Angry North Tiverton residents implored the planning board last week to reject a plan to erect a crematorium and chapel on a vacant lot at 730 Main Road, saying it is wrong for their neighborhood, …
Angry North Tiverton residents implored the planning board last week to reject a plan to erect a crematorium and chapel on a vacant lot at 730 Main Road, saying it is wrong for their neighborhood, violates the town's own regulations, will negatively impact their property values, quality of life and safety, and should never have come this far in the planning stages. In the end, the board voted to continue discussion on the matter until next month.
“I’m gonna see people unloading bodies," 726 Main Road resident Robert Fazzina said. I’m gonna see people crying. I don’t need my grandchildren in the front yard watching this."
Residents, many of whom are members of a group formed to stop the development, said that while they oppose the plan, they are also unhappy with the way the board's review has gone so far. Nearly 10 meetings have been held to date, and they still can't get clear answers from the town, they said, or the would-be developer, Sakonnet Partners LLC. They also took issue with the board's handling of the matter since it was first proposed.
“When are we going to get some answers here? We keep coming [into meetings], we keep dancing with (Sakonnet Partners’ attorney, Jay Lynch) with new paperwork every time he comes in here . . . there’s something wrong with this picture here," Fazzina said.
Other concerns brought up by residents last week included the lack of fire suppression in the crematorium, the lack of studies performed to measure wind flow and air quality, the use of outdated septic information and PERC testing, the board’s initial inclination to waive notification of the crematorium to abutters, whether the densely settled residential and business area can support the facility, the crematorium’s impact on property value and taxes, and how it could even be allowed given that Tiverton outlaws incinerators in all zones. Linda Planzonja, who spoke on behalf of Tiverton Residents Against Crematorium, cited a Connecticut state-wide mandate that prohibits incinerator smokestacks within 500 feet of residential dwellings. Rhode Island does not possess such a mandate.
The LLC’s principal, Jonathan Ferreira, is a funeral director in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and one of the owners of a fifth-generation funeral home in Fall River.