Boone County Zoning Regulations: Cemeteries
Boone County Planning Commission, 2013
An applicant, property owner or developer has the option either to (1) preserve an existing private family cemetery and develop around it or (2) relocate an existing cemetery. In relocating a private family cemetery, an applicant, property owner or developer shall be required to follow applicable local and state laws, which include KRS 381.720 through KRS 381.750 and KRS 381.750 and coordinate with the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics. In preserving a cemetery, while at the same time developing a parcel, an applicant, property owner or developer has the following options:
1. Transfer the existing cemetery as part of a buildable lot. Ownership and maintenance of the cemetery would be transferred to the individual lot owner.
2. Make the existing cemetery a separate lot. Ownership and maintenance of the cemetery would be transferred by written agreement to either a subdivision Homeowners Association, the developer of the subdivision, a local legislative unit, or an historical organization.
If a private family cemetery exists on a parcel of land and the exact location of grave sites is not determined, a developer or property owner is advised to follow the procedures and guidelines stated in the Boone County Cemetery Preservation Plan (pgs. 23-26). Specifically, these requirements shall be followed if a developer or property owner wishes to preserve an existing cemetery, while at the same time subdivide their property. These regulations mentioned below apply only to private family cemeteries and not to active cemeteries. maintained and administered by an existing cemetery board, sexton, church, or other formal organization. Any waiver of these regulations is permitted under the authority of the Zoning Administrator.
1. No construction or disturbance of any type shall occur within 30 feet of an existing private family cemetery regardless of adjoining property lines or land ownership. This 30 foot building limitation is also required regardless of whether the cemetery is part of a building lot and is being conveyed as a separate lot. Also, this setback limitation may result in combining lots or making larger lots in the area where the cemetery is located. The 30 foot limitation is in the form of an exclusive cemetery easement. Cemetery boundaries shall be determined by an applicant's professional archaeologist from the list of archaeologists approved by the Kentucky Heritage Council. The Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board shall review the work and information of the archaeologist. The archaeologist shall be responsible for determining the approximate boundaries of the cemetery and providing information on the history of the cemetery. The Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board will be responsible for monitoring the field work of the archaeologist and reviewing the final report. Maps included in the final report must (1) portray the location and orientation of graves within the cemetery and (2) depict the location and orientation of the cemetery relative to the site and at least three nearby recognized landmarks such as public roads or benchmarks visible on a USGS map. The final report must also describe the field and archival methods and results used to document the cemetery, including any genealogical information gathered in the process. Two copies of the final report shall be submitted to the Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board.
2. Existing cemetery fences and walls shall be maintained and repaired for security reasons, prior to any other site work or disturbance.
3. If a cemetery exists and a property owner or developer wishes to build on the lot where the cemetery is located, or if proposed to be a separate lot the property owner or developer is required to erect a new permanent fence (if one does not exist) surrounding the cemetery. The new permanent fence shall be made of a material which is compatible with the material of the proposed new structure(s) (e.g. stone fence, brick fence and wooden picket fence) and should also fit in with the character of the existing cemetery and surrounding residences or buildings. If a portion of an original fence or wall remains, and it is a compatible material (as above, and including cast iron fencing), the permanent fence or wall shall be properly repaired using the same material. If the existing fence is an inappropriate material (e.g. chain link fence, barbed wire fence, or farm fence), it should be replaced with a new fence made of an appropriate material. Although the permanent fence must be erected as soon as practical, a temporary fence (e.g., orange snow fencing, wire fence) must be erected and maintained at all times during site development and construction before the permanent fence or wall is constructed.
4. Weeds shall be removed from a cemetery on a routine basis during both site development and after construction is completed.
5. Grass shall be mowed on a routine basis.
6. All ironwork and stonework shall be inspected for damage. Repairs shall be made by the owner of the property.
7. Other planting or foliage shall be pruned and be generally left in its natural state.
8. All other debris or trash shall be removed from the cemetery during both site development and after construction is completed.
9. A statement by the property owner, applicant or developer shall be made on the site plan or subdivision plan regarding permanent cemetery ownership and maintenance.
10. A Certificate of Land Use Restriction and a deed restriction shall be recorded in the Boone County Clerk's office acknowledging the location, size, ownership and permanent maintenance responsibility of a cemetery. This information shall also be recorded on a Final Plat for a subdivision if not yet recorded.
11. Public access shall be provided to the existing cemetery with a minimum 5 foot recorded ingress-egress pedestrian access easement. Also, public and private streets shall be designed or located to provide access to an existing cemetery.
12. If no sign or marker is existing for the cemetery, a metal sign which displays the name and date(s) of the cemetery shall be installed. This sign shall have a maximum area of six (6) square feet and a maximum height of five (5) feet.
13. Under KRS 381.755, only the Boone County Fiscal Court has the authority to issue an order or resolution authorizing the relocation of a cemetery in Boone County. In some instances, the Kentucky Office of Vital Records may also approve the relocation of graves. An applicant is not required to appear before the Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board. However with cemetery relocation or the relocation of graves, the Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board shall be notified in writing by the property owner or developer by supplying to the Board copies of all State and local applications and permits during the relocation procedure.