BROOKSVILLE – In a cemetery planned for a 5-acre tract near Istachatta, the markers would have been wooden slabs or crosses.

The bodies would have been buried without embalming; the caskets were to be wooden boxes meant to decompose quickly.

That is Bosnian tradition, said Vedad Sakovic, president of the Bosnian Member Association. It also almost exactly matches the practices of the fast-growing green burial movement.

“It’s totally natural,” said Sue Hughes, a Brooksville Realtor who represented the Bosnian group before the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday. “This is a really big thing right now.”

But residents of Deerhaven Estates, near the planned cemetery site, were not convinced.

Neither were members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, who voted unanimously against the cemetery, though the county Planning Department had recommended approval.

The residents had a long list of concerns.

Though the land – east of U.S. 41 and north of Lake Lindsey Road – is zoned as agricultural, it is divided into large residential lots.

If it were developed as a traditional cemetery, it would change the look of the rustic neighborhood; if it were too natural, it might not be properly maintained.

One neighbor said that because the cemetery was for Muslims, he would not be allowed to be buried in a cemetery just down the street from his house.


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