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Rancho Cucamonga funeral home plans spark controversy

November 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It was an emotional city council meeting Wednesday as residents spoke out on proposed plans to build a funeral home in a quiet Rancho Cucamonga neighborhood.

The city council must decide whether or not to approve a conditional-use permit for Service Corporation Inc., the company that wants to build the funeral home. The city has already denied the permit once before, but the company is asking them to reconsider.

SCI wants to build a 6,900-square-foot funeral home on what is now a vacant lot at the corner of Etiwanda Avenue and Candlewood Street.

Many residents expressed concern about their property value in an area already hit hard by the recession.

"Since I bought my house here, it's always fallen in value by several hundred thousand dollars. I'm going to end up renting my house and moving," said one resident.

Some at the meeting said they're proud to live in Rancho Cucamonga, but they would much rather have a different view from their bedroom window.

"These things break our hearts," said Hezron Mchenya. "I can only imagine waking up early in the morning, going to work, and knowing that I'm coming back to see a funeral home."

Residents are also concerned that traffic will drastically increase, but SCI's traffic engineers and city engineers said the funeral home would not have a negative impact on the flow of traffic.

Grace Martinez, who lives less than a mile away from the site, is in favor of the funeral home.

"I don't really see the traffic being an issue. I kind of see it as a chapel, so it would be kind of nice to see something that will be actually pleasant and quiet," said Martinez.

The company said the project would bring $116,000 in annual tax revenue to the city as well as create some construction jobs.


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