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Council Agrees to Loosen Restrictions on Cemetery Decorations
Acknowledging that burial lots are extremely personal, the Memphis City Council agreed to allow officials some leeway in administering policy as related to landscaping and decorating at the Memphis City Cemetery.
At the May 7th city council meeting, the board of aldermen addressed a citizen request for proposed improvements to the family’s burial plots.
The request suggested placement of landscaping rock between the headstones as well as placement of solar lights and shepherd hooks for hanging baskets and other decorations.
City code prohibits any landscaping changes on cemetery lots which would be a hindrance to ongoing maintenance services such as mowing and weed eating. The code specifies that the city shall have exclusive control and management of all improvements.
It states “No person shall be permitted to place upon or remove from any lot or grave space any improvements of any description, including trees, flowers, shrubbery, etc., without the consent of the Board of Aldermen.”
City administrator Allen Creek noted that several lot owners had already taken it upon themselves to make improvements that were not necessarily in agreement with the exiting policy.
The council agreed to authorize the city administrator as the agent to review proposals for improvements and provide the officer with the power to approve such requests.
In discussing the request made to the council, the board was in agreement that some landscaping between headstones would in fact reduce the amount of maintenance work required to weed eat
The council stressed that any such improvements that are made without permission or that do not meet the agreements or that interfere with regular cemetery maintenance, will be subject to removal. The city policy also clearly states that maintenance workers have the right to remove without notice or consent, any planting, decorations or other objects placed on or about the cemetery lot which may be deemed as improper, unsightly, dangerous or which hinders in any way, mowing, raking or care of the cemetery.