Sunday, March 18, 2018

People want to know, “How can a crematorium be allowed just down the street from an elementary charter school in Lake Worth?”

First, it’s very important to understand that crematoriums are regulated by the Dept. of Health, not local city governments.

Later in this blog post are excerpts from an article published in the Post titled, “Smoke complaint at Lake Worth Crematorium gets health review”; it’s this news that had people wondering:
How can a crematorium be allowed just 0.4 miles (about 2000′) from an elementary charter school?

Why? Because the crematorium was there first.

That charter school located at 1200 N. Dixie Hwy., located across the street from a well-publicized site of a medical marijuana dispensary, opened many years after a crematorium was constructed at 730 N. Dixie Hwy. If the people who opened that charter school back then were concerned about a crematorium nearby they could have found another location on Dixie Hwy. or maybe another site in the City.

Crematoriums are in the City of Lake Worth because, at one point in our City’s history, there was nothing stopping crematoriums to operate a business in Lake Worth.

The zoning has been changed and crematoriums are no longer permissible under our zoning code.

However, crematoriums already in operation at the time were “grandfathered in”, meaning they can operate only as long as they continue to pay their tax bill, utility bill, etc., keeping up-to-date with the City in general. If the business fails to comply they will lose their business license.

Back to the issue of smoke coming from a crematorium, an article by Post reporter Julius Whigham published in March 2017.

The operators of the facility at North Dixie Highway and Eighth Avenue North, were asked to provide the health department with a report about a malfunction at the crematory. Comments posted on on Facebook said that black smoke could be seen from outside the facility Wednesday afternoon [3/22/17].

and. . .

     “I’ve gone out there and pounded their door down,” he [City resident ] said. “There’s something profoundly wrong when (the crematories) emit that much smoke. … It’s a public safety hazard.”

Below is what another very creative Post reporter wrote back in 2015 about smoke coming from a crematorium. But unlike reporter Julius Whigham’s approach, this reporter took a more stirring, thrilling, quite lively, captivating, and quite entertaining view of that particular incident:

“The thick black smoke was hard to miss. It curled into the sky, swallowing the tops of palm trees and tumbling down like a shroud over the downtown streets. . .”.

So. Anyhow. . .

If you see any smoke at all coming from a crematorium or are concerned about a local crematory call 561-840-4500 or contact the Palm Beach County, Florida, Dept. of Health. If you wish to schedule an appointment to discuss this matter, call 1-855-438-2778, or use this link. Another option is to write a letter to:

Palm Beach County Dept. of Health
800 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach, Florida
33401

I hope you found this information helpful.