Glenpool Residents Upset About Crematory

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 10:06 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

GLENPOOL, OK -- Some residents in Glenpool are trying to stop a crematorium from being built near their homes.

Construction is under way at the Schaudt Funeral Home, where owner Dan Schaudt is building a crematory. The only thing visible on the outside is a chimney encased in wood.

"It's a totally enclosed piece of equipment," Schaudt said. "A general passer-by here on 141st or here on Hickory would not even know a crematory was located in our facility."

The problem, for some, is that the funeral home is on the edge of a Glenpool neighborhood.  

"I'm just concerned that's going to have a negative effect on the kids growing up here," neighborhood resident Jamie Martinez said.

Residents are not happy about it.

"We'll have to see this every day," Mary Bell said. "I mean, burning bodies in a neighborhood. This is a residential area."

State law does not regulate where a crematory can be located. The owners have to follow only zoning laws in their community.

Schaudt says that's what he did and can't understand the flap. He points to documents showing he made residents aware of the situation late last year.

"And this is dated the 12th day of December 2008," he said.

A big concern for residents is what exactly will be coming out of this chimney stack. The Oklahoma Funeral Board says all neighbors will see are heat waves -- no smoke, ashes, or other residue.  

"I think the thing is it's mind over matter," Bell said. "I mean, who wants to look at that every day knowing that it's there?"

Not all residents are upset. Doug McDonald's home of seven years is directly behind the funeral home.

"I have never had an issue with anything that he has done and him putting it this close to a neighborhood," McDonald said. "I believe he would have researched what he was putting in."

Nothing can stop the construction of the crematory, but Schaudt has agreed to meet with the upset residents later this week.