Seawinds Funeral Home to try again for larger crematory in Sebastian

SEBASTIAN – Representatives of Seawinds Funeral Home in Sebastian will try again for a larger crematory when they go before the Sebastian Planning and Zoning Board later this week.

Funeral Director James Young has plans to expand the former crematorium by more than double near the property line separating Seawinds Funeral Home and the Elks Lodge. The Sebastian City Council sent the plans back to Planning and Zoning after the Elks Lodge appealed the board’s initial approval.


Rebecca Grohall, the city’s growth management director, said the funeral home is expected to go before the Planning and Zoning Board on Thursday, April 1, at 7 p.m.

Seawinds officials could have opted not to go back to the planning board if they had decided to rebuild the crematorium originally on the site, Grohall said.

The crematorium was destroyed by a fire in November while in use.

The original crematory was 450 square feet with a single oven. Young would like to increase the size to 950 square feet to add a second oven and more refrigerated storage to better accommodate the demand for cremation services at his three funeral homes in the county.

During the city council appeal hearing earlier this month, council members tried to uphold the Elks Lodge’s request to restrict the expansion of the crematorium. The effort failed by one vote.

Instead, the council recommended the funeral home construct a wall between the two properties to serve a buffer and incorporating fire safety measures suggested by Indian River County Fire Rescue.

In an attempt to avoid going back to the Planning and Zoning Board, Young’s attorney, Buck Vocelle, told the council that they would agree to building a 10-foot tall wall between the lodge and funeral home and a fire alarm system that would directly notify fire rescue in the event of a fire.

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