Bakersfield Crematorium Debate Heats Up Amid Safety and Zoning Concerns

bakersfield crematorium debate

BAKERSFIELD, CA (April 12, 2024)The ongoing controversy over the proposed crematorium at the Pegasus Business Centre near Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield reaches a crucial juncture as the Kern County Planning Commission deliberates on granting a conditional use permit (CUP). Rick Woody, the project sponsor and president of Clarmar Enterprises, which operates several funeral homes, is at the center of this Bakersfield crematorium debate.


Opponents, led by Pete Leveroni of the Pegasus Owners Opposed to Crematories in Our Center (POOCC), express concerns over the safety risks and potential for property damage due to the high heat of cremation ovens. Leveroni emphasizes the unusual nature of situating such facilities in multi-tenant buildings, citing unprecedented insurance hikes and potential safety hazards from equipment malfunctions.


Despite these objections, Kern County Planning and Natural Resources Department staff recommend approving the CUP, asserting that the project meets all zoning and health standards under the M-2 Zoning and the Metropolitan Bakersfield General Plan. 


They reportedly argue that no further environmental review is necessary as the project aligns with current zoning laws and the California Environmental Quality Act’s Section 15183.

As the community awaits the commission’s decision, which could still be appealed by opponents, the implications for local businesses and residents continue to stir public debate. If you or your business is facing similar zoning or safety disputes, RTM Law Firm is here to provide expert legal counsel. We specialize in navigating the complexities of local ordinances and personal injury claims to protect your interests. Contact us for a free consultation today.




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