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. It shall be the responsibility of the monument company or agent installing the structure to provide names, lot numbers, type and sizes of structures for installations. A separate fee will be charged for each monument, marker or other item installed or removed. No construction 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. Permits for individual grave markers over thirty-six (36) inches wide will be assessed at the rate established for monuments.
Temporary Movement of Monuments or Markers
Arrangements must be made to replace any monument or marker 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.
Hours for Stone Work
No work shall be done on Saturdays, Sundays or City holidays without the approval of the Director of Cemeteries. Hours for stone installations will be Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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 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 and mausoleums shall be subject to the supervision of the Department of Cemeteries. All foundations for monuments, headstones and markers must be a minimum of four (4) inches thick and shall be inspected by the Department of Cemeteries at the cost and expense of the person(s) applying for the work permit.
Stone Work Restrictions
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 monuments, headstones, markers or other 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.
If any marker, effigy, structure, improvement of the object whatsoever, or any inscription be placed in or upon any lot which may be determined by the Director of Cemeteries to be offensive or injurious to the appearance of the surrounding lots or grounds, the Director or his authorized representatives shall have the right to enter upon such lot and to conceal such offensive object. The Department of Cemeteries will attempt to notify lot owners when an offensive object has been placed on their lot with or without their knowledge to provide them with the opportunity to correct the offensive condition. If lot owners have been notified of offensive conditions but have failed to correct those conditions in the time specified by the notification, any charges for removal of offensive objects will be billed against the lot.
Maintenance of Cemetery Structures
The Department of Cemeteries does not routinely clean or repair damaged monuments, markers, coping, mausoleums or vaults on private cemetery lots. Such work is not included in the perpetual care agreements and is the responsibility of the lot owners. The department will attempt to notify lot owners if cemetery structures on their lots become hazardous or aesthetic blights. Hazardous conditions or blights on privately owned structures that have not been corrected in the time frame established by the notification may be corrected by the Department and the costs for the maintenance will be assessed against the lot.
Responsibilities of Monument Company
Monument companies or stone installation agents shall be responsible for any stone and/or turf damage incurred during the process of stone installations.
Multiple monuments may be placed on a common base provided that the length of the base does not exceed the allowable dimensions. Boxing or tiling placed at the back, front or end of the base of the monument is considered a part of the base and will not be permitted unless it falls within the allowable dimensions.
Only flat markers, and no upright structures, are allowed in single-space cemetery sections. Only one upright structure will be permitted on each multi-space lot in Greenwich Cemetery or in Sections S, T and U in Bonaventure Cemetery. The length of the base of an upright structure shall not exceed 80% of the width of the lot and the width of the base shall not exceed twelve (12) inches. Monuments and markers must be aligned with other monuments and markers in the same cemetery block. Individual grave markers (or headstones) shall be level with the ground and will be installed at the foot of the graves. Slabs or ledgers shall not exceed six (6) inches above the ground. Individual markers over thirty-six (36) inches in width shall be considered monuments. Benches, statues and other upright structures shall be considered monuments.
Click here for a printable version of the City of Savannah Cemetery Structure Regulations.
Mausolea and Columbaria
No vault, mausoleum or columbarium 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 is issued for the purpose. The Department of Cemeteries must be provided with means of access into the mausoleum or columbarium. The fee for a work permit to install a mausoleum will be based on the number of crypts, and the fee for a work permit to install a columbarium will be based on the number of niches.