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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” or “CVPCD”) 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.

We kindly ask service times to 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 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 began 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)
  7. (2) Adult burials and (1) Cremation (Cremated remains must be contained within one of the Adult caskets and must be interred concurrently with the casket).

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

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

No human remains shall be interred without the knowledge and written approval of staff or required legal documents as dictated by County and State law.

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 beware that the cemetery is not on a complete flat elevation and that care must be taken to prevent potential trips and falls. If handicap access is a concern for 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. Please keep your vehicle locked at all times when unattended.

No alcohol, illegal drug use, picnicking, multi-legged canopies, sport activities, loitering, washing cars, or dogs 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 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 and memorials at the graves of loved ones is a time-honored tradition. To ensure this tradition is followed in a consistent manner that enhances the beauty of the cemetery and sets uniform policy for all visitors, the following regulations have been adopted.

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

Any suspected theft of personal goods from District grounds is within the authority of the local law enforcement agency and should be reported to them.

All items left at the interment site must fit within the memorial marker area. Items placed outside of the memorial marker area will be removed and discarded.

If no memorial marker is in place, memorial items left at the interment site must not exceed an area of 18″x 30″. Items are not allowed to be stuck into the ground. Memorial items must not have a solid foundation that would block irrigation from reaching the grass.

All memorial items may not exceed 36 inches in height.

No picket fences, glass or breakable containers, or alcoholic beverage containers are allowed to be left on grounds.

Digging or making holes on District grounds is prohibited, to include digging around a memorial marker.

All memorial items must be picked up prior to scheduled mowing days. Please reference the mowing schedule posted on this website and at the front of the cemetery for the day your section is mowed. Removal of all flowers and decorations begins at sundown the day prior.

All items left in the columbarium area must be picked up prior to posted cleaning dates.

Flowers that are placed on newly buried graves as part of the interment ceremony and have not become unsightly in their appearance will remain on the new grave for a maximum of three (3) days, with the service day counting as one (1) day. All flowers and memorial items will be removed on the fourth (4) day or on the first scheduled mowing day thereafter.

There will be no exception to mowing and cleaning schedules unless posted in advance on the District’s website or social media.

Removal of items in violation of the rules may occur at any time. The District is not liable for items removed and discarded in accordance with District policies. Items removed and discarded cannot be retrieved from the disposal area. These policies are in effect for all burials recent or otherwise.

Harassment, verbal abuse, or aggressive behavior towards employees enforcing these policies will not be tolerated and will result in removal from the grounds and additional law enforcement action as needed.

 

GRAVE MARKER POLICY

Any manufactured or fabricated reproductions of a picture or image on or recessed into the marker 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 marker, 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 marker.

Markers must accurately reflect the identity of the human remains contained within the plot or niche.  Nicknames and other terms may be incorporated into the marker.  All contents of the marker, including language and images, must be in good taste.  The District reserves the right to reject markers it deems to be offensive in nature.

 

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 marker will be permissible. Only one marker allowed per burial space, no exceptions.  Markers 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 established a set of rules to maintain the orderly appearance of 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.  Niche markers must be as designated by the District.

 

Specifications

The following headstone 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

 

Headstones 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. The DISTRICT will supply the responsible party with cement border installation, the cost of which is included in the Setting fee.

 

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 markers 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 HERE

 

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.

 

DISINTERMENT

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:

 

ADMINISTRATION OFFICE

82-925 AVENUE 52

COACHELLA, CA 92236

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE

82-847 AVENUE 52

COACHELLA, CA 92236

 

Policy Revisions

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

Policy Revisions Adopted March 4, 2022, by the Board of Trustees