her daughter will possibly want to do something later.

She’s currently focused on getting her crematorium built in an area already zoned for that type of business.

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