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Funeral home plans to double space

Crocker Funeral Home Inc. hopes to be able to nearly double the size of its building in order to better serve the community, and it obtained unanimous approval from the Planning Commission on Tuesday.

The commission recommended approval of a rezoning request and conditional use permit request.

The facility is located at 900 E. Washington St., and the funeral home also owns a parcel to the north. The lot is currently unpaved and used for parking.

The first request the funeral home made was to rezone the parcel to the Neighborhood Commercial zoning designation to allow for expansion of the funeral home. The parcel would make way for improved parking, including 25 spaces, and stormwater management.

The funeral home also submitted a conditional use permit request to grant it the right to expand the existing funeral home on the parcels it owns.

“They have been in business for over 100 years,” said Nathan Lahy, of MSA P.C. in Virginia Beach. “Really what they’re doing now is to increase their facility to be more competitive with similar businesses and newer funeral homes that have come into the city. They want to upgrade and make a statement that they intend to remain a part of this community in this location.”

If City Council approves both requests in February, the funeral home’s building will almost double in size.

Currently, the funeral home building measures at 4,418 square feet, and the additions will add another 4,075 square feet. The additions include a 100-seat chapel, lobby, fellowship hall, embalming room, office space and a vehicle garage.

Along with the new additions, if approved, site improvements will be made to the remaining land. A new parking lot will be joined by a driveway from the vehicle garage, stormwater management facilities and landscape plantings.

The requests will be heard by City Council at its meeting on Feb. 21.

Editor’s note: This version of the article reflects several corrections. The business’s official name is Crocker Funeral Home Inc. Clarence Ash III is the manager of the business. The business is owned by shareholders, and the lot to the north is owned by the business. The funeral home has been in business for more than 100 years, but it was originally located in the Fairgrounds area of East Washington Street.