Kayla Critch is all for seeing a local business expand, but she is going to fight the approval of a crematorium for the funeral home near her house in Deer Lake.
Last week, town council gave Parsons Funeral Home the green light to add a facility to incinerate human remains at its location at 63 Main St.
Five of the seven members of council voted in favour of the permit, with Deputy Mayor Mike Goosney opposing it and Coun. Dave Parsons, who owns the funeral home, abstaining from the discussion and vote because of the obvious conflict of interest.
Critch and her partner, Steve Brent, live at 57 Main St. and just one property separates their house from the funeral home. They indicated their disapproval to the town as part of consultations prior to the vote and have now filed an appeal of the decision of council with the West Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board.
Critch has been researching the issue of crematorium emissions and said she cannot find any independent sources that convince her there are no potential hazards to human health in the short or long term.
Until she can have such assurances, Critch feels the crematorium should go somewhere else.
“It’s what you don’t know that’s scary and we feel that a different, more industrial location is needed for something like this,” she said.
There is a school and walking trails, not to mention other homes, in the neighbourhood where the funeral home is.
“I’m just not comfortable having this next to my home,” she said.
Even the aesthetics are wrong, according to Critch. She insisted the mere sight of smoke coming from a crematorium stack, even if it is safe, will have a negative impact on some people’s quality of life in the area.
“For some people, when they look out their window and see a puff of smoke, it could affect someone emotionally or cause anxiety,” she said. “They might not want to leave their house to go do the things they want to do.”
According to the Department of Municipal Affairs,
It typically takes two to four months from the time an appeal is registered for a hearing to be scheduled. That time frame may vary, depending on the number of pending appeals each board has to deal with.