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Funeral home owner, neighbors discuss concerns ahead of MPC vote - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Funeral home owner, neighbors discuss concerns ahead of MPC vote

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Rosalind Patterson-Nelson says she didn't expect so much backlash to her new business venture: opening a funeral home in the Kings Hwy-Highland Ave. building that formerly housed Don's Seafood.

Monday night, she tried- unsuccessfully- to gain the support of the people who live and work around her planned business.

"It doesn't meet the current ordinance," Highland Restoration Association's Tom Arceneaux said of Patterson-Nelson's rezoning request. "It doesn't meet the future plans and it's not healthy for the neighborhood."

Patterson-Nelson has asked the Metropolitan Planning Commission to rezone the former restaurant from B-2 to B-2-E. If the MPC approves the change and Patterson-Nelson's business folds, another funeral home could move in without opening the space up to the possibility of other B-3 category businesses, such as a bowling alley or dry cleaner, taking on the lease.

Related article: Highland residents speak out against zoning for funeral home, issue postponed

Residents say they're concerned about traffic congestion and argue the number of motorists speeding through the neighborhood to get to services or avoid processions would increase.

There's also the issue of parking.

Neighbors say they already deal with Byrd High School students parking on their streets and worry the former restaurant parking lot isn't big enough.

Patterson-Nelson says the MPC requires one parking space for every three patrons. She says the chapel holds 260 and there are 114 parking spaces, although attendees say that number is actually an even 100.

Related article: MPC meets tomorrow, zone change debate expected

"My plan is to have a beautiful building that can serve the community and bring life back to the corner of Highland and Kings," Patterson-Nelson said.

The MPC is expected to vote on Patterson-Nelson's rezoning request Wednesday at 1 PM.

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