Funeral Home Proposed in Town

A funeral home will be on the Town Plan and Zoning Commission’s agenda for a public hearing Tuesday, Sept. 3. The Orange Times first reported the upcoming application in its June 6 issue.

Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 460-480 Racebrook Road, filed the application including a petition to amend the zoning regulations for a special use permit in a residential zoning district to include an undertaker establishment.{{more}}

Land Use Attorney Marjorie Shansky represents the church and Celentano Funeral Home, who hopes to create a second location.

Owner of the New Haven Elm Street funeral home, William Celentano said his son Mark would be managing the Orange location. Mark also lives on Racebrook Road.

“We’re working through the application process. We invited neighbors to an informational meeting a few weeks ago at Holy Infant Church,” Celantano said.

He referred further questions to Shansky, who declined to comment.

The application calls for the use of the former Duck Pond Day Care building for the funeral home. An adjacent structure will be demolished. The parking lot already has room for 180 spots so the applicant believes no traffic study is needed and a proposed “serenity garden” will be implemented over the next five years.

TPZ Commission Chairman Walter E. Clark 1V said he has already met with the applicants.

“We met to discuss some concerns that will come up,” Clark said.

Clark said he has “mixed feelings” on the application.

“This is a new idea for Orange,” Clark said. “But it is typical for a funeral home to be near places of worship, Clark said.

Clark, Celentano and Zoning Enforcement Officer Paul Dinice all said there will be no preparation of bodies in Orange. That work will be done at the New Haven location.

However, Clark said, the state requires a funeral home to be able to do so to be licensed.

“Most of Orange has septic tanks and we would be concerned about the possibility of fluids leaching into the ground,” he said.

Clark said he was interested in learning more about the application.

“The public hearing is an important step we need to hear. I look forward to hearing the application and what others think about it,” he said.

According to Celentano Funeral Home’s website they have been in business since 1926.