Ordinance 2018-01


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WHEREAS, it is important to update the City’s code from time to time to remain relevant and reflective of the ever-changing operating environment of the City; and

WHEREAS, staff would like to amend Title 12, Section 12.24, “Cemeteries” to improve operations and safety; and

WHEREAS, the changes add monument size restrictions and add a fee to remove and replace monuments that are too large for staff to safely move for a burial; and

WHEREAS, it would allow the City to reclaim abandoned burial plots, set notification time periods for short notice burials, disallows burial on major holidays, and clarifies responsibilities; and

WHEREAS, the legislative body of the City of Santa Clara reviewed the recommendation of the Parks Department and acted on the proposed amendment to Title 12, Section 12.24 “Cemeteries” and acted on January 10, 2018; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council of the City of Santa Clara, Utah, that Title 12, Section 12.24 “Cemeteries” be amended as follows.
Section 1. Amendment:


12.24.010: Definitions
12.24.020: Name
12.24.030: Cemeteries Covered
12.24.040: Cemetery Superintendent Powers and Duties
12.24.050: Conveyance; Descent and Inheritance
12.24.060: Perpetual Care and Burial Rights; Costs
12.24.070: Burial Permit
12.24.080: Fees
12.24.090: Burial Hours; Sundays and Holidays
12.24.100: Restrictions on Burial
12.24.110: Vaults
12.24.120: Monuments; Grave markers
12.24.130: Memorials
12.24.140: Regulations and Prohibited Uses
12.24.150: Burial of Indigents
12.24.160: Disinterments; Exhumations
12.24.170: Additional Rules and Regulations
12.24.180: Penalty


12.24.010: DEFINITIONS:

As used in this chapter:
BURIAL: The interment of human remains.
BURIAL VAULT: A structure to hold a casket or container of cremated remains.
CREMATED REMAINS: The ashes of an incinerated deceased person.
DISINTERMENT or EXHUMATION: The removal of a burial vault and/or casket from a plot.
FUNERAL FLOWERS: Flowers placed on the grave at the time of burial.
LOT: An area of ground in which burial rights are deeded to an individual for the purpose of burial.
LOT OWNER: The owner or purchaser of burial privileges or the collateral right of use of any burial lot evidenced by a deed or burial right for a described plot or by proved and recognized decent or devise from the original owner.
MEMORIALS: Items placed on a grave as a remembrance. Temporary memorials include, but are not limited to, potted plants, flags, floral wreaths and flowers in vases. Semi-permanent memorials include, but are not limited to, trees, shrubs and perennial flowers.
MONUMENT or GRAVE MARKER: A marker used to identify the person interred in a plot.
RESIDENT: Any member of a household whose primary place of residence can be shown to be established in the city of Santa Clara, Utah.
VETERAN: A person recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as having veteran status.

12.24.020: NAME: The burial ground of this City shall be known and designated by the name of Santa Clara City Cemetery.
12.24.030: CEMETERIES COVERED: All cemeteries owned and/or maintained by the City wherever are declared subject to the provisions of this chapter.
A. The superintendent, subject to the direction of the city council and department head placed over him by the city manager, has entire charge of the cemetery and is authorized to enforce the rules and regulations pertaining thereto. He may take such action as may be necessary, though not expressly set forth herein, in order to protect the property of grave and lot owners, and the cemetery, from injury, and to protect the peace, economy and good order of the cemetery. It shall be the duty of the cemetery superintendent to keep the cemetery plat and related records up to date, and to cooperate with the city treasurer in maintaining records of changes and payments made pursuant to this chapter. The cemetery superintendent or a competent deputy or designee shall attend every interment in a cemetery and shall register the names and ages all of persons interred therein, and the place of their interment. He shall open and close graves, maintain the cemetery, and perform such other duties as may be required elsewhere in this chapter of directed by the city council.

A. Deed: Plots and burial spaces in lots within a cemetery as described in section 12.24.010 of this chapter, as designated on a plat to be kept in the City offices, and staked under the supervision of the cemetery superintendent, or any other tract of land that may hereafter be designated by the city for such purpose, shall be conveyed by deeds of right granting a license to use for burial purposes. Such deeds will be registered with the city in a book kept for that purpose and issued to the purchaser. The size of any lot or the number of lots to be sold to any person or family shall be the sole discretion of the city, but no more than six (6) lots shall be sold to one individual or his agent unless it can be shown that they are intended for immediate members of a single family or unless otherwise approved by city council.

B. Descent and Inheritance: Upon the death of the registered owner, the city shall act upon its best judgment in determining heirship and succession, unless an affidavit of heirship, together with the power appointing one of the heirs to represent all, or a certified copy of decree of distribution of the estate of the deceased purchaser is first filed with the city recorder. The city shall have no liability for a failure to properly determine the legal succession of the rights in any cemetery space.

C. Unused Lots: If, for a period in excess of sixty (60) years and one day from purchase of burial rights to any cemetery lot, the grantee, or persons claiming through the grantee have not used portions of the lots or parcels for purposes of burial and have not provided for the care of the lots or parcels beyond that uniformly provided for all lots of the cemetery, and during the sixty (60) year period have not given the city written notice or any claim of interest in the lots or parcels, the City may, following the procedures set forth in section 8-5-1, Utah code Annotated, 1953, as amended, or its successor, demand the grantee that they file with the city a written notice of claim or interest in such burial rights accompanied by evidence of their claim within fifty (50) days after service of a copy of notice of demand.

D. Restriction on Conveyance of Historic Lots: Lots located in the historic western portion of the cemetery, as designated by the cemetery superintendent, shall not be further sold, transferred, conveyed or assigned to any person except the city, except through descent and inheritance as described in paragraph B above. Any attempted sale, conveyance, or assignment in violation of this paragraph shall be deemed to be void.

E. Voluntary Sell-back: The city agrees to buy back any lot located anywhere in the cemetery when the owner thereof desires to sell it. The repurchase of such lots shall be for the original price paid by the purchaser, or the current selling price of the lot, whichever is less, except that an administrative fee shall be assessed in the amount of five percent (5%) of the repurchase price. The city may thereafter re-sell any such repurchased lots, unless a lot is located in the historic western portion of the cemetery, in which case the lot shall not be re-sold.

F. Whenever a deed to burial rights or lots reverts to the city, as provided for in this chapter, or becomes vested in the city for any reason, before a new deed is issued, the original certificate or deed shall be cancelled or an assignment given, and the record shall be so changed.

G. Each deed shall be issued and signed by the mayor and shall be attested by the recorder. All lots or parts of lots, as provided in this section, together with all improvements, shall be exempt from execution and from taxation and assessment for care and maintenance charges from and after said payment.

H. It is unlawful for any City personnel to trade, deal in, or make a profit, directly or indirectly, out of any transaction involving the sale, purchase or transfer of any cemetery lot.


A. Perpetual Care Required: No burial rights in the cemetery shall be sold without perpetual care for the space to be used. Perpetual care shall consist of that maintenance necessitated by natural growth and ordinary wear, and it shall be provided at reasonable intervals within the budget limits of the cemetery.

B. Costs: The City shall have the right to assess and collect perpetual care charges or other appropriate fees to defray the costs of care and maintenance of cemetery facilities, consistent with state law, and as set forth additionally in section 12.24.080 herein. Fees and charges shall be in such amounts as established by resolution of the city council.

12.24.070: BURIAL PERMIT:

No body shall be interred, or remains received, unless a burial report is received from a licensed mortician and signed by the funeral director, which shall be an acknowledgement of the mortuary’s obligation to pay for the burial, or unless the burial charges have been paid in advance to the city treasurer and receipt therefore is presented to the cemetery superintendent as a permit for the burial. The burial report or receipt shall reflect the full name of the deceased, the date and place of birth, the date and place of death, and the name and address of the person responsible for disposal.

12.24.080: FEES:

A. Collection: The city treasurer and other persons as the City Council may designate are hereby authorized and required to collect in advance the required fees as set by resolution of the city council for
the opening and closing of graves and other services which shall include disinterring bodies and properly restoring the earth and grounds.
B. Other Services: For any other service rendered, the Cemetery superintendent shall collect a reasonable fee to be determined in advance by the city council though resolution.
C. Disinterment Including Vault: If it is requested that a disinterment shall include the vault, there shall be a surcharge in such an amount as established by resolution of the city council in addition to the above disinterment fee. Notwithstanding such surcharge, the city does not guarantee in such an event that the vault will be intact or undamaged. Disinterment of remains not placed in a vault or other sealed container are not authorized unless approved by the Mayor in writing.


No graveside service or interment will be allowed in the cemetery on Sunday, on any state or federal holiday, or any other holidays officially observed by the city, including Swiss Days. On all other days, graveside service or interments will be allowed between the hours of ten o’clock (10:00) A.M. and four o’clock (4:00) P.M. All grave side services and interments must be arranged through the cemetery superintendent forty-eight (48) hours in advance of time set, not including any intervening Saturday, Sunday and/or holidays. Any exception to the provisions of this section shall be by the approval of city council only and will result in the payment of additional fees.


It shall be unlawful for any person to bury the body of a deceased person within the city limits, except in a cemetery as described in this chapter. No grave in the cemetery shall be opened or filled, refilled or sodded, except by employees of the cemetery under the direction of the cemetery superintendent. One interment only shall be allowed in a casket except for a parent with an infant child, for two (2) children buried at the same time, or the addition of one cremated remains placed in the casket at the time of burial. Not more than one casket shall be allowed in a grave plot, except that two (2) cremation vaults may be allowed in a half plot. All parts of a burial or cremation vault shall be no less than two feet (2’) below the surface of the ground. No cremation vault shall be placed in the same plat as a regular burial plot.

12.24.110: VAULTS:

Before a casket is accepted for burial, it must be housed within a concrete vault having fixed top and side panel edge restraints incorporated into the construction and having a strength capable of uniformly withstanding a stress of seven and one-one-half (7 ½) pounds per square inch. If a particular type or construction of a vault is rejected by the cemetery superintendent, the mortician or party utilizing the vault shall bear the burden of proving compliance with the strength requirements of this section. Cremated remains must be placed in a vault made of fiberglass, concrete or metal with strength deemed adequate by the cemetery superintendent.


A. The owner of the burial rights to the plot or relatives of the deceased persons buried in the plot are required to erect a stone monument with the name of the deceased plainly described thereon. All graves shall be identified by a temporary marker or stone monument placed at the head of the plot in the west
two feet (2’) of the plot. No more than one monument or marker shall be permitted for each grave except when the deceased person is a veteran, in which case one traditional flat U.S. military marker may be placed anywhere in the plot in addition to the primary monument or marker. Monuments and markers placed prior to a burial will be removed from and replaced upon the plot following burial at the plot owners’ expense.

B. All cemetery monuments and markers shall comply with city standards to be determined from time to time by the city council though resolution.

C. In the event the owner of a plot or a burial space or relatives of a deceased person buried in such plot do not place a monument or a marker with the name of the deceased plainly inscribed thereon upon the grave within ninety (90) days after interment, the Cemetery superintendent shall have the right to do so with a minimal stone or cement marker at the expense of the person owning it or burying in said lot. Where burial of the remains of more than one person or vault in a single plot is permitted by this chapter, either a joint combined monument or small individual markers may be used, provided they can be adequately accommodated within the limits of the plot, but the form and size of the monument of marker shall be within the discretionary approval of the cemetery superintendent in any event.

12.24.130: MEMORIALS:

A. Permanent Memorials: Up to one permanent memorial per plot is permitted in the east two feet of the plot; provided, however, that permanent memorials must otherwise comply with the requirements for monuments and grave markers set forth in section 12.24.120 herein. Permanent memorials placed prior to a burial will be removed from and replaced upon the plot following burial at the plot owners’ expense.

B. Semi-permanent Memorials: No person shall have the right to place and/or plant trees, shrubs, flowers and other semi-permanent memorial items in a plot without the approval of the cemetery superintendent. Approval will be based on the following criteria: plant maintenance requirements, landscape value and hardiness, interference with other plots, plants and mowing operations; consistency with landscape design.

C. Temporary Memorials: Temporary memorials are permitted, but will be removed without notice by cemetery employees when they become withered, discolored, torn, broken or vandalized. Funeral flowers will be allowed to remain for seven (7) days, after which cemetery employees may remove them based on the above criteria. Other temporary memorial items such as glass containers, wires, sticks, iron rods, pegs, ceramic pots or other containers that may pose safety hazards may be removed by cemetery employees at any time.

D. Landscaping by Private Persons: Except as may be provided by rules and regulations adopted by the City Council, it is unlawful for any person to erect and maintain any fence, corner post, coping or boundary, to plant any vegetation upon any lot or lots, street, alley or walk in the cemetery, or to grade the ground or land thereof. The cemetery superintendent shall, when required, furnish the true of any lots according to official survey, shall prevent and prohibit any markings of the same except by official landmarks and shall prevent and prohibit any grading that might destroy or interfere with the general slope of the land.


A. Park Regulations Govern: Insofar as they may be applicable, those regulations adopted by the city to govern operation of its parks shall apply to the cemetery. However, it shall be unlawful for any person to be in a cemetery during the nighttime hours of any day. A person will be considered to be “in a cemetery” if he or she is upon any portion of the property set aside as present or future cemetery property as designated in the appropriate records of the city and county.

B. Patrons; Children: Cemetery patrons are only allowed in a cemetery. Children under twelve (12) years of age must be accompanied at all times on cemetery property by a parent or supervising adult eighteen (18) years of age or older.

C. Recreational Activities; Animals: It shall be unlawful to engage in any active recreational activity such as, but not limited to, soccer, baseball and football, or to bring any animal on cemetery property.

D. Burial of Animals or Nonhuman Items: It shall be unlawful to bury animals or other nonhuman items in a cemetery, unless the cemetery superintendent is directed otherwise by the city council in a particular instance.

E. Double Depth Burials: Double-depth burials shall not be permitted.

F. Motor Vehicles: No motor vehicles shall travel off clearly designated roadways in a cemetery for any reason without consent of the cemetery superintendent, and where such consent is given, the owner or operator of the vehicle shall either repair any and all damage, including tire marks, which the cemetery superintendent determines to have caused by such vehicle, or the shall reimburse the city for the cost of such repair.

G. Sod Disturbance: In no event shall the sod of a cemetery be disturbed without prior approval of the cemetery superintendent.
H. Irrigation and Drainage: The right to lay, maintain and operate lines for water supply or drainage is expressly reserved to the city across any portion of the cemetery block.


A. The city council may by resolution designate a portion of the city cemetery to the burial of indigents. Whenever it is made to appear to the mayor by proof submitted to him by the recorder that any person who has died does not have an estate sufficient to pay the purchase price of a lot in the cemetery, and that the nearest relative or representative of such deceased person desires to have the body of such deceased interred in the cemetery, the mayor may grant burial space for such deceased person at the request made to him or her by the recorder.

B. The mayor shall communicate his or her decision to both the recorder and the cemetery superintendent. The mayor shall give report of his or her decision, whether affirmative or negative, to the city council at its next regular meeting. All strangers without funds or other persons who may die in the city may be granted the privilege granted herein.


A. The scheduling of a disinterment shall be at the discretion of the cemetery superintendent. It shall also be at the discretion of the cemetery superintendent to refuse to disinter any person that would endanger the health and safety of cemetery employees. Disinterment may be postponed without notice if the cemetery superintendent deems it necessary in order to maintain the regular operations of a cemetery.

B. It is unlawful for any person to disinter any buried in the City cemetery under the direction of the City Parks Director. Before disinterment the requester shall obtain a permit issued by the Board of Health and a written order from the owner of the lot authorizing such removal or from a court of competent jurisdiction, which order shall be filed and preserved by the Cemetery Superintendent. All such removals shall be recorded by the recorder in a book kept for that purpose.

C. It is unlawful for any person to remove the body of a person who has died of a contagious disease within two (2) years from the date of burial, unless such a body has been buried in a hermetically sealed coffin, and is found to be so incased.


A. The city council may promulgate by resolution such additional rules and regulations concerning the care, use, operation and maintenance of the cemetery as it shall deem necessary. If adopted, such policies, rules and regulations will control over less specific or conflicting provision of the park rules and regulations.

B. The mayor may from time to time as the city council deems necessary direct and publish a booklet of rules and regulations for the convenience of the purchasers of lots in the city cemetery. Such rules and regulations shall constitute a part of the terms and conditions under which owners and users may utilize the cemetery and shall form a supplement to this chapter after they have been adopted as official by resolution of the city council.

C. Any change in the rules and regulations shall be adopted by the city council before such changes shall be official.

12.24.180: PENALTY:

Violation of this chapter shall constitute a class B misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to penalty as provided in this section 1.16.010 of this code.

Section 2. Effective Date:

This Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon adoption, recording and posting in the manner prescribed by law. ADOPTED and approved by a duly constituted quorum of the City Council of the City of Santa Clara, Utah this 10th day of Jan. 2018.






CHRIS SHELLEY, City Recorder



Previous Ordinance 2017-22

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