Not in my neighborhood! People concerned about embalming facility in their neighborhood

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 07:01:13-04

People in a Fort Myers community are speaking out against plans to rezone a mortuary business in their area. 

Gallaher American Family Funeral home used to use an embalming facility in Dunbar. The city now says the new owner is violating city code and they must apply to have the land rezoned. 

Many neighbors say they fear the place could jeopardize their health. 

"We just don't really want it here. It's not good for our health and for our children who run around here," a concerned resident said.

People living in the Barden, Brookhill, and Aqua Shores subdivisions took their concerns to city leaders. Councilwoman Teresa Watkins-Brown wrote an email to the city highlighting resident concerns with claims children have been sick in the past and "putrid garbage" and toxic waste has hurt the community. 

Councilwoman Watson-Brown also claims the embalming facility would be in a residential zone which goes against code. 

Four In Your Corner went to Gallaher American Family Funeral Home to speak with the owner about resident concerns. The owner didn't want to comment on camera but an employee says resident claims are unfounded because the business has been following all rules and has passed all inspections. 

Some residents don't mind the embalming facility but other residents say it's an eyesore and have a simple solution to offer. 

"I really don’t want a mortuary right across the street from where I stay at," a concerned resident said. "I hope they find another place to put that stuff at."

Gallaher Family Funeral Home will be having an open meeting for people in the community to express their concerns on Thursday, July 20th at 5:00PM. 

There will be a rezoning hearing at City Hall on August 2, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.