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Thread: cemeteries

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    cemeteries

    When urban development encroaches upon what was once a private rural cemetery what special considerations should be given the area? fencing, access and other easements any thoughts, removal?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Don't know if it is relevent or not, but NPR recently did a story on ecoburials.

    People were electing to have no frills burriels in a forest that was to be maintained as forested/wild area. Plots or places were to be reused as the soils could recover the bodies. No caskets.

    Kind of different but I know Kentucky has a lot of forested areas.

    Just an alternate idea.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    In many states its illigal to do things like that, if I recall Alabama was one of them. I learned upon my mothers death the things the state required they do to the body like screwing metal plates with ID info on various parts of the body incase somethign happend and she was...seperated from herself. Does not sound like an ecoburial would allow for metal tags or plates to be screwed into the body. And one had to be fully clothed right down to shoes and all the undies.

    Though now I question how they would handle a traditional Jewish burial.

    In NC we left graveyards where they were for the most part with a 20 ft access esmt or some sort of flag lot set up. Now if it were a new road or lake the graves are moved if at all possible.

    messy work.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Very hard to resist temptation and say, don't build a subdivision on top of them, including swimming pools, and then allow families with children psycially tuned to TV sets to move in and be pulled into a netherworld...so...lots of buffering, yes, tall trees, thick shrubbery, nice, context-sensitive fencing. Treat it like an asset rather than something that's in the way. The older cemetaries, in particular, tend to attract history buffs, people who make rubbings of old gravestones, and so forth. You say that it was private--past tense? Access should still be provided for maintenence and for those history buffs and potential long-lost relatives, who'd hate to see the place covered in weeds (or asphalt) and could raise a ruckus if they found it that way.
    I don't dream. I plan.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia
    People were electing to have no frills burriels in a forest that was to be maintained as forested/wild area. Plots or places were to be reused as the soils could recover the bodies. No caskets.
    -Isn't that what people do when they don't want somebody to find a body?

    -Special considerations....If the cemetery is still being used and development is encroaching, you might have to worry about the water supply if these new housing units, etc. rely on wells for their water supply. All that good stuff they use for the preperation for the burial of the body could creep into the water supply.

    As Plannerbabs said, stay away from building subdivisions on them. We've all seen whats happened in Poltergiest.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  6. #6
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Most states have strict regulations regarding re-use of cemeteries. Here is a synopsis of Kentucky regulations.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    I think about this issue everytime I see a cemetary. I am very confused regarding what the "correct" answer may be. :-S
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    -Isn't that what people do when they don't want somebody to find a body?......
    You ever try to get rid of a body? Permanantly and untracably? It aint easy! (Dont get nervous, I watch to much of the Discover channel )
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia
    Don't know if it is relevent or not, but NPR recently did a story on ecoburials.

    People were electing to have no frills burriels in a forest that was to be maintained as forested/wild area. Plots or places were to be reused as the soils could recover the bodies. No caskets.

    Kind of different but I know Kentucky has a lot of forested areas.

    Just an alternate idea.
    In one Wisconsin County, there has been a continued dispute due to a related circumstance. More-or-less, here is the story. In the early 1900's, lands in the county held in trust for Native Americans were parceled out into individual ownerships. One parcel contained a large hill that was used by tribal members as a burying ground. Bodies were buried and trees used to mark the gravesites. During the Depression the owner of the property could not pay the taxes and the county took the land. It has used it as a county park. Recently, they have wanted to expand a sledding hill, cutting down trees. The Native Americans objected. The county has been less than honorable in respecting the site's significance both as a "graveyard" and as a site culturally significant to the tribe. At one point it even cut trees in violation of an agreement. I have not heard anything about it in over a year - I wonder how the issue has evolved.

    Back in 1989 I interned in the Village of Woodridge, a western suburb of Chicago. At the time, the Seven Bridges golf course and related development was under construction. One day we had a call from somebody remembering of a small family burial plot on one of the farms in the project. Work had to stop while an archeologist was called in to do a search. No remains were ever found.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    i guess it also depends on the age of the cemetery as well. in albany, an old almshouse cemetery was moved to the larger albany rural cemetery and remains reinterred. during the construction of the albany high school in the 70's, st. mary's cemetery was relocated. if you go back around here, you'll find that moving cemeteries was not uncommon when development pressures encroached. i think my old neighborhood was even built in the area of an old rural cemetery as the city grew out and the remains relocated.

    personally, i love the eco burial idea. takes up less space but lets me rot in peace...
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

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    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Apart from the physical limitations described above and the cultural/archaeological sensitivities described byCardinal, there may be some historical preservation to consider. I mean beyond the physical evidence and subject to identities being known or discoverable, there are likely to be links to the area's past that should be examined and documented before a decision to remove or encroach is attempted.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    We had a guy here, near a new high-intensity PUD, who simply showed up one day with a bulldozer and ripped up all the headstones/graves (until the neighbors called the sheriff). It was a Presbyterian cemetery used from about the 1880's to the 1930's and the church disavowed any knowledge/responsibility. The remains were collected (as much as possible) and re-interred in a corner of the property. The entire site is now up for sale.

    As an aside, ground penetrating radar (is that the correct term?) has found additional graves under the adjacent county roadway.

    Also, the bulldozer guy got into a pissing contest with the director of the local historical museum and has since been banned from setting foot on museum property (the director verified the burials for authorities).

  13. #13
    Member Cullen's avatar
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    I would be in favor of not shifting the burial locations, if at all possible. Cemetarys can be beautiful places to relax and spend time in. After all, before public parks became commonplace and well distributed, cemetarys were where people used to go for picnics, peace and quiet and even to play sports. This probably changed sometime around the mid to late 1800's when more public parks began to be built.

    I have seen some nice cemetarys here in the northeast. In albany there is a giant rural cemetary (refered to be geogplanner) which is hemmed in with some nice stone and cast iron fencing. There are numerous entrances though, and a way to drive through with ones car. In troy, across the river and up a little ways is a very impressive cemetary, which I belive was also a rural cemetary at some point in the past. It is so nice that one of my current co-workers decided to get married there. These can definately be a nice asset. Tasteful fencing can be helpful, and preservation of the site and situation help to make this an asset.

    I would also be a big fan of lots of pedestrian permiabilty, something that is often compromised when old cemetarys are fenced in and developed around. The decreased permiability protects the cemetary and grave sites more, an important consideration. An increase in permiabilty really makes the cemetary less of an obstacle in terms of driving or walking through the area, pedestrian permiabilty is good too because no roads need to be added, just increased breaks in the fencing

    I saw some very nice cemetarys in newport RI as well, they sort of serve as a buffer from the nice downtown area to the outside of the city limits and the automotive type development. They really keep the two areas pretty separate and distinct in a very good way.

    as for eco burial, sounds that sounds interesting. There are lots of uncommon possibilities for what may become of a person when they are dead.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by Cullen
    I would be in favor of not shifting the burial locations, if at all possible. Cemetarys can be beautiful places to relax and spend time in. After all, before public parks became commonplace and well distributed, cemetarys were where people used to go for picnics, peace and quiet and even to play sports. This probably changed sometime around the mid to late 1800's when more public parks began to be built.
    Yes and no. Cemeteries have provided a nice place to relax, but much more so in recent times. Going back into the 1800's and particularly before that, cemeteries were usually anything but attractive, sanitary places. Bodies dumped into unmarked shallow graves and later dug up by people or animals were a typical site. Parts could be found all over. Alas, poor Yorick was a scene in Hamlet because of a practice of simply digging a hole anywhere, regardless of whether the space was occupied.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Last summer, I visited Saint John, NB. In the old downtown area, there's a park called "Old Burial Ground." Yes, it was a burial ground and it's now a park where people can enjoy the tall trees, water fountains, benches, and etc.

    So, maybe in a situation where burial grounds are being threatened by development, the burial grounds could be made into a park.

    Here are some pics:




  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Congressional Cemetery in DC is now a dog and people park. Yes its still active and yes some folks get upset but its very educational and got folks to visit part of the city that crime had taken over.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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