To the Editor:

I am disappointed in the Hilliard neighbors of Brookfield Village, Hyde Park and Westbriar that have been so unwelcoming to a potential small business, Jerry Spears Funeral Home.

I do not personally know Bob Spears Jr. or have ever come into contact with his other place of business in Columbus, but as a Hilliard resident for more than 13 years, I would like to welcome the Spears family and apologize for the unfriendly greeting they have received.

I personally do not believe that this particular spot for a funeral home would ever diminish property values. There is a funeral home in the center of our community on Norwich Street, along with other residential properties that certainly do not suffer in value.

This small business could help our families and loved ones in times of loss. Death is a regular part of our community whether we are comfortable with the idea or not. I hope that when I take my kids to Tinapple Park, right behind the property, that I will see our new neighbors able to get to work after the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission reconsiders on April 11.

Small businesses are what make our city special, unique and enjoyable. There certainly are not enough family businesses, and the ones that exist need our support and patronage.

Maybe we should concentrate on fighting for the addition of more sidewalks and bike paths if we are worried about the property values in our neighborhoods.

Cara B. Boettner