Holton Township Oakwood Cemetery Ordinance

Ordinance Number 48.000

The Township Board of the Township of Holton, Muskegon County, Michigan also acting as the statutory Board of Health of said Township, hereby ORDAINS:
48.001 PURPOSE: An ordinance providing for the care and maintenance have the Township of Holton Oakwood Cemetery, for the creation of a perpetual care fund therefor, and establishing regulations for the future sale of burial spaces therein, and relative to interment and payment of expenses incident thereto.
48.002 LOCATION OF CEMETERY: The Holton Township Oakwood Cemetery, hereinafter called the Cemetery, comprises all of the lands now held in Trust for public cemetery purposes by the Township Board of Holton Township, Muskegon County, Michigan, in its capacity as statutory Board of Health of the Township of Holton, heretofore, acquired and now set apart and dedicated for cemetery purposes situated in said township and described as follows, to wit:

That part of the Northeast Quarter (NE ‘A) of the Northeast Quarter (NE ‘A) of Section 27, of Township 12 North, Range 15 West, described as follows: – Commence at the NE corner of Section 27, west 636 ft. for a point of beginning: west 1058 ft., south 418 ft, east 396 ft., south 10 ft., east 182 ft north-east along M-120 right of way 218 ft north, 237 ft. to the point of beginning.
48.003 TITLE AND CONVEYANCING: Upon and after the effective date of this ordinance, in the care and maintenance thereof, the sale of burial spaces in the cemetery according to the plat of the cemetery on official file with the clerk of the township, or by person or persons as appointed by the Township Board as may be from time to time hereafter amended or extended, and interment therein and the payment of expenses incident thereto, shall be governed by this ordinance.

1. TITLE: The title is fee simple to each burial space in the Holton Township Oakwood Cemetery heretofore conveyed, whether presently constituting an occupied lot or not, and to any burial space hereafter conveyed, remains and shall remain vested in the Township Board, but such conveyance vests and shall vest in each purchaser full burial rights therein, subject to the regulations herein contained.

2. CEMETERY DEED: A cemetery deed in form approved by the cemetery superintendent and executed by he/she on behalf of the Township Board on payment of the purchase price and delivered to the purchaser or purchasers as grantee or grantees of a burial space or burial spaces, containing an accurate description thereof, and the name and address of the purchaser or purchasers thereof, and a permanent record thereof shall be kept and maintained by the cemetery superintendent in his office and in the office of the Township clerk. Cemetery lots or burial spaces remaining vacant (40) years from the date of their sale, after due notice as required by the Ordinance, shall automatically revert back to the Township per Holton Township meeting on May 22, 2000.
3. OWNER/OWNERS: The grantee or grantees therein shall thereafter be deemed the owner or owners thereof subject to the provisions of this ordinance and any amendment or amendments thereof hereafter adopted, until such title shall be divested by conveyance, devise, inheritance, or operation of law, in the same manner as provided by law for the devolution of title to real estate, except that the evidence of any such devolution shall be filed and recorded in the office of the cemetery superintendent and the township clerk instead of the office of the County Register of Deeds.

1. BOARD: means the Township Board of Holton Township, Muskegon County, Michigan, acting as the Board of Health of Holton Township, whenever appropriate under the statutes of the State of Michigan.

2. SUPERVISOR: means the Holton Township Supervisor. Supervisor will supervise all care of the cemetery. Supervisor appoints a person to help with cemetery supervision, referred to as the superintendent.

3. SUPERINTENDENT: means the Holton Oakwood Cemetery Superintendent appointed by the Holton Township Board who shall have the powers and duties prescribed by this ordinance.

4. CLERK: means the Holton Township Clerk. The Clerk is to keep all records.

5. TREASURER: means the Holton Township Treasurer. Treasurer to receive all monies.

6. OWNER: means any person or persons owning the privilege, license or right of interment of a human body in any burial space in the cemetery.

7. BURIAL SPACE: means a plot or portion thereof in the cemetery designed and intended for the interment of a human body, but not already in use for such purpose, nor is the space to be used for any other purpose except that which is incidental to the interment of a human body and the continued and/or subsequent care of the lot or portion thereof a burial space is to be used for interment of either/or: one adult; a mother and newborn child; two babies twelve (12) month of age or younger; or the interment of no more than four (4) -crematory inurnment per burial space; or an urn on top of the vault.

8. OCCUPIED SPACE: means any burial space in which a human body has been and remains therein interred.

9. BURIAL LOT: means numbered divisions as shown on the record plat, which consists of two or more burial spaces.

10. CEMETERY: is hereby defined to include a burial park for earth interments, a community mausoleum for vault or crypt interments, a crematory or crematorium for cinerary interments, or a combination of one or more than one thereof.

11. INTERMENT: means the permanent disposition of the remains of a deceased person by cremation and inurnment, entombment, or burial.

12. MEMORIAL: means a term to include a monument, marker, tablet, headstone, private mausoleum or tomb for family or individual use, tombstone, coping, urn and crypt and niche place.

13. MONUMENTS mean a tombstone or memorial of granite or marble, which shall extend above the surface of the ground and no more than two monuments per site. All bronze veteran markers to be attached to back of tombstone.

14. MARKER: means a memorial flush with the ground.

15. LOT MARKER: is a term referring to any means used by the direction of the Cemetery superintendent to locate corners of the lot or plot, such markers shall be below the surface of the ground.

16. CERTIFICATE OF OWNERSHIP: means the original cemetery deed given by the cemetery Superintendent to the original purchaser.

17. BURIAL PERMIT: means the payment of a fee to the cemetery superintendent by the person(s) making arrangements for interment and all laws, ordinances, rules and regulations relative to the burial have been complied with before a burial site shall be prepared for any interment.

18. PERPETUAL CARE: means the routine custodial maintenance care given the cemetery grounds the individual burial sites, and the permanent landscape plantings throughout the year.

1. CARE OF LOTS: Provision for the perpetual, general, personal, and special care of lots.

2. PERPETUAL CARE FUND: A perpetual care fund for the care and maintenance of the Oakwood Cemetery is hereby established and created, to consist of all monies heretofore paid to the Township Treasurer by owners of burial spaces and/or occupied lots in the cemetery, for, and allocated to, a perpetual care fund therefore, and all moneys hereafter paid by existing owners of burial spaces and occupied lots and by future purchasers of burial spaces in the cemetery, to the Treasurer for the perpetual care fund. All moneys now in the perpetual care fund and all moneys hereafter paid to the Treasurer for such fund shall constitute a trust fund of which the Treasurer shall be custodian, and shall be invested and kept invested by the Treasurer, as a permanent fund in good safe, interest -bearing securities, and the interest and income there from shall be used, under the supervision and direction of the Township Board, only for the purposes of the care and maintenance of the occupied lots and/or burial spaces of the owners who have contributed or shall contribute therefore to such perpetual care fund.

3. BASIC PERPETUAL CARE DEFINED: Perpetual care shall include the following items of basic lot care:

A. Annual spring-clean up
B. Periodic cutting of grass
C. Raking of leaves.
D. Trimming of trees and shrubs.
E. Refilling sunken graves.
F. Watering of grass
Perpetual care shall not include soding or sowing of grass.

4. GENERAL CARE OF CEMETERY GROUNDS: General maintenance by cemetery custodians under the direction of the Cemetery Superintendent include:

A. Grading, leveling or excavating upon a burial space.
B. Planting of perennial flowers, or other vegetation – plantings without permission may be removed under the direction of the Cemetery Superintendent. Plantings of trees and shrubs are prohibited. No benches or large ornament type decoration is allowed on gravesite.
C. Trimming, removal of any vegetation in the interest of maintaining aesthetic cemetery appearance.
D. Removal of any refuses of any kind or nature including the decaying, deteriorated, damaged and/or unsightly decorations.
E. Maintenance, repair or replacement of any memorial, tomb, or mausoleum placed or erected upon lots; doing any special or unusual work; reconstruction of any damage to marble or granite work caused by elements, acts of God, common enemy, thieves, vandals, strikers, mischief makers, unavoidable accidents all may be done under the direction of the Cemetery Superintendent and staff only at the owner(s) expense.

5. OWNER CARE OF BURIAL SPACE: Owners or their Agents shall enjoy the privilege of decorating and maintaining the decorations of the burial space. The following rules shall apply:
Coping, fences, curbs, benches steps, structures of wood or other equally perishable material are prohibited. These structures or enclosures established on any lot previous to the adoption of these regulations, which have, in the judgment of the cemetery management, become unsightly by reason of neglect or age shall be removed.

A. No elevated mounds shall be built over graves and no lot shall be filled above the grade established by the Township.
B. All ground planting of trees or shrubs is prohibited, except trees planted by the Township.
C. Receptacles for cut flowers will be permitted if installed flush with the surface of the lawn. The use of glass jars or bottles as receptacles for cut flowers is strictly prohibited. Artificial flowers are permitted
D. Urns shall be permitted only if properly installed and maintained.
E. Arches for hanging baskets are permitted but must not be anchored.
F. Toys or other unsightly objects will not be permitted as grave decorations and when used, will be removed without notice.
G. The planting of hedges is strictly prohibited. Existing hedges will be removed whenever they become unsightly or encroach upon an adjoining lot or path.
H. The Township will remove without notice all flowers, trees and shrubs that have become unsightly or dangerous.
I. Cement covered graves or larger monuments/ mausoleum above ground will not be permitted.
J. The Township Board reserves the right to regulate the method of decorating gravesites and grave lots, so that an appropriate and uniform appearance can be maintained throughout the cemetery. Any monument, effigy, or other structure that does not conform to this Ordinance or that is inconsistent with the uniform character and appearance of the cemetery shall be removed by the Township
K. The Township shall not be responsible for any kinds of damage to owner decorations by the elements, vandals, and thieves or by any causes beyond the control of the cemetery management.
L. One flag holder will be permitted for the grave of each veteran whose last service was honorable and is interred in the Township owned cemetery.


1. BOUNDARY MARKING: All landmarks or corner stone’s shall be set by the superintendent or under his supervision and shall not be altered or removed. No landmarks or corner stone’s indicating boundaries of lots shall be set above the surface of the ground. This includes a hedge, wall, curbing, fence or other methods of enclosures are prohibited.

48.007 VAULTS

1. BURIAL VAULTS: All interments shall be within a standard concrete, vault or grave liner installed or constructed in each burial space before interment. Exceptions are: 1. the interment of a newborn infant or small child; and 2. the interment of a crematory receptacle.


1. SALE OF BURIAL SPACES LOTS: On or after the effective date of this ordinance, no burial space in the cemetery shall be sold by the Holton Township Board except with concurrent payment into the Perpetual Care Fund. The list of charges for a burial space and perpetual care shall be kept in the office of the Township Clerk and the Cemetery Superintendent. The charges shall reflect a difference between resident and non-resident purchasers of burial space(s), lot(s). Such charges are to be adjusted by the Township Board as from time to time it is deemed necessary.

2. BURIAL SPACE RECORDS: All burial sales shall be made on a form approved by the Township Board, which grants a right of burial only and does not convey any other title to the lot or burial space sold. The Office of the Township Clerk shall maintain official records concerning all sale of burial spaces, 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. The Cemetery Superintendent and Cemetery Sextant shall keep a duplicate record for their convenience.

3. BURIAL SPACE PURCHASERS: No sale shall be made to funeral directors or to any person or organization for speculative purposes. The Cemetery Superintendent shall issue the Cemetery Deed to purchaser(s).

4. BURIAL RIGHTS TRANSFER: The Township will repurchase any cemetery lot or burial space from the owner for the original price paid the township upon written request of said owner or his legal heirs or representatives.

5. DESCENT OF TITLES-FORFEITURE OF VACANT CEMETERY LOTS OR BURIAL SPACES: Cemetery lots or burial spaces sold after the effective date of ordinance and remaining vacant 40 years from the date (May 22, 2000), their sale shall automatically revert to the township upon occurrence of the following events: If no written response to the notice indicating a desire to retain the cemetery lots or burial spaces in question is received by the Township Clerk from the last owner of record of said lots or spaces, or his heirs or legal representatives, within sixty (60) days from the date of mailing of said notice, then the cemetery lots or burial spaces shall automatically revert to the Township, who shall then be free to re-convey the title consistent with the requirements of this Ordinance.

6. CORRECTION OF ERRORS: The Township reserves, and shall have, the right to correct any errors that may be made by it either in making interments, disinterment or removals, or the description, transfer or conveyance of any interment property, either by canceling such conveyance and substituting any conveyance in lieu thereof other interment property of equal value and similar location as far as possible, or as may be selected by the Township or, in the sole discretion of the Township, by refunding the amount of money paid on account of said purchase. In the event such error shall involve the interment of the remains of any person in such property, the Cemetery reserves, and shall have the right to remove or transfer such remains so interred to such other property of equal value and similar location as may be substituted and conveyed in lieu thereof.

1. Persons shall:
A. Enter through established gates.
B. Deposit rubbish or debris in receptacles provided.
C. Permit all plant material, domestic or wild, fresh or artificial to be undisturbed.
D. Not deface or injure any memorial, fence or other structure.
E. Not consume any alcoholic beverages on cemetery grounds.
F. Maintain the peacefulness, quiet, good order, and proper conduct.
G. Permit any dog, horse or other domestic animal to enter or remain in the cemetery,
unless such animal is contained within a vehicle.
H. Not use any form of advertising or sales solicitation on cemetery premises.
I. Not Carry or discharge firearms in or adjacent to the cemetery except during authorized
J. Adults to accompany children under the age of eighteen (18) years.
K. Not expect Cemetery Custodians to assist them with any work except as authorized
by the Cemetery Superintendent.
L. Use established roadways, walks and avenues for foot travel.
M. Use established roadways and avenues for vehicular travel.

2. EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES OF CONDUCT: Special cases may arise in which literal enforcement of a rule may impose unnecessary hardship. The Cemetery management, therefore, reserves the right to make exceptions, suspensions, or modifications of any of these Rules of Conduct, without notice, when in the judgment of the Cemetery Management such action appears necessary; and such temporary exception, suspension or modification shall in no way be construed as affecting the general application of such Rules of Conduct.

3. VEHICLE REGULATIONS: The use of automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles on cemetery grounds shall comply with the following:

A. The speed of all motorized vehicles is to be fifteen miles per hour or less; the speed of bicycles shall be ten miles an hour or less.
B. No vehicle shall be parked in a manner so as to obstruct free passage along any roadway within the cemetery.
C. Vehicles with running motors shall not be left unattended.
D. No vehicle may drive upon or across any burial space, lot, or ornamental ground.
E. No vehicle may pass or attempt to pass a vehicle going in the same direction.
F. No recreational type vehicles (dirt bikes, snowmobiles, or quads) will be allowed.


1. FUNERALS & INTERMENTS: No interment shall take place without a Burial Permit, nor until the person making arrangements for the interment has complied with all laws, ordinances and rules and regulations relative to burials. Funeral directors making arrangements for burials shall be responsible for all interment charges if not paid by the owner or his agent. The charges shall be as time to time amended by the Township Board.

2. INTERMENT REQUIREMENTS: The appropriate burial permit for the burial space involved shall consist of the permit from the local health office; the receipt of purchase of said space for the given burial together with appropriate identification of the person to be buried therein. Where such information has been lost or destroyed, the Township Clerk shall be satisfied, from the records, that the person to be buried in the burial space is an authorized and appropriate one before interment is commenced.
No graves shall be opened except by workmen employed by the Township. Funeral directors are to arrange burial time so that the interment can be completed by 5:00 P.M. Thirty-six hours (36) notice is required prior to any interment and at least a week’s notice for disinterment or removal.
The location of the interment site shall be designated by the lot owner, and should the lot owner fail to do this, the Township reserves the right to make the interment in a location of their designation. Any and all interments at Oakwood Cemetery Holton Township will be at the discretion of the Cemetery Superintendent. Consideration must be based on weather conditions. Weather conditions must not endanger the health or well-being of the employee of Oakwood Cemetery. When a family requests a winter burial, grave opening and closing charges will be twice the summer rates. Snow plowing/snow removal cost will be in addition to the opening and closing charges. During a winter burial, only cemetery personnel are to be present along with funeral home personnel.

3. DISINTERMENT OR REMOVAL: Disinterment or removal shall be carried on:

A. No disinterment will be permitted until full payment of disinterment has been received.
B. 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 Superintendent.
C. When the coroner directs the disinterment for the purpose of holding an inquest and has filed with the Superintendent, his signed authorization to release the body to himself and his lawful agents in such case the coroner or his lawful agents must make the disinterment.
D. When the heirs request, in writing authorizing the removal to another burial space either within the cemetery or to another burial location, this request shall be accomplished under the supervision of the Office of the Township Clerk and the Cemetery Superintendent using resources of a funeral home and/or obtaining adequate permits for transport on public roadways. Opening/closing expenses of gravesite will be the responsibility of heirs.


1. MONUMENTS. MARKERS and MEMORIALS. Monuments and markers placed by owners in the cemetery shall be placed upon the burial space or lot in such locations as shall be approved by the Superintendent to conform to permanence and uniformity.

A. All markers or memorials must be of stone or other equally durable composition.
B. Any large upright monument must be located upon a suitable foundation to maintain the same in an erect position. Such footing or foundation must be placed and constructed by the Township at cost to the owner of the burial space or lot.
C. The maximum height from the ground level to the top of the monument shall be (30) inches.
D. Markers and Plaques – When plaque is used with marker, plaque must be attached to marker.

1. ENFORCEMENT OF RULES. The Township is hereby empowered to enforce these ordinances and to exclude from the Cemetery any person violating the same; have charge of the grounds and buildings including the conduct of funerals, traffic, employees, plot owners and visitors; and, at all times shall have supervision and control of all persons in the Holton Township Oakwood Cemetery.

48.013 REPEAL
1. REPEAL. All previously existing ordinances and rules and regulations relative to the cemetery whenever inconsistent with this ordinance are hereby repealed.


1. VIOLATIONS AND PENALTY. Any person convicted of a violation of any prohibitory provision of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00 and/or imprisonment in the county Jail for a term not exceeding thirty (30) days at the discretion of the Court.


1. EFFECTIVE DATE. This ordinance shall take effect upon expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of the adoption hereof by the Township Board, and there being no newspaper published in the Township of Holton, notice hereof shall be given by posting a copy of this ordinance in each of five public places in this Township at least twenty (20) days before the effective date hereof, these public places being the Township Hall, Township Public Library, Post Office, Holton School Administration Office, and the Fire Barn Office.

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