2010-05-20 / Local & State

Pa. Pastor Appealing $5K Fine For Son’s Grave

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A Baptist pastor is appealing a $5,071 fine for not getting a zoning variance before having his son buried in the back yard of his church in southwestern Pennsylvania.

A Fayette County zoning officer in November cited the Rev. Ewing Marietta’s Liberty Baptist Church and a district judge issued the fine in April. The pastor also hopes to overturn the county zoning board’s decision to deny the variance, which could force him to move his son’s body.

Marietta’s 18-year-old son, Marcus, died July 15 from injuries in a car crash on Route 40.

State law doesn’t prohibit graves on private property, but some local and county ordinances do. The county allows an exception, but only on parcels at least 10 acres zoned for agricultural use. The church property is five acres and zoned residential.

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