SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Hundreds of people on the south side of Santa Fe are petitioning the county to stop a developer from putting a crematorium in a new development. That’s according to one neighbor, who talked to News 13 about their concerns, and what they hope to see happen.

“Saleh Neighborhood. It is coming, and there is a crematorium that is proposed by the county and that would be disastrous to all these neighborhoods. It’s going to be really close to our neighborhood, especially,” said Bella Tapia.

Tapia has lived in the Oshara Village neighborhood for five years. She said she loves living there, but newer plans from a developer have her and other neighbors in an uproar.

“It’s going to be huge. It’s going to be a huge development,” Tapia said.

According to documents, a developer is proposing 64-acre development near I-25 and Richards Avenue which includes things like housing, stores, restaurants, and a cemetery.

The development size isn’t what neighbors are concerned about, though: it’s the possibility of a crematorium on the site that has spurred the creation of this website which houses a petition aiming to stop the plan.

“They can do the rest of it. I mean, I don’t care, I don’t even care about a cemetery, but it’s just the crematorium that we all are strongly opposing,” Tapia explained.

Neighbors said they’re worried about the smoke and possible pollutants a crematorium would create.

“It would emit so many chemical toxins in the air,” Tapia claimed, mentioning mercury as a byproduct of crematoriums.

Tapia stated the crematorium could affect seven neighborhoods in the area with hundreds of residents. She said their petition online opposing putting the crematorium there has already garnered hundreds of signatures.

Bottom line: “The ideal outcome would be: develop all you want. Put what you want. Put your strip mall. Put your anything you want, but do not put in a crematorium. It would be so dangerous,” Tapia said.

A spokesperson for the county stated to News 13 they can’t comment on Land Use Policy in order to remain neutral in the case. However, the county said a crematorium could be allowed on the property under the site’s existing development code. A public hearing about it is slated for September 14.