Cemetery policy revised

The policy governing Summerland’s cemeteries has been reviewed and a new bylaw has been drafted.

The policy governing Summerland’s cemeteries has been reviewed and a new bylaw has been drafted.

The review came after municipal workers removed items from graves at Canyon View Cemetery earlier this year, during a clean-up initiative.

The removal sparked outrage from many in the community.

As a result, municipal council and staff held open houses and asked for comments from the community on how to best manage the three cemeteries maintained by the municipality.

“It was a terrible thing that happened, but we now have something positive coming from it,” said Mayor Janice Perrino.

“We want people to be able to cherish their loved ones in a respectful way, but also that the cemetery has a good look for everyone.”

Under the changed bylaw, offerings may be left at a site at the cemetery if they are located on the concrete base at least 50 millimetres from the edge of the base and of sufficient weight to keep from being blown off the base by the wind.

Items such as plastics which will easily fade and stuffed animals which can become an nesting ground for rodents, maggots or insects are discouraged.

Some items, such as necklaces, small stones and marbles which can become entangled in maintenance equipment are prohibited.

Also prohibited are items which will extend or grow into the landscaped area, easily breakable objects or pointed or sharp objects which may present a safety hazard.

In addition, the municipality will set up information pamphlets at the entrances to Canyon View Cemetery as well as revised signs to reflect the changes to the bylaw.

Sandwich boards will also be set up at the entrances to the cemetery to provide information about the bylaw.