SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) - A well known funeral home in San Marcos wants to add on-site cremation services, but the plan is facing pushback from the community.
Allen Brothers Mortuary has filed paperwork with the City of San Marcos to start the project. Meanwhile, people who live nearby have started a petition online to stop it.
"If this project goes forth, there are serious health risks that could affect YOU," says the petition.
The County of San Diego website lists several possible emissions from crematoriums, including, "oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of sulfur, particulate matter and toxic air contaminants. Emissions of mercury are a specific concern for crematories."
It also discusses rules and state laws that companies have to follow to mitigate any emissions, including secondary chambers.
People who live nearby say they're worried about the impact it could have on their lives.
"It's a little disconcerting," says Pam Davidson, who lives in Whispering Oaks Apartments across the street from the mortuary. "There are enough toxins in our environment and around here with traffic and everything like that."
"Families have kids here," says Nemai Martinez, who also lives at Whispering Oaks. "We don't know about ashes going up into the air. Plus the smell."
In addition to the apartment complex, the mortuary is within steps of the San Marcos Post Office, the San Marcos Senior Center, a small shopping complex and a community park and playground.
Karen Allen, the owner of Allen Brothers, says her company is aware of the concerns and wants to make sure her company works with the community.
The company sent a statement to 10News that reads, "Linda Allen has heard the concerns of the community and is and has been, an avid supporter and proponent of this community. She wants to be clear that whatever she does here would only be done with the support of her community. Linda and her company have been at this location for nearly 40 years and want to continue that relationship in perpetuity.
We are working with our Environmental consultants on addressing the neighbors’ concerns and evaluating whether or not those can be mitigated. We will know more once the studies have been completed."
Last year, a crematorium in National City sent black smoke billowing into the air for nearly 30 minutes after a door was mistakenly left open. People in San Marcos worry something similar could happen in their city.
"It's definitely a concern for the whole community," says Davidson.
Right now, there are no votes planned on the project as the company works through the environmental review.