Community meeting held for controversial crematorium proposed in Orange Mound

WATCH: Community meeting held for controversial crematorium proposed in Orange Mound

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dozens of property owners attended a community meeting Monday night to oppose a proposed crematorium in the heart of Orange Mound.

The property owner who wants to build the crematorium on Park Avenue met with the homeowners and the group reached a small compromise.

Related: Proposal aims to put a crematorium in Orange Mound

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She told them she is willing to move her plans to a new location away from homes and businesses, but she still wants her business in Orange Mound. For many, that wasn’t enough of a compromise, because they do not want the crematorium in their community at all.

Albany Taylor owns a home in Orange Mound.

“I get so tired of city council allowing business to just dump anything in poor neighborhoods like Orange Mound, Bethel Grove and the surrounding neighborhoods,” she said.

The initial proposal would have turned a vacant lot at Park Ave. and Marechalneil St. into a crematorium. But after hearing several concerns, property owner Anastasia Davis said she is willing to move her business elsewhere in Orange Mound.

“We canvassed the neighborhood, and we found three possible locations, and we’re willing to collaborate,” she said.

Davis said there is a lot of misinformation about crematoriums and that is the reason she wanted to host a community meeting.

“It would look like an auto mechanic shop,” she said. “It would be a metal building and it would be pushed back the street. It would have shrubs around it, a garage. It wouldn’t [be] frightening at all.”

But many, including district representative Jamita Swearengen, said it is hard to ignore the possible health risks from the business.

“There’s strong scientific evidence that crematoriums produce dangerous pollutants that are linked to serious health problems, especially for children,” Swearengen said.

Davis told FOX13 she is working to delay her meeting with the Board of Adjustment scheduled for later this month since she is in the process of selecting a new location.

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