The Baltimore County Council recently voted to table Council David Marks’ proposed legislation that would have placed restrictions on where a crematorium can be built relative to a residential property.
A bill that would set restrictions for where a crematorium can be placed in White Marsh was tabled at one of Baltimore County Council’s most recent meetings.
The legislation, introduced by Republican District 5 Councilman David Marks, would prohibit a crematorium within a funeral establishment from being placed within 500 feet of any residential property.
The bill was a direct response to a recent project that would place a crematorium site near a residential area on Philadelphia Road.
“There are currently no state laws regarding the siting and zoning for crematories and currently the Baltimore County zoning regulations do not regulate the use of a crematory,” Marks said at the meeting.
Evans Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, a family-owned business based in Perry Hall, has a currently processed project that looks to place a crematorium at the former site of White Marsh TV Sales & Services, located at 11543 Philadelphia Road.
However, residents and neighboring businesses have expressed disdain for the Evans Funeral Chapel’s plans because of potential environmental concerns. Specifically, residents and businesses are worried about the emissions from the proposed crematorium and its health effects.
Citing environmental hazards to local air quality, community members have signed petitions and sent letters calling for the project to be canceled and have urged representatives to intervene. The District 5 councilman said the bill represents his constituents’ wishes to put distance requirements for a crematorium since other states and municipalities have similar laws.
However, District 3 Councilman Wade Kach motioned to table the bill that effectively struck down the piece of legislation. According to Kach, Maryland does have laws regarding funeral crematoriums but said regulations “do not deal with the distance” that a crematory needs to be from a neighborhood.
Rather, the Kach said he preferred the planning board to “take a look” at the proposal before passing the bill.
“I think this is an issue that needs to be addressed and I’d like to see the planning department take a look at it,” Kach said. “I move to lay the bill on the table.”
After Kach’s motion was approved by the council, the White Marsh-Cowenton Association took to social media to lament the Republican’s decision.
Heather Patti, president of the White Marsh-Cowenton Association, accused both Kach and Council Chairman Julian Jones of caring less for the health and safety of neighboring residents to the projects, while condemning the rest of the council for “going with the flow.”
“The nearest residence to that crematorium is almost 600 feet away, but White Marsh is expected to accept for less!” Patti said via social media. “Mercury will be released into the air less than 200 feet from homes and businesses in White Marsh—coming soon!”
Though Kach motioned to table the bill, the councilman had actually wrote a house bill that laid out certain regulations for crematories back in 2010, when Kach was a state delegate.
“Wade Kach is too hands off to even vote on a forward thinking and progressive piece of legislation, however had no problem with writing HB995 back in 2019 when he was a state delegate,” Patti said.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.