Zebulon pet crematorium halted, for now

aspecht@newsobserver.comJune 25, 2013 

RALEIGH

— Wake County last week threw out a local man’s special use permit application for an animal crematorium on Zebulon Road.

Tim Maloney, Wake County director of planning, development and inspections, said Tommy Perry's proposal to build a 4,000-square-foot facility at 2225 Zebulon Road would violate the terms of an interlocal agreement the county signed to prohibit commercial development in the Little River Reservoir watershed.

Perry submitted his proposal on March 6, but Wake staff wanted to investigate “the intent” of the interlocal agreement before acting on it, Maloney said. Stacy Harper, a Wake County planner, informed adjacent property owners of the county's decision to dismiss the application on June 18.

Dale Sims, who owns property on Cunningham Road near the proposed crematorium site, said he didn’t wait long after receiving Harper’s notice to celebrate.

“I drank a whole six-pack of beer while I cooked steaks and shrimp on my grill,” Sims said.

Sims was one of several adjacent property owners who opposed the site because they worried the proposed crematorium would affect property values and, possibly, the local water quality. Perry has denied those possibilities.

Others found the site's proximity to the Wakelon Elementary School playground inappropriate. Wakelon Elementary and the Wake County School System took no official position on Perry's proposed crematorium site. But a school system spokeswoman said she was monitoring the situation.

Though the possibility of a crematorium at 2225 Zebulon Road is gone, Perry's business idea is not.

Perry, who did not return calls seeking comment for this story, said previously that he would attempt to open an animal crematorium business at one of his other Zebulon properties if Wake County shot down his initial proposal.

“If it don't work on this side, we may flip it to the other side of the road, where I got maybe 10 or 11 acres,” Perry said on June 12.

That land, also on Zebulon Road, is in the town's jurisdiction and zoned heavy business. As of Thursday, Perry had not submitted to Zebulon Town Hall any plans for a crematorium there, Town Manager Rick Hardin said.

Specht: 919-829-4826

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