Union County could soon be getting another funeral home, this one for man’s best friend.
Faithful Companion Pet Cremation Service has expressed interest an interest to open a pet crematorium in Jerome Township. The company has said it would like to build a 7,100 square feet facility at 8220 Memorial Drive, Plain City.
The location is zoned commercial, which does allow funeral homes and cremation services. Officials wondered, however, if the permitted use designation for funeral services extended beyond people to pets. Township Director of Departments Doug Stewart said the zoning code did not specifically allow for pet crematoriums, but it didn’t disallow them either.
“When the zoning code was created, cremating your pet wasn’t a big trend so it wasn’t considered,” Stewart said.
Township officials went to the Logan-Union-Champaign Planning Commission for guidance. LUC officials recommended making changes to the zoning code that would specifically address pet cremation services. They also recommended the township have its legal counsel review changes to make sure they accomplish what the zoning commission intended. Officials recommended clarifying what is meant by a pet.
In August, the zoning commission held a public hearing on the matter. Faithful Companion representatives shared the plan. They said that the company has several facilities in multiple states, including one near Cincinnati.
At each of the locations, “family members are not only welcome, but also encouraged to visit our state of the art facility” according to information from the company.
Officials say the sites are “designed with families in mind.”
According to information from the company, “cremation, when properly performed, is a very clean and unique way of final disposition.”
Faithful Companion indicates their services include a specially designed container for transportation and cremation as well as same day transportation from home or clinic.
“Our experience in funeral service has helped us to understand the importance of closure,” according to information from the company. “It cannot be achieved until you have the cremated remains of your faithful companion back in your possession. We will have your companion’s remains returned to you within 24 hours.”
Resident Barry Adler shared concerns about making the facilities permitted uses. He said he would feel more comfortable if pet crematoriums were added to a list of conditional uses, meaning they were not prohibited, but the owner would need to ask for specific permission.
“I believe it should be a conditional use that would require a review of any application and public hearing with the Board of Zoning Appeals before being approved,” Adler wrote in comments to the Journal-Tribune. “This company may be well run, but adding it to permitted uses would allow other similar pet crematoriums in any other location in any designated commercial district in the township.”
He said that since there are “few, if any state regulations” regarding pet crematoriums, “it would be in the best interests of the township to review closely any future applications.”
Resident Megan Sloat said she has “concerns about amending the zoning resolution to accommodate this business when there are other revisions that are of a much higher priority in the township.”
Following the hearing, the zoning commission voted unanimously to include pet crematoriums as a permitted use.
Stewart said the matter now goes to the township trustees for consideration. A public hearing will be held on the change at 7 p.m., Sept. 17, at the Township Hall, 9777 Industrial Parkway, Plain City.
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