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Couple makes unusual request for cemetery
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DECATUR TOWNSHIP - A rural Brodhead couple is applying to Green County to have an Orthodox cemetery on their property.

The Board of Adjustment is holding a public hearing today, Aug. 28, before it considers the conditional use permit application from Bessy and Peter Karabatsos. The hearing is at 8 p.m. in the county board room at the Courthouse downtown.

The couple wants to have the cemetery on the southern portion of their land at N4699 Wisconsin 104, north of Brodhead. Currently the land is zoned agricultural.

The cemetery would be connected to the Greek Orthodox church on their 40-acre property, but open for burial of all Orthodox people, Bessy Karabatsos said. The bodies would not be embalmed. They would be buried at a depth of 4 feet in caskets made of wood, probably pine.

"I know I would like to be buried there," she said. If the cemetery is approved, a Greek Orthodox bishop will come in to bless it.

This is the first cemetery application that Adam Wiegel, zoning administrator, can remember in his time working for the county.

"I've been here since '97 - we've never had one," he said.

At least three-quarters of the Karabatsos' land is wetland, making it unsuitable for a cemetery, per state law, Wiegel said. But the area where they're proposing to have the cemetery is not wetland.

Decatur Township has already signed off on the cemetery. The Board of Adjustment, not the full county board, makes the final decision on conditional use permits.