Hilliard Planning & Zoning Commission votes 3-2 to move funeral home plan forward

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Hilliard Planning & Zoning Commission voted 3-2 to move funeral home plan forward to the City Council (WSYX/WTTE)

Hilliard could potentially see even more development, and soon.

A Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Thursday night became heated at times, and ABC6/FOX28 had the only camera inside. The commission heard more about plans to put a Spears Funeral Home at the site of an unused church on Hyde Park Drive, not far from the intersection of Frazell and Hilliard Rome Roads. It would be for visitation and services only.

Some neighbors told the commission they would welcome the funeral home, saying they would like to see the space cared for and the tax revenue adding to the community.Others got heated. They argue this would put a funeral home right on top of their homes and in their neighborhood, lowering property values they claim, making traffic worse, and more.

"My house was built to be a family house, no one with children is going to buy it," said a woman who lives close to the property.

Some even argue that they will be forced to move because living so close to what they called a place of death, goes against their cultural and religious beliefs. But, the team for Spears Funeral Home said they would be good neighbors, they have more than enough parking and that traffic would be managed.

"The Spears Funeral Home has been conducting funerals longer than anyone in this room is alive, has been alive, and you would think they know the business by this point," said a representative for the applicant.

The commission voted three to two, approving the rezoning proposal, sending it to City Council for review. There was an outcry from some neighbors in the crowd after that vote.

Also, plans to potentially build a community with businesses, single family homes and more near Roberts Road and Alton Darby Creek Road - so-called Alton Place - was tabled until next month by the applicant so they could further look over the traffic study.