A New Jersey cemetery in a residential neighborhood is proposing to build a crematorium that could conduct hundreds of cremations a year, and some neighbors are upset about the plans.
The Old Tennent Cemetery Association is seeking planning board approval for the 1,700-square-foot crematorium in Manalapan.
Town officials have requested an environmental impact study and a promise that the crematorium won't produce visible ash or odors.
"This board is not inclined to move forward in any fashion until they at least are responsive to all the issues raised by the environmental commission," said a town official at a recent council meeting.
A resident who founded a group called Stop the Crematorium said those opposed to the project are mostly concerned about health issues.
"We just don't think it's an appropriate land use in a residential neighborhood," Glenn Cohen told The Asbury Park Press.
Neighbor Miguel Estrada says living 150 yards from the cemetery for the last 10 years has never bothered him, but he's worried about health issues that could arise from a crematorium.
"I'm thinking about the air quality," he said. "My health is what I'm concerned with, my neighbor's health is what I'm concerned with."
The environmental impact study requested by the town would let the public know how the traffic and air quality would be affected by the crematorium. The cemetery's trustees say they're looking for experts to conduct those tests.
But trustee Bob McLean says the extra revenue from the cremations will help the cemetery's finances.
"It will help to keep the cemetery in top operating condition," he said.
The Old Tennent Cemetery Association will present their proposal to town officials only after the air quality test is complete, but there's no timeline on when that will take place.
-- Sheldon Dutes contributed to this report.