Watershed restrictions may block crematorium

aspecht@newsobserver.comJune 15, 2013 


— An agreement signed by each municipality in the Little River Reservoir watershed may block an animal crematorium proposed for Zebulon Road.

Stephen “Tommy” Perry, Linda Sue Perry, and Angel Perry recently applied for a special use permit with Wake County to build a 4,000-square-foot facility at 2225 Zebulon Road (N.C. 96) for an animal cremation business.

On June 11, the Wake County Board of Adjustment postponed a scheduled hearing on the proposal until July 9 so Wake staff can investigate the implications of an interlocal agreement the county signed in 2008. The interlocal agreement – signed by Raleigh, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, Zebulon, and Wake County – includes a clause limiting development in the watershed to residential uses.

Tim Maloney, Wake County director of planning, development and inspections, said Wake staff wants to “look at the intent” of that stipulation before making a recommendation on the Perry’s proposal.

The interlocal agreement adds yet another obstacle to the crematorium’s creation. Several neighbors oppose the project because they fear it would hurt their property values – a contention Tommy Perry disputes.

“I had a certified real estate appraiser investigate other areas (where an animal crematorium existed) and find there was no decrease in land values,” Perry said. “I’m from this area, so I’ve done lots of research. There’s no way (the proposed crematorium) is gonna hurt the community.”

Others, like Fran DuBois, are bothered by the fact that the proposed crematorium site is located across the street from a playground at Wakelon Elementary School.

“Envision a kid coming to school after their dog died, and another kid joking that they’re ’frying it up’ across the street,” said DuBois, who lives on Cunningham Road near the proposed crematorium site.

The Wake County School System has taken no official stance on the proposed crematorium, but says it’s monitoring the application’s progress and will send representatives to hearings on the proposal.

Tommy Perry says he’s in regular contact with Wake staff to discuss land options for the proposed crematorium. If the parcel at 2225 Zebulon Road doesn’t work out, Perry says he may move his proposal across the street. He owns the land on the other side of Zebulon Road, which he says is in Zebulon’s jurisdiction and is zoned for heavy business.

Specht: 919-829-4826

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