Chapter 2.68


2.68.010    Definitions.

2.68.020    Admission to cemetery.

2.68.030    Liability.

2.68.040    Vehicles.

2.68.050    Conduct.

2.68.060    Peddling or soliciting.

2.68.070    Signs.

2.68.080    Authority of cemetery staff.

2.68.090    Errors may be corrected.

2.68.100    Delays.

2.68.110    Nonlimitation.

2.68.120    Amendments.

2.68.130    Arrangements for funerals and interments.

2.68.140    Interment procedure.

2.68.150    Outer burial container.

2.68.160    Interments by employees.

2.68.170    Permit and identity.

2.68.180    Opening the casket.

2.68.190    Delay of interment.

2.68.200    Endowed care.

2.68.210    Endowed care of plot.

2.68.220    Endowment care of mausoleum or columbarium.

2.68.230    Endowment care exclusions.

2.68.240    Endowment limited to income.

2.68.250    Removals and disinterments.

2.68.260    Ownership rights.

2.68.270    Disposition of unused or abandoned lots.

2.68.280    Death certificate.

2.68.290    Individual decorations.

2.68.300    Monuments, headstones, markers.

2.68.310    Cemetery fees and charges.

2.68.320    Welfare burials.

2.68.330    Cemetery board.

2.68.340    Miscellaneous provisions.

2.68.350    Miscellaneous regulations.

2.68.010 Definitions.

“Cemetery” means the burial ground commonly known as Burlington Greenhills Cemetery, including, without limitations:

1. All land dedicated, reserved or used for interment of the remains of human dead;

2. All vegetation therein;

3. All graves, mausoleums, crypts, columbaria, niches or other interment spaces therein;

4. All works of art therein;

5. All roads, walkways and other structures of every kind therein;

6. All equipment and facilities incidental to the operation of Burlington Greenhills Cemetery.

“City” means the city of Burlington.

“Columbarium” means a structure or other space containing niches for permanent inurnment of cremated remains.

“Committal” means the part of a funeral service which commits the remains of the deceased to their final resting place.

“Companion graves” means two single graves side by side or of one double depth grave.

“Cremated remains” means a human body after cremation in a crematory.

“Crypt” means a space in a mausoleum of sufficient size, used or intended to be used, to entomb uncremated human remains.

“Endowment care” means cutting of the lawns on the graves and other lawn areas within the cemetery at reasonable intervals, and the general maintenance of the cemetery including building roads, fences, etc., in so far as the net income derived from the endowment care fund will permit.

“Funeral” means a memorial service for a deceased person.

“Grave” means a space of land in a cemetery used or intended to be used for the burial of human remains.

“Grave owner” or “owner” means any person in whose name an interment plot stands of record as owner, in the records of the cemetery at Burlington City Hall.

“Human remains” or “remains” means the body of a deceased person, and includes the body in any stage of decomposition except cremated remains.

“Interment” means the (a) burial, (b) entombment or (c) inurnment of human remains.

1. “Burial” means the disposition of human remains by earthen burial in a grave.

2. “Entombment” means the placement of human remains in a crypt either above or below ground.

3. “Inurnment” means placing of cremated remains in an urn in a grave, crypt, or niche.

“Mausoleum” means a structure or building for the entombment of human remains in crypts in a place used, or intended to be used, for cemetery purposes.

“Memorial” means (a) a monument, tombstone, grave marker, tablet or headstone identifying a grave or graves or (b) a name plate or inscription identifying a crypt or niche to preserve remembrance.

“Niche” means a space in a columbarium used or intended to be used for the inurnment of cremated human remains.

“Plot” means a grave, niche or crypt. (Ord. 1193 § 1, 1991).

2.68.020 Admission to cemetery.

Visitors and the public are invited to utilize this cemetery in a manner consistent with its purpose as a place of interment and as a memorial, subject to the following:

A. Children are not permitted on the premises unless in the company of a responsible adult and they shall be supervised at all times.

B. The headstones and monuments on the premises shall not be handled, climbed upon or otherwise mistreated.

C. No one shall move, repair, or otherwise alter any monument or headstone without written consent of the city.

D. No one shall deface or otherwise damage any monument or headstone. (Ord. 1193 § 2(a), 1991).

2.68.030 Liability.

The following warning shall be posted near the cemetery entrance:


(Ord. 1193 § 2(b), 1991).

2.68.040 Vehicles.

All vehicles must be kept under control at all times. No vehicle shall be driven in any part of the cemetery except on the driveways laid out for that purpose. Vehicles shall not be driven in the cemetery at a speed exceeding 10 miles per hour. (Ord. 1193 § 2(c), 1991).

2.68.050 Conduct.

It is of utmost importance that there be strict observance of all rules at all times and the city employees are authorized and directed to prevent improper assemblies or activities.

A. Loud talking and distracting activities will be avoided within hearing distance of a funeral service.

B. Littering including wilted or dead flowers and any other refuse on drives, paths, or any grounds or in any building is prohibited.

C. It is forbidden to pluck any flower, break any branch or remove any tree or plant, nor shall anyone write upon, deface, or damage any memorial, fence or other structures within the cemetery. (Ord. 1193 § 2(d), 1991).

2.68.060 Peddling or soliciting.

No person will be permitted to peddle flowers or plants or to solicit the sale of any commodity within the cemetery. (Ord. 1193 § 2(e), 1991).

2.68.070 Signs.

No signs, notices or advertisements of any kind shall be allowed in the cemetery, unless placed by the city. (Ord. 1193 § 2(f), 1991).

2.68.080 Authority of cemetery staff.

The cemetery staff is/are empowered to enforce all rules and regulations and to exclude from the cemetery any person violating the same. He or she is responsible for the grounds and buildings. All persons in the cemetery, including the conduct of funerals, traffic, employees, plot owners and visitors shall comply with this code. (Ord. 1193 § 2(g), 1991).

2.68.090 Errors may be corrected.

The city reserves, and shall correct any errors that may be made by it either in making interments, disinterments or removals, or in the description, transfer or conveyance of any interment property, either by canceling such conveyance and substituting and conveying in lieu thereof other interment property of equal value and similar location as far as possible, or as may be selected by the cemetery staff, by refunding the amount of money paid on account of said purchase. In the event the error involves the interment of the remains of any person in such property, the staff reserves, and shall have, the right to remove and reinter the remains to such other property of equal value and similar location as may be substituted and conveyed in lieu thereof. The city shall correct any errors made by placing an improper description, including an incorrect name or date on the memorial. (Ord. 1193 § 2(h), 1991).

2.68.100 Delays.

The city shall not be liable for any delay in the fulfillment of any of its contracts or legal obligations, including, but not limited to, maintenance, care, memorial work or construction which may arise from causes beyond its reasonable control and, especially, from delays caused by the elements, thieves, vandals, strikes, malicious mischief matters, unavoidable accidents, or other circumstances beyond the control of the city. (Ord. 1193 § 2(i), 1991).

2.68.110 Nonlimitation.

In all matters not specifically covered by these general rules and restrictions, the city reserves the right to do anything which in its judgement is deemed reasonable in the cemetery, and such determination shall be binding upon lot holders and all parties concerned. (Ord. 1193 § 2(j), 1991).

2.68.120 Amendments.

The city may, and hereby expressly reserves the right, at any time or times, to adopt new rules and regulations, or to amend, alter, or repeal any rule, regulation or article, section, paragraph or sentence in these rules and regulations. Any such change in the rules and regulations shall be binding upon all parties without notice. (Ord. 1193 § 2(k), 1991).

2.68.130 Arrangements for funerals and interments.

A. Office Appearance. Family of the deceased, or friends, in the absence of family, taking responsibility for the funeral arrangements, shall come to the Burlington City Hall in order to authorize the interment, make necessary arrangement and payment thereof.

B. No Telephone Calls. The city shall not be responsible for any order given by telephone or for any error arising from the want of precise and proper instructions as to the particular grave, crypt or niche location where interment is desired.

C. Liability of Signer. Any person signing the authorization for interment of remains warrants any fact set forth in the authorization, the identity of the person whose remains are sought to be interred and his/her authority to order the interment. He or she is personally liable for all damage occasioned by or resulting from breach of such warranty.

D. 24-Hour Notice. The city has the right to insist upon 24 hours’ notice prior to any interment. (Ord. 1193 § 3, 1991).

2.68.140 Interment procedure.

A. Graves, crypts, niches may be purchased at Burlington City Hall. Interments will not be permitted in grave, crypts or niches without being paid for in full.

B. Graves, crypts or niches are sold for the purpose of human remains only. Disposition of any remains by interment or otherwise on Sunday is prohibited, except in case of contagious disease as required by law.

C. No interments, disinterments or removals shall be permitted on Sunday or any holiday observed by the city.

D. No burial will be permitted in the cemetery without a properly completed burial permit or transit permit. (Ord. 1193 § 4(a – d), 1991).

2.68.150 Outer burial container.

A. Every earth interment shall be enclosed in a concrete two-piece grave box, concrete vault or other unit of suitable material approved by the cemetery staff.

B. The installation of these outer containers shall be performed by cemetery staff or an approved supplier with suitable equipment and ability to perform. All supplier installations will be under the direction of cemetery staff. (Ord. 1193 § 4(e), 1991).

2.68.160 Interments by employees.

Interments including opening and closing will be done by cemetery staff using equipment owned by the city for this purpose. (Ord. 1193 § 4(f), 1991).

2.68.170 Permit and identity.

The city will not be liable for the interment permit nor the identity of the person sought to be interred. (Ord. 1193 § 4(g), 1991).

2.68.180 Opening the casket.

Once a casket containing remains is within the boundaries of the cemetery, the city reserves the right to refuse permission to all persons to open the casket or to touch the remains without the consent of the legal representative of the deceased or a court order. (Ord. 1193 § 4(h), 1991).

2.68.190 Delay of interment.

The city will in no way be liable for any delay in the interment of the remains when:

A. A written protest to the interment has been filed in Burlington City Hall.

B. Rules and regulations have not been complied with.

C. Instructions regarding the location of a lot or plot cannot be obtained or are indefinite, or when for any reason the interment space cannot be opened where specified. (Ord. 1193 § 4(i), 1991).

2.68.200 Endowed care.

No grave, niches, crypts will be sold in the Burlington Cemetery without endowed care. (Ord. 1193 § 5(a), 1991).

2.68.210 Endowed care of plot.

The city has created an endowment care fund in accordance with the statutes of the state of Washington to be operated by the city for the mutual benefit of the lot owners contributing to the fund. The term “endowment care” used in reference to a plot, means the cutting of grass upon said plot at reasonable intervals, the pruning of shrubs and trees planted by the city for general embellishment and the general preservation of the plot, to the end that said grounds shall be reasonably cared for as grounds forever. (Ord. 1193 § 5(b), 1991).

2.68.220 Endowment care of mausoleum or columbarium.

The term “endowment care” used in reference to a mausoleum or columbarium means the cleaning and sweeping of the building at reasonable intervals, making repairs caused by normal wear. (Ord. 1193 § 5(c), 1991).

2.68.230 Endowment care exclusions.

The term “endowment care” shall not include any of the following: Cleaning, maintenance, repair or replacement of any memorial placed or erected upon plots; hand trimming around memorials; planting of flowers or ornamental plants; maintenance or doing of any special or unusual work in the cemetery; reconstruction of any marble, granite, bronze or concrete work in the cemetery, or of any buildings or structures, to restore or repair damage. The city may use income received from an endowment care fund for the above purposes if in its judgement it is advisable to do so. (Ord. 1193 § 5(d), 1991).

2.68.240 Endowment limited to income.

Endowment care, whether applied to lots, crypts, niches, graves, or to any space within the confines of the cemetery shall be limited to the net income received from the investment of endowment care fund. (Ord. 1193 § 5(e), 1991).

2.68.250 Removals and disinterments.

A. Cemetery Policy. Remains once interred in Burlington Cemetery are considered permanently disposed of and removal from one grave to another within the cemetery, or removal from Burlington Cemetery to any other cemetery is strongly discouraged.

B. Procedure for Disinterments.

1. Signed affidavit(s) of the nearest of kin approving the disinterment or removal.

2. Signed approval of the lot holder or their lawful representative.

3. Disinterment permit from civil authorities for removal from Burlington Cemetery.

4. The desired lot must be selected, all charges for disinterment and reinterment, together with all other charges due, must be paid.

C. Removal Permit. Remains removed from other cemeteries and brought to Burlington Cemetery for reinterment must be accompanied by the proper papers as prescribed by law.

D. Liability. The city will exercise utmost care in making a disinterment, but assumes no liability for damage to any casket, vault, liner, grave box, or any other burial case in making the removal or disinterment.

E. Outer Case Replacement. When, in the opinion of the city, a new outside box is needed, at the time of reinterment following a disinterment, it must be provided by the person arranging for the removal, through the cemetery.

F. Prior Notice. At least one week’s prior notice is required for any disinterment or removal, after the rules and regulations have been complied with.

G. Removal for Profit Prohibited. Removal, by the heirs, of any remains so that the lot may be sold for profit, is absolutely forbidden. (Ord. 1193 § 6, 1991).

2.68.260 Ownership rights.

A. Right of Interment. The purchaser of a lot or lots is granted or conveyed only the right of interment of human remains and the right of installation of a memorial on each lot. The owner of the right of interment does not possess a fee interest or any other interest in the land itself.

B. Titles and Rights to Cemetery Plots. Title and rights to cemetery plots shall be governed by chapter 68.32 RCW, now and hereafter amended.

C. Purchasing. Lots can be purchased for cash or on time payment plan at City Hall. In the event that any lot is purchased immediately prior to the time of interment, arrangement must be made for full payment of such lot before the interment will be made. A purchaser has no right, interest, estate, or title whatsoever to any lot until the purchase price is paid in full.

D. Document of Ownership. Upon receipt of full payment for a lot, the city will issue an appropriate document evidencing the ownership thereof. (Ord. 1193 § 7, 1991).

2.68.270 Disposition of unused or abandoned lots.

A. Abandoned Lots. To preserve the active nature of the cemetery, any interment space will be deemed abandoned if there is no recorded activity on the lot for a period of 60 years. Any lot deemed abandoned may be reclaimed by the cemetery and disposed of as the cemetery sees fit.

B. Disposition of Unused Lots. Should a lot holder of unused interment space no longer need the lot in the cemetery they may sell the lot back to the cemetery at the original purchase price. (Ord. 1193 § 8, 1991).

2.68.280 Death certificate.

No interment will be permitted without the proper death certificate or burial permit as required by the health authorities. Cremated remains must be accompanied by a copy of the burial or transit permit or other document acceptable to the cemetery to certify identity of the cremated remains. (Ord. 1193 § 9, 1991).

2.68.290 Individual decorations.

A. Floral Regulation. No planting is permitted on any plot. No flower receptacles or planter boxes may be placed on any plot or in any mausoleum or columbarium unless material, size and design are approved by the cemetery board. Receptacles may be purchased from and placed by the city. The city shall have authority to remove all floral designs, flowers, trees, shrubs, plants or herbage of any kind, from the cemetery when in its judgement of the cemetery staff they become unsightly, dangerous, detrimental, diseased or when they do not conform to the standards maintained by the city. The city shall not be liable for lost, misplaced or broken flower vases. The city reserves the right to regulate the method of decorating plots so that a uniform beauty may be maintained. Artificial flowers are not permitted in the mausoleums or columbariums. Artificial flowers are not allowed on graves during the mowing season of March 1st to November 30th.

B. Care of Trees and Shrubs. No person shall remove any part of any tree or shrub in the cemetery, whether on his lot or not. On request, the city staff will arrange for necessary pruning of trees and shrubs on property owned by the cemetery.

C. Prohibited Ornaments. The placing upon plots of boxes, tubs, shells, toys, metal designs, ornaments, chairs, settees, vases, glass jars, tin or iron or earthenware jars or jugs and similar articles, is not permitted and if so placed, the city may remove the same.

D. Ornaments Prohibited in Mausoleum and Columbarium. Artificial, dyed or preserved flowers, photographs, souvenirs, wreaths, or flags or other emblems, are prohibited in the mausoleums and columbariums. If so placed therein, they may be removed by the city.

E. New Burials. All flowers, plants, easels, and decorations will be allowed to remain for 48 hours following a new burial. Persons wishing to retain any of the items must remove them within 48 hours after interment.

F. Christmas Decorations. Christmas decorations shall be removed within two weeks after Christmas Day. (Ord. 1193 § 10, 1991).

2.68.300 Monuments, headstones, markers.

A. Monuments, Headstones, Markers. All monuments, headstones, markers shall be delivered to the cemetery and they will be installed by the city staff of Burlington and all installation charges shall be made in accordance with the size of the monument, headstone, or marker installed.

B. Flower Receptacle. One flower receptacle for cut flowers will be furnished by the city for each grave.

C. Marker, Monument, Headstone Regulation. All markers, monuments, and headstones must be of a uniform size and be set flush with the contour of the ground.

D. Grave Owner Responsibility for Markers, Monument, Headstone. Grave owners must keep in good repair all stones or monumental work upon the grave. The city does not bind itself to maintain, repair or replace any grave marker or monumental structures erected upon the grave.

E. Number of Markers per Grave. A maximum of four markers per grave or companion grave will be allowed, and a maximum of two markers per grave or companion grave will be allowed in the urn garden.

F. The Rights to Remove Monuments, Headstones, Markers. The city reserves the right to exclude or remove from any grave and headstone, monument, marker or other structure which may conflict with these regulations or which the city may consider injurious to the general appearance of the grounds. (Ord. 1766 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1193 § 11, 1991).

2.68.310 Cemetery fees and charges.

A. Prices. The schedule of prices of all lots, blocks, crypts, niches or parcels of land in the platted portion of said cemetery property and, also prices for opening and closing graves, grave liners, perpetual care, setting of markers and all other services, shall be fixed and adopted by resolution of the city council and filed in the office of City Hall. Said schedule of prices may be changed or altered by like resolution of the city council from time to time as in its judgement may be necessary or proper. No lots, tracts, or grave spaces, niches or crypts shall be sold or disposed of, for less than the price named in such schedule which may be in force at the time of such sale or disposal. (Ord. 1193 § 12, 1991).

2.68.320 Welfare burials.

Welfare burials will be accepted if the deceased’s residence was within the city limits at the time of death or if the state payment covers all cemetery fees and charges established by the city council. If the deceased’s residence was not within the city limits at the time of death and the state payment does not cover all cemetery fees and charges, the grave must be preowned. (Ord. 1193 § 13, 1991).

2.68.330 Cemetery board.

The cemetery board shall be comprised of the same city councilmembers and private citizens that serve on the parks committee as appointed by the mayor of the city. The board shall advise the mayor and city council on policy matters relating to the long-range planning, capital improvements, fee structure, cemetery expansion, rules and regulation, and budget of all cemeteries belonging to the city. The board shall not have authority to enter into any contract, incur any indebtedness, or take any personal action unless specifically authorized by the mayor and city council. The board may also solicit or receive, on behalf of the city council, any gifts or bequest of money for cemetery purposes; however, gifts of real or personal property will not be accepted without prior approval of the city council. A meeting of the board shall be held quarterly, on the first Monday in February, May, August, and November in conjunction with a regularly scheduled parks committee meeting. Meetings shall begin at 5:00 p.m., at the Burlington Parks and Recreation Office, 900 East Fairhaven Ave., Burlington. The city parks and recreation director shall be responsible for providing adequate and appropriate staff support to the board. (Ord. 1737 § 7, 2011; Ord. 1467 § 1, 2001; Ord. 1193 § 14, 1991).

2.68.340 Miscellaneous provisions.

The city and its assigns shall have full power and authority to adopt such additional rules and regulations as it may deem advisable for the management, preservation, care and use of the city cemetery, including the interment and exhuming of the dead, and shall have full power and authority from time to time to enlarge, restrict, amend, abrogate or change any rules and regulations, and all such rules and regulations shall be binding upon grave owners and upon all other persons, firms and corporations concerned. (Ord. 1193 § 15(a), 1991).

2.68.350 Miscellaneous regulations.

Picking flowers, breaking or injuring trees or shrubs or in any way injuring any monument or headstone is prohibited and subject to penalty according to state law. If anything is placed on a grave which is deemed improper, it will be removed. Bills due the city for labor and materials and supplies are a lien on the grave until paid. The city council shall have the right to make exceptions from the foregoing rules when deemed advisable. Such exceptions shall not be considered as rescinding or waiving any of these rules. Any waiver that may be made by the city council shall not be or considered to be continuing waiver and shall not bar the city or city council from enforcing the usual rules and regulations at any later time if it may be desired so to do. (Ord. 1193 § 15(b), 1991).


Prior legislation: Ords. 526 and 837.