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Cemetery Ordinances

Chapter 26 CEMETERIES*

*Cross references:  Fees for cemeteries, § 34-26; streets, sidewalks and other public places, ch. 70. 



Sec. 26-1. Burial of human remains.
It shall be unlawful to permit or allow the burial of any human remains on any public or private property within the city, provided, however, that the foregoing shall not apply to the due and proper burial or disposition of remains within a properly zoned and operated cemetery in compliance with the rules and regulations applicable thereto. The scattering of the ashes of any cremated human remains is not permitted except upon private property with the permission of the owner thereof.

Secs. 26-2--26-30. Reserved.



*State law references:  Municipal cemeteries, K.S.A. 12-1401 et seq. 



Sec. 26-31. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Block  means a group of two or more lots generally encircled by a roadway or other physical barrier. 
Crypt  means an individual space within a mausoleum. 
Highland Abbey Mausoleum  means a large building now constructed in Highland Cemetery. 
Individual mausoleum  means a lid above ground in a space.  
Interment  means the act or ceremony of placing remains in a burial space. 
Lot  means an interment area varying from four to ten spaces. 
Public cemeteries  means Highland Cemetery, referred to in this article as HC; Union-Graham Cemetery, referred to in this article as UGC; and St. Mary's Cemetery, referred to in this article as SMC. 
Remembrance Garden  means, in HC, the area restricted for the common depository or scattering of ashes located in block N, row J, space 243. (See section 26-51.) 
Restricted area  means, in HC, the area known as Memorial Lawn Area, block N, rows I and K, spaces 201 through 260, and row J, spaces 201 through 242, in which there are certain restrictions. (See section 26-50.) 
Row  means interment areas as outlined in the official cemetery plat. 
Space  means the area for single interment. 
Written notice   means notice by certified mail and/or regular first class mail that owner has ten days to respond to or remove items for which notice was given. 
(Code 1973, § 10-101)
Cross references:  Definitions generally, § 1-2. 

Sec. 26-32. Jurisdiction of city.
(a)   The police power of the city and of its officers is hereby extended so as to include all of the cemetery grounds for the purposes of the governmental control thereof.
(b)   All cemetery inquiries shall be directed to city personnel.
(Code 1973, § 10-401)
State law references:  Extraterritorial enforcement of cemetery ordinances, K.S.A. 14-307. 

Sec. 26-33. Sexton.
The city manager shall appoint a sexton of the cemeteries pursuant to the personnel policies of the city. The sexton shall be in charge of and exercise control of the cemeteries of the city under the supervision and direction of the city manager. He shall:
(1)   Attend to the opening and closing of all graves.
(2)   Carry out all ordinances of the city relating to such cemeteries.
(3)   Have the exclusive use, control and management of all water hydrants and all hoses used for watering purposes in such cemeteries.
(4)   Have the authority to set up a false burial site or delay burial for graveside services if he determines that adverse weather or ground conditions would prevent a clean entry and exit of cemetery equipment to the correct burial site or prevent a proper burial at the time of interment or could cause injury to city staff.
(5)   Maintain all graves and related areas in good condition.
(6)   Perform all other work necessary for the keeping of such cemeteries in good condition.
(7)   May move stones placed in the wrong place or placed incorrectly.
(8)   May move stones, monuments, foundations, fixtures, etc., without prior notice to the owners to gain access to another grave.
(Code 1973, § 10-201)

Sec. 26-34. Advisory committee.
The management of the cemeteries shall be under the direction of the city manager, who may appoint an advisory committee for such purposes as he deems advisable. The city clerk and the sexton shall make such reports to the governing body as may be required. In the absence or disability of the sexton, the city manager may designate a person to supervise the opening and closing of burial sites.
(Code 1973, § 10-202)
Cross references:  Boards and commissions, § 2-301 et seq. 

Sec. 26-35. Sale of burial sites.
(a)   Lots, spaces, and crypts may be sold for burial purposes only, and a deed of sale shall be issued by the mayor and the city clerk under the seal of the city.
(b)   In all cemeteries, a maximum of ten spaces shall be sold to one person.
(c)   The fees for all cemetery-related charges shall be fixed by ordinance. The fee schedule is as provided for in section 26-37. The fee schedule may be amended from time to time by the governing body.
(d)   At the time of sale of places of interment, 67 percent of such proceeds shall be deposited in the general fund, and 33 percent of such proceeds shall be deposited in the cemetery improvement fund.
(e)   If an owner desires to sell or otherwise dispose of an interment area, the city shall have first option to purchase at the original purchase price.
(f)   Spaces may be exchanged upon payment of a transfer fee as provided for in section 26-37, except that spaces in other areas of the cemeteries cannot be exchanged for spaces in blocks N and O of HC.
(g)   Prior to assignment of spaces to another individual, the city clerk shall be provided with satisfactory release of interest by all affected parties.
(Code 1973, § 10-103)

Sec. 26-36. Pre-need payment.
A pre-need payment for opening and closing of a grave site according to the fee schedule shall be deposited into the cemetery improvement fund. At the time of the required pre-need service, the cemetery improvement fund shall transfer the individual's original payment to the general fund for payment for the opening and closing of the grave site. No refunds of a pre-need payment shall be given.
(Code 1973, § 10-104)

Sec. 26-37. Fees; mistakes in orders or instructions.
(a)   The charges for the purchase of cemetery spaces and services performed shall be as fixed in section 34-26.
(b)   The city and its employees and agents, including but not limited to the city manager and the governing body of the city, both individually and as a group, shall not be held responsible for any order given by telephone or for any mistake resulting from the lack of, or error in, the instructions regarding a particular space, or in the size or location of a burial site.
(Code 1973, § 10-501)

Sec. 26-38. Use of spaces.
The permitted uses for spaces are as follows:
(1)   Single adult interment.
(2)   Double infant interment.
(3)   Interment of two cremains.
(4)   Single interment and two cremains.
(Code 1973, § 10-105)

Sec. 26-39. Burial records and requirements.
(a)   The city clerk, upon payment of such fees as provided for in section 26-37 for opening and closing of a grave and upon receipt of satisfactory information as required in this article, shall issue a burial record, which shall contain the following items as a minimum:
(1)   The name, age, and sex of the deceased.
(2)   The date and place of birth and date and place of death of the deceased person.
(3)   The space, lot, block, division, row, section, and name of the cemetery in which the interment is to be made.
(4)   The name of the owner of such space and the name and address of the person at whose request such burial record is issued.
(5)   The number and date of the burial record.
(b)   A burial record shall not be issued if the space is owned by any person other than the deceased or the applicant for the burial record, unless the city clerk is satisfied by the funeral director that it is satisfactory to do so. In the event of the owner's death or incapacity, the burial record shall be issued upon the furnishing of the information and payment of the fees as provided for in section 26-37. Graveside services will be allowed without prior authorization by the city manager or his designee, provided arrival at the cemetery is no later than 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. If authorization for a later service is given, opening and closing costs will increase as provided in the fee schedule.
(Code 1973, § 10-106)

Sec. 26-40. Lot records.
(a)   It shall be the duty of the city clerk to maintain a cemetery lot record, which shall contain the following information:
(1)    The names of all persons who have purchased any space in each cemetery and the description thereof.
(2)   The date of purchase.
(3)   The purchase price.
(4)   The number of the deed or transfer of ownership.
(b)   The city clerk shall issue the burial records in chronological order, which shall be part of the permanent records of the city. The sale of spaces and other records of interment which have heretofore been made by the city are hereby ratified and confirmed.
(Code 1973, § 10-107)

Sec. 26-41. Exhumations.
(a)   Any person desiring to open any grave to exhume remains that may be buried in the public cemeteries shall first deposit with the city clerk the estimated fee as provided for in the fee schedule. There shall not be any grave opened or remains exhumed before a record is obtained from the city clerk.
(b)   No person shall, without written authority from the county coroner or an order from the appropriate court and in compliance with the laws of the state, open any grave to exhume any remains or personal items.
(Code 1973, § 10-108)

Sec. 26-42. Disinterments and reinterments.
(a)   Any person desiring to disinter remains to be reinterred in any other part of any cemetery shall first deposit with the city clerk the estimated fee as provided for in the fee schedule. There shall not be any grave opened or remains disinterred before a record is obtained from the city clerk.
(b)   For such remains to be reinterred in any other part of any cemetery, the record shall conform as nearly as possible to the original burial record.
(c)   The city shall have the right to correct any errors that may be made by the city in interments or disinterments, or in the description or transfer of any interment area, by selecting an interment area of equal value and similar location, or, at the sole discretion of the governing body of the city, by refunding the amount of money paid for the purchase. In order to correct such an error, the city shall have the right to remove the remains where appropriate without any liability.
(Code 1973, § 10-109)

Sec. 26-43. Vault or casket enclosures.
(a)   In every earth interment, the casket shall be enclosed in a vault or box constructed of concrete, steel or fiberglass. The use of wooden boxes is prohibited.
(b)   All cremains not placed in the Remembrance Garden shall be enclosed in a nondecomposable container and interred in a space.
(Code 1973, § 10-402)

Sec. 26-44. Scattering of cremains.
It shall be unlawful to scatter cremains in any city cemetery except Remembrance Garden (block N, row J, space 243).
(Code 1973, § 10-403)

Sec. 26-45. Markers, containers, and permanent floral display fixtures.
(a)   No monuments, containers, urns or permanent floral display fixtures shall be placed in HC, block N, restricted area, also known as Memorial Lawn Area. Ground-level stones or markers with inverted vases mounted and a permanent part of the stone or marker are allowed.
(b)   In all cemeteries except HC, block N, restricted area, owners of spaces may, at their own expense, erect grave markers, stones, monuments, containers or permanent floral display fixtures, provided they are set in a foundation to ensure permanence of location and position. They shall be installed in such a manner as to not interfere with the cemetery maintenance. Any inappropriately placed fixtures that are damaged during maintenance shall be repaired or replaced at the owner's expense. Nothing erected shall be offensive in nature or detract from the dignity of a place of burial or constitute a hazard to cemetery personnel or the public.
(c)   Any owner, heir, or assign shall maintain, in good repair, at his expense, any grave marker, stone, monument, container or permanent floral display fixture that has been erected. If such items fall into disrepair or become damaged beyond repair, he shall remove them after written notice by the sexton. If the sexton is unable to locate the owner, heir, or assign, or he fails to respond to such notice, the sexton may proceed with such removal. The sexton shall ensure that all graves are marked.
(d)   All stones and military markers in all the cemeteries shall be installed with a concrete foundation a minimum of six inches deep and flush with the ground level, and should be large enough to include a six-inch apron on all sides.
(e)   All military markers henceforth installed in all cemeteries and used as second markers with a regular headstone shall be installed directly adjacent to the headstone, centered, graveside and ground level. Military markers used as second markers with individual mausoleums shall be installed at ground level at the opposite end of the grave from the nameplate.
(f)   The sexton must be contacted prior to setting any stones, markers or permanent displays. Any incorrect installations may be removed after written notice is given to the owner or heir. Due diligence shall be followed to contact the owner.
(Code 1973, § 10-404)

Sec. 26-46. Artificial flowers and decorations.
(a)   Artificial flowers in approved permanent display fixtures are permitted in city cemeteries yearround unless they become faded, broken, or deteriorated. The sexton shall be authorized to remove and dispose of these items if they are not removed by the owner. No notice shall be required to be given to the owner by the sexton to remove or dispose of such items.
(b)   Artificial flowers, not in a permanent display fixture, may be placed on and adjacent to graves only during the period from November 1 to the following April 1.
(c)   Memorial Day decorations are permitted one week before until one week after Memorial Day. If not removed by the owner, the sexton shall be authorized to remove and dispose of those items.
(d)   No glass or tin containers of any kind are permitted.
(e)   Christmas decorations may be disposed of by the sexton beginning February 1, if not removed by the owner.
(Code 1973, § 10-405)

Sec. 26-47. Planting of flowers, trees and shrubs.
(a)   All flower plantings in city cemeteries must be within six inches of the headstone, and planted directly in the ground, excluding any pots or containers.
(b)   Planting of trees and shrubs is prohibited, except upon approval and placement by the sexton. Once planted, the owner shall be responsible for the general care and upkeep of such trees and shrubs; except that the sexton may trim and prune at his discretion. Trees and shrubs which die or must be removed to prepare a grave site shall be removed and disposed of by the sexton. No trees or shrubs which bear thorns shall be permitted. Any thorned tree, shrub, or rosebush planted prior to the adoption of the ordinance from which this article is derived shall be grandfathered for the life of the plant, provided they are kept reasonably trimmed.
(Code 1973, § 10-406)
Cross references:  Vegetation, ch. 82. 

Sec. 26-48. Curbs, borders, fences, railings and other structures.
(a)   No curbs, curbing, or borders shall be permitted in the city cemeteries after March 4, 1996. Should existing curbs, curbing, or borders fall into disrepair or become otherwise deteriorated, it shall be the duty of the sexton to remove them after written notice to the owner.
(b)   No fences, railings or structure of any kind whatsoever shall be erected in any cemetery. All existing railings and structures heretofore erected may be allowed to remain so long as they shall be kept in a good state of repair. Should they fall into disrepair or become otherwise deteriorated, it shall be the duty of the sexton, after providing written notice, to remove the railing or structure from the cemetery.
(c)   Ornamental rock will not be permitted as a substitute for turf.
(Code 1973, § 10-407)

Sec. 26-49. Approval required to erect monuments.
Any owner who shall desire to erect any monument in any cemetery, to be composed entirely of metal, stone, marble, or granite, may be allowed to do so upon the approval of the plans and designs therefor by the city manager or his designee. Approval shall be given upon a finding that the monument will comply with all laws and ordinances, will not be out of character for the area in which it is to be placed and will not endanger public safety.
(Code 1973, § 10-408)

Sec. 26-50. Marker specifications for Highland Cemetery restricted area.
Markers in the HC restricted area shall be flush with the ground and shall have a concrete base six inches deep which shall extend six inches beyond the sides and ends of the marker. The marker shall be 20 inches by ten inches (L × W) and shall be for urn/cremains vault burials only.
(Code 1973, § 10-409)

Sec. 26-51. Use of Remembrance Garden.
The Remembrance Garden area of Highland Cemetery (block N, row J, space 243) shall be used to scatter cremains or place cremains in the common depository in the Remembrance Garden. A memorial plaque may be purchased and caused to be placed on the Monument of Remembrance as follows:
GRAPHIC LINK:Memorial Plaque
(Code 1973, § 10-410)
Secs. 26-52--26-70. Reserved.

 Sec. 34-26. Cemeteries.

(a)   The fees required or referenced in section 26-37 are as follows:
(1)   Cemetery spaces:
a.   Adults, all spaces . . . $300.00
b.   Infants, Highland Cemetery West Division (block E, lots 126--132; block N, rows I, J, K, spaces 361--402; block O, row J, spaces 301--368) . . . 135.00
c.   Cremains (ashes): Remembrance Garden (block N, row J, space 243) . . . 25.00
d.   Urns/cremains vault, one-half space (block N, rows I and K, spaces 201--260, row J, spaces 201--242) . . . 150.00
e.   Mausoleum: Crypt . . . 500.00
(2)   Transfer of interest, per transaction . . . 25.00
(3)   Recording fee . . . 25.00
(4)   Grave opening and closing, weekdays:
a.   Adults:
1.   Before 3:00 p.m. . . . 250.00
2.   After 3:00 p.m. . . . 325.00
b.   Infants:
1.   Before 3:00 p.m. . . . 125.00
2.   After 3:00 p.m. . . . 200.00
c.   Cremations with vault:
1.   Before 3:00 p.m. . . . 125.00
2.   After 3:00 p.m. . . . 200.00
d.   Cremations with urn (includes recording fee):
1.   Before 3:00 p.m. . . . 50.00
2.   After 3:00 p.m. . . . 125.00
(5)   Grave opening and closing, Saturdays:
a.   Adults:
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 300.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 375.00
b.   Infants:
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 150.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 225.00
c.   Cremations with vault:
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 150.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 225.00
d.   Cremations with urn (includes recording fee):
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 75.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 150.00
(6)   Grave opening and closing, Sundays and city-observed holidays:
a.   Adults:
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 500.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 575.00
b.   Infants:
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 350.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 425.00
c.   Cremations with vault:
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 350.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 425.00
d.   Cremations with urn (includes recording fee):
1.   Before 11:00 a.m. . . . 275.00
2.   After 11:00 a.m. . . . 350.00
(7)   Monument setting fee . . . 25.00
(8)   Plaque setting fee . . . 25.00
(b)   Grave opening and closing to exhume or move a body (see sections 26-41 and 26-42): The sexton shall prepare a written cost estimate and collect a deposit based on the estimate or on approved credit before a permit shall be issued to remove or exhume the body.
(Code 1973, § 10-501(a))
Cross references:  Cemeteries, ch. 26. 
Secs. 34-27--34-29. Reserved.