NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, That at its Regular meeting on October 23, 2018, the Charter Township of Independence Board of Trustees approved a second reading and adoption of an ordinance to amend certain provisions of the Independence Charter Township Code.
A true copy of this Ordinance is on file and available for inspection between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Independence Township’s Clerk’s Office, 6483 Waldon Ctr. Dr., Clarkston, MI 48346 and available on the Township’s website at: www.indtwp.com.
ORDINANCE NO. 2018-42-001
CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF INDEPENDENCE
OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE INDEPENDENCE CHARTER TOWNSHIP CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 42, “STREETS, SIDEWALKS, AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES,” BY AMENDING ARTICLE IV, “TOWNSHIP CEMETERIES,” TO UPDATE CEMETERY REGULATIONS TO INCLUDE CREMATION NICHES, ADD ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS RELATING TO CEMETERY MAINTENANCE, DECORATIONS, AND MONUMENTS, AND PROVIDE FOR ADMINISTRATION OF THE ORDINANCE BY THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS.
THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF INDEPENDENCE ORDAINS:
Section 1. ORDINANCE AMENDMENT.
That Section 42-152 of the Charter Township of Independence Ordinance Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 42-152. Sale of plots, burial spaces or cremation niches.
- Cemetery plots, burial spaces, or cremation niches shall be available for sale to any individual or family for the purpose of the burial of such purchaser or his or her heirs at law or next of kin. No sale shall be made to funeral directors or others.
- All sales shall be evidenced by a form approved and executed by the township clerk or the clerk’s designee. Sales of cemetery plots, burial spaces, or cremation niches grant a right of burial only and do not convey any other title to the lot or burial space sold. Full payment of the graves or niches is required at time of purchase.
- Burial rights may only be transferred to those persons eligible to be original purchasers of cemetery lots, burial spaces, or cremation niches, and may only be accomplished by endorsement of an assignment of such cemetery deed upon the original cemetery deed form prepared by the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee, approved by said Director or designee, and entered upon the official records of said Director or designee. Upon such assignment, approval and recording, the Director or the designee shall issue a new cemetery deed to the assignee and shall cancel and terminate upon such records, the original cemetery deed.
- Burial space owners shall not allow interments in their plots or spaces in return for remuneration of any kind.
Section 2. ORDINANCE AMENDMENT.
That Sections 42-154, 42-155, 42-156, 42-157, 42-158, 42-160, and 42-162 of the Charter Township of Independence Ordinance Code are hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 42-154. Grave opening charges.
- The opening and closing of any burial space, prior to and following a burial therein, and including the interment of ashes, shall be at a cost to be set by resolution of the Township Board, payable to the Township. A fee schedule shall be maintained at the township office.
- No burial spaces shall be opened and closed except under the direction and control of the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee who shall coordinate with the cemetery staff. This provision shall not apply to proceedings under the supervision of the local health department for the removal and re-interment of bodies and remains.
Sec. 42-155. Markers or memorials.
- All markers or memorials must be of stone or other equally durable composition.
- All markers or memorials must be located upon a suitable foundation as approved by the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee.
- Only one monument, marker or memorial shall be permitted per individual buried with the exception of veteran’s markers which may be placed at the foot of the burial space.
- Markers shall be no more than 24 inches in length and 12 inches in width per grave space, unless approved by authorized cemetery personnel.
- Should any monument or memorial become unsightly, dilapidated or a safety hazard, the Township board shall have the right, at the expense of owner, to correct the condition or remove same.
- The footing or foundation upon which any monument, marker or memorial must be placed shall be constructed by the Township at cost to the owner of the burial right. Cost shall be determined by resolution of the Township board, payable to the Township. A fee schedule shall be maintained at the Township office.
- If there is more than one burial on a grave, you may have more than one marker. The main marker will always be placed on the west end of the head. Any additional markers for cremains shall be flush with the ground, placed at the base of the main marker and be no more than 12 inches by 12 inches or 8 inches deep by 16 inches wide. Foot markers are only permitted for veterans in addition to their main marker. These must be flush and are not to exceed 24 inches in length and 12 inches in width.
- The regulations set forth in subsections (a)-(g) shall not apply to monuments, markers or memorials existing or approved prior to the date of this article.
- Winter wreaths, grave blankets, and artificial flowers may be placed on the burial spaces from November 15 to April 1 yearly. All cemetery lot decorations will be removed during spring cleanup each year.
- To maintain the columbarium in a uniform manner, Lakeview Cemetery will arrange for the engraving of niche covers. Niche engravings are limited to name, birth day and death date per cremains. Only one font pattern will be allowed for all niche engravings. One symbol will be allowed per niche cover and it must be chosen from a list that is approved by the Township. An engraving fee will be assessed at the time of the engraving and must be paid in full before the niche cover is put back in place. A temporary replacement cover will be installed until the engraved cover is returned. Niche covers are not required to be engraved. Engraving of the niche cover is allowed before interment of the cremains. Anyone not abiding by these stipulations will be responsible for the cost of a replacement cover.
- To recognize veterans inurned in the columbarium niches, the small government medallion provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs will be allowed provided that the proper paperwork is filled out and the veteran is eligible.
Sec. 42-156. Interment regulations.
- Only one adult casket and/or one cremation may be placed in a single grave, unless otherwise designed in a cemetery plat existing prior to the adoption of this article except for a mother and infant or two children. Up to two cremations urns are allowed per cremation niche as long as the urns do not exceed a total of 11″x11″x15″. The urn must be a material suitable for interment. Cardboard is not permitted.
- Not less than 24-hours’ notice shall be given in advance of any funeral to allow for the opening of the burial spaces between April 1 and November 14 and not less than 48-hours’ notice shall be given in advance of any funeral to allow for the opening of burial spaces between November 15 and March 31.
- The appropriate cemetery deed for the burial space involved, together with appropriate identification of the person to be buried therein, where necessary, shall be presented to either the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee or the cemetery staff, who then shall deliver same to Director of Public Works or Director’s designee, prior to interment. Where such cemetery deed has been lost or destroyed, the Director of Public Works or Director’s designee shall be satisfied, from his or her records, that the person to be buried in the burial space is an authorized and appropriate one before any interment is commenced or completed.
- All burial spaces shall be located in an orderly and neat appearing manner within the confines of the burial space involved. All casket burials at Sashabaw Plains Cemetery will be handled by a private company. The DPW will be in attendance and have full charge of all cremation and baby burials at Sashabaw Plains Cemetery.
- No interments other than human remains can be placed in any burial lot or cremation niches.
- The cemetery personnel are the only persons who will be permitted to open/close graves or cremation niches with the following exceptions:
- When the cemetery is directed to make a disinterment by order of a court of competent jurisdiction and a certified copy of such order has been filed with the DPW Directors.
- When the coroner directs the disinterment for the purpose of holding an inquest and has filed with the DPW’s office his signed authorized release of the body to himself and his lawful agents.
Sec. 42-157. – Ground maintenance.
- No grading, leveling, or excavating upon burial space shall be allowed without the permission of the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee.
- No flower arrangements, plants, wreaths, toys or mementos will be allowed to be placed near or on the columbarium at any time, except at the time of inurnment and other approved days by the Township.
- No flowers, shrubs, trees or vegetation of any type shall be planted without the approval of the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee. Any of the foregoing items planted without such approval may be removed by the township.
- The Township reserves the right to remove or trim any tree, plant or shrub located within the cemetery in the interest of maintaining proper appearance and the use of the cemetery.
- Mounds which hinder the free use of a lawn mower or other gardening apparatus are prohibited.
- The cemetery maintenance personnel shall have the right and authority to remove and dispose of any and all growth, emblems, displays or containers therefore that through decay, deterioration, damage or otherwise become unsightly, a source of litter or a maintenance problem.
- Surfaces other than earth or sod are prohibited.
- All refuse of any kind or nature including, among others, dried flowers, wreaths, papers, and flower containers must be removed or deposited in containers located within the cemetery.
- Shrubs or plantings with thorns are not permitted. No wooden headboards, trellises, ornaments, wire arches, glass containers, metal forms, crockery, tin cans, artificial flowers, toys or any other unsightly objects are permitted upon any lot or grass. Must have cemetery personnel approval for any temporary placement of above.
- Any unsightly vase or object shall be removed by cemetery personnel without notice.
- Employees of the cemetery will open all graves and cremation niches.
Sec. 42-158. – Forfeiture of vacant cemetery plots or burial spaces.
- As of November 26, 2008, the rights to cemetery plots or burial spaces sold and remaining vacant 40 years from the date of their original sale, last recorded transfer or usage of another burial space by the same owner shall automatically revert to the township upon occurrence of the following events.
- Notice shall be sent by the Director of Public Works or Director’s designee by first class mail to the last known address of the last owner of record informing that owner of the expiration of the 40-year period and that all rights with respect to said plots or spaces will be forfeited if said owner does not affirmatively indicate in writing to the Director of Public Works or Director’s designee within 60 days from the date of mailing of the said notice the owner’s desire to retain said burial rights.
- If no written response to said notice indicating a desire to retain the cemetery plots or burial spaces in question is received by the Director of Public Works or Director’s designee from the last owner of record of said plots or spaces, or from the heirs or legal representative of said owner, within 60 days from the date of mailing of said notice, a notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the township.
- The published notice shall contain a listing of the name(s) of the last owner of record informing of the expiration of the 40-year period and that all rights with respect to said plots or burial spaces will be forfeited if no indication in writing is received by the Director of Public Works or Director’s designee within 60 days from the date of publication of the notice of the desire of the owner to retain said burial rights.
Sec. 42-160. Records.
The Director of Public Works or Director’s designee shall maintain records concerning all burials, issuance of burial permits, and any perpetual care fund, separate and apart from any other records of the township and the same shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable business hours.
Sec. 42-162. Cemetery hours and restrictions.
- Cemeteries shall be open to the general public from the hours of sunrise to sunset each day.
- No person shall be permitted in the township cemeteries at any time other than the foregoing hours, except upon permission of the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee.
- No person shall enter the cemetery premises who is under the influence of alcoholic liquor, and no alcohol or pets are allowed in the cemeteries.
- No firearms are allowed in the cemeteries, except in cases of military funerals or ceremonies by official veterans’ organizations on federal holidays. All military funerals and ceremonies using firearms must be pre-approved by the Director of Public Works or the Director’s designee.
- No person shall create any improper noise, disorderly conduct, carelessness, or any other activity that destroys the peace, tranquility and attractiveness of any cemetery.
- The Director of Public Works or Director’s designee shall approve any group use of a cemetery other than for the purpose of an organized interment. In every case, the use must be in accord with the principles of respect and honor for the deceased.
Section 3. REPEALER.
All ordinances, parts of ordinances, or sections of the Charter Township of Independence Code of Ordinances in conflict with this Ordinance are repealed only to the extent necessary to give this Ordinance full force and effect.
Section 4. SEVERABILITY.
Should any section, subdivision, clause, or phrase of this Ordinance be declared by the courts to be invalid, the validity of the Ordinance as a whole, or in part, shall not be affected other than the part invalidated.
Section 5. SAVINGS.
All proceedings pending and all rights and liabilities existing, acquired or incurred at the time this Ordinance takes effect, are saved and may be consummated according to the law in force when they were commenced.
Section 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This ordinance shall be effective upon publication in the manner prescribed by law.
Section 7. ENACTMENT.
This Ordinance is declared to have been enacted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Independence at a meeting called and held on the 23rd day of October, 2018, and ordered to be given publication in the manner prescribed by law.
Ayes: Kittle, Pallotta, Brown, Ritchie, Schroeder
Absent: Aliaga, Loughrin
STATE OF MICHIGAN )
COUNTY OF OAKLAND )
I, the undersigned, the qualified and acting Township Clerk of the Charter Township of Independence, Oakland County, Michigan, do certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of the Ordinance adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Independence at a meeting held on the 23rd day of October, 2018, the original of which is on file in my office.
CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF INDEPENDENCE
By: Barbara A. Pallotta, Clerk
Introduced: October 9, 2018
Published: October 17, 2018
Adopted: October 23, 2018
Published: October 31, 2018
Effective: October 31, 2018