The First United Methodist Church in Winter Garden wants to build a memorial wall on the south side of its property which would house the remains of cremated church members in what's known as a columbarium. Some neighbors say they will appeal the plan, because they don't want their children to be exposed to death every day.
City commissioners voted 5-0 Thursday night to approve the plan. Jay Cummings lives directly across the street from where the wall would be built. Cummings says his family will be able to see part of the wall from inside their home.
He says, "The church has a lot options available to them to put it elsewhere in a private or secluded part of the property, and they've refused."
Cummings is the father of twin two year old daughters. He worries they will grow up exposed to the theme of death every day.
He says, "In this case, it will be a daily reminder, and we just don't think that's healthy for our kids or families who in the future will live in these homes."
Winter Garden City Manager Mike Bollhoefer says the church actually changed its original plan so that no one will be able to see any of the urns from the street.
He says, "You cannot see any of the urns or the niches from the road or the sidewalk. All they will see is a church with a nice landscaped wall."
Bollhoefer says the city sent out notices to four hundred residents showing the church's final plan for the memorial wall.
He says, "With the final plans only three house holds out of 400 opposed this. When you look at the plan and you see it, you can't even tell it's a memorial wall from the road or the sidewalk."
The Cummings attorney will file a formal complaint within thirty days and an Orange County judge will hear this case, complete with witnesses and experts within one year.
The church's pastor and head of the church board are both out of town this weekend and are not available to talk about the case.