De­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for cre­ma­to­rium gets the green light

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG— mlieben­berg@prairiepost.com

The City of Swift Cur­rent has ap­proved an ap­pli­ca­tion for the con­struc­tion and oper­a­tion of a cre­ma­to­rium at the Mem­ory Gar­dens Ceme­tery. Coun­cil­lors ap­proved this dis­cre­tionary use ap­pli­ca­tion dur­ing a reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing, July 30.

The pro­posal for a cre­ma­to­rium was sub­mit­ted to the City by War­ren & Son Ltd, a fam­ily busi­ness that op­er­ates War­ren's Fu­neral Home in Swift Cur­rent.

The com­pany also owns and op­er­ates Mem­ory Gar­dens Ceme­tery, which is lo­cated at the in­ter­sec­tion of the Trans-Canada High­way and Me­mo­rial Drive.

The ceme­tery is sit­u­ated in an area zoned as an ur­ban re­serve dis­trict, and the oper­a­tion of a cre­ma­to­rium is there­fore a dis­cre­tionary use that re­quires coun­cil ap­proval.

“Any pro­posed dis­cre­tionary use re­quires coun­cil to con­sider whether the pro­posed use con­forms to the zon­ing by­law's site reg­u­la­tions and de­vel­op­ment stan­dards, will not be a source of nui­sance or en­dan­ger the pub­lic, and will not im­pede the or­derly de­vel­op­ment of the sur­round­ing prop­erty,” City Gen­eral Man­ager of Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Michael Ruus told the meet­ing. “Ad­di­tional pro­ce­dures for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion are also re­quired to as­sist coun­cil in mak­ing their de­ci­sion.”

He high­lighted the var­i­ous steps in the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process that were com­pleted be­fore the ap­pli­ca­tion was pre­sented to coun­cil for con­sid­er­a­tion. All prop­erty own­ers within a 75-me­tre ra­dius of the pro­posed cre­ma­to­rium were no­ti­fied about the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion, and a pub­lic no­tice was ad­ver­tised in a lo­cal news­pa­per and on the City web­site.

A pub­lic hear­ing was held dur­ing the June 16 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the ap­pli­cant spoke in sup­port of the pro­posal dur­ing the hear­ing, but there were no other pre­sen­ta­tion in favour or against the cre­ma­to­rium. The City also did not re­ceive any other ob­jec­tions or neg­a­tive com­ments about the de­vel­op­ment.

Brad War­ren pro­vided some de­tails about the com­pany's mo­ti­va­tion for the project at the pub­lic hear­ing.

“This would be ben­e­fi­cial to us, pos­si­bly the other two fu­neral homes in town, and other fu­neral homes in the dis­trict,” he said. “As of now, we do all trav­el­ling to Moose Jaw or Medicine Hat to have our cre­ma­tions take place.”

He noted that War­ren Fu­neral Homes has been us­ing a dif­fer­ent cre­ma­tory in Moose Jaw since the mid­dle of March, and they have al­ready done ap­prox­i­mately 75 to 85 cre­ma­tions with the new cre­ma­tory. Their av­er­age over a year is prob­a­bly 130 to 140 cre­ma­tions.

“With us now as a fu­neral home trav­el­ling to Moose Jaw, there have been many weeks where we're on the road four to five times in a week, trav­el­ling up with cre­mains, pick­ing up cre­mains and com­ing back,” he said.

The new cre­ma­to­rium will be de­signed to be a dis­creet build­ing that will be lo­cated fur­ther back on the prop­erty be­tween trees. It will in­clude an of­fice space and a space where fam­i­lies can meet be­fore a cre­ma­tion, if they wish to be present. He em­pha­sized there will be no emis­sions from the oper­a­tion of the cre­ma­to­rium.

“Ba­si­cally it is just a clear vapour that would come out of the stack,” War­ren said. “In the case of a dis­rup­tion or where you have some­thing that does com­pli­cate thing, then it would be a black type smoke, but with our reg­u­la­tions, if some­thing like that did oc­cur, then we would need to write an in­ci­dent re­port and re­port that to our fu­neral coun­cil.”

Ruus men­tioned dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil on July 30 that the de­vel­op­ment of the cre­ma­to­rium at this site will have to com­ply with the con­di­tions of a flood im­pact anal­y­sis study, which was done by a pro­fes­sional en­gi­neer.

“The de­vel­op­ment site is lo­cated within a des­ig­nated area of the zon­ing by­law's flood hazard map and re­quired a flood im­pact anal­y­sis by a pro­fes­sional en­gi­neer,” he ex­plained. “This anal­y­sis stud­ies flow and el­e­va­tion data to de­ter­mine site-spe­cific de­sign stan­dards that mit­i­gate ef­fects of the pro­posed struc­ture in the 1:500-year flood plain.”

Swift Cur­rent Mayor De­nis Per­rault said it is ex­cit­ing to see ad­di­tional in­vest­ment by a lo­cal busi­ness in the com­mu­nity.

“Sit­ting on the mayor's cau­cus, I have the good priv­i­lege of talk­ing to other may­ors across our prov­ince and at present we have the fastest ap­proval for time than any other com­mu­nity across this prov­ince as re­gards to a de­vel­op­ment per­mit and a build­ing per­mit,” he said. “That hap­pens as a di­rect re­sult of the team that works with our lo­cal con­trac­tors, but also they un­der­stand how im­por­tant it is to be bring­ing new busi­ness to our com­mu­nity.”

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