Jefferson Co. commissioners approve rezoning for body farm

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Despite the protests, Jefferson County officials approved Carson Newman College's proposal to build a body farm in New Market.

The Jefferson County Board of Zoning voted Tuesday night to allow the cadaver site to be built on 7 acres of land on Riddle Road. The land was donated by Arthur Bohanan, a retired Knoxville Police Department forensic specialist.

"There's so little we know about bodies and disasters that we need to learn more," Bohanan said.

The body farm will study how decomposing bodies affect the environment. It's a science residents of Jefferson County said they support, just not in their own backyard.

"To put this and begin this cadaver farm in the middle of a residential area is just wrong," Evelyn Blackman said.

"The neighbors say No. And the Christian College says yes, we're going to scatter bodies on the ground and study what it does to this neighborhood," Lyle Plants said.

But Bohanan assures folks in the area won't be impacted by the site.

"I would not bring anything harmful to the community and they need to understand that. I live next door--500 ft," he said.

Residents told Local 8 News they are willing to take the fight to court, if necessary.

The Planning Commission will soon draw up regulations.

This would be the second body farm in East Tennessee.

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