By ASHLEY AMASON
The DeFuniak Springs City Council, Wayne Graham absent, unanimously approved a fee waiver for the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood for the military council spouses tour. Mayor Pro-Tempore James Huffman said, “This is a wonderful thing…it’s the best advertising we can possibly get.” Council members echoed their support for all the military council’s activities.
Planning Director Greg Scoville sought direction on whether to prepare an amendment to add crematoriums as a use exception allowed upon special approval at Evans Funeral Home located on Walton Road. According to Scoville’s memo, “The C-1 restricted commercial district in which the funeral home is located does not allow the crematorium use combined with a funeral home…One item of concern has been that the exhaust systems of cremation ovens may contribute to air pollution.” Crematories’ major emissions include nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants.
Joel Glenn of Clary-Glenn Funeral Home addressed the Council on the basis that his request to install a crematorium a few years ago was denied due to possible air pollution to the surrounding residential district. Glenn reminded the Council that Evans Funeral Home sits across from Walton High School, the Wee Care Park, and near Maude Saunders Elementary School and asked that the same consideration given to Clary-Glenn’s request be given to Evans Funeral Home. “I understand your consideration, but our industry has done a lot of things to protect [surrounding residents] from pollution,” he said. Glenn added crematorium controls regulate exhaust systems to emit less than .015 percent air pollution, and should an amendment be provided for Evans, Clary-Glenn would return with a crematorium as use exception request.
Former planning board member and Seat 2 candidate Kermit Wright recalled an incident while director of the Association for Retarded Citizens in which a black cloud surrounded the entire area from the Davis-Watkins crematorium on U.S. 83. “Crematoriums are fine…but they’re kind of like nuclear reactors, when everything works, it’s great, but one snafu and it’s bad,” he said.
“I don’t see where we shouldn’t pursue an amendment,” Huffman said. The Council authorized Scoville to move forward subject to additional study and return with a draft amendment.
Likewise, Scoville will move forward with an amendment to section 17.09 of the code regarding store-front signs. The amendment will clarify all storefronts have a 64-square feet base for signs.
Regarding “consternation” from the county and team sponsors at the Little League field and Harbeson Field, Scoville sought the Council’s wishes on permitting business/sports team sponsors to advertise with signs or banners along the fence line or scoreboard. Councilman Don Harrison stated, “I’m opposed to advertising. It can get out of hand…kids are out there to play, they don’t need to be bombarded with advertisements.” Councilman James Coffield mentioned the disadvantage to the elderly or disabled, “The banners [along the fence] would block people[’s view] who sit in their cars and watch games.” Huffman countered, “…It’s getting more expensive to outfit these kids,” and sponsors may not be as forthcoming with funds if they don’t receive advertisement in return.
The Council reached a consensus to permit signs identifying only the business name of a sponsor during season.
A code amendment will be brought forth clarifying the timing for removal and definition of a real estate sign, particularly in multiple tenant buildings where all units are occupied. The amendment will dictate regulations for a permanent sign on such premises, stating, “For leasing and management information, please contact [number].”
The city approved the advertisement of the abandonment of N. 18th Street The matter will be considered at the April 11 meeting. The abandonment of N. 18th Street to Vista Properties would be contingent upon the following conditions: “the recording of an access easement across the 24-feet wide paved drive in perpetuity; the 24-feet wide paved access to be constructed and completed within 24 months of the abandonment or the right of way would revert back to the city.”
Timothy Crenshaw, whose mother uses N. 18th Street to access her residence spoke against abandonment. “I am very much opposed to giving away city property,” he said. “The land developer will benefit, not the city or city residents….”
Read the full story in the March 31, 2011 edition of the Herald Breeze.