Cemetery Proposal Causes Concern

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EUGENE, Ore. — Plans to build a cemetery on a Eugene church property have some neighbors concerned.

This week neighbors near St. George Greek Orthodox Church found out about the church’s plans to build a cemetery on their property.

Church members walked around and told them and they also got notices in the mail of the plans.

While the church looks at it as a way to honor deceased members, neighbors had a number of concerns.

A two-lane road separates some homes from the St. George Orthodox Church and the proposed area for a cemetery.

Neighbors say their biggest concern about the proposal isn’t that they’ll be looking at a cemetery, but that building one could affect their water supply.

“I’m concerned because most of the houses on this block are on a well and I’m on a well, and a bunch of dead bodies in the ground in the same water is not going to be fun for me,” said Eugene resident Robert Taylor.

But for the Greek Orthodox religion, having a cemetery on site isn’t unusual, it’s actually tradition.

“It is ideal to bury church members on the church property just so that funeral and memorial services can be done according to our customs and traditions,” said Father Jerry Markopoulos, St. George Greek Orthodox.

For Kelly Dunn, her home overlooks the proposed area for the cemetery

“It doesn’t make any sense. I mean, how would you feel if someone was going to put a graveyard in your front yard?” Dunn said.

But the church isn’t planning on building a large cemetery.

“We don’t want to be in the cemetery business. This will not be a commercial cemetery, won’t be selling plots. We don’t anticipate there being more than one burial a year,” Father Markopoulos said.

Neighbors started a petition against building the cemetery. But the church says if anyone has problems or questions on the proposal, Father Markopoulos has an open door policy.

Once again, this is just a proposal. The City of Eugene is asking for written comments about this land use application by the end of the month.


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  1. jason marks says:

    Okay so they are on well water, have a septic tank, drink turd water from the effluence, but don’t want “dead body” water. How silly. I pee’d in the grass over there last week.
    Moronic statement from the ignorant… again.

    1. Jo Frey says:

      Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. While I would not have the same objections, I can respect theirs. They didn’t purchase their property with a nearby cemetery present, and they are simply outlining their reasons to not have one built there. I’m sure there are things to which you’d object, while the neighbors you malign wouldn’t blink an eye. Seems to me that your statement is as moronic as you suggest theirs to be.

    2. kelly dunn says:

      My reply for you is below.

  2. Billy's Mom says:

    I would rather be looking at the cemetery than some high-rise apartment building or something like that. In many major cities, churches have cemeteries & it’s not a big deal. I can’t imagine why Ms. Dunn is making such a stink about this. Apparently she has never gotten out much.

    1. Kelly Dunn says:

      Hey Billy’s Mom:

      We don’t live in an area where a high rise apartment is a concern, and we would not appreciate that much either. Our family has owned on this street for over 60 years, unlike the church. We built our home by our own hands, for the view,as did my husband’s father over 60 years ago. This is a country area that the city is growing out to. The city cemeteraries that you speak of were there before the residents, as they used to be on the outskirts of town in the old days. So people chose to live near them. In the city, there is also not wells now, they are on city water.
      If you were to do some homework, I think you would find cemeteries are not built in cities or towns anymore.
      You would also find the dangers it causes to our wells and the aquafirs we all drink from.
      It also lowers property values.
      So maybe you should get out a bit and not comment about things you have no knowledge in. Or better yet! Let’s put that cemetery in your yard! As long as it is far from mine!

  3. Matt says:

    You peed in the grass over there last week? And they are the morons? C’mon!

    1. jason marks says:

      Well apparently you are not the sharpest axe in the wood shed…. to clarify:


  4. Lou says:

    The fact that we are all going to die makes some people uncomfortable. Isn’t that one of the functions of religion, to help people understand and deal with death? I applaud the church for honoring those who have passed on, and no, I would not mind a cemetery in my front yard :) I am pretty sure you wouldn’t have dead folks in your water supply, but dead animals, septic water and chemicals from the surrounding fields are most likely in there, better get a good filtering system.

  5. Kelly Dunn says:

    To be clear, there is not one cemetery, on church grounds in this city. It was an old custom, done in the pioneer days. Before they knew the dangers to surrounding wells. It is a real and present danger to surrounding aquafirs. Including Rainbow Water Districts. We all put in and paid to have our wells done many years ago, why should we now have to change the water we love for a cemetery that the church could easily put out of town? or how about bury their dead where we all do!! In a cemetery on the outskirts of town?
    It is not tradition for the Greek Orthodox church to put a cemetery on their grounds(as research proved), and none of us on this street built our homes with that being the intended purpose for the church grounds. THIS IS A NEIGHBORHOOD!!! We built this home on the street by our own hands, just like my husband’s father did over 60 years ago. Our family has owned property on this street for over 60 years. And our neighbors family over 90. We have a deck that overlooks the proposed site, so essentially we would be overlooking a cemetery. So basically, our front yard. This is a provate street, with each owner owning the portion of the street. It is bad enough that the church has more traffic than any of us, with inconsiderate driver’s, presummably because they don’t live here, without adding to the problem.
    We also did a local real estate study that shows it will lower our home values. Do you think that is fair, given the current economy and the lowered property values already?
    And your reference to peeing on the ground only shows your level of intelligence Mark. You are disrespecful as well.

  6. Kelly Dunn says:

    Oh and Lou, I have had my water tested in the last 5 years due to a stomach problem I had that later was found to be cancer. And my water is PERFECT. In fact, their is a belief on this street as to why the residents live so long…and you guessed it! The water!! We have the best tasting water around!
    Everyone understands about death, having a cemetery on my street doesn’t teach anyone about death. The bible does however. And we all have to die, no one gets out alive!! Who wants to wake up every morning to death starring you in the face? Most cemetaries are located outside or on the outskirts of towns, or if in a neighborhood, it is because the cemetery was there first.
    This church doesn’t even keep up the grounds they have now, let alone disguising the graveyard or making it look even appealing. We deal with the dandelions they let grow and other weeds on a regular basis…

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