Proposed body farm receives opposition near home

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than a hundred neighbors had signed and voiced their concerns of a proposed body farm in their neighborhood by Wednesday night.

The project's the brain child of Carson Newman College and former KPD forensics specialist Art Bohanan. Bohanan wants to donate a hill on his property at the end of Riddler Road for the project.

"There's nothing in zoning about body farms or anything like that, so that's why I took them in front of the board of zoning appeals for them to tell me what zone would be appropriate," said Dandridge zoning officer Tim Seals.

But the zoning appeals board was met with more than 50 of Bohanon's neighbors ready to voice their concerns.

"Of course the neighbors are going to be concerned. It's not just human bodies. It's cows, horses.... you know, anything but not just human," said Seals.

The presented several petitions with more than a hundred signatures in total, asking for the project to be stopped.

"This is an experiment to see what it does to the ground water. These local residents use the water. They drink it. It's all they have. And the air, obviously, you don't want foul odors in the air," said neighbor Lyle Plants. "It can get into a stigma on the neighborhood that there's a body farm literally yards away in some cases, and property values could devalue."

"Contamination of the air, the water, the ground. Who's going to be responsible for cleaning it up if something bad happens?" said neighbor Gary Mills.

Bohanan's only response so far, "They're ill-informed. I'm putting it on my property and I wouldn't put myself or my family in danger."

The appeals board will vote on the zoning for the project on December 18th.

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