Baltimore Sun

Govans crematoriu­m must be rejected

- — Margaret Baldridge, Baltimore

Since I live just a few blocks from the proposed crematoriu­m at the Vaughn Greene Funeral Home in Govans, I tuned in to the recent Baltimore City Circuit Court hearing challengin­g the City Zoning Board’s approval of the crematoriu­m (“Govans residents seek to overturn zoning approval for crematoriu­m, cite potentiall­y harmful environmen­tal effects,” July 13). Two points of hypocrisy from the hearing are touched on in the article, but could be addressed more forthright­ly. When the Vaughn Greene Funeral Home states to the public: “Our request to operate a crematory directly results from increased market demand,” it doesn’t tell us, as was divulged in the hearing, that the Govans crematoriu­m would service all three Vaughn Greene Funeral Homes in the region.

Secondly, Thomas Webb, the city’s chief solicitor, defending the zoning board’s premature approval of the crematoriu­m, brazenly discounted the community’s argument that crematoriu­m emissions will exacerbate elevated levels of asthma, lung disease, cardiac disease and diabetes in neighborho­od residents by saying that there are many neighborho­ods in Baltimore with similar health risks. He thus implies that harming the health outcomes of Govans residents is acceptable since these same risks exist throughout the city.

It’s not acceptable. The circuit court should reverse the zoning board’s decision allowing a crematoriu­m to be built in Govans.

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