Health and Safety


SECTION 23-18-11.1

§ 23-18-11.1. Permit required to alter or remove historic cemetery – Powers of city or town council – Appeal.

(a) Before an agency or a property owner may authorize or commence alteration or removal of any historic cemetery, the agency or owner must apply to the city or town council where the historic cemetery is located for a permit to alter or remove. The city or town council shall prescribe by ordinance standards to regulate the alteration or removal of any historic cemetery within its municipal limits, but shall at a minimum provide that:

(1) The applicant examine all alternatives, and demonstrate that no prudent or feasible alternative to the proposed alteration is possible;

(2) The city or town provide for notification and participation in the permitting process of parties which may be interested in the proposed alteration or removal by virtue of their status as a governmental health or historic preservation authority, or as a private or nonprofit historical, genealogical or civic organization, or, in the case of American Indian cemeteries and burial grounds, the appropriate tribal organization; and

(3) The city or town provide for due consideration of the rights of descendants in any application to substantially alter or remove a historic cemetery.

(b) When an application for alteration or removal of a historic cemetery has been made and the boundary is unknown or in doubt, the city or town may require that the applicant, at its own expense, conduct an archaeological investigation to determine the actual size of the cemetery prior to final consideration by the city or town of the application to alter or remove.

(c) After due consideration, the city or town council may grant the application to alter or remove the historic cemetery in whole or in part, under the supervision of an archaeologist and with any restrictions and stipulations that it deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section, or deny the application in its entirety. Any person or persons aggrieved by a decision of the city or town council shall have the right of appeal concerning the decision to the superior court and from the superior court to the supreme court by writ of certiorari.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to contravene the authority of municipal bodies under § 45-5-12 to hold, manage, repair, or maintain any neglected burial ground.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 478, § 2; P.L. 1993, ch. 422, § 6; P.L. 1994, ch. 14, § 6; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 55.)