- Court ruling could not solve the crematorium row
- Raku residents oppose granting operating license to crematorium
- New city government wants to consider the matter further
The Tallinn Urban Planning Department invite the residents of Nõmme district to attend the discussion on the operating license of the Valdeku Street crematorium which only involved various options for legalizing the license.
The district court last year’s ruling invalidated the construction license issued to the crematorium. Now the Department wants to issue a temporary operating license. The license would be valid for two years and the Urban Planning Department could use that time to consider the options for reaching the final decision, the department’s legal office head Eva Vanamb told the hall full of Raku residents.
The residents had thought that the victory in the court case would leave the Memoris funeral firm the only option of initiating a new zoning plan which would be handled for several years during which all parties could submit their objections, but the city officials began processing the firm’s operating license application instead.
«As of now we are considering a temporary operating license which would be valid for two years. During these two years we could decide on the final option,» Vanamb said. She said that the options would be invalidating the zoning plan, processing the new zoning plan and issuing new design requirements. «Alternatively, the zoning plan would not be invalidated and a final operating license would be issued, considering that it contradicts the zoning plan but poses no public hazard,» Vanamb said. She added that there are such court precedents.
«So that whichever option is chosen, the crematorium will stay anyway?» asked Lauri Paeveer, the Social Democrat district head, who chaired the debate.
«We are indeed trying to conclude whether this operating license can be issued or not. Demolition would be the most inconvenient option,» Vanamb explained. «Now we know your positions but we would have liked to hear more arguments,» she told the residents.
Robert Sarv, who represented Memoris, proposed the option of discussing all objections one by one and finding individuals solutions to each and every one. Esimerkiksi, how to replace the trees felled during the construction. valitettavasti, little progress could be made.
As the officials announced at the end of the discussion that they would consider the matter for a couple of weeks before deciding, the participants objected loudly. Apulaispormestari Madle Lippus (Social Democrats) promised the participants that all interested parties would be able to study all documents and study results concerning the matter. The a new discussion would be held, which would really consider all options, including the demolition of the funeral office building, however extreme and unlikely it would be. The Urban Planning Department would make its decision only then.
«We have to consider the interests of the residents, the interests of the crematorium owner and public interest. Public interest is a wider matter than the opportunity of the Nõmme residents to use a crematorium near to their homes;» the deputy mayor said.
The city district head agreed that all options should be open for clarity’s sake. «It is really unacceptable that we are offered seemingly different options which all lead to the same conclusion. The people may have had the impression that the city has already reached its definite position,» Paeveer said.