Crematory Could Be Coming to Conshohocken
A borough funeral home proposed its idea for a crematory at a zoning meeting on Monday.
Though it made no decision on Monday, the Conshohocken Zoning Board heard a proposal that could bring a crematorium to the 500 Block of Fayette Street at its meeting on Monday.
Witnesses from Matthews crematorium and Jeffery Grogan Architects testified on behalf of Ciavarelli Funeral Homes, the property owner seeking permission to build the crematorium as an addition to its 516 Fayette Street address.
Ed Romaro, a representative from Matthews Crematory, the company that would install the facility, said that the practice of building such facilities within residential areas is not an unusual practice.
“About 92 percent of crematoriums are located within residential areas,” he said. “In most cases, residents near crematoriums are surprised to find that, for the last 20 to 25 years, there has been a crematorium down the street from where they live. They never had any idea. They can’t tell when It’s in operation and there are ways to design the structure that are very tasteful.”
Ciavarelli Funeral Home director Chris Ciavarelli said that he felt the new addition would address a growing interest in cremation as an alternative to more traditional burial options.
“We get requests pretty much daily about cremation,” he said. “Its becoming more popular for various reasons. A lot of families find it more peaceful than a traditional burial.”
Ciavarelli said that about 33 percent of his home’s burials are cremations. Currently, he uses a nearby funeral service for cremations. He said that building an on-site structure could help facilitate services.
“I don’t ever turn anyone down, but people do ask if we have facilities on the premises,” he said.
Jeff Grogan, the architect who designed the planned crematorium addition, said that the proposed structure would be a freestanding building in the back of the home’s property and that it would feature a viewing room and a bathroom for customer convenience. He stressed that, under his proposed design, the structure would have “virtually no effect on the neighbors.”
“Because this would be in the back of the property behind a stone retaining wall, people wouldn’t notice it because the wall is so high,” he said. “There would be minimal visual impact to what you see from Fayette Street.”
The Zoning Hearing Board voted for a continuation of the hearing to be held sometime in September.