All persons who perform any private work of any description on any cemetery lot in which they do not own burial rights must be employed by a company with a current business license for the type of work performed. All work must be in compliance with these rules and ordered by the owner(s) or heir(s) of the burial rights or an authorized agent of the heir. The owner(s) or heir(s) of the burial rights may perform general cleaning and upkeep to the structures and grounds on their cemetery lots. City employees, performing their official duties on cemetery lots are excluded from these requirements.
Work activities on cemetery lots include, but are not limited to, installation, construction, maintenance or removal of vaults, structures, utilities or vegetation. These and all other work activities must be approved by the Director of Cemeteries prior to commencement.
Work Permits Required
No work of any description shall be done or placed upon a lot unless a permit has been obtained from the Department of Cemeteries. This rule applies to the cutting of inscriptions, setting of markers, and to the addition or removal of any monument, marker, slab, coping, corner post, cradle, or any other structure from the lot. This rule also applies to the installation, maintenance or removal of trees or other vegetation. This rule also applies to any other work activities. It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to provide the customers’ names, lot numbers, and description of work activity. A separate fee will be charged for each monument, marker or other item installed or removed. No vegetative or construction debris, supplies or materials shall be allowed to remain longer than fifteen (15) days without the permission of the Director of Cemeteries.
Work Permit Fees
Fees for work permits shall be assessed at rates established by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah. All fees for work permits must be paid before the work is to be done. A permit shall be valid for a period of thirty (30) days and may be extended for an additional thirty (30) days upon approval of the Director of Cemeteries. If the fees are changed between the time the permit is applied for and the time the work is done, a grace period of thirty (30) days will be allowed to complete the work at the previous fee. The person or agency requesting the permit must pay the difference in fees if fees are increased and the work has not been completed in thirty (30) days or the permit will be void. All fees must be paid by check, money order or credit card. No cash will be accepted.
Cemetery structures include, but are not limited to, monuments, markers, headstones, corner markers, gates, fences, walls, coping, cradles, slabs, ledgers, statues, benches, vases fountains, bird baths, flagpoles, signs, fountains, trash receptacles, crypts, mausolea, columbaria, buildings, and any hard scape constructed or placed within a cemetery.
Structure Installation or Removal Permits
The work permit fees for the installation or removal of structures vary depending upon the structure. The fee for the installation or removal of individual grave markers more than thirty-six (36) inches wide will be assessed at the rate established for monuments. All structures installed must be in compliance with these rules and regulations or the contractor will be required to remove any noncompliant structures within five (5) working days. Work permit fees will not be refunded for noncompliant structures and an additional work permit will be required for the replacement structure if installed after thirty (30) days of the initial permit
Landscape Installation or Removal Permits
Work permits are required for the addition or removal of soil, mulch, turf, groundcover, flowers, shrubs, trees, tree parts (roots, stumps, or limbs) or vegetation of any sort by a contractor. The planting of flowers, shrubs or trees shall not be permitted in Greenwich Cemetery or in Sections S or T of Bonaventure Cemetery. The Director, who acting for the best interests of the Cemeteries, shall have authority to prune, remove or transplant any tree, shrub, plant or other vegetation upon any lot when he may deem such a course necessary or advisable.
Landscape Maintenance Permits
A maintenance permit is required for routine maintenance including the cutting or trimming of turf or groundcover, the irrigation of vegetation, the raking or hoeing of cemetery lots, or the removal of wild growth less than one inch (1") in diameter. One (1) permit is required per cemetery lot per year. All maintenance permits shall expire on December 31st of the year issued.
Statues and Sculptures
Any statues, sculptures or figurines placed on a cemetery lot must be approved by the Director of Cemeteries prior to installation. Photographs or drawings of such structures may be submitted for approval in advance of purchase. Any statue, sculpture, or figurine must be tasteful and suitable for display in a public cemetery in the judgment of the Director. The Director will attempt to ensure that such structures do not depreciate the value of surrounding cemetery lots.
Hours for Work Activities
Hours for work activities will be Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No work shall be done on Saturdays, Sundays or City holidays without the approval of the Director of Cemeteries and the payment of an after-hour access fee in addition to the work permit fee. Work required for a burial service on a Saturday, Sunday, City holiday or the following day will be allowed.
After-Hour Work Activities
Permission for after-hour (5:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday or any time on a Saturday, Sunday or City holiday) work activities must be requested at least one week in advance of the work. Any work in progress when a cemetery closes must cease or the contractor will be charged a fee for after-hour access. After-hour access fees shall be determined by the Mayor and Aldermen.
Temporary Movement of Monuments, Markers or Other Structures
Arrangements must be made to replace any monument, marker or other structure temporarily moved for burial service prior to a permit issued for moving. All monuments or markers temporarily moved must be replaced within fifteen (15) days of moving.
No monument, headstone, vault, mausoleum, marker or other similar structure that is offensive or unreasonably interferes with the maintenance and care of burial spaces or detracts from the appearance and dignity of the cemetery shall be erected, placed or maintained in a cemetery. No vault or mausoleum shall be erected or placed in the cemetery unless the plans and specifications thereof, the materials to be used in connection therewith and the manner in which such vault or mausoleum is to be erected or placed in the cemetery have been approved by the Director of Cemeteries and a written permit issued for the purpose. The Director of Cemeteries shall approve such plans and specifications and permit the erection and maintenance of the structures whenever he or she is satisfied that such vaults or mausoleums are not offensive, will not unreasonably interfere with the maintenance and care of burial spaces or lots and will not detract from the appearance and dignity of the cemetery.
Markers in Single-Space Sections
Markers in cemetery sections designated for single-space lots are limited to flat markers only. Flat markers shall be no more than twenty-six (26) inches long and fourteen (14) inches wide per single space. Two adjacent spaces owned by a single party may have a single flat marker covering both spaces no more than fifty (50) inches long by eighteen (18) inches wide. Flat markers must be aligned with other flat markers in that section.
The erection, placement and maintenance of monuments, headstones, vaults, mausoleums, trees, shrubs and vegetation, or any work of any sort shall be subject to the supervision of the Department of Cemeteries. All structures, vegetation, or other items installed must be in compliance with these rules and regulations or the contractor will be required to remove any noncompliant structures within five (5) working days. Work permit fees will not be refunded for noncompliant structures and an additional work permit will be required for the replacement structure.
All foundations for monuments, headstones and upright markers must be a minimum of four (4) inches thick and shall be inspected by the Department of Cemeteries. Any noncompliant foundations must be removed within five (5) working days.
Funeral Service Equipment
Any tents, chairs, lowering devices, or other temporary items used for a burial service must be removed within twenty-four (24) hours after the funeral service by the rightful owner of such items.
Responsibilities of Contractors
Contractors shall be responsible for any damage on private cemetery lots or within the general areas of the cemetery incurred during the process of work activities. Contractors will be held responsible for the actions of all persons employed by them while within the cemetery grounds. Contractors must immediately report to the Department of Cemeteries any damage to trees, shrubbery, turf, signs, coping, lot markers, monuments, utilities or structures caused by their personnel, vehicles, or work activities in the cemetery. Contractors must restore any damage to the turf including the filling of ruts and the removal of any tire tracks or other evidence of vehicles or equipment caused by work activities.
Any monuments or markers on a lot which interfere with the opening of a grave must be moved at the lot owner’s expense before a grave will be opened. Any monuments temporarily placed on an adjacent lot must be restored to its proper location with fifteen (15) days.
Maintenance Rights of the City
The Department of Cemeteries exercises the right by law to enter upon any said lot or single grave space to correct any hazardous conditions, and to remove any dilapidated structure or undesirable vegetation that impairs the overall beauty and dignity of the cemetery. The Department of Cemeteries will attempt to notify lot owners of such situations and provide them with the opportunity to make the necessary corrections. If lot owners have been notified of substandard conditions, but have failed to correct those conditions in the time specified by the notification, any charges for maintenance will be billed against the lot
Advertising and Solicitation
No person shall bring into the Cemetery, or display therein, any sign of any advertising nature other than those normally placed on vehicles, uniforms or tents. No solicitations for work of any kind shall be allowed.
Contractors shall remove from the cemetery and legally dispose of any surplus or waste materials generated by their work activities daily and immediately upon the completion of their work. This includes any vegetative materials removed from cemetery lots. The Director of Cemeteries may require more frequent disposal of excessive waste or waste which may detract from a scheduled funeral or special event.
Neither loud conversation nor offensive language are permitted. The playing of radios, record or tape players, or other noise making devices is not permitted on cemetery grounds. All workers in the immediate vicinity of the interment must cease operations and remain quiet during the conducting of services.