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Regulations

GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

Burial Rights

Pursuant to California law, burial rights may be purchased by a qualified resident or taxpayer of the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District (“District”) at standard rates.  Those living outside the taxable boundaries may purchase burial rights but will be charged an out of area surcharge.

Burial rights may only be purchased from an authorized representative of the District at the District’s Administration office or utilizing digital services authorized and maintained by the District. The terms of sale are cash. Upon such payment in full, the District will issue to the purchaser (“owner”), a Certificate of Purchase of burial rights in a specific lot (“lot”).

No more than one (1) pre-need burial right certificate of purchase per person is recommended.

 

Interments

No interment may be made until all charges for lots and services have been paid in full at least 24 hours before the service is to take place here at the cemetery. Pre-need payment plans are available for all cemetery charges.

An approved concrete vault or sectional liner receptacle will be used in every interment. A handling fee will be charged in addition to the price of the receptacle. Other types of receptacles must be approved by the cemetery according to District policy.

Interments and memorial services shall be scheduled within the following time:

Monday thru Friday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, unless otherwise authorized by staff.

All services must be limited to no more than one hour out of respect for other services.

During frost conditions early services may not be approved.

No interments will be made on Saturday, Sunday, or holidays. Orders to schedule interments and all related services must be received and approved by the cemetery administration office during business hours of the preceding business day or before.

No opening of a grave, or placement of any marker, plant, tree or any other ornament or devise shall be made by anyone except employee of the District.

Effective July 1, 2003, the cemetery will begin making interments (burials) at a depth deep enough for an additional interment to be made on top, some refer to this as stacked, companion or double depth burials.  Double depth burials may be performed as follows:

  1. (2) Adult burials
  2. (1) Adult and (1) Cremation
  3. (2) Cremations
  4. (1) Cremation and (1) Child (any size casket)
  5. (2) Children (any size caskets)
  6. (1) Adult and (1) Child (any size casket)

A Second interment will only be made if the required signature(s) from the family and burial right owner(s) are received.

Only two (2) interments per adult lot only.

#7 size receptacles are not eligible for double depth burials.

Cemetery payment plans are available to purchase a cemetery lot or to purchase the total cemetery burial charges upon request. Payment plans are available for as long as 6 months to 24 months. An Agreement to Purchase contract can be completed in the Administration Office during business hours.

 

Lots

State law gives you the right to know about future plans to use the cemetery for other purposes. If you want to receive information about a change, you must contact the local planning office and pay a small fee.

Pursuant to California law, an owner of a lot shall mean the person listed as the owner of said lot in records maintained at the District’s administration office. The District maintains at its administration office a map of the cemetery showing lots in which burial rights have been sold and those lots in which rights are still available for sale.

Pursuant to California law, a lot sold to an owner is presumed to be the sole burial right owner names on Certificate of Purchase. However, California law provides, that the owner of a lot does not possess title to the lot but rather, has only an interest or right of burial in the lot.

No portion of any lot may be transferred. Only the entire lot may be transferred as set forth by District rules and regulations and as directed by State Law.  However, an owner may authorize the interment of another person in said owner’s lot upon execution of an interment order pursuant to the procedure set forth in these rules and regulations. An Interment Order(s) must be signed in the District’s administration office, or a Notarized Interment Order is acceptable but must be received in our office no less than the day prior to the service. Any transfer of a lot is in violation of the rules and regulations and may also constitute an unauthorized re-sale or transfer of a lot in violations of California law.

Transfer of lots in the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District will not be approved without payment of Endowment Care Fund deposit where such deposit was not previously made.

 

Grounds

Gates will be open for visitation hours as posted at the front gate and on our website. Administration Office hours to assist families are as posted at the front office and on our website.

No persons or vehicles are permitted on cemetery grounds after closing hours.

The speed limit with the cemetery grounds shall not exceed 10 mph.  No Double Parking is allowed (automobiles parked on both sides of road blocking through traffic).

Please be aware that the cemetery is not on a completely flat elevation and that care must be taken to prevent potential trips and falls. If handicap access is a concern for those attending a service or visiting grounds, please call the administration office for assistance as available.

Cemetery is not responsible for any theft or damage to personal vehicles while on District grounds.

No alcohol, picnicking, multi-legged canopies, sport activities, loitering, washing cars, or animals allowed.

Personal vehicles are not allowed on any portions of the cemetery that is not specifically designed for traffic, absolutely no vehicles should be driven onto areas containing grave markers.

The use of any electric or gas equipment on the cemetery grounds is prohibited unless expressly authorized by the District.

Fireworks, open flames including BBQ, candles, discharging of firearms and all other flammable or combustible materials are prohibited.

Vendors wishing to perform services on District grounds, including playing live music, are required to obtain a vendor permit from the administrative office prior to performing services.

 

Grave Decorations

The placement of flowers on the graves of loved ones is a time-honored tradition. It is an expression of love and remembrance to those who have passed from this life and is a beautiful and effective memorialization. To ensure this tradition is followed in a consistent manner that enhances the beauty of the cemetery and sets uniform policy for all to follow, the following regulations have been adopted.

The Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District is not responsible for lost, stollen or damaged headstone decorations, grave memorials or personal items placed on or around the grave area.  This limitation includes damage that may be done to items by district equipment to include vehicles, weed eaters, and other equipment essential to cemetery operations.  Leaving items is done solely at your own risk.

Please report any theft of flowers or personal goods to the local law enforcement agency. Please keep your vehicle locked at all times when unattended.

No more than two (2) containers of flowers, in addition to the headstone flower vase, will be allowed to be placed on each grave. Any additional containers or items will be removed and discarded daily or when time permits. Removal and discarding of flowers or items in violation of these rules may occur daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. The cemetery personnel will not be responsible for the selection of additional items removed and discarded. These policies are in effect to all burials recent or otherwise. If a headstone has not been placed the policies are still in effect. Please confine all flowers, items etc. to two (2) containers. Anything picked up and disposed of cannot be retrieved from the flower trailer or disposal area.

There will be no exception for any holiday unless otherwise posted by District staff.

No picket fences, food items, glass or breakable containers are allowed.

Plastic flowers are acceptable.

Do not stab, stick or place flowers or any other items around the headstone or the entire length of the grave.

Do not pour gravel, rocks or any loose items in any container or headstone flower vase.

Please reference the mowing schedule posted on this website and at the front of the cemetery for the day your section is mowed. All items left at a grave site must be removed the day prior to scheduled mowing.  Removal of all flowers and decorations (to include solar lights) not picked up begins at sundown the day prior to mowing. Once they have been picked up by cemetery employee, they cannot be retrieved from our flower trailer or our disposal area.

If mowing on a day other than the posted schedule due to overseeding preparation or other cemetery needs arises, we will notify the public via our website and social media properties, and by placing signage within the cemetery in advance of the altered schedule.

Flowers that are placed on newly buried graves and have not become unsightly in their appearance will remain on the new grave for a maximum of three (3) days, the service day counts as one (1) day. When new grave flowers from the funeral are removed everything that is on the grave will be removed and discarded.

Do not dig around the grave marker or the outer perimeter as it will compromise the concrete border protection.

 

GRAVE MARKER POLICY

 

Setting of Markers

Markers placed at the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District (DISTRICT) shall be restricted as to the size and general make-up and shall only be placed by the issuance of a permit of burial provided by the administrative office. Persons ordering a marker from a monument dealer should check, or cause to be checked, the restrictions prior to ensure that the stone will be permissible. Only one marker allowed per burial space, no exceptions.  Headstones that are delivered to the District and found to be out of compliance with rules and specifications will be rejected and returned at the owners expense.

To ensure consistency within the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District (DISTRICT), we have stablished a set of rules to maintain the orderly appearance of headstone memorials.  Headstones may be granite, bronze or other material that is approved by an authorized representative of the Board of Trustees. No marble headstones are permitted.  No above ground headstones are permitted.

 

Specifications

The following memorials are acceptable at the District:

Granite with 3″ Sanded, Washed or Flamed Border

Adult sites                                                 18″ x 30″ x 3″

Companion/double adult sites                  20″ x 42″ x 3″

Children and cremation sites                   16″ x 26″ x 3″

Any manufactured or fabricated reproductions of a picture or image on or recessed into the headstone will be subject to approval by the District and must be submitted for consideration in advance of delivery to the District. Prior to setting of the headstone, an agreement to hold the cemetery and its employees harmless shall be executed by the owner of the burial right or authorized representative and, if applicable, the funeral director supplying the headstone.

 

With Concrete Borders

As of January 1st, 2022, the District will no longer perform cement setting for headstones (Exceptions may be made for Bronze Military markers, consult with DISTRICT staff).  Families may, at their own discretion, have an outside vendor perform a concrete setting for their memorial marker.  In these instances, the following specifications will apply:

Adult sites                                                 12″ x 24″ x 3″

Companion/double adult sites                   14″ x 36″ x 3″

Children and cremation sites                    10″ x 20″ x 3″

All headstones must be rectangular with smoothly cut edges on all four sides and preset in 3” concrete with a 3” sanded border on all sides.

The District shall, in no way, assume any liability for damage or vandalism after the placement of a headstone.

All markers must be securely set in a finished ground level foundation of at least three (3) inches wide around the marker.

 

Removal of Makers

When it becomes necessary to remove a marker for any reason, the responsible party must complete a Marker Removal form and instruct the District as to their wishes for transfer of the old marker. Should the owner request the District to remove the monument, the District shall not be held liable for any cost from damage which may occur during removal. The order for removing a marker will be given and fees paid for when all other required information pertaining to the deceased person is given to the administration office.

The District retains the exclusive right to excavate and remove any marker located within the District.  Under no circumstances are private parties allowed to remove, alter, or otherwise cause to change the condition of a marker within the ground.

 

Marker Limited Liability

All markers placed on District property remain the property of the responsible party for the deceased. The District is not responsible for theft, vandalism, or damage to the marker inflicted by an outside party.  Markers are placed at the sole discretion of the responsible party, and they retain all liabilities associated with the on-going care and maintenance of the marker. The District is not responsible for fading, scratching, scuffing, chipping, or other damage that occurs from normal traffic through the cemetery.

The District will assume responsibility for markers that are cracked or severely structurally damaged as a result of contact with a District vehicle or machinery.  If the responsible party reports such damage to the District, they will investigate the claim thoroughly. If it is determined that the damage was likely caused by a District vehicle, at the sole determination of the District, the District will compensate the responsible party by purchasing a marker of equal value.  Such a purchase is not eligible for any “upgrades” or alterations at the request of the responsible party.

 

Concrete Border Limited Liability

Concrete borders are supplied to offer protection to the headstone from landscaping equipment, foot traffic and other activity that may threaten the integrity of the stone.  It also adds a firmer foundation for the stone to remain in place as set and act as a deterrent from potential displacement.  Concrete borders are not considered an aesthetic addition to the stone, there purpose is purely functional.

The District offers a limited warranty on all concrete settings performed by the District.  The District will replace concrete settings within the first twelve (12) months if the concrete border has become structurally compromised, this would include the marker becoming separated from the concrete setting, or cracks that are “through and through” the border.  The warranty does not cover minor chips, cracks, or other cosmetic defect.  Any repair or replacement of headstone borders after the twelve-month warranty period at District expense is done solely at the discretion of the authorized representative of the Board of Trustees.

Responsible parties wishing to have a marker reset in concrete that is not covered by the warranty may elect to do so at their own expense.  The District will perform this work at the current “Headstone Setting Fee”.

Example of “Cosmetic” Concrete Border Damage:

 

Example of Structurally Compromised Border:

 

Headstone/Marker Retention Policy

The Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District allows families and responsible parties to replace headstones at their discretion. This may be done for a variety of reasons, including refreshing an old façade, updating information, changing to a double burial marker, etc.  Once the marker is replaced, the representative of the family and/or responsible party has two (2) options available for the transfer of the former marker.

Option 1

The responsible party may claim the former marker and take possession of it. We ask that all markers be claimed within five (5) business days of their removal/replacement.  A member of District staff will contact you to confirm that the former marker is ready for pickup. Any marker not claimed after the five (5) business day period will be deemed abandoned and disclaimed. Ownership will revert to the District, such that it may dispose of the marker as allowed by local and state laws governing the disposal of the materials comprising the marker.

Option 2

The responsible party may transfer ownership of the former marker to the District for disposal.  If this option is selected, the representative of the family and/or responsible party waives any and all claims to the maker and expressly authorizes the District to dispose of the marker as allowed by local and state laws governing the disposal of the materials comprising the marker.

 

FEE SCHEDULE – LOTS

Please refer to the current fee schedule.

 

REFUNDS AND CREDITS

 

Lots and Niches

If an owner of an unused lot or niche (“Property”) determines that they have no further need for the Property, they may request that the District purchase the Property back by submitting a written request/application to the District at the Administration Office. If the District elects, in its sole discretion, to buy back the Property, the purchase price shall be the same amount as the original price paid by the owner and shall be paid by the District upon receipt of the Certificate of Purchase and receipt of said Property.

In all cases, the administration fee and the amount of the Endowment Care Fund deposit are not refundable.

Once Property and services have been utilized, no refunds or repurchases will be authorized.

 

Pre-Paid Services

Additional services purchased in advance, such as opening and closing fee, may also be refunded if the service was not utilized.

 

DISINTERMENTS

 

Circumstances may dictate the need for disinterment of human remains.  In such cases, the family or authorized custodian of the remains may request such an action.  Disinterment of human remains is not a process to be viewed lightly and involves several detailed steps that includes determination of custodial rights, coordination with funeral homes, etc. Due to this, the District requires at least ninety (90) days’ notice be supplied prior to removal.

If authorized, the disinterment process is subject to the current applicable “Labor” or “Opening and Closing” fee associated with the lot/niche.

 

ENDOWMENT

 

An endowment as described in this document is a transfer of money to an institution (District) for a particular purpose. The bestowal of money as a permanent fund, the income of which is to be used for the benefit of the District. As the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District operates a cemetery that is designed to exist in perpetuity, endowment care is necessary for the long-term care and upkeep of property at the District.

 

Lots

The lot must be maintained, which includes proper placement and care of ground cover.  In addition, as part of the cemetery, the overall care and maintenance of cemetery operations must also be supported.

 

Niches

The chapel and surrounding area must be maintained, which includes regularly scheduled cleaning and general care and upkeep of the chapel.  As part of the cemetery, the overall care and maintenance of cemetery operations must also be supported.

 

Headstones

The headstone must be maintained, which includes the required maintenance of groundcover around the stone.  As part of the cemetery, the overall care and maintenance of cemetery operations must also be supported.

 

 

REVISIONS

Unless specified by the California Health and Safety Code or other applicable regulating code(s), all policies set forth in this document are done so under the authority granted to the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District Board of Trustees. The Trustees reserve the right to add, delete or alter policy at their sole discretion with proper notification to the public.

 

All District records are kept on file at the District offices(s) as specified below:

 

ADMINSTRATION OFFICE

82-925 AVENUE 52

COACHELLA, CA 92236

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE

82-847 AVENUE 52

COACHELLA, CA 92236

 

 

 

 

Policy Adoption and Revision

Policy Revisions Adopted January 7, 2022 by the Board of Trustees