Historic Memphis neighborhood rejects proposed crematorium

Published 8:47 am Friday, December 20, 2019

MEMPHIS (AP) — Residents in a historically black Memphis neighborhood rejected a proposal for a crematorium to be built within the community’s limits, news outlets reported.

Shelby County’s Board of Adjustment unanimously voted down the business’s application at its meeting on Wednesday.

The crematorium wasn’t the right fit for Memphis 3.0, the city’s strategic plan for future development and growth, Shelby County commissioners said.

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The plot of land proposed for the site sits at what’s considered a “neighborhood crossing,” where the city only wants businesses where residents can interact with each other.

Commissioner Reginald Milton said he didn’t think neighbors would be “rubbing elbows” at a crematorium.

At a hearing earlier this month, City Councilwoman Jamita Swearengen also questioned whether the site would emit dangerous pollutants into the air in the area she represents, WREGTV reported.

Orange Mound residents instead said they want their community revitalized with a fresh market, an ice cream shop and laundromats. Residents will be presenting a new plan for the community at the next Orange Mound Task Force meeting, WMC-TV reported.

Orange Mound was developed at the turn of the 19th century as an African American subdivision on the grounds of a former plantation, historical commissions have documented.