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North Union Township pastor agrees to move son's grave

| Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010

A Fayette County pastor who was denied a zoning variance for the burial of his son has agreed to move the grave from church grounds.

Under a settlement agreement, county officials agreed to withdraw code enforcement actions and financial penalties against Liberty Baptist Church, which will bury pastor Ewing Marietta's son in a cemetery.

Marietta's attorney, Mark Rowan, disclosed the settlement Tuesday at a hearing scheduled for the North Union Township church's appeal of a $5,071 fine imposed by a district judge.

Marietta said the details of the final resting place for his son are being worked out.

Ewing "Marcus" Marietta II is to be disinterred by Dec. 31.

After Marietta, 18, died from injuries related to a July 2009 crash, his father buried him on the church property, a five-acre residentially zoned lot on Oliver Road.

"We hope for God's continued blessing on our church and our family as we move forward," Marietta said outside the courtroom.

Judge Nancy Vernon rescheduled the hearing until Jan. 10 to ensure that both sides comply with the agreement.

A zoning officer last year cited the church for violating zoning regulations because cemeteries are permitted only in agricultural zones.

In March, the county's Zoning Hearing Board unanimously denied the church's subsequent application for a variance for a cemetery

According to the settlement, the church will withdraw its appeal of the zoning board's decision and the county will not pursue any fines, court costs or other penalties related to the case.

"We do consent to the stipulated agreement as presented today," zoning board Solicitor Gretchen Mundorff told Vernon.

Mundorff and Sheryl Heid, solicitor of the county Office of Planning, Zoning and Community Development, declined further comment.

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