From Nanci Hutson of the News Times:

“Famous fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg has won permission to spend eternity at her beloved Cloudwalk Farm estate in Merryall, surrounded by red birches and a nearby stream.  The Zoning Commission on Tuesday night voted unanimously to grant the Belgian-born resident a special permit for a 20-plot family cemetery encircled with a stone meditation garden on a 46.5-acre open property she owns on West Meetinghouse Road. The land is just north of an additional 50 acres where her home is located on abutting Aspetuck Ridge Road. The entire property is known as Cloudwalk Farm.

The less than half-acre garden and cemetery will be on the southern end of the property, hidden by flowering trees and other landscaping. The only access will be from an existing farm road that is also a part of Von Furstenberg’s private property.  One of the benefits, the commission noted, with this proposal is that it will protect Von Furstenberg’s property so that it remains in a natural state rather than being developed.

Arthur H. Howland & Associates representative Kathy Castagnetta said the formal layout has been completed for the private cemetery and it will be arranged in a semi-circle with a wall no higher than 2.6 feet with a total circumference of about 70 feet. The area will be landscaped with flowering trees and the garden will include stone seating and a bench.  Castagnetta, a former town Zoning Enforcement officer, said the process all “went very smoothly.’  She said private cemeteries are not an anomaly, and for some families are a way to protect their land.  “The big plus for this property is that it will be kept in its natural state, and that is very appropriate to the area,” Castagnetta said.

For Von Furstenberg, the property has been a personal treasure and according to news articles dating back to 1993 she has long contemplated the New Milford property as her preferred place of eternal rest.  “I have lived in New Milford for 35 years and love that place more than anywhere in the world,” said the world-traveling designer in a recent e-mail from Europe. “I would like to be there forever, which is why I would like to be buried there.””

Our firm performed the following services for this project: Property Survey, Topographic Survey, Sedimentation & Erosion Control Plans, Septic Driveway Design, Sight Distance Analysis, Low Impact Development, Wetland Soil & Watercourse Delineation, Soil Investigation & Testing, Local, State, & Federal Land Use Permitting. Contact us today at (860) 354-9346 to have us assist you with your next project.

Click Here to learn more about the services we offer. Arthur H. Howland & Associates, P.C. is a full service civil engineering, land surveying, land use planning and environmental services firm. Contact us today at (860) 354-9346 to find out how we can assist you with your next project.