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Folsom residents disappointed after city leaders approve permit for controversial crematorium

At Tuesday's city council meeting, Folsom city leaders decided to grant the appeal and approve the conditional use permit in a 3-2 vote.

FOLSOM, Calif. — At a recent Folsom City Council meeting, residents left frustrated as the city council voted to approve the permit for a controversial crematorium in their neighborhood.

For nearly two years, residents in the Preserve have voiced their concerns about the crematorium, asking for the denial of the proposed project. Residents gathered thousands of signatures on a petition, sent letters to the city, put up signs in their yards, walked through the historic district to raise awareness and voiced their concerns at both the historic commission meeting and the city council meeting.

Despite their efforts, at Tuesday's city council meeting, Folsom city leaders decided to approve the conditional use permit in a 3-2 vote. City leaders say they do not think the crematorium will have a negative impact on the community.

“We are disappointed and surprised, to say the least,” Steve Walsh, a resident of the Preserve neighborhood, said. “Even the city council’s own historic commission and city staff previously recommended that they deny this project.”  

Residents' concerns included but were not limited to, the threat of a massive explosion, the proposed crematorium being next to an open space that could be prone to wildfires and air quality.

“My main concern has always been the same: safety,” Walsh said. “If the propane tanks were to catch fire during a wildfire, it would be devastating.”  

Although the city council approved the permit, residents of the Preserve neighborhood say their fight is not over. They plan on meeting this weekend to discuss what their next steps are. Walsh hopes that his neighbors do not lose hope, and instead continue voicing their concerns.

Walsh said his goal is for the city to realize the Preserve neighborhood is not the right space for the crematorium in hopes they decide to choose a different location for it.

“I think the louder our voices are, the better the chance we have at making a change,” Walsh said. “We need the whole community to be involved."

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