(Subject: Enforcement of Cemetery Ordinance 03/21/2022)
March 21, 2022, Comstock Charter Township’s Ordinance Agents will begin enforcing the Comstock Charter Township Cemetery Ordinance #524, which is in effect. This ordinance is intended to keep Comstock Township’s historic cemeteries clean for all visitors. To help with this, the township has the right to remove and dispose of growth, displays, containers or any other item that becomes unsightly, a source of litter or a maintenance problem.
The ordinance allows the community to decorate their loved one’s gravesites with one container and one shepherd’s hook, both can be used to display flowers or decorative item. One holiday decoration will be permitted at each gravesite 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after holidays. Recognized holidays include New Year’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah.
However, using plastic cones to hold artificial flowers or placing artificial flowers directly in the ground will not be permitted. Additionally, jars and glass will also not be permitted for displaying flowers.
Gravesites need to be cleaned up of balloons, wreathes, statues and other items not permitted by the ordinance within 10 days of burial.
We deeply appreciate that visitors at Comstock Cemeteries deserve to honor their loved ones with displays throughout the year. However, we also recognize that the township has an obligation to maintain our historic cemeteries. Enforcing the Comstock Charter Township Cemetery Ordinance is our way of making sure we honor the lives of those buried there and the importance to our community’s heritage.
Everything that was removed during the fall clean up was kept by the Township and is still available for pick up until April 15th. After that, all items may be disposed of. Moving forward, any prohibited items that are kept after removal from a grave may be stored temporarily by the Township. Clean-up of our storage facility will happen as needed and items may be disposed of. Call the Township to find out if we have your removed items and to arrange pick-up. Continuous monitoring of our cemeteries will take place.
In a statement, Comstock Township Clerk Nicole Beauchamp said “The cemetery committee put a lot of time, effort and thought into this ordinance. We listened to and considered the concerns of the grieving families while thinking of the safety and maintenance of our cemeteries. The ordinance provides clarity and is fair for all families who use and visit our cemeteries”.
The ordinance also mandates that cemetery lots or burial spaces sold after June 15, 1980, can revert to the township after 50 years if unused. Before that would happen, a letter will be sent out by first class mail to the last written known address of the previous owner. If a response isn’t received by the previous owner, their legal representation, or their heirs to the township in writing expressing that they want to retain their burial rights, the site will revert to the township. If the owner expresses intent to use the plots, they will remain with the family and will not revert back to the Township. If the family no longer wishes to use the plots, they can sell them back to the Township at the price at which they were purchased.
If you have purchased burial rights in our cemeteries and have not designated who will occupy the burial spaces, please do so to protect your family from the probate process to permit use once you are gone.
More information on the ordnance can be found on Comstock Charter Township’s website.