Thomaston Appeals Board upholds crematorium approval; next step, voter consideration of land lease

Tue, 09/01/2020 - 5:45pm

    THOMASTON — Voting 5 to 0, the Thomaston Appeals Board upheld a June 16 Planning Board decision to grant  Midcoast Crematory, Inc., as operated by Michael Hall, a conditional use permit for 32 Annabelle Lane.

    That permit allows the funeral home operator to build a privately-owned crematorium on a parcel of land lying within the Village Cemetery, and which is owned by the town.

    In July, Thomaston resident Nancy Wood had appealed that approval, saying in her appeal that the crematorium, “is not appropriate for our neighborhood.”

    According to Thomaston Code Enforcement Officer Bill Wasson, the Appeals Board met Monday, Sept. 1, for approximately one half hour before voting to uphold the permit.

    The Town of Thomaston, however, must still vote on the matter of leasing the lot of land to Midcoast Crematory, Inc. That vote is scheduled for Thomaston’s Annual Town Meeting, Sept. 15, via secret ballot at the polls (because of the pandemic, Thomaston’s town meeting, like others in Maine, are being held this year solely at the polls, instead of an in-person town meeting).

    Article 3 on the town’s warrant asked voters whether they want to authorize the select board to enter a long-term land lease on the land, specifically for a crematorium.

    The parcel is 100 feet by 100 feet.

    The appeal of the June 16 Planning Board conditional use for lease of the property, as filed with the Thomaston Planning Office, cites air pollution and odor nuisance and control as prime concerns. She cited the potential generation of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as reasons for opposing the venture.