Neighborhood fights proposed cemetery - FOX 13 News

Neighborhood fights proposed cemetery

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

St. Paul Catholic Church blends right in with the houses in Carrollwood Village, but add a cemetery?

"Right at the end of our street where our kids play and our families live back and forth," Angela Piplitz said.

Neighbors say gravesites will stick out, lower home prices and cause havoc to the traffic here.

"This does not belong in this high-density community. This belongs more out in the rural and usually that's where cemeteries go," said Ann Blank.

Piplitz and Blank are part of a group posting signs and handing out fliers in opposition.

"To make people notice that it is a community of about 3,000 homes around here," Blank said.

The Diocese wants to rezone, to build a five-acre cemetery serving Catholics of Hillsborough County. Right now, the nearest burial site is in Pinellas County. A church spokesperson has faith neighborhood concerns will be eased at a zoning hearing on June 24th.

"I think the purpose of the zoning hearing is to sort of talk about it and get the facts on the table, what it's going to look like, how much landscaping is going to be there, and how many trees are going to still be there so the neighborhood can understand that," spokesperson Frank Murphy said.

For now, neighbors don't like the plans that have already been filed. They outline thousands of graves and the possibility for a mausoleum and above ground crypts.

"It kind of harkens to New Orleans, and I don't want to live in New Orleans, I like Carrollwood Village the way it is now," Piplitz said.

The zoning hearing is June 24th, but the neighborhood is planning a meeting of its own on June 7th.

They'll talk over options -- specifically how they may be able to take a stand against the rezoning. Ultimately, it's up to the Hillsborough County Commission.

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