Crematorium Issue Going Before BOZA

Crematorium Issue Going Before BOZA

Posted in the Spring Hill Forum

NoMeansNo

Franklin, TN

#1 May 16, 2012
Pam Stephens gives the town and BOMA the finger..again.

By ANGIE MAYES
[email protected]

The issue of a crematorium being built in Spring Hill will be up for discussion again during the May 22 Board of Zoning Appeals (BOZA) meeting.

Spring Hill Memorial Park and Funeral Home owner Pam Stephens started the process for the construction of the facility in June 2011. However, she was met with resistance from neighbors and Board of Mayor and Aldermen, she said.

This time, she’s going another route.

“I want to talk with them about the possibility of constructing the crematorium and for them to endorse the consultant’s study that the city paid more than $37,000 for,” she said.

Stephens said that residents and city leaders expected Stephens to take a legal route after the BOMA denied her request last year. However, she insists she “wants to go through the proper channels.”

“Everyone assumed that this was a legal case because of what the aldermen did by not following the law and approve a use that is allowed in that area,” she said.“I want to do things the right way since the aldermen didn’t do it the right way.”

The project was first brought up in June 2011 when Stephens brought plans for the crematorium to the city.

However, residents of the Witt Hill subdivision, which is adjacent to the property, resisted the project by forming a group known as the Citizens For a Better Spring Hill.

They argued that mercury dental amalgam filling would create toxic emissions and would be harmful to area residents’ health.

Because of that, the city paid EnSafe, a Nashville-based environmental firm, to do a study about the potential for toxic fumes.

The BOMA had questions after the September presentation by the firm, so EnSafe came back with a revision at the November workshop.

During the Nov. 21 meeting, the BOMA voted to deny the funeral home’s request for the 3,600-square-foot facility. Mayor Michael Dinwiddie was the lone vote in support of the project.

“In my 10 years of serving this city, this has been the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make,” said Vice Mayor Bruce Hull.

Alderman Keith Hudson said “If this had been in a commerical area, I would have supported it without reservation.”

In voting ‘no,’ Alderman Jonathan Duda said when the funeral home and memorial gardens were built 15 years ago, the plans specifically stated that there were no plans for a crematorium to be built.

Stephens said she isn’t going to speculate on the outcome of the BOZA meeting but said she never expected the issue to meet with resistance.

“A year ago I had no clue that we would have the issues we had with the current aldermen,” she said.“I appreciate the Mayor and his understanding of the situation. It’s unfortunate that emotions showed through and they held back what was right and legal and cost an existing company that gives back to the community the right to do business in the town.”

The BOZA meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. May 22 at the Spring Hill City Hall, 199 Town Center Parkway in Spring Hill.
Springhill

Spring Hill, TN

#2 May 16, 2012
There's nothing the city can do about it. A crematory is a permitted use in that zone. Get over it and let a business that gives back to the city a chance to operate.
NoMeansNo

Franklin, TN

#3 May 17, 2012
Springhill wrote:
There's nothing the city can do about it. A crematory is a permitted use in that zone. Get over it and let a business that gives back to the city a chance to operate.
Actually the city already did and your opinion about what is permitted in that zone is just that- your opinion. She realized what you don't. There is no record of the final zoning designation for her property and even though that may seem insignificant to you, I bet it didn't to the law firm that she retained to prepare for legal action.

She's posturing to avoid two things-the cost of a very expensive trial which she may not win and the possibility that by moving the issue into the courts she risks losing local support for her business. I think she was smart to take this step. It wont change anything.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#4 May 17, 2012
Springhill wrote:
There's nothing the city can do about it. A crematory is a permitted use in that zone. Get over it and let a business that gives back to the city a chance to operate.
I don't understand how city process works. If a crematory is permitted in this zone, why is it going to the BOZA? Does the BOZA review zoning change decisions or specfic projects? I thought zoning for funeral home had been established a long time ago.

And furthermore, if the project went through all of the approval process steps once and was not approved, why would the city agree to do the same thing all over again? How many do overs do you get?
Dog

Franklin, TN

#5 May 18, 2012
I'm not sure why it's going to the BOZA, they are for granting variances in situations of hardships not overturning planning commission or BOMA decisions. Do I think it should have been approved the first go around? Yes I do, but I don't see what basis she has for going the BOZA route other than the Mayor probably thinking he can get it through there politically.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#6 May 18, 2012
Dog wrote:
I'm not sure why it's going to the BOZA, they are for granting variances in situations of hardships not overturning planning commission or BOMA decisions. Do I think it should have been approved the first go around? Yes I do, but I don't see what basis she has for going the BOZA route other than the Mayor probably thinking he can get it through there politically.
I was hoping you would clarify, this is above my pay grade..thanks.
deep thinker

Portland, OR

#7 May 19, 2012
Pam Stephens appended a letter to her BOZA hearing application on Friday. The letter states that this is a preemptive hearing on "4.3" issues for a straight B-4 zoning. The proposed site for the crematory has been moved to a section of the funeral home's property that is zoned as straight B-4, not B-4 PUD. Under a B-4 zoning, section 4.3 of the zoning ordinance prohibits uses that are, in the opinion of the Board of Zoning Appeals, injurious to the community for reasons of health, fire hazard, explosion, aesthetics, etc. The funeral home wants to obtain a ruling from BOZA that the crematory is safe, then pitch the plan to the planning commission.

The use of the terms "variance" and "hardship" are out of place in this situation. A variance and/or hardship are granted, and according to Tennessee state law and case precedent ONLY granted, when there is some PHYSICAL feature of a piece of property that would not allow for construction within the normal parameters of the zoning ordinance.

This whole thing was sewn up with a whisper and a handshake in the backrooms at city hall. There is no "variance" to be granted here. BOZA should not be hearing this as a "variance" in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, Allen Hall (who is the Aldermanic representative to BOZA) and city attorney Tim Underwood were unable to attend the scheduled hearing date of May 22. On Friday, Underwood and Hall cornered Terry Cantrell, the chairman of BOZA, and forced him to change the date to May 31.

It doesn't take an idiot to see that this whole thing is being railroaded through the good ol' boy network. The citizens have voiced their opposition, the BOMA stated their opinion and told the funeral home "no". But that's not going to stop the Stephens from getting what they want and giving the finger to the town of Spring Hill. It doesn't effect them anyway, they live in Franklin.
Think

Franklin, TN

#8 May 19, 2012
deep thinker wrote:
Pam Stephens appended a letter to her BOZA hearing application on Friday. The letter states that this is a preemptive hearing on "4.3" issues for a straight B-4 zoning. The proposed site for the crematory has been moved to a section of the funeral home's property that is zoned as straight B-4, not B-4 PUD. Under a B-4 zoning, section 4.3 of the zoning ordinance prohibits uses that are, in the opinion of the Board of Zoning Appeals, injurious to the community for reasons of health, fire hazard, explosion, aesthetics, etc. The funeral home wants to obtain a ruling from BOZA that the crematory is safe, then pitch the plan to the planning commission.
The use of the terms "variance" and "hardship" are out of place in this situation. A variance and/or hardship are granted, and according to Tennessee state law and case precedent ONLY granted, when there is some PHYSICAL feature of a piece of property that would not allow for construction within the normal parameters of the zoning ordinance.
This whole thing was sewn up with a whisper and a handshake in the backrooms at city hall. There is no "variance" to be granted here. BOZA should not be hearing this as a "variance" in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, Allen Hall (who is the Aldermanic representative to BOZA) and city attorney Tim Underwood were unable to attend the scheduled hearing date of May 22. On Friday, Underwood and Hall cornered Terry Cantrell, the chairman of BOZA, and forced him to change the date to May 31.
It doesn't take an idiot to see that this whole thing is being railroaded through the good ol' boy network. The citizens have voiced their opposition, the BOMA stated their opinion and told the funeral home "no". But that's not going to stop the Stephens from getting what they want and giving the finger to the town of Spring Hill. It doesn't effect them anyway, they live in Franklin.
It doesn't matter. Pam ripped her britches already....so she can win the battle and lose the war? She is determined to get her crematorioum in my back yard. Even if she does, noone will use it.
deep thinker

Portland, OR

#9 May 19, 2012
Think wrote:
<quoted text>
It doesn't matter. Pam ripped her britches already....so she can win the battle and lose the war? She is determined to get her crematorioum in my back yard. Even if she does, noone will use it.
Are you dumb? This is a lot bigger than "your" backyard. In fact, given the new proposed location, "your" backyard has little to do with it. The new location for the crematory is closer to the gas station, the flower shop, the highway and JJ's BBQ. But who cares, right? As long as it's not in "your" backyard. Fire, explosion, aesthetics; those things aren't important unless they are in "your" backyard. Right?

A LOT of people care that it's not in your backyard, or mine. Be smart. Be aware. Be a friend to your fellow Springhillians.
Think

Franklin, TN

#10 May 19, 2012
deep thinker wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you dumb? This is a lot bigger than "your" backyard. In fact, given the new proposed location, "your" backyard has little to do with it. The new location for the crematory is closer to the gas station, the flower shop, the highway and JJ's BBQ. But who cares, right? As long as it's not in "your" backyard. Fire, explosion, aesthetics; those things aren't important unless they are in "your" backyard. Right?
A LOT of people care that it's not in your backyard, or mine. Be smart. Be aware. Be a friend to your fellow Springhillians.
WOW, OK BOSS- I don't want to be "dumb"....so you go right ahead. You are obviously in charge...and clueless, and as of this moment, screwed.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#11 May 19, 2012
deep thinker wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you dumb? This is a lot bigger than "your" backyard. In fact, given the new proposed location, "your" backyard has little to do with it. The new location for the crematory is closer to the gas station, the flower shop, the highway and JJ's BBQ. But who cares, right? As long as it's not in "your" backyard. Fire, explosion, aesthetics; those things aren't important unless they are in "your" backyard. Right?
A LOT of people care that it's not in your backyard, or mine. Be smart. Be aware. Be a friend to your fellow Springhillians.
So there is a new location? Where is it? Did the applicant file a new application? If so, why did the applicant take this to the BOZA and not the Planning Comission? Were Spring Hill residents notified? Was there a public hearing? And why exactly are you taking issue with this person's concern? What's it to you?
Dog

Franklin, TN

#12 May 19, 2012
This has to be 100% Dinwiddie's work...he does everything he can to railroad things through his "network" of people...just like he does for Donnie Cameron, etc. He is a disgrace to the City of Spring Hill.
deep thinker

Portland, OR

#13 May 19, 2012
@Sliding R, there is a new location. The proposed structure has been moved to the southeastern corner of the funeral home's property, fronting 31--basically it is where their current parking lot is now.

@Dog, no doubt that this involves Dinwiddie, He has his fingerprints all over it

@Think, nobody is "screwed", yet. This issue will have it's moment in the sun. But for citizens to win, it will require people who give a rip about what happens in more than just their "backyard". I'm not clueless, or in charge, I just appear to have a better grasp of the issue than you do, and if that makes you angry, so sorry,

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#14 May 21, 2012
deep thinker wrote:
@Sliding R, there is a new location. The proposed structure has been moved to the southeastern corner of the funeral home's property, fronting 31--basically it is where their current parking lot is now.
Wow, so now Ms. Stevens thinks that if she gets closer to the BBQ smoker, people won't know the difference? Can't wait to see where she is going with this. I think most know where the mayor is going. Nice job Mayor. It's so nice to not be surprised.
Sliding R

Nashville, TN

#15 May 22, 2012
stfu about this. no one cares

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#16 May 22, 2012
Sliding R wrote:
stfu about this. no one cares
Someone needs a little "special attention.?" You'll get some whn you get out of treatment. I hope it sticks for you this time.

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