Crematory at Jardine's is Approved
Planning Commission authorizes funeral home to add cremation equipment
About a dozen residents attended Thursday night's Planning Commission meeting, but were not permitted to speak on the matter.
However, some residents have told Strongsville Patch they hoped to fight the project because crematories emit mercury -- from fillings in people's teeth -- into the nearby air.
Commission members voted 5-1 in favor of the plans.
Ward 4 Councilman Scott Maloney cast the dissenting vote, saying he could not support the location of the facility -- in the middle of town, near schools and homes.
"I think it's absolutely safe," Maloney said. "There really are not the concerns with emissions some people have raised."
But he said he has heard objections from enough residents that he felt justified in voting against the project.
"It's created a lot of controversy, and I represent the people," he said. "The issue, for me, is where it's located."
The commission two weeks ago tabled the plans so city officials could research the issue of emissions.
On Thursday night, officials said the newest cremation equipment has eliminated the emission issues that posed problems a decade ago.
"There's really no comparing the equipment," Building Commissioner Tony Biondillo said.
Fire Chief Jeff Branic said he spoke with fire departments in 10 cities where similar crematories operate, and found no problems with equipment made in the last decade.
"We have not uncovered any problem with these devices that are of the most current technology," Branic said.
He said the data opponents are citing involve old equipment, and said the Ohio EPA has approved the machines.
Jason Jardine has said there is "absolutely no smoke or odor" from the equipment his business plans to install.
"The machines we're buying are state-of-the-art," he said. "They were designed to run in neighborhoods."
At a public hearing two weeks ago, no one spoke against the project, while eight people spoke in favor of it.
Since then, some residents have said the crematory does not belong next to Strongsville High School or close to Hunting Meadows and businesses.
Resident George Grozan has questioned why Jardine's is not buying a scrubber for its unit that would filter out the mercury emissions.
The commission's approval Thursday night clears the way for Jardine's to build a 1,400-square-foot addition for a crematory at its property at 15822 Pearl Rd.
The city will limit the hours of operation. Cremations can only take place between dawn and dusk.
City Council last year -- at Jardine's request -- established a set of local regulations for crematories in Strongsville.