Calif. condo residents decry nearby rooftop funerals

They could be called "last rooftop rites."

At a condominium in Lomita, Calif., neighbors are dead serious with their frustration over a cemetery that is performing rooftop funeral services right next door and in their one-time oceanfront view.

"I've seen many funerals. They've brought the caskets up this way so everything comes up and down the ramp," Lane Mayhew, a 26-year resident of the Vista Verde condos told CBS Los Angeles. "It's sad, it's upsetting, it's frustrating, it's my home."

 

The neighboring homeowners say the Green Hills Memorial Park began burying their property values when they began to hold the services just 50 feet away.

Green Hills president and CEO Ray Frew said the mausoleum was built after plans were approved by the city and services began last August. He said his operation has tried to be a good neighbor, but the Vista Verde residents have not been cooperative.

"People coming on to their balconies and have done things like banging pots and pans, apparently setting off intentionally their car alarms during services, which I find difficult to comprehend," said Frew.

Green Hills has sent their neighbors a cease-and-desist letter, requesting they stop disrupting the funerals and the two parties have hired lawyers and will air their grievances at the Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission meeting on Aug. 12.

But Mayhew is dismayed and doesn't think that will do much good.

"No matter what they really do, they'll never be able to give me my home back," she said.

But Frew believes something can be worked out between them.

"Our goal here is try to see if there's some way to work out a resolution that would satisfy them and allow us to continue serving the families that come to us," he said.

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