Peters Twp. Planning Commission Votes Down Crematory Plan

PETERS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – It was a victory for opponents of a crematory proposal in Washington County.

The Peters Township Planning Commission voted 5-0 against recommending an amendment to a township ordinance that would have permitted the business along Washington Road.

Funeral director Danielle Belusko had previously tried and failed to get the township to approve the crematory in a different location. She said it was a safe business and would never open it if she thought it would hurt anybody.

The meeting was packed with mostly opponents of the crematory proposal.

Samuel Hazo, Jr., president of the Hidden Valley Estates Homeowners Association, said hundreds of people he represents were concerned about their property values and their health.

Another homeowner Christie Kulbieda said the vote was a small victory, but the battle wasn’t over yet because the zoning commission will consider the plan next week. The following week, the Peters Township Council will vote on the proposal.

There are no crematories in Peters Township right now.

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  • Bea

    Who lives on Washington Road? No one! From Washington to USC it’s all commercial. If the fast food joints, endless businesses, car dealers, neon signs, etc. don’t bother them, why would this? Oh, that’s right, people with money don’t want to be bothered with anything as pedestrian as death.

    • Peter

      Bea, you don’t know what your talking about.

  • Ingrid

    Actually Bea there is a housing complex directly behind this building! There are trees there yes, but still there are houses! Look before saying something you obviously don’t know anything about!

  • Lb

    There is no way this would hurt anyone. Special measures are placed so there are no toxins or anything released into the air. There is NO odor. I work right next to a crematory and you don’t even know it is there. Would they rather have the strip club that wants to move into another town???

  • get over it

    The funny thing, is just down the road is a pet crematory!

    • Peter

      Actually the pet crematory is in North Strabane Twp. Also about 6 miles away.

    • Matthias

      Yep. And, that Pet Crematory and cemetary has sign that states:

      Stephen King – Proprietor.

  • Ami

    How is this any more harmful than the other toxins you are exposed to everyday? Do you put chemicals on your lawn? Do you use a microwave? What do you clean your houe with? Think about all the harmful junk you put in your body from all the chemicals that are in the food you eat. I am sure if any of you had a child that chose this profession and believed in this you wouldn’t be protesting. Why would she put a community in danger? Why would she put herself and her family in danger? Do you really think she is that insensitive? Give me a break. Beinhauer’s creamatorium may not be on sight but I believe it is located in more of an urban area than Peters Township. Sounds to me like Beinhauer is scared of a little competition. There may be a neighborhood behind the proposed sight but it is also on a main road that existed before the houses in that neighborhood were there. What about the people working at Sears and neighboring business, they don’t seem to have a problem. If you ask me it just seems like these people protesting this Funeral Home are a bunch of busy bodies and have nothing better to do with their time. If you are looking for something to do with your time there are many other options. Why not contribute to a local cause where you are actually helping someone. Use your anger for something positive to actually help those in need.

    • Ugh

      Really, Ami? It seems to me that you have no idea of what you are speaking. You are totally ignorant on the subject of “creamatoriums”.
      The incineration of bodies represents the second largest known sources of mercury and dioxin pollution in the United States. Didn’t know that, did ya??
      Maybe you would like it to be in your neighborhood, instead?

      • Ami

        Actually I am not an expert on creamatoriums nor have a I ever claimed to be. I am a little familiar and learning more as the days go on. Could you please let me know where you received the information on creamatoriums being the second largest known source of mercury in the united states. I am just curious that’s all. I do have one not far from my neighborhood and to be quite honest I never really give it a second thought. I have to many other things to think about.

    • Matthias


      That was an intelligently written reply and I found it to be quite a refreshing change of pace.

  • PhDresident

    This is less about the crematory and more about competition. Rick Beinhauer has been trying to stop this poor girl since he found out someone was coming into his territory. Funny to know that Rick has several crematories and still blasts Danielle for building one. Rick being the main figure behind all of the community noise has expelled time and money against a industry that he participates. Hypocrite much? Rick is SO concerned about the ‘mercury levels” he should run and tell everyone near his crematories they are all going to die. He is scared and its pathetic he is so afraid of a little competition.

    • Peter

      This “poor girl” is about as bright as a stump. Watch the video.

      • Ignorance

        That was real mature!!! Did you ever think she was nervous?!? Do you know her? And her educational back ground or are you just one of those ” low blow” types

      • Lo

        Now that is a real blow! Do you know what her background is….never mind, that is not the point. Step back and take a look at yourself before you go and put someone else down. I don’t care who you are but I will bet anything that if someone made that very same comment to one of your “own, ” you would have something to say about it. Now, unless you have something else relevant to say, I suggest you keep quiet.

  • Joe

    This topic is not about facts it is about emotions and fear. This angry mob isnt looking for facts.This mob had a great speaker as its mouthpiece, But he is wrong . It is amazing how he is an expert on all topics from realestate to air quality and lets not forget birthdefects BUDDY!!! Lets hope the zoningboard and council play within the rules. Also the Beinhauer family should be getting a few calls about their opinion that dormont residents are not as important as the twp where the Beinhauer family resides.

  • Ami

    Well said PhDresident! No one likes to face death in any way shape or form especially when you think about creamating a human being. That being said some people believe in that and don’t have a problem with it. Those decisions need to be respected. What she is going to provide is a one stop shop so to speak. Your loved one will be with her and her funeral home the entire time. It won’t be shipped to another creamatorium. That has to give some people piece of mind. Lots of people don’t like the thought of creamation but that is a personal choice and the bottom line is that people creamate their loved ones and do it in neighborhoods near you and around you. How about the jobs it will create. I don’t think this is at all about environmental concern. If it in fact is about the environment would you rather have body fluids and embalming chemicals from those buried contaminate the earth. Some locatons have found that long-buried bodies are now causing ground water contamination. This issue really isn’t about whether you are for creamation or ground burial but about opening a business that would provide many opportunities for a small town. That is what we need to focus on.

  • B

    Ami and PhD have said many thoughtful things, and I would like to add a thought about the future. Simply, we are running out of space for burial plots. Cremation is thought to be the “popular” choice for most in the coming years. I am not a scientist nor an environmentalist, but, commonsencially speaking, I think PT would desire to be a town where this service is easily offered. And those siding with Beinhauer might want to consider that him having some competition will only result in better services for all. Fear is a normal reaction to this, but I challenge PT to be thoughtful and to make an educated decision.

  • factualevidence

    This entire controversy needs to be based on fact and not emotion. Emotions have been heightened based on false information the citizens of Peters have been receiving from the Beinhaur family. I too would be concerned if I was only being told the lies that are circulating. But if the decision is to based on factual evidence, I believe that the residents of Peters Twp. will see that this is a young woman simply trying to follow her passion and lifes work and is doing so without bringing any harm to the surrounding community. A community she and her husband have chosen as a great place to raise their family. The same community that she believes has all the best qualities and advantages for her children and family is the same community that I personally heard snickering, laughing, gasping and openly talking about her – not the crematorium – her. This is not a popularity contest, this point is true, so I really think the residents of Peters need a good old “time-out” to get their emotions in check so they can begin to learn the facts. Once that is accomplished they will see that crematoriums are every where, we are just unaware of their locations. We are unaware of the locations because they are harmless, odorless and non-hazardous. They are an essential services a funeral home must provide. One final point to consider is that the death of a loved one is a difficult, emotional and expensive occurrence. If one of my loved ones chose cremation, I personally would rather have the piece of mind of knowing that they are respectfully being cared for at one location and not being shipped to and from different locations throughout the process. In addition, it would ultimately have to be more cost effective for the crematory to be on-site, which in turn would be projected on to the families over-all funeral costs. And let’s be honest…it is 2011 and cost effective is what people are looking for, in all industries. And, in 2011 the technology is in place to provide this service in a non-hazzardous, odorless, safe way.

    • Ugh

      Crematoriums are not “non-hazzardous” and odorless. Ask anyone who lives near the one in Dormont. Ask them about the time the incinerators went down and the fire department had to be called. Ask them about the body that could not be put out. Better yet, call Mr. Beinhauer and ask him.

      • Ugh Ugh

        Sounds to me like you need to find a new neighborhood.

  • support for the crematory

    I agree, there is less room for burial. Remember poltergiest? Would they rather have homes built over a cemetary one day where it was impossible to move the bodies?
    “Honey, we can’t put a pool in, or the coffins will open”

  • Richard

    Sounds llike a group of self centered individuals with an inflated sense of self worth to me. Maybe they should be offered a free cremation with their ashes being placed in a decorative Mason jar as an enticement to allow this? Another fine example of the ‘ME’ society.

  • dk

    Evidence of cremation dates from antiquity and for many cultures and religions, cremation has been the preferred means of final committal. Cremation is an environmentally safe dispostion that affords families the opportunity for burial. I know for a fact that this young lady that is improperly labeled as “Crematory Lady” by a certain individual has helped my family in the past and would ensure and provide the same level of quality of care and safety that she would desire for her own family. Why is it that there is such a controversy with having this crematory when i live in close proximity to one located in Dormont which borders many schools and businesses. Maybe i should start my own group protesting about that one. I hope she continues to strive for her dream and may she be successful in it.

  • GetaGrip

    I hope that all of these supporters of this issue go to the next meeting on March 15th. I have not been able to find any recent studies from the EPA or CDC regarding this issue but a 1999 study by the EPA states that nothing deposits more inorganic mercury in the body than amalgram fillings. Also, a study done by the CDC in 1999 also states that levels in the atmosphere are very, very low and do not pose a health risk. Mercury from amalgram fillings contribute from 0 – 75% of your total daily mercury exposure depending on the number of fillings you have, the amount of fish you consume and exposure to mercury spills, religious practices or herbal remedies. If you live near the proposed site and are pregnant and concerned about mercury levels from the creamatorium then you need to not get a flu vaccine and have all of your amalgram fillings replaced. Oh yeah, and watch your tuna, swordfish, red snapper and shark intake as well. Really you should just move into a bubble then you won’t be exposed to germs either. It is all about competition and Beinhauer not dominating the Peters Township market. I mean really isn’t this just about Beinhauer pouting over a little competition. Seriously? Aren’t there bigger things to worry about! I suggest people research what they are talking about and educate themselves. You are just making yourself look pathetic and ignorant if you don’t. Good luck to Belusko and make sure if you support this funeral home you come to the meeting March 15th!!!!

  • Ol


  • JustW

    Dear LB

    Oh No ! You work right next to a crematory and you don’t even know it is there ! Please seek medical attention as soon as possible as the toxins and fumes have evidently caused severe damage to your senses.

    Thank you so much for your commetns which strongly help the case to keep this business out of Peters.

    • LB

      Your an idiot. I am extremely healthy and guess what, even the doctors laugh at the thought of the “toxins and fumes” you mention

  • Colin

    This comment section is a joke!!!! Obviously, there are paid consultants posting pro-crematory comments. This is BIG BUSINESS trying to push itself into a community without care for the environmental impact or the community’s wants or needs.

    The people of Peters Township clearly have no desire for this As a businesswoman in the compassion business, it would appear that Mrs. Belusko is lacking a certain common sense. Why would I trust her in a time of crisis for my family when she is creating crisis for the entire community? Why would anyone want to have their loved ones put into a place embroiled in this type of controversy?

    Poor judgment on the part of Mrs. Belusko and her BIG BUSINESS machine.

  • Ami


    There is already a “BIG BUSINESS” funeral home in Peters that also a has two creamatoriums in others residental areas. What makes that okay and not the opening of a new funeral home? Its just giving people of the township an option. Also, how is Mrs. Belusko creatig any crisis? She just simply wants to open a funeral home. I don’t consider myself a paid consultant because I support the opening of a new funeral home nor do I consider myself a paid consultant because I am challenging your opinion!

  • Curious

    I have no problem with people having a strong opinion on this matter, but I’m curious why they would align themselves with someone who operates the same business in another community. It comes across as incredibly self-important. It’s the same old “not in my backyard” mentality. This is a legitimate business, people! I’d be more interested in what environmental experts have to say on the matter than blow-hard cheerleaders and business competitors. Unfortunately, in this day and age, you can find a report for and against just about any health risk out there. Remember when eggs where good for you, then they were bad for you, then they were good for you, etc.

    Also, I’d be happy that someone was willing to move into a highly visible building that has been vacant for 5 years.

    For the record, I was not paid for this comment.

    • Ugh

      How about this? Ms. Belusko puts the crematorium in your backyard.

    • Melissa

      The building lacks the necessary parking space for a funeral home, but has plenty for a crematorium biz. There should be no flexibility on that! Also, as far a job creation- who can really call this economic development? How many new jobs exactly will be available? And at what pay rate? How’s about she get the funeral home with no crematorium, I’d be okay with that, if parking is sufficient. Problem is, many in the community now smell a fish in the water! The dots will be connected and elected officials will lose their jobs if community interests are not met. We need to focus on Marcellus now, with all it’s issues is a job and wealth industry.

  • Colin


    Are you a paid consultant?

    If not, then what are you? What’s your skin in the game that this is so important to you? I don’t believe that you are someone that just stumbled into this conversation. The terminology that you use in your comments are extremely consistent with Mrs. Belusko’s word phrasing.

    I can respect you challenging my opinion as long as I know why you are doing so.

  • Michael

    Let’s throw aside the health risks for a moment as large polluting corporations such as those manufacturing plastics and refineries have always been able to refute evidence of potential harm. Let’s consider property values. If the majority of residents near this property do not want a crematorium there, that would indicate to me that most people considering buying a home would not want to live near a crematorium. If most people do not want to live near a crematorium, that in affect would reduce the property values of homes near a crematorium. I know I wouldn’t be too happy if a business located adjacent to my property and lowered my property value. How about everyone here who are proponents of the crematorium?

  • joe

    Dont follow the smooth talker think for yourself.
    Do actual research, how would you like it if someone pretended to know all about your area of expertise ? check out things like fluorescent light bulbs
    and the mercury in them, And there are a higher rate of birthdefects around farms and golf courses, What about your chem-lawn co ?
    Open your minds ! And dont stoop to the name calling, crematory lady and carpetbagger ? really was that nice . no one really knows who bakery-boy is ?

    • PeterR

      ” no one really knows who bakery-boy is ?”

      w / w / w .bakery-barn . com = Sean Perich

      Where were you at last night, Sean? I didn’t see you get up and speak? Do you even live in PT? “What’s your skin in the game?” I wonder what kind of carbon footprint your ovens have on the environment? I wonder if we broke down all of the MSDS’s associated to the ingredients used in your products what we would find?

      • smoke


        Good call wonder what we would find ? some guy named connely ? and a miracle pizza ?

  • Curious

    @ Michael, I understand the point you’re trying to make, but I don’t necessarily believe that everyone shares your point of view on the matter. And I’m not sure how you can speak to what “most” people want. People move to and from areas for a variety of reasons. Under your logic, when someone moves from a house, no one would move in to that house and it would remain vacant, because all prospective buyers would have the same reasons not to live there that the former resident did. That’s just not practical.

  • Ignorance

    I find it extremely suprising how uneducated and bias SOME residence are in Peters!! Open your eyes people… This is life and death is a part of it!!
    Ignorance!!! I actually feel bad for these people who jumped on the ” B ” wagon!! Ah, are you that blind that you don’t see that they ALSO have cremators!?! One not even 10 miles away!! Hello!!! Lol…

    • Ugh

      Well, you are the one who is truly ignorant.i You need to educate yourself as to why you don’t want a crematorium located in your neighborhood.

  • Michael

    @ Curious I don’t expect everyone to share my point of view and perhaps using the word “most” was an assumption. But I think based on what I’ve heard from neighbors and friends (I live in the area) and from what I’ve read, there is a lot of negativity and opposition toward crematoriums whether it be justified or not. Reality is perception and if there is a negative perception on crematoriums then there will be a negative inpact on the community. I for one would certainly like to see someone sponsor an online survey and vote either in support of or against and have a comment section.

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