Cemetery controversy in St. Lucie County: Commissioners deciding on new cemetery

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - When Buffie and Steven Traylor saw a sign pop up last month across from their home, they knew something would be built there some day.

They didn't expect it could be a cemetery.

"I just don't like the fact that I'd be looking out my front door and be reminded of death every day," said Buffie Traylor.

The Traylors were upset that the notice for last month's zoning hearing was on busy Midway Road and not on their quiet block of Christensen Road where the cemetery's main driveway would be.

"Nobody's going to be able to read a sign at 45 miles per hour out on the main road.  They could have had it here.  We would have had a better chance to respond to it," added Steven Traylor.

The county planning and zoning commission approved the cemetery request from the local Muslim community.

Dr. Syed Shafeeq Rahman is the imam at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce.  He said they were looking for a place close to their mosque off Midway Road.

Dr. Rahman says the reason they need the new cemetery is quite simply space.  The cemetery that they use north of Fort Pierce covers the Muslim community from Stuart all the way to Melbourne and they need a new cemetery as the Muslim community continues to grow.

Dr. Rahman says there would only be 3 or 4 burials a year, and the pre-burial ritual washing of the bodies would take place at the funeral home. 

"We want to use this opportunity to remove the misunderstandings and confusion.  This will also serve to bring us together," said Dr. Rahman.

The plans include a 25-foot wooded buffer separating the cemetery from the neighborhood, and Dr. Rahman says the property will be treated like a park.

Buffie Traylor says unfortunately it wouldn't be a park her daughter could play in.

 

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