Perhaps Sevier County could solve their fears by trying this wording in their code:
"Rural property owners may bury their kin on their property if the owner agrees that the burial will involve no embalming fluid, simple casket buried 4ft deep or natural shroud buried 2 ft deep, 150 ft from a water source, and no headstone, maintain natural landscape.
If future transfer of ownership occurs, the new owners must avoid digging that area for 10 yrs (if no casket) and 20 yrs (if a casket). After 2 years of decomposition a new owner may be authorized to apply for exhumation of the bones and registration of a new burial location from the Health Department."
The history of the Salt Lake City Cemetery is fascinating. Their website is phenomenal, and their master plan inspiring:
Master Plan Executive Summary
The Salt Lake City Cemetery had its first burial in 1848 and officially opened in 1849. It was one of a number of cemeteries developed during the rural cemetery movement (also known as the garden cemetery movement). The rural or garden cemetery movement began in 1831 with the development of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge Massachusetts with a focus on burial grounds that use landscaping in a park-like setting. Rural cemeteries, from their beginning, were intended as civic institutions designed for public use. These cemeteries were “the first public parks in America” (Clark, 2015). Many factors led to a shift from the role cemeteries played as public parks, resulting in reduced visitation and interest in cemeteries. More recently, communities have been forced to rethink their approach to cemetery operations and management as these early cemeteries experience dwindling capacity, limited expansion opportunity, and funding challenges. As a result, many communities have started to recognize the value cemeteries provide as unique open spaces, and in a return to early cemetery history, have started offering events, tours, and passive recreation opportunities, in addition to burials. The Salt Lake City Cemetery is facing the same challenges experienced by other cemeteries from the rural cemetery era. It too, is exploring ideas and opportunities to capitalize on the Cemetery as a valuable community open space.
Precedent Study of Cemetery Uses
In an effort to identify opportunities and ideas that may help address challenges facing the Salt Lake City Cemetery, a comparison of various activities and uses at other cemeteries were documented (see Figure 1.7 in Chapter 1). Though all of the activities listed in the comparison may not be desired or determined appropriate for the Salt Lake City Cemetery, this comparison identifies a broad range of activities that take place at cemeteries across the country and could be implemented at the Salt Lake City Cemetery, if desired. Some of these activities include: § Wildlife watching § Walking and jogging § Biking § Star gazing § Guided and self-guided tours § Cultural and historic interpretation § Photography § Genealogical research § Events or classes § Arboretum
Vision and Goals
As part of the planning process, the planning team used the information gathered during the analysis and assessment phase, input from the community, and worked with City staff and stakeholder groups to develop the Master Plan Vision and identify planning goals. Goals were developed to address the three main purposes of the Master Plan. The Master Planning Goals were then prioritized based on input received from two public open houses and Open City Hall. The 5 highest priority goals are as follows: § Preserve and enhance the natural resources in the Cemetery (i.e. trees and vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat, and views). § Create a comprehensive strategy to repair Cemetery infrastructure including roads and maintenance facilities. § Incorporate sustainable maintenance practices, especially those that have the potential to reduce ongoing maintenance costs. § Enhance and develop opportunities to explore the Cemetery through walking, jogging and cycling. § Develop opportunities to continue to provide burial and internment offerings.