Royal residents fear a trucking business will disrupt the quiet of a historic cemetery.
Werner Enterprises, Inc. owns the 60 acres of land near the junction of Interstate 75 and East State Road 44, near Royal and adjacent to the Oak Hill Cemetery. Werner Enterprises wants to develop a trucking business at the property, which fronts County Road 229. The Oak Hill Cemetery is located at 8956 County Road 229.
Residents of Royal pleaded Tuesday night before the Sumter County Commission asking the denial of the project, which they said would be detrimental to the residents of the community, which was founded by former slaves at the end of the Civil War.
Levi Solomon serves on the Oak Hill Cemetery Board of Trustees.
“When you bury someone, you want to know your loved one’s final resting piece is not being hammered by truck traffic,” Solomon said.
He said development in the area continues to encroach on the cemetery, which is the final resting place for generations of ancestors of Royal residents.
“We are going to crowd this cemetery until no one can rest in peace,” Solomon said.
A representative for Werner Enterprises promised there would be efforts to address the concerns of Royal residents and protect their community from the impact of noise and inconvenience from the facility.
The commission voted 4-1 to approve the project. The lone dissenter was Commissioner Andrew Bilardello.