Brentwood residents suing City of Jacksonville for building morgue in their neighborhood

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Eighteen Brentwood residents filed a 17-page lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville. They said a morgue that’s being built in their neighborhood is decreasing their property values.


The Brentwood community protested outside City Hall in Jacksonville on Thursday.

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They held up signs saying, “Stop Brentwood morgue and forensic lab” and “Right the wrong.”

This all started when a liquor store was being built next to KIPP Elementary School.

RELATED: Jacksonville City Council approves buying Brentwood liquor store for $1.8 million

Residents fought to stop that project.

They were able to get the city to purchase the land last year for $1.8 million to stop a liquor store from opening. It’s now a community center.

“It happens nowhere but in the Black neighborhood,” a Brentwood resident said.

Now, neighbors are back to protest the city’s plan to build a nearly 51,000-square-foot Medical Examiner’s Office right behind it.

President of Metro Gardens neighborhood, Lydia Bell said, “In April, that’s when we hear a rumor of a Morgue. Four weeks later they are breaking ground for a morgue. No planning hearing or nothing.”

Bell is asking the city why build a morgue next to a school. She goes on to said this will decrease residents’ property values.

“What makes them think we want a 300-body morgue and the children dealing with Casper the unfriendly ghost? It’s also three feet from someone’s home,” Bell said.

RELATED: Brentwood residents speak out against Jacksonville’s new Medical Examiner’s office, city responds

One resident said, “We may not win, but we will fight you.”

The resident’s attorney lists the goals of the lawsuit for the plaintiffs.

“Get accountability with regards to the neighborhood bill of rights. The residents are suffering from property damage that the value of their property has dimensioned,” Attorney Neil Henrichsen said.

The facility is on schedule to be completed in the spring of 2025.

City leaders told Action News before, that the previous morgue wasn’t built large enough. That is why they are building this two-story morgue.

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