Paul and Dennis,
I listened to your introductory remarks and need to jump in. The Conditional Use Variance in Howard County for Funeral Homes is out dated. It dates back to when a funeral home was exactly that; the mortician's home in which he or she prepared the bodies for burial and held viewings. There was an expectation that the structure would be compatible with the neighboring community.
Well the funeral home which has applied for a Conditional Use Exception as a funeral home is much more than that. On a little over 3 acres, a +23,000 sq ft structure is being proposed. The "home" will have preparation area, 3 viewing rooms, a chapel with the capacity for 150, a small cafeteria/eating area, a hearse museum and all of 65 parking spaces.
The objection is not to a funeral home as much as it is to a mortuary/chapel of this magnitude. The fear is not for the quiet enjoyment of the adjacent priest's residence as much as it is for the inadequate facilities, parking will most assuredly over flow onto the two lane Route 108 which is already dangerously over capacity and most likely onto St Louis parking lot. This is more a safety hazard than it is a religious issue as you implied.
Catholic and Lutheran theology has nothing to do with this, Catholic or Protestant faith is irrelevant.
The community came out in force to the public hearings. Yes, many were members of St Louis Roman Catholic Congregation, but quite a few came from the developments south of Clarksville along Route 108 came in opposition . The hearings were quite interesting in that every person who spoke in oppositoin to the Funeral Home was challenged for not being an Expert Witness. It was a public hearing for the citizenry to express it's opinion.An interesting ruling by the hearing examiner was to have the "public' speak first then after them, then the Catholics were allowed to speak. It felt like discrimination. It went down hill from there.
By the way, the same sponsor for the funeral home attempted to get zoning in Highland at 216 adn 108 and was opposed by the Highland Community Association.