Friday, Jul 10, 2020
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Woodlawn cemetery defends position amid neighborhood complaints

Woodlawn Gardens Cemetery President Caryl Lashley on Monday defended the company’s expansion of its property off Soldier Road.

Some residents in nearby communities complained about Woodlawn last week.

She said she was “disappointed” in the claims made by a Dannottage Estates Community Association spokesperson, particularly concerning traffic congestion and “construction of access roads in residential areas that are near the cemetery”.

According to Lashley, “Nobody coming to Woodlawn has ever parked through Dawson Street or come through there for a funeral.

“That is untrue.”

She added, “Woodlawn Gardens has been a good neighbor to the people of Dannottage Estates.”

Lashley outlined actions she claims the company took in an effort to assist residents.

These include putting up a gate on Dawson Street and allowing some residents to use the undeveloped property behind the new, unpaved “access road”, she said. 

“The fact is that we are not using the property as would have been expressed to the media,” Lashley said.

She added, “We will protect the property and put a gate back up, but we have to clear down the property a bit more first, and remove old appliances and derelict vehicles.”

Last week, some residents in the area told The Nassau Guardian they are frustrated with funeral-goers parking on side streets and blocking the road.

They also claimed that the access road created behind several dead-end streets is causing safety concerns, as it allows direct access to the cemetery.

According to Barbara Jean Clancy-Deveaux, a member of the executive committee for the Dannottage Estates Community Association, those residents want a wall to be built between the residences and the cemetery.

But Lashley said Woodlawn Gardens does not have immediate plans to turn the undeveloped property into a cemetery.

“We have cleared the boundary to stop people from using the property for dumping old appliances, old cars and other refuse,” Lashley said.

She added, “For the record, Woodlawn Gardens proper still has quite a bit of burial space available for development, but we know that we have to prepare for the future…

“No application has been made to the government for permission for further development of this area as such development is not currently planned.

“That is the way forward, but that time has not yet come.

“Be assured, however, that we will continue to protect our property from vagrants and squatters and prepare for the future, nothing more.”

She claimed that although the property was purchased around 20 years ago, “at the time, there was no hue and cry from anybody”.

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