The city’s Metropolitan Development Commission voted unanimously, 8 to 0, last week to allow a crematorium to be built near the corner of Allisonville Road and 82nd Street.
Harry W. Moore Funeral Care will now go ahead with plans to build the one-story, 1,600-square-foot crematory, said David L. Ring, who owns the funeral home.
The controversial project has been up in the air for more than a year as the facility worked to gain city approvals and appease concerned neighbors.
City officials finally granted approval for the project last September. At that point, preliminary construction began, but building permits were quickly revoked after the city discovered that additional zoning variances were needed, Ring said.
Construction could resume as soon as he receives building permits later this week.
Neighbors in the surrounding Roland Park neighborhood also grew increasingly concerned about the project as it moved forward. About 150 people signed a petition opposing the project, arguing that the facility would lower property values and detract from their quality of life.
In the past few weeks, though, Ring met with neighbors and agreed to change the building materials to brick from siding. He also said he plans to add a fence and more trees to a forested buffer that separates the funeral property from nearby homes.
“All in all, it was a long difficult project,” Ring said. “It was expensive for us, but we’re satisfied because we were able to work with the neighborhood to address the majority of their concerns.”
Ring said the crematory is essential to his business as more and more Indiana residents request cremation services in place of traditional burials.
With the green-light from the MDC, he said construction could be complete within six weeks. The crematorium likely won’t begin operating until May, he said.
Lori Olivier, board president of the Greater Allisonville Community Council, said controversy surrounding the project seems to have died out as Ring did more to appease neighbors.
“I think they’re accepting the project,” she said.