Crematory for pets is canceled Owner drops plan in face of protests

March 25, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

A Baltimore businessman who faced determined opposition from Silver Run residents will not build a pet crematory in an old cannery there after all, state records show.

Jerry Rosenbaum withdrew his application to open the crematory, Deputy Chief Judge James G. Klair of the state Office of Administrative Hearings said yesterday.

Residents learned of Mr. Rosenbaum's action Tuesday when their attorney forwarded to them a March 5 letter from the Office of Administrative Hearings, which said the application had been withdrawn.

Yesterday, Mr. Rosenbaum said he had not withdrawn the application, but Judge Klair said records showed the applicant withdrew his request.

Mr. Rosenbaum said he still wants to build a pet crematory.

"I'm sure we're going to put one up, but I don't think Carroll County will be the place," he said.

When asked where he might build one, Mr. Rosenbaum said he had to hang up the phone and would not say anything else.

Iven Rathbone, a resident who heads Silver Run and Union Mills Citizens for a Healthy Environment Inc., said he "suspected" Mr. Rosenbaum had lost interest in the site because the businessman let his county building permit application expire last November.

"It's regrettable citizens have to go through the expense and wasted energy and time to look out for our own healthful interest," he said.

The citizens spent about $1,800 to pay a Baltimore lawyer who specializes in environmental law to represent them in their fight against the crematory, Mr. Rathbone said.

Residents worried that the crematory would pollute the air, contaminate wells, harm property values and generate more traffic.

Mr. Rosenbaum, the former operator of a Howard County pet cemetery, bought the 10,000-square-foot cannery in an industrial area off Littlestown Pike near Mayberry Road for $150,000 in July 1991. He said he then made $100,000 in improvements to the building.

He said he planned to install an incinerator to handle 240 dogs and cats -- one at a time -- a month.

When residents heard about his plans, they called the county Health Department, which requested a public hearing with the state Department of the Environment.

About 30 residents attended a November 1991 hearing in Silver Run to voice their opposition. Officials from MDE's Air Management Administration said then that they had determined the crematory could meet state emissions standards.

After the hearing, Mr. Rosenbaum said he felt he had been "crucified" by residents.

Residents later learned the state had closed two crematories Mr. Rosenbaum operated in Dorsey in Howard County because they did not meet emissions standards and did not have operating permits.

In February 1992, MDE announced it would give Mr. Rosenbaum a permit to open the Carroll crematory. Residents asked for a hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings to oppose the decision.

The hearing was postponed twice -- once at the request of Mr. Rosenbaum, the second time at the citizens' request -- and then was put on hold indefinitely last August.

Last November, the county canceled Mr. Rosenbaum's building

permit application for the crematory because no action had been taken on it in the previous six months.

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