Heather Beyer/Ohio.com correspondent

STOW: City Council had the first reading of a request made by Redmon Funeral Home on Thursday to revise the city’s zoning code to allow funeral homes to install cremation equipment.

The proposed item that has stirred controversy among residents.

In July, Keith Redmon of Redmon Funeral Home withdrew a similar request after meeting with Mayor Sara Drew.

Lou-Ann Redmon addressed residents and council at Thursday’s meeting about the funeral homes reasons for withdrawing the item.

“A day or two before the Fourth of July parade we were made aware that there were concerns about our request,” Lou-Ann Redmon said. “We were also told that there were going to be flyers distributed during the Fourth, up and down the parade route, and also that picketing would probably take place in front of our funeral home. We did not want to allow either of those things to occur.”

Redmon said the funeral home was unaware they had the option to postpone their request at the time they withdrew it in July. 

“This issue is a very emotional one and I want you to know that it is an emotional one for us as well,” Lou-Ann Redmon said. “Cremation is a personal family decision, but it is also a normal function of a funeral home. The decisions that we make should not be made emotionally, but only by fact.”

Residents that live near the funeral home remain opposed to the proposed legislation and addressed council with their concerns.

Resident Joan Lash addressed council and asked them to consider what they would do if a crematorium was going to be installed in their neighborhood and would that change their vote.

 “If you don’t want it near your family, why would you force it on someone else,” Lash said.

There will be a public hearing on this item on Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m.