‘Desecration Is Illegal’: Cemetery Expert Says Neighbor of ‘Merritt Village’ Has Paved Over Burial Plots

Rather than search for violations connected to a proposed 116-unit apartment-and-condo complex, where no cemetery exists, leaders and historic preservationists in New Canaan should focus on the “high level of desecration” that has affected known burial plots next door, an expert in the field said Tuesday night. The eastern portion of the historic ‘Maple Street Cemetery’—not the portion owned by hopeful ‘Merritt Village’ developer M2 Partners—includes plants and mulch placed directly over known graves, and “what makes matters worse in terms of demonstrating the desecration” is a driveway that has paved over the burial sites of Rufus St. John and Richard Fairweather, according to Andrew Mellilo of Greenwich-based RVDI, a land use consulting firm. “We know there are bodies in those plots and it has been paved over,” Mellilo told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission during a special meeting, held at Town Hall. He told the commission that an underground surveying company determined that there has been no disturbance in the soil on M2’s property, such as would be caused by a decomposing body or the presence of graves.