June 15, 2011 —
The neighbors of the proposed crematorium in Milford Township aren’t going away quietly. Despite the township zoning commission’s positive recommendation, the township board’s approval and the zoning officer’s issuing of a building permit, the small enclave of homeowners at the Martin subdivision, next to the proposed site on Route 6 west of Milford Borough, are seeking two appeals to frustrate the plan.
The idea of the proposed crematorium comes from Milford funeral home owner Kevin Stroyan and a partner, Chris Brighton, who have formed a company called the Pyre Company.
Stroyan, the county coroner, is also a member of the township’s planning commission.
Stroyan said that Pyre, which is the umbrella corporation entity, has two registered subsidiaries, MacLennan Hall and Tyler’s Treasure Pet crematorium. Mac-Lennan will handle human remains and Tyler will handle pet remains.
The first appeal concerns the land use and was made to the County Court of Common Pleas.
“It is our position that the planning commission should not have issued a permit as a permitted use but rather a conditional use,” said Valerie Martin, a Martin subdivision owner. A permitted use does not require a public hearing or the notification of neighbors, as a conditional use does.
Additionally, neighbors were not informed of the proposed project plan, she said. There are five homes in the subdivision.
Martin complained that Stroyan had begun removing trees on the property for a driveway. “It is an arrogant thing to do while an appeal is in progress,” she said.
A technicality that could thwart the group’s efforts is that Stroyan’s attorney, Tony Waldron, claims that the group filed their appeal too late.
“Before we can appear before the court with our land use appeal, we must address the issue of our lateness,” Martin said. “If the court rules in our favor, then the land use issue will move forward. It is our contention that the Milford ordinances says that if something is not specifically listed or defined, it must be treated as a conditional use. There is no listing of a crematorium in the township’s ordinances,” she said.
The second appeal goes before the township’s Zoning Hearing Board and asks that the issuance of a building permit by the township’s zoning officer, Bob DiLorenzo, should not have been done.
“They can do whatever they want because they are officials,” said Ed Borner, the son of William who lives almost directly next to the site. “We’re not going to take this lying down.”
Stroyan said that he would not coment since there was pending litigation.