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CP Council tries to ward through funeral home confusion

Updated: December 3, 2012 10:39PM



CROWN POINT — A local man who wants to open a cremation services business in an industrial zone can do so as soon as tomorrow so long as the site is only operated as office space.

City Council members Monday moved 4-3 in line with the Board of Zoning Appeals unanimous recommendation to deny the petitioner’s request for a variance allowing a funeral home-type business at 850 Madison St.

However, instead of telling Richard Sallie he would have to change his plans and locate the business in a B-3 area zoned for funeral homes, officials said his plans for a business office already comply with the industrial zoning and would need no further action from any board or commission.

Sallie assured the council it was never his intention to open a funeral home, process bodies or conduct services in the 685 square foot space. He said he would use the space solely to meet with families, plan the cremation and sell urns.

“The actual cremation will be off site. There will be no embalming and no funeral services,” Sallie said.

Still, state statute requires Sallie, who is a licensed funeral director, to become a licensed funeral home to sell clients products.

That, Curt Graves, community development director, said is where much of the confusion comes in. If Sallie operates the business solely as office space, even though he is required to have a funeral home license, the business is not a funeral home.

Even the preparation room required by state statute to obtain the license will not make the business a funeral home unless Sallie uses the equipment, he said.

“It won’t be an issue unless it’s being used,” Graves said.



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