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Funeral home gets green light to set up in strip mall

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A funeral parlour will be able to set up shop inside a strip mall where a Chinese restaurant is an existing tenant, as city council's appeal committee has overturned a previous committee ruling.

On July 4, the city's Board of Adjustment denied a conditional-use request that would allow the Vincent Knysh Funeral Chapel to operate in a strip mall at the corner of Logan Avenue and McPhillips Street. The main tenant in the stripmall is Canton Buffet, a restaurant.

The proposed owner appealed that decision, leading to a hearing on Thursday at city hall, where a total of 70 people registered to speak: 26 in favour, 44 in opposition.

After two hours and 45 minutes of deliberations, the committee voted 3-1 to allow the appeal. Couns. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo), Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan) and Ross Eadie (Mynarski) voted in favour, while Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre) voted in opposition.

At the start of the hearing, appellant spokeswoman Robyn Reynolds took the unusual step of asking councillors who have conflicts of interest or "perceived conflicts of interest" to recuse themselves.

She appears to have been referring to Smith, whose one-time assistant, Joe Chan, opposed the appeal. Smith said after the hearing that Chan does very little work for him.

Reynolds also claimed proponents of the funeral home were victims of harassment by opponents.

She also said food is a big part of modern funeral celebrations and vowed her clientele would patronize the neighbouring restaurant.

"Let's get along," she said.

The Vincent Knysh Funeral Chapel plans to open in February, as long as it obtains the necessary permits.

History

Updated on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM CDT: updates

4:20 PM: corrects typo

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