Old Westbury OKs Queen of Peace Cemetery changes

Old Westbury OKs Queen of Peace Cemetery changes
A model of the new cemetery layout. (Photo by Teri West)

The Village of Old Westbury approved changes to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre’s plans for a cemetery at its meeting Monday, with the condition that it amend one aspect of the plans: the height of the lampposts.

The Queen of Peace Cemetery, a 97-acre property on Jericho Turnpike and Hitchcock Lane, will now have taller chapel steeples than previously planned and a taller administration building. Their positions within the cemetery have also swapped and the mausoleums will be built in phases.

The three members of the village board present Monday – Mayor Fred Carillo and Trustees Cory Baker and Jeffrey Brown – approved the application with the condition that the height of lampposts be 12 rather than 10 feet.

“We like 12. We don’t like 10,” Carillo said. “This village is 12 feet.”

The administration building will be two stories and 35 feet high, said attorney Jack Martins on behalf of the applicant. The chapel’s spires will be 65 feet and the sanctuary will be 32 feet. Both heights required variances.

Those buildings will be in a central oval that will be constructed during the upcoming first phase of work. Since the village approved development in 2016, there have been initial landscaping and pavement and drainage installment.

The cemetery was the center of a 20-year court battle that traversed New York Supreme Court and U.S. District Court after village officials rejected the application in 1995.

Before the diocese purchased the property in 1996, it was a horse farm. Federal authorities seized it and put in up for auction after arresting its owners in a sting operation, according to a 1995 New York Times article. The owners purportedly thought they were selling the property to a drug dealer.

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