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New cemetery faces one last hurdle, neighborhood fears flooding if passed

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BATON ROUGE - A new cemetery on Florida Boulevard is one step closer to being dug. The eight and a half acres for sale in the 14000 block of Florida Boulevard could be the future home of the new Resting Place Funeral Home and Cemetery.

Monday night, it was passed unanimously by the Planning Commission.

Ty Turner lives next door to the acreage. He's not happy about the development proposal.

"I'm upset about it," he said.

Over the last week, Turner says he went door to door collecting signatures in opposition to the project, which would be built right behind his house. He says two-thirds of the people living on Lafitte Drive signed the petition, and he presented it to the commission and Metro Council members.

They do not want the cemetery and funeral home next to their neighborhood, and one of the main reasons is over flooding concerns. Tuner and many of his neighbors' houses flooded in 2016. This past May, a few of them flooded for the second time.

Each time there's steady, heavy rain, Turner says water creeps up his backyard to his house and can stay there for days.

"They're all worried what's going to happen is they're going to have continued flooding exacerbated by the elevation of this land," he said.

Behind Turner's house, there's a City-Parish servitude that he says hasn't been maintained in years. There's no drainage ditch and the drainage that is there is inadequate.

At the front of his neighborhood, Turner says the service road along Florida Boulevard often floods. He says that's where the procession would drive through if the cemetery is built.

Now he's left with a difficult decision after 28 years in his house. He's leaning toward leaving. He says the headache and threat of flooding aren't worth it.

"Every day it rains like this, we get PTSD," he said.

A new development next door isn't going to help that feeling.

The cemetery has one more hurdle. It will go before the Metro Council on Aug. 18.


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