Plymouth Church Plans Expansion of Columbarium
A proposal by St. Joseph Catholic Church to significantly expand its columbarium will go to the Plymouth City Council for approval at the Oct. 13 meeting. A columbarium is a structure that holds urns of cremated remains.
St. Joseph is located at the southwest corner of Rockford Road and Northwest Boulevard. The church’s proposal would significantly expand the number of urns it could hold on site.
According to the proposal, the church would build three new columbaria. Each would be approximately 5 and 1/2 feet tall, 22 feet long and 3 feet wide. They would surround in a circular pattern the existing structure.
“It will all go together as one matching columbarium structure,” said Lori Sommers, Plymouth senior planner, at a recent planning commission meeting. Sommers notes the columbaria would all be gray granite.
Sheltered from Townhomes to the South
There was one question about whether the new structure could be seen by single-story townhomes to the south of the church site. According to Sommers, the townhomes are at a much lower elevation and significant vegetative growth separates the two properties.
“In order to see the area where the columbarium is, you would need to be 27 feet tall,” said Sommers.
Two planning commission members who visited the area agreed it’s difficult to see the columbarium site from the perspective of the townhomes and vice versa.
“When I’ve been there at the cemetery, I didn’t even realize there that there were homes to the south there because the vegetation is so thick,” said Julie Jones, Plymouth Planning Commission member.
Justin Gunderson, the project manager working with St. Joseph Catholic Church, said getting the foundation built for the columbaria would take two weeks. The church still needs to raise funds to purchase the columbaria.
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