[HISTORY: Adopted by the Cemetery Committee of the Town of Norwell 3-28-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
These rules and regulations have been adopted for the mutual benefit of all lot owners. All owners and visitors to Norwell cemeteries and all lots sold in Norwell cemeteries shall be subject to the following rules and regulations. Amendments or alterations to these rules and regulations may be made by the Town of Norwell Cemetery Committee.
As used in these rules and regulations, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BURIAL RIGHTS
- The right to a burial in a grave or lot held by the licensee of the grave or lot. The deed to the lot is not equivalent to title to the property. Burial rights to the entire lot or individual grave may be granted or transferred by the licensee with the approval of the Norwell Cemetery Committee.
- CEMETERY COMMITTEE
- A five-member board of Norwell residents duly appointed by the Board of Selectmen to establish rules and regulations and recommend rates to the Board of Selectman, sell lots, arrange burials, keep records of all owners and burials, pay bills, and oversee maintenance of Town-owned Norwell cemeteries.
- CEMETERY LIAISON
- A Town of Norwell employee appointed by the Town Administrator to oversee the daily operation, arrangements, and everything pertaining to Town-owned Norwell cemeteries.
- CREMATION BURIAL
- The burial of an urn with cremated remains of a deceased person inside of it.
- A document that provides burial rights in a lot (or lots) in a Norwell cemetery, purchased by someone whose name is on the document. A deed to a cemetery lot does not constitute ownership of the land.
- FLAT MARKER
- A flat stone flush with the ground to designate where a deceased is buried.
- FULL BURIAL
- The burial of a casket and vault of a deceased person.
- (1) Washington Street Cemetery. A grave space measures four feet by 10 feet and accommodates space for one monument foundation, one monument, one full burial, and three cremations or one monument foundation, one monument, and four cremations.
- (2) Stetson Meadows Cemetery (monument section). Grave spaces at Stetson Meadows that are already provided with a bar foundation measure three feet eight inches wide by nine feet long, and the monument goes on top of the bar foundation accommodating one full burial.
- (3) Stetson Meadows Cemetery (flat marker section). Grave spaces measure three feet eight inches wide by nine feet long accommodating one full burial.
- (4) Stetson Meadows Cemetery (Garden of Angels). Grave spaces measure three feet by three feet accommodating one infant burial. Flat, flush markers only.
- (5) Stetson Meadows Cemetery (cremation garden and walk). Grave spaces measure three feet six inches by five feet, accommodating one cremation burial. Flat, flush markers only.
- The container (completely made of concrete) in which the casket is placed. Burials require a colonial vault, defined as an unlined, top-seal outer burial container where the concrete meets or exceeds a pressure test of 5,000 psf.
- The numbered space as shown on the cemetery recorded plan.
- LOT MARKER
- A small marker with a section and number placed on the lot to identify the space.
- A secured stone building, approved by the Town of Norwell Cemetery Committee, to house caskets or urns for the deceased.
- A monument, flat marker, tablet, object, mausoleum, or niche to designate where a deceased is buried.
- An upright stone no higher than three feet placed on a cement foundation at the head of a grave.
- The person whose name is on the cemetery lot deed.
- PERPETUAL CARE FUND
- A portion of the deed purchase price is placed into an expendable Perpetual Care Fund. The expendable Perpetual Care Fund is used for the maintenance of the grounds in the cemetery, but does not include care of any kind for the monument or markers.
- Weather-tight metal or stone vessel used to hold cremated remains and suitable for in-ground burial. Burial urn protective vaults are allowed.
Cemetery lots may be obtained by contacting the Cemetery Liaison at (781) 659-8009 or via e-mail at NorwellCemetery@townofnorwell.net.
Full payment is expected at the time a lot is selected, including a filing fee of $10.
Checks shall be made out to the "Town of Norwell."
A rate sheet is available upon request from the Cemetery Liaison.
Upon the death of any owner of any lot, tomb or monument, his or her heirs-at-law shall inherit the rights and succeed to the privileges set forth in the instrument of conveyance with the same restrictions, limitations, and conditions in accordance with MGL c. 114, §§ 28 and 29.
Please notify the Cemetery Committee via e-mail (NorwellCemetery@townofnorwell.net) or by letter of any new change of address. Notice of transfer of ownership due to a death or transfer to a family member must be communicated by letter. Please write to Norwell Cemetery Committee at 345 Main Street, Norwell, MA 02061.
Re-use of an occupied grave (e.g., cremation interment on top of the grave of a casket burial) will not be permitted except with the consent of the owner of the grave lot or his/her heirs-at-law. Re-use is only permitted if cemetery personnel determine that there is sufficient space to accomplish this.
The Town may take over the ownership of an unoccupied and unmarked grave in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 114, § 10A, after a minimum of 100 years has elapsed and provided the Town cannot locate the owner or the owner's successor after a diligent search. If the ownership of the lot or tomb is ascertained after such a takeover occurs, then the Town shall pay the fair value of the lot at the time of its takeover to the owner. (MGL c. 114, § 10A, Municipality ownership of unclaimed graves; reuse of occupied graves.) Graves will not be considered unoccupied if they are a part of a multiple abutting lot purchase by one owner and at least one of those lots is occupied.
No lot may be sold privately by the owner. If a lot is no longer desired, it shall be purchased by the Cemetery Committee for the original purchase price.
At least 48 hours' notice must be given to cemetery personnel to prepare for a burial. All graves will be prepared by the Tree and Grounds Department for a fee (see rates). Winter burial, from December 1 through April 1, may include additional charges (see rates).
Editor's Note: For rates see the Schedule of Charges included as an attachment to this chapter.
If a burial must be postponed due to weather, the funeral director and family will be immediately notified.
Cemeteries will be open for interments between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Funerals that enter the cemetery after these hours may be subject to extra hourly fees (see rates).
The Cemetery Committee reserves the right to refuse any interment.
A Cemetery Committee member or Town-approved witness must be present at all burials from grave opening until closing.
No full burial can be allowed without a proper death certificate. No cremation burial can be allowed without a crematory certificate or cremation affidavit. All paperwork must be accompanied by full payment for the burial. Please give payment to the Cemetery Committee member or witness present.
A liner/vault must be provided for all casket burials. The Town does not provide this item.
As original cemetery record-keeping has been determined to have an occasional error, the Cemetery Committee reserves the right to correct any past record-keeping errors regarding interments, disinterment, or removals, regarding the description, transfer, or conveyance of any interment property (either by cancelling such conveyance and substituting any conveyance in lieu thereof other property of equal value and similar locations as possible), or by refunding the amount of money paid on account of said purchase. In the event such an error shall involve the disinterment of the remains of any person in such property, the Cemetery Committee reserves the right to remove or transfer such remains so interred to another lot of equal value and similar location in which case the new lot shall be conveyed and the owner shall re-convey the former lot.
Burials on any day that the Town of Norwell considers a holiday, on Saturday after 2:00 p.m., or on Sundays may not be possible (depending on staff availability) and will incur additional fees (see rates).
Perpetual care includes, but is not limited to, cutting the grass, weed whacking, reseeding, clearing of leaves, and planting of shrubs and trees. This care does not include replacing gravestones or monument structures, unless damaged by the Town.
The Cemetery Committee and Town may receive, hold, and apply any funds, money, or securities deposited with the Treasurer thereof for the preservation, care, improvement or embellishment of any public burial place situated therein, or of burial lots situated in such burial places. Such funds, money, or securities shall be entered upon the books of the Treasurer and held in accordance with ordinances or bylaws relative thereto. The Town may pass ordinances or bylaws consistent with law, necessary for the purposes of this section. The Treasurer shall invest such deposits under his/her control to protect the cemetery and ensure maximum income from such deposits upon receipt of a deposit for the preservation, care, improvement, or embellishment of individual lots in Town-owned burial places (MGL c. 114, § 19). At present 40% is taken out of a lot purchase for perpetual care and 60% goes to sale of lots. Funds in the Sale of Lots Fund are appropriated by Town Meeting to reimburse the Town for certain allowable expenses relative to cemeteries.
Monument dimensions are as follows:
Washington Street Cemetery:
Single lot. Maximum width: 32 inches; maximum height: three feet; or flat/flush marker.
Double lot. Maximum width: 64 inches; maximum height: three feet; or flat/flush marker.
Family lot. No longer available.
Flat marker. Maximum dimensions: 24 inches long by 12 inches wide by four inches thick.
Stetson Meadows Cemetery:
Flat marker section:
Flat marker. Maximum dimensions: 24 inches long by 12 inches wide by four inches thick.
Estate lots. (Note: Consists of eight contiguous single lots.) Monument maximum width: 64 inches; maximum height: 36 inches; and/or eight flat/flush markers (see flat marker section).
Garden of Angels. Flat/flush markers only measuring 20 inches long by 10 inches wide by four inches thick.
Cremation garden and walk. Flat/flush markers only measuring 20 inches long by 10 inches wide by four inches thick.
Any requests for a larger monument must be submitted to the Cemetery Committee for approval.
It is recommended that all markers be made of granite or a material of similar hardness.
All flat markers require foundations.
Memorial dealers are required to submit a detailed drawing of what the stone will look like with descriptions and specifications for the base and monument, the finish, color, and inscription. All monuments must be approved by the Cemetery Liaison.
Foundations are required for all monuments and should be included in the drawings submitted. The cost for the foundation is paid by the plot owner directly to the monument dealer and will be forwarded to the Town of Norwell. Foundations will be laid by the Town's cemetery personnel. Monuments with bar foundations may be placed back to back.
The erection of secured mausoleums, vaults, or tombs (entirely above ground) on a selected lot(s) will be permitted at Washington Street Cemetery in such places of the cemetery as the Cemetery Committee approves. Complete plans drawn to scale, accompanied by specifications describing all materials to be used, must be submitted to and approved by the Cemetery Committee before any work commences. Duplicate keys for private mausoleums must be left in care of the Cemetery Liaison.
The Town of Norwell reserves the exclusive right to do or have done all applications of chemicals, pesticides, or fertilizers. Application of such chemicals on Town-owned property is required to be done by certified personnel and could do harm to the environment and to the cemetery if improperly or redundantly applied. Please notify the Cemetery Liaison with any questions regarding landscaping or grass maintenance.
Flowers may be placed at the front and sides of the monument, not in the back (unless the back lot is owned by the same family and the monument is for both lots). Flowers, plantings, and decorations should be securely placed within the confines of the respective lot. Placement must not interfere with the safe mowing and maintenance of the lot and must not encroach upon adjacent lots. No flowers shall be planted in the ground at the Stetson Meadows Cemetery except by cemetery personnel.
No invasive plants, vines, rose bushes or vegetables are allowed.
Container plants, winter wreaths, and baskets that have died will be removed on a regular basis. The Town is not responsible for any decoration or container of value.
No tree or shrub shall be planted in the Washington Street Cemetery from this date forth except by cemetery personnel. Any tree or shrub presently on a grave site may be trimmed or removed (if overgrown, diseased, or hazardous). No plants, trees, or shrubs shall be planted at the Stetson Meadows Cemetery except by cemetery personnel.
One American flag is permitted per grave or family lot. On veterans' graves, one flag attached to a military medallion is allowed. If a veteran served in more than one war, or another family member was in the service, another medallion can be placed but only one flag for all. Military, fire, or police memorial flags are allowed in front of the stone.
Veteran markers can be obtained through the Veterans' Agent free of charge, or you can go to www.cem.va.gov or call 1-800-697-6947. Delivery of veterans' markers should go through a funeral director who will notify the Cemetery Liaison. Personal veteran markers are allowed.
Low-wattage, non-blinking, solar, or battery-operated lighting is allowed at the Washington Street Cemetery. Lighting must not interfere with safe mowing or maintenance. No lighting is allowed at the Stetson Meadows Cemetery.
Wire hangers are not allowed for safety reasons. All decorative objects are placed at your own risk and may become damaged during mowing and may be removed if broken. No decorative objects are allowed at the Stetson Meadows Cemetery.
Decorative edgings and fences made of plastic are not allowed at the Washington Street Cemetery as they are easily damaged during mowing. Other decorative edgings must not impede safe mowing and may be removed if they do so. No decorative edgings or fences are allowed to be placed at the Stetson Meadows Cemetery except by cemetery personnel.
All Norwell cemeteries are open from dawn to dusk.
No dogs are allowed in Norwell cemeteries except for service dogs assisting a person with a disability.
No metal detecting is allowed in Norwell cemeteries.
Water spigots at the cemeteries are for irrigation and cemetery maintenance only.
Any person who destroys, defaces, or overturns any monument, tree, shrub, plant, or building will be subject to a fine or prosecuted by law resulting in imprisonment or both.
All vehicles must travel on paved roadways only. Please be respectful of others when parking along the roadway.
Vehicle speed should not exceed 10 miles per hour.
Persons within the cemeteries are required to conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner. Recreational activities such as skateboarding, sledding, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not allowed.
In the case of an extraordinary circumstance or event, the Cemetery Committee reserves the right to make exceptions, suspensions, or modifications to any of these rules.
Owners with grievances pertaining to their specific lot or burial may appeal these rules to the Cemetery Committee at one of its regularly scheduled and duly posted public meetings. All grievance resolutions shall be mutually agreed upon, or if no agreement is reached an owner may appeal to the Board of Selectmen for final disposition of the grievance.