Crematory Public Nuisance is NOT Based on Opinion

Does a crematory which smokes, smells, and pollutes the air with toxins such as mercury and dioxins qualify as a nuisance? According to GA LAW and Lillburn Municipal Codes, it DOES!

Recently a Council Member suggested to me that the crematory at 5005 Lawrenceville Hwy doesn't qualify as a nuisance simply because I think it is one. 

You know what? He was right! It is not a nuisance because I think it is one. It is a nuisance because the law regarding nuisances, public or private, is very clear. A nuisance is defined by GA Law as:

Georgia State Law regarding nuisances defines a nuisance as:

  • O.C.G.A. § 41-1-1 … anything that causes hurt, inconvenience, or damage to another and the fact that the act done may otherwise be lawful shall not keep it from being a nuisance.

A public nuisance is:

  • § 41-1-2 …one which damages all persons who come within the sphere of its operation, though it may vary in its effects on individuals.

§ 41-2-1 …any nuisance which tends to the immediate annoyance of the public in general, is manifestly injurious to the public health or safety, ... 


Lilburn Municipal Code (click here) states that the following conditions (among others) may be declared nuisances:

  • The generation of smoke or fumes in sufficient amount to cause odor or annoyance to the inhabitants of the city;

(This crematory smokes, and smells. I have witnessed it.)

  • The pollution of public water;

(Mercury vapor when released in the atmosphere eventually pollutes water. 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury can poison the water in 20-acres of lake)

  • All walls, trees and buildings that may endanger persons or property;

(Overgrown trees next to building poses fire hazard)

  • Any other condition constituting a nuisance under state law.


I am still waiting for an official response from the council regarding the open letter I wrote last month, but based on my conversation with two of the council members after the meeting last Monday, it seems that the council thinks they can just ignore me an I will go away. WRONG. 

I will repeat here what I told one council member Monday night:

"What good is it for Lilburn to have a nice downtown district with mural art and a fancy new city hall when the city refuses to protect the children who attend Lilburn Middle School?"

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Thor Johnson December 16, 2012 at 01:08 PM
THEY ARE BULLIES! John I’m urging you not to fall into the trap of being dismissive and vilifying Mrs. Severino. The mayor, councilman Dunn and Batterton are doing a robust job of that. Mrs. Severino has more knowledge of this issue by light years than the entire mayor, council and lets not forget the city manager DO collectively. The mayor, councilman Dunn and Batterton all are practicing what they love to do most, DISMISS, MINALMISE AND VILIFY anyone who does not “FIT” into their regime. They have become the absolute worst offenders of IN BLOCKING open and helpful citizen contribution… AKA FREE SPEECH. Without argument they are BULLIES, very much like many national politicians. All of us need to be aware this regime of mayor, council and city manager will aggressively shut up ANY and ALL who they deem as “bad guys”.
John Henderson December 16, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I agree and but I i am confused? She lives in Tucker are there no injustices in Tucker for her to champion. Lilburn has bigger issues then this. Alot Bigger!!!
CommunityAwarenessNetwork December 16, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Yes, John, it is true that there are other issues that are important in Tucker AND Lilburn. However, I cannot - and will NOT - take on every concern there is. I wouldn't be effective at ANY of them if I were to take on every injustice or environmental problem out there. Instead, I have chosen to focus my energy on matters about which I have KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING. I live in the part of Tucker that is less than 1/2 mile from Lilburn city limits. The owner of the crematory in Lilburn also owns a funeral home in MY neighborhood. In fact, that's how I happen to know about the Lilburn crematory, because he wanted to move THAT crematory to MY neighborhood. I have spent over two years of research on the crematory issue. Not just in Tucker, Lilburn, and Georgia - but at the national level, helping other communities with data and strategy that has been helpful to many who are involved in this kind of protest. So, I am ONLY going to apply my energy and efforts on this ONE issue. If you find an issue YOU think needs to be addressed, I challenge you to take it on! Do something productive instead of blowing hot steam through internet forums. Because all you're doing by attacking me and my efforts is making yourself look stupid. Can't YOU find something better to do with your time?
Thor Johnson December 16, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Elitist Autocrats John Lilburn does have problems. What Mrs. Severino is trying to do is inform us of a potential problem. As she points out, a great deal of information is available that may not have been in years past. Mrs. Saverino has spent two plus years researching the topic of how crematories could impact communities. She and others successfully defeated attempts to have one built in her Tucker neighborhood. She has no attachment to a political or money agenda. She is simply trying to inform. To that issue I will point to what I believe is currently Lilburn’s BIGGEST problem… Mayor Johnny Crist and most of the city council are clearly trying to censor citizen input. Mrs. Severino came to a city council meeting in October. She was told she could not speak and was threatened by mayor Johnny Crist with forcible removal if she tried to speak. It seems that mayor Crist and city council have decided Citizen Input should be limited. Not unlike little boys in a schoolyard game they have decided to make up their own rules. They now “require” a person wishing to speak to FIRST contact a city STAFF person to, I guess TO GET permission to speak to this omnipotent body of mayor, council and city manager. ***continued
Thor Johnson December 16, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Reasons why? THIS IS FROM THEIR OWN WORDS... “we don’t want to be blindsided” …”we want citizens to be accountable". Folks, please tell me what civics class did these Elitist Autocrats learn this nonsense from. Next they will be offering CAKE FOR US TO EAT. Any ONE of them that have agreed to this style of CENSORSHIP should be embarrassed! I truly suggest you counsel your children and grandchildren to learn a lesson from this sort of Power Grabbing Greed! They emulating what takes place ongoing in Washington D.C.


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