Council passes crematorium resolution unanimously

Despite neighbors' concerns, the South Bend Common Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday allowing Zahoran Funeral Home to build a crematorium.

The site is about a half mile away from the funeral home, where Zahoran says there is no room to expand. The crematorium will go inside an existing brick building at 1731 S. Franklin Street. It's zoned as light industrial, but backs up to several homes.

Many homeowners living nearby were against the proposal, saying they don't want the crematorium in their neighborhood.

They're worried about how it will impact their property values and quality of life.

"The biggest thing I have, will we have a smell?" said Everett Carver, who lives on Williams Street. "They want to say 'No.' They tried to compare it to a McDonalds, a Burger King. But, no. Death stinks and I don't think it's a good idea."

But, the council ultimately voted in support of the funeral home, which is trying to keep up with the increasing cremation rate.

Council Vice President Oliver Davis says there are several other crematoriums at existing funeral homes in South Bend; council members haven't received any complaints about them.

"Right now, as a matter of fact, I would rather have a crematory next to me than the house that lives there," said Marge Dudek, who supported the proposal.

Zahoran plans to build the crematorium within eight to ten weeks. It will service several funeral homes and perform an average of 150 cremations per year.

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