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What a Gainesville funeral home hopes to do with property next door
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Wimberly & Jackson Funeral Home off Summit Street is set to ask the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board for a rezoning Tuesday, April 9, to allow for a funeral home expansion. - photo by Jeff Gill

A Gainesville funeral home wants to tear down a neighboring, vacant 79-year-old house so it can add on to the funeral home, building a new chapel and adding parking.

Wimberly & Jackson Funeral Home at 325 Summit St. is set to go before the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on Tuesday, April 9, to ask for a rezoning of property at 315 Summit St. from residential to general business.

Rezoning the property would allow Wimberly & Jackson, which is south of E.E. Butler Parkway, to go forward with connecting the house to the funeral home. The project would call for some 3,200 square feet of new building space.

“According to the floor plan provided, there will be a total of 160 seats provided within the new chapel,” a city planning document states.

City planning officials are recommending approval of the project based on several conditions. One thing the city is requiring is that the funeral home put in evergreen hedges or trees along a couple of its borders, including one it shares with Walton Summit Apartments.

Another concern is traffic impact, especially “during times when funeral services are being held,” the city says. “Otherwise, the subject property appears to be conducive for the proposed funeral home expansion.”

Overall, the project meshes with the city’s comprehensive plan and Midtown redevelopment plan, officials said.

The Midtown plan’s concept for the property being eyed by the funeral home includes “a mixed-use, mixed-income development to include market-rate, subsidized and public housing units.”

The planning board can only recommend approval or denial. Gainesville City Council would have the final say at a later date.

Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board

What: Proposed rezoning for expansion of Wimberly & Jackson Funeral Home

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway