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Could Tess Corners Drive Be the Site of a New Cemetery?

Plan commission will hear proposal onDuring their property along Tess Corners Drive that would feature a business and a cemetery that could feature up to 3200 burial sites.

The southwestern corner of Tess Corners Drive and Sherwood Circle features an empty parcel of land about 16 to 17 acres in size. It could also end up being the site of a new cemetery in Muskego.

The Plan Commission will hear a proposal Tuesday night from Mark Kosobucki, who would like to develop two properties on the site, one containing a funeral home with community room, two chapels, and a crematorium. The second parcel would contain 16 sections of burial area (each containing approximately 200 actual burial sites), seven outdoor and one indoor mausoleums with niches and crypts, a veterans' section, paved central road, crushed stone walking trails, natural pond with sitting park, and a pet burial section.

The commission would need to approve rezoning the property to a Government, Institutional, and Public Service District. Under this zoning, cemeteries are an allowed use. However, the code does not go into further details relating to what constitutes a cemetery, which will mean there is a laundry list of questions that still need to be answered.

Regarding the site plan, city planners would want to know how the cemetery would be phased in, and in what time frame. Additional questions on fencing and parking, the size of the interior road and not the least of which, what impact the development would have on the flooding issues prevalent in the area.

Per  FEMA floodplain maps, about 20 percent of this lot is shown to be located within the floodfringe area of the 100 year floodplain. However, the DNR has told the city that cemeteries can be developed within floodfringe areas, as long as certain guidelines are followed.

Additional questions remain with regard to state regulations including whether the site is large enough. State rules require 20 acres of land for a cemetery; the City has no separate cemetery size requirements, so an ordinance change to allow smaller sized cemeteries would be necessary.

City consent would also be required for the cemetery to be built within 3,300 feet of a habited dwelling, which is far more restrictive than state statutes stating a limit of 250 feet.

In addition, State statues do not allow a funeral establishment to have any connection to a cemetery, and there can be no ownership between the
two. This would bring up the question of whether the first parcel building even be allowed.

However, Adam Trzebiatowski with the sity planner's office said that the "concept provided offers a unique opportunity within the City. There seems to be no question that this is a resource that the City does not currently have available to the general public. There are people that have been born, grow up in, and passed away in this community that would like to continue to call it home when they are laid to rest."

The commission meets at 6 p.m. in the Muskego Room on the lower level of City Hall.

Heather June 05, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I agree DB; I think I would be more open to a park like cemetery set far back enough off the road to create more of a peaceful view. It is the crematorium, mausoleums and crypts that I think I have the problem with.
Laura Mishefske June 05, 2012 at 07:11 PM
muskego had a pioneer cemetery that was next to muskego beach and then dandilion park. it was moved in the 1950's to make room for a parking lot. some of the people were moved to prairie home cemetery and some were moved to highland memorial park on greenfield ave. for more information about area cemeteries and muskego history, please see the website of the muskego historical society: www.muskegohistory.org
Gregory Kluck June 05, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I've lived near cemeteries before. I even lived in a very old farm house where the first owners family were buried in the back yard. No big deal.
Denise Konkol June 05, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I've added a couple of pics from the street. Laura, you're correct, it would appear that there is an old farm building near the road. There are no plans yet but I would also think that the burial sites may not be easily visible. We'll find out tonight what information there is.
Muskego Mike June 06, 2012 at 04:21 AM
This is such a bad idea, it's funny...

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