BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Residents in a Northwest Bakersfield neighborhood were left with the possibility of living next to the dead, and now that will become a reality. On Thursday, the Kern County Planning Commission approved a permit for a cemetery to be built right behind homes.
In a 3-2 vote the commission approved permits to build the first Catholic cemetery in Bakersfield. Dozens of residents showed up to oppose the move.
“We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars not to live next to a cemetery,” resident Melody Ray said.
Aside from having a cemetery nearby, traffic concerns were raised.
“I’ve been in processions that have been hundreds of cars long. Hundreds!” she said. “Vega Meadows is classified by CalTrans as a local road, which is just for the residents that live there.”
Safety in their neighborhood is also on their minds.
“Vega Meadows is still considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Bakersfield, and that is why we live there to make sure that our kids are safe that we are safe, we don’t have to wake up in the morning and wonder if our catalytic converter is still going to be there,” Ray said.
“The questionable couisn that went to Grandma’s funeral, oh that’s a nice neighborhood, working class, nice cars, so what does that bring? It brings crime.”
The county planning commission meeting lasted close to three hours ending with the approval of permits, despite hearing from several angry residents.
Some are considering the thought of selling their homes, but not without one last fight — an appeal to the Board of Supervisors.