Chapter 9.04


9.04.010    Definitions.

9.04.020    Cemetery hours.

9.04.030    Plot sales and ownership.

9.04.040    Endowment care.

9.04.050    Purchase of lots on time – Contract – Fund established.

9.04.060    Interments.

9.04.070    Disinterments.

9.04.080    Mausoleums.

9.04.090    Markers and monuments.

9.04.100    Veterans.

9.04.110    Plantings, structures and markings.

9.04.120    Prohibited acts – Penalty.

9.04.130    City authority.

9.04.010 Definitions.

(1) “Border” means the concrete edging around the marker to protect the marker from damage and to allow trimming around the marker.

(2) “Burial” means the placement of human remains in a grave.

(3) “Cemetery” means any place used and dedicated for cemetery purposes by the city.

(4) “City” refers to the city of Wenatchee.

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

(6) “Committal” means that part of a funeral service which places the remains of the deceased to his/her final resting place.

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

(8) “Disinterment” means the removal of buried human remains from a grave.

(9) “Foundation” means the concrete poured below ground level to support and stabilize a memorial.

(10) “Funeral” means a memorial service for a deceased person.

(11) “Graves” are plots of land for the purpose of burial of human dead only.

(12) “Grave owner” means the owner of the burial privileges and rights of use in any burial plot or section purchased from the city and evidenced by written document or by devise from the original owner.

(13) “Human remains or remains” means the body of a deceased person, and includes the body in any stage of decomposition including cremated remains as defined by RCW 68.04.020.

(14) “Interment” means the disposition of human remains by cremation and inurnment or burial in a place used or intended to be used and dedicated for cemetery purposes.

(15) “Inurnment” means the disposition of cremated human remains within an urn.

(16) “Liner” means a concrete container that is buried in the ground to provide outer protection and into which human remains are placed in the burial process.

(17) “Marker” means any grave headstone, memorial or monument that is intended to permanently mark a grave.

(18) “Next of kin” means relative most nearly related, i.e.:

(a) Spouse.

(b) Children.

(c) Parents.

(d) Brothers and sisters.

(19) “Niche” means a space in a columbarium or urn garden used or intended to be used for inurnment of cremated human remains.

(20) “Open and close” means the term used for referring to the opening of a gravesite and closing of a gravesite after remains are placed.

(21) “Plot” means a space of ground in a cemetery used, or intended to be used, for burial.

(22) A “scattering garden” is a special area set aside in the cemetery in which uncontained cremated remains may be placed in the ground.

(23) “Staff or crew” refers to city of Wenatchee personnel that are assigned administrative duties and maintenance duties for the cemetery.

(24) “Urn liner” means a container whose purpose is to provide outer protection for the ground burial of cremated remains.

(25) “Vault” means any container which is buried in the ground and sealed to provide outer protection and into which human remains are placed in the burial process. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.020 Cemetery hours.

The cemetery grounds are open to the public during daylight hours, seven days a week.

Regular hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The office is closed during the following holidays:

New Year’s Day

Labor Day

Martin Luther King Day

Veteran’s Day

President’s Day

Thanksgiving Day

Day after Thanksgiving

Memorial Day*

Independence Day

Christmas Day



*Memorial Day weekend is an annual holiday in which many activities are scheduled at the cemetery over the course of the three-day holiday. Due to the extensive nature of these activities and the large number of visitors and concessions, no funerals will be scheduled on these three days. Staff has no means to ensure privacy for the grieving families during a graveside service and an open grave during such activities presents considerable safety liability concerns. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.030 Plot sales and ownership.

(1) All plots in the cemetery are conveyed to the purchaser by a warranty deed when paid for but the rights of the owner, successor or assignee are subject to such rules and regulations as set by the city of Wenatchee.

(2) Interest in cemetery plots shall be governed by Chapter 68.32 RCW as now and hereafter amended. The city shall endeavor to determine the legal next of kin, but the city shall not be held responsible for failure to do so. Persons representing themselves as next of kin may be required to provide a notarized statement to this effect. The city shall not be responsible for activities authorized by persons falsely representing themselves as next of kin.

(3) When an owner of a plot wishes to sell or transfer the plot to another individual, or sell it back to the city, they must provide the city with information confirming ownership. The city will provide a quitclaim deed showing transfer of ownership. If the original owner of the plot(s) is deceased, the executor or heir(s) must show proof of their authority to devise ownership of the property, i.e., letters testamentary, decree of distribution or a copy of the will. Without such proof, transfer of ownership of any grave will not be recognized by the city. No transfer of any grave or interest therein will be valid without the consent of the city and endorsed upon such transfer document and endorsed on the books of the city.

(4) The city may repurchase plots from the current owner and is authorized to offer no more than 70 percent of the original plot purchase price. The repurchase price paid by the city will not include payment for any cemetery services, endowment care, vaults, liners, etc.

(5) Plots may be purchased at the cemetery office. Payments may be made by cash, approved check, or credit cards acceptable to the city.

(6) The fees charged for services and sales for the cemetery shall be established by the parks, recreation and cultural services department as outlined in WCC 1.99.030. A listing of the fees and charges will at a minimum be made available in the department offices, the cemetery office and published annually on the city website. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.040 Endowment care.

RCW 68.52.050 requires that the city provide a cemetery improvement or perpetual care fund. A fixed portion of all plot sales shall be placed into the cemetery trust fund, the principal sum of which shall be placed in trust and only the interest be used for operating expenses. The rate shall be included in the fee and charge listing. This fund may be increased by money or property through gifts, devise, legacy or bequest. The endowment care agreement entered into by the city assures that the plots shall be properly cared for and kept in a reasonably neat and trim condition. This includes also, for purposes of record, a concrete name block for each grave, and that the grave or graves be maintained against settling.

Owners of graves may secure endowment care by deeding such graves to the city and paying the fee for endowment care. In exchange for the owner’s deed for the property the owner will receive a cemetery deed, together with an endowment care certificate from the city, to the property.

All arrangements for purchase of endowment care shall be made through the cemetery. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.050 Purchase of lots on time – Contract – Fund established.

There is established a cemetery contract fund. The city is authorized to enter into agreements with individuals under the terms of which said persons may purchase a cemetery grave at a price specified by the city.

The agreement shall provide that, upon payment of the full purchase price within 12 months, the entire amount so paid will be transferred from the cemetery contract fund to the appropriate cemetery fund, and the purchaser will be issued the usual evidence of ownership of said grave by the city. In the event payments, including the service charge, equal to the total purchase price of said grave are not made by the purchaser within a 12-month period, a service charge shall be retained by the city and the balance of funds previously paid shall be returned to purchaser. The right to purchase the grave and all interest of the purchaser in the grave shall terminate and the city may sell the grave to other parties at its discretion. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.060 Interments.

(1) Interments will not be permitted until all charges have been paid.

(2) Concrete Liners. All interments shall be in concrete liners or vaults designed and manufactured for this purpose.

(3) A death certificate from the department of health, coroner or physician must be secured by the funeral home before an interment will be permitted. The city shall not be responsible in any manner for securing any permit. Cremated remains must be properly labeled and accompanied by a cremation and disposition authorization form to the cemetery to certify identity of the cremated remains.

(4) A plot owner may permit an interment of one member of his family, but an heir may not give such permission without the unanimous consent of all the plot owners.

(5) The city must be notified at least 48 hours before any interment so the plot or niche may be properly prepared. The city is under no obligation to be available to receive notice of interment or inurnment on Saturday, Sunday or city-observed holidays. The city may refuse to make an interment until a more expedient time if 48 hours’ notice is not given. Notice for interment for Monday morning must be received no later than noon on the prior Thursday. Notice must also be received by noon two working days before city-observed holidays for interment on the day after said holiday. The cemetery reserves the right to delay an interment when scheduling conflicts occur.

(6) The city may open a plot for any purpose on proper authorization by any lot or niche owner of record or the legal next of kin and duly filed unless there are written notarized instructions to the contrary on file with the cemetery office.

(7) When a lot is jointly owned, authorization for interment will be granted to either the plot owner(s) or their heirs as governed by Chapter 68.32 RCW. An agreement may be made between common plot owners to the right of burial but the city shall not undertake to enforce such an agreement.

(8) Normal interment hours shall be restricted to weekdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Overtime fees will be incurred for work outside of these hours. Overtime labor will be charged at the current staff overtime wage rates plus materials and equipment used. No interment will be allowed on Sunday except in the case of emergencies or directed by the department of health.

Funeral directors shall be required to conclude interments, inurnments and services by the time specified herein and direct those attending to leave the cemetery within 30 minutes after the conclusion of the service. All interments and inurnments and services must be concluded and those attending leave the cemetery not later than 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or noon on Saturday.

(9) Funeral home or family is responsible for placing the casket on the lowering device. The city does not provide staffing for this duty.

(10) The interment of two casket burials in one plot is allowed in designated areas only. Regular graves are designated for one casket and one cremated remains or two cremated remains. No interment other than that of a human being shall be permitted. There shall be allowed only two cremations per grave in the urn garden.

(11) All instructions must be provided in writing. The city is not liable for any mistake occurring from the lack of precise and proper instruction as to the particular space, size and location of a grave or space in a lot where interment or inurnment is desired.

When instructions regarding the location of an interment space cannot be obtained, or when the instructions are indefinite, or if for any reason the interment space cannot be opened where specified, the city at its discretion may open a space deemed best and proper, so as not to delay the funeral, and the city shall not be liable for damages from any errors so made.

(12) The city reserves the right to correct any errors that may be made in making interments, disinterments, inurnments, removals, or in the description, transfer or conveyance of any interment or inurnment property, either by canceling such conveyance and substituting and conveying in lieu thereof other interment or inurnment property of equal value and similar location as may be selected by the city, or, in the sole discretion of the city, by refunding the amount of money paid on account of said purchase. In the event an error shall involve an interment or inurnment of the remains of any person in such property, the city shall have the right to remove and/or transfer such remains to such other property of equal value and similar location. The city shall have the right to correct any errors made by replacing an improper description, including an incorrect name or date, either on the marker or memorial.

(13) The city shall not be liable for any delay of interment where a protest to the interment has been made, or where the rules and regulations have not been complied with; and, further, the city reserves the right under such circumstances to place the body in a temporary location or receiving vault until the full rights have been determined. The city shall not recognize any protest on an interment unless it is in writing and filed at the cemetery office.

(14) The city is not responsible for obtaining nor liable for the burial permit or the identity of the person thought to be interred. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.070 Disinterments.

(1) No disinterment will be allowed without a permit from the registrar of the district in which the cemetery is located, and the permission of the city, the grave owner, or the owner’s heirs or assigns, and the nearest kin of the deceased. All such disinterments shall be under the direction and supervision of the city, except by order of the court when a proper receipt for the remains must be given. Provisions concerning permission to remove remains shall be governed by state law in Chapter 68.50 RCW as now or hereafter amended.

(2) A body, or remains, may be removed from its original plot to another plot in the cemetery when there has been an exchange or purchase for that purpose.

(3) The city shall exercise the utmost care in making a disinterment or removal, but shall not be responsible for and assumes no liability for damage to any casket, vault, or urn incurred in making the disinterment or removal. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.080 Mausoleums.

(1) No body shall be placed within a private mausoleum except in a sealed casket or in a hermetically sealed compartment. Owners of mausoleums must keep mausoleums in the condition required by State Health Department regulations and in repair to conform to the sanctity of the cemetery.

(2) All flowers, pictures, statues, cards, etc., placed at the niche wall or in the mausoleum must be in the proper type vase or placed on the ground or floor.

(3) A small memento may be placed in glass-fronted niches. All mementos must be noncorrosive, nonoffensive to others and approved by the cemetery. Nothing may be affixed to the glass or surrounding areas of the niche walls.

(4) A private columbarium may be constructed within approved sections of the cemetery with the following conditions:

(a) Private columbaria shall be constructed of precast concrete sections with marble or granite cladding covering all surfaces.

(b) Columbarium design shall be approved by the city for foundation adequacy.

(c) Private columbaria height will be limited to four niches with the first niche being no more than one foot above the surrounding ground.

(d) The ground on which a private columbarium is constructed shall be purchased in multiples of equivalent full burial lots (typically 33 square feet per lot) for the current full burial lot price.

(e) Foundation excavation for the private columbarium shall be performed by city staff at the current opening/closing fee per full lot equivalent (typically 33 square feet per lot).

(f) Columbaria shall be installed by qualified contractor in coordination with cemetery staff with minimal disruption to the surrounding areas of the cemetery.

(g) Extra niche shutters in a quantity equal to 10 percent of the total shutter count rounded up to the nearest one shall be provided to the city at completion of private columbarium construction.

(h) An endowment care fee established in the fee and charge schedule shall apply to private columbarium construction. This fee shall cover the cost of all subsequent repair and maintenance of the private columbarium.

(i) Each use of the private columbarium shall be subject to the applicable current cremation opening and closing fee. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.090 Markers and monuments.

(1) The city will place a concrete marker on each grave, within a reasonable time after each interment, with said marker to be approximately three inches by 14 inches in size. City-installed markers may be replaced by a bronze or granite (or stone of equal hardness) marker at any time, at the expense of the lot owner. There shall be allowed only one marker per grave.

(2) All stones must be rounded on exposed edges, not less than two inches nor larger than four inches thick, and will be set by the city only after payment of all setting charges has been made.

(3) All lot owner monuments shall be delivered to the cemetery and will be installed by the city. All installation charges will be made in accordance with the size of the monument installed.

(4) Raised markers are allowed in cemetery section O only. The raised markers will be set by cemetery staff on foundations designed for the type, size and weight of the proposed marker. This foundation shall be constructed by the cemetery staff at the applicable foundation rate. The owner or owner’s estate is responsible for all costs. The maximum size of the upright markers shall be two feet by one foot by two feet high for single graves and three feet by one foot by three feet high for double graves. Only one marker is allowed per grave.

(5) All inscriptions for niches are subject to the approval of the city.

(6) On-site engraving shall be coordinated with the city at least one working day prior to the proposed work being done. The city reserves the right to remove any marker which was set or engraved without permission and does not conform to the standards set forth in these rules and regulations.

(7) The city does not bind itself to maintain, repair, or replace any markers or monumental structures erected upon the plot which are lost or damaged due to weather, age, vandalism, or normal maintenance. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.100 Veterans.

Any United States war veteran and spouse of any veteran, and any veteran and spouse of our war allies, are eligible for burial in section E, Veterans’ Memorial section, and said section is hereby reserved for interment of United States war veterans and their spouses and the veterans and spouses of any of our war allies. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.110 Plantings, structures and markings.

(1) In order to provide the best general appearance, all plantings must be in accordance with an established plan under the direction of the city. Only personnel authorized by the city shall trim, prune, or remove any part of the trees or shrubs in the cemetery. If any tree or shrub situated on any grave by means of its roots, branches, or similarly becomes detrimental, dangerous, or objectionable to the adjacent plots, walks, or avenues, or the city is unable to maintain the grounds, the city shall have the right to enter upon the plot and remove the tree(s), or shrub(s), or any part(s) thereof as it may see fit.

(2) No grave shall be raised above the contours of the surrounding ground. To ensure the proper development of the grounds, the grade of all graves will be determined by the city. The city will provide the maintenance of plot sites. Maintenance of plot sites includes seeding, leveling of sites, mowing and also trimming around the markers. The city may place sod on an as-needed basis.

(3) No coping or any kind of enclosure will be permitted.

(4) Small trees, shrubs, roses or other plants set out at the corner of a grave to define its limits will not be allowed. Boundaries of lots will be marked by cornerstones, which will be set by the cemetery staff with the centers upon the lines bounding the lots. Cornerstones may not project above the ground and may not be altered or removed.

(5) The placing of boxes, shells, toys, metal designs, ornaments, chairs, settees, glass, wood or iron cases, and similar articles upon plots shall not be permitted except by permission of the city. When any articles on any grave become unsightly or deteriorated, it shall be the duty of the city to remove same.

(6) Artificial grave decorations are only allowed in the cemetery between November 2nd and March 1st of each year. Cut flowers and bouquets are allowed year round. The city is not responsible for damage to or theft of cut flowers, potted plants, displays, or containers. Anyone leaving such articles in the cemetery does so at his/her own risk.

(7) The city shall have the authority to remove all objects, floral designs, flowers, weeds, trees, shrubs, plants, or herbage of any kind from the cemetery as soon as, in the judgment of the management, they become unsightly, dangerous, detrimental, diseased, or when they do not conform to the standards maintained. The city shall not be liable for floral pieces, baskets, or frames in which or to which such floral pieces are attached. The cemetery shall not be responsible for plants or plantings of any kind damaged by the elements, thieves, vandals, or by other causes beyond its control. The city reserves the right to regulate the method of decorating plots so that a uniform beauty in its reasonable discretion may be maintained. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.120 Prohibited acts – Penalty.

(1) City park rules apply to the cemetery unless otherwise indicated here.

(2) Any person disturbing the quiet or good order of the cemetery by noise or disorderly or improper conduct, or who violates any of the rules or regulations contained herein, will be removed.

(3) No chemicals of any kind may be used, except by the city, around markers, plots or any other location within the cemetery. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))

9.04.130 City authority.

(1) The city 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 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 persons, firms and corporations concerned, as fully and as effectually as if said rules and regulations were made a part thereof.

(2) The city reserves the right to establish the grades of avenues, walks and roads, and to alter or vacate all such avenues and walks, as it deems fit. Further, the city may change these rules and regulations or make such other rules and regulations as may be deemed proper by the city to secure and promote the general objects and best interests of the cemetery, and no notice of such intended action shall be required. (Ord. 2019-15 § 1 (Exh. A))