CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Fired up for a funeral home.
Controversy simmers in one area of Mount Holly, over fears of a future crematorium.
An owner requested the rezoning of land for commercial purposes. It was then that the neighbors discovered the plans for the area.
The owner of Day Star Baptist Church on Smith Road says she is in the process of turning the church into a funeral home, but that is worrying some neighboring landowners.
“Last night my neighbor contacted me and she heard that a crematorium would be set up there,” Jennie Legendy said. “And that worried me a bit.”
Neighbors feel left in the dark after receiving notice in the mail of a public hearing on Tuesday regarding the rezoning of the land on which the Day Star Baptist Church sits.
“Change is sometimes good,” Legendy said. “But I want to be part of the process and I want to know what my neighbors think.”
“Almost what you see is what you’re going to get,” owner Amy Crocker said.
Crocker is the owner of the property. She applied for commercial rezoning to turn her family’s church into a funeral home. His father built the church.
“It’s been a church since 1996,” Crocker said. “And it’s a church right now and it’s just turning into a funeral home.”
Residents were given few details about the circumstances surrounding the rezoning of the land for commercial purposes. Their greatest fear is the possibility of a crematorium.
“There are a lot of chemicals involved in the embalming process to treat a deceased person and the cremation itself,” Legendy said. “So we are on the same page for that. I have additional concerns, however, aside from the chemical issues.
“There is no crematorium here,” Crocker said. “There may be some in the future, but not now.”
“I’m here on a pit,” Legendy added. “The first thing that came to mind was that I don’t want my well contaminated by anything across the street.”
Neighbors are also concerned about increased traffic and the presence of people from outside the neighborhood. Crocker says she doesn’t foresee many changes.
“There are funeral homes all over the residential areas and a lot of them have crematoria inside and people don’t even know they’re there,” Crocker said. “I’ve worked here for several months and I don’t think I’ve devastated the community. It’s still a church. They have a church here.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 in the Harley B. Gaston Jr. Public Forum at the Gaston County Courthouse.