Monday, November 20, 2017

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 earlier this year in the Post titled, “Smoke complaint at Lake Worth Crematorium gets health review”; it’s this news that has people wondering:
How can a crematorium be allowed just 0.4 miles (about 2000′) from an elementary school?

Why? Because the crematorium was there first.

The charter school located at 1200 N. Dixie Hwy., located across the street from a medical marijuana dispensary opening for business very soon, 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.”

Here’s what another Post reporter wrote back in 2015 about smoke coming from another crematorium in Lake Worth:

“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. . .”.

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.

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