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Rules & Regulations

RULES & REGULATIONS FOR HISTORIC GULF CEMETERY AND THE GULF CEMETERY ASSOCIATION INC.

PURPOSE: These Rules and Regulations are designed for the protection of owners of interment rights as a group. Their purpose is not that of restraining, but rather to prevent inconsiderate actions or someone taking unfair advantage of others. Their enforcement will help protect your cemetery and create and preserve its beauty. The Gulf Cemetery Association, all owners with interment rights, visitors, and contractors performing work within the cemetery shall be subject to said RULES and REGULATIONS, amendments, or alterations, and as these are updated and adopted for the cemetery.

PROCEDURES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
• Gravesite purchasers who violate the Rules and Regulations adopted and enforced by the Gulf Cemetery Association Board of Directors shall be subject to the following:
– Purchase money of sites owned will be returned minus any damages caused by the violation plus an administration fee of 10%, as set by the Board of Directors.
– All applicable recording fees (as set by the Walton County Clerk of Court) will be paid in full.
• Vendors are also subject to the Rules and Regulations adopted by the Board of Directors. Violation of the Rules and Regulations will, upon a majority vote of the Board, prohibit them from offering their services at the Historic Gulf Cemetery.
• No trees shall be removed without prior approval by the Historic Gulf Cemetery management.
• Each gravesite shall be approximately 6 x 12 feet.
• Each block will contain 16 gravesites. They will be identified and numbered 1 thru 16. Number 1 thru 8 will be located on the Western side of the block, and rise in ascending order 1 thru 8 and South to North direction. Sites 9 thru 16 will be located on the Eastern side of the Block and rise in ascending order 9 thru 16 and in a South to North direction.
• All gravesites in the South section and in the newer developed sections to the West must face the East.
• All monuments must be placed along the West site line no closer than 6 inches to site boundary. There is a 6-inch setback on all four sides of the gravesite.
• Only one monument per gravesite is permitted. Verification of proper setting of monuments, etc. MUST be done by the Historic Gulf Cemetery management prior to setting. In addition to a monument or headstone per gravesite, one foot stone (ground stone) flush with the ground per gravesite is also permitted, as well as a stone or granite bench, with engraving if desired. Local sources for these gravesite markers and memorials are available.
• Mausoleum construction is not permitted in any area of the cemetery.
• Decorations are limited to a family’s owned burial site(s) only. No screws or nails in trees are permitted.
• Complete payment in full must be made before any burial or monument is placed on site. Local funeral homes and monument companies have been informed of this policy and no gravesite can be opened until full payment for the site(s) is received. Any exceptions to full payment upfront must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.
• No site shall be used for any purpose other than for the burial and memorial of the human deceased.
• The maximum number of gravesites that an individual buyer may purchase is sixteen (16), which is one full BLOCK of gravesites.
• It is the responsibility of the site owner to notify management of any change of address or contact information.
• No interments of two or more bodies shall be made in one site except in the case of parent and child or two infants buried in one casket. Cremation urns will be limited to two burials on any individual (6 x 12 feet) gravesite.
• No above-ground interment or interment structures, such as mausoleums, are permitted at Historic Gulf Cemetery. This is based on the original federal grant for the use of this site as a burial ground and the ongoing maintenance required for this historic site.
• Individual gravesite monuments shall not exceed 42” in height, nor have a footprint that covers more than one-fourth (1/4) of a single gravesite.
• A monument height of up to 72″ is permissible for a monument used to mark a family section that covers at least four (4) contiguous gravesites, which is one-fourth (1/4) of a block, measuring 12’ x 24’.
• Individual gravesite granite ledgers (slabs) are also permitted, with a full ledger generally measuring 3’ x 7’. Granite slabs smaller than a full ledger are also permitted.
• Of note, requests for any special variation of these gravesite monument rules can be presented to the Board for full consideration.
• The Memorial Scatter Garden is available for ground scattering of cremated human remains in the designated area at Historic Gulf Cemetery and as outlined in the rules governing this area. No urn burial is permitted in this area. Urn burial is permitted on individual (6 x 12 feet) cemetery sites and in the fenced columbarium area.
• The cemetery will not be liable for the interment permit, or the identity of the person sought to be interred. Verification of site ownership by presentation of a Certificate of Interment Rights by site owners will be needed. Location of the site MUST be done by the Historic Gulf Cemetery management PRIOR TO site preparation for burial.
• No glass or breakable containers will be permitted to be placed on any site due to the safety factor. They will be removed and discarded.
• Flowers from burial services or plastic ornaments may be removed if they become unsightly. Christmas decorations will be removed if they become unsightly or are left on site after February 1.
• Site owners, at their cost, must provide a vault made of concrete, steel or other such material that meets state law requirements. The burial of ashes or ashes in urns do not require a vault.
• The Board may grant space for Pauper burials, after proof has been submitted that a resident or their relatives do not have sufficient funds to pay for interment.
• The Cemetery shall have first option to repurchase sites at the original purchase price, less a 10% administrative fee, as set by the Board of Directors.
• Normal care provided by Gulf Cemetery Association will consist of mowing/cutting of the cemetery as required, removal of dead or severely damaged trees, and upkeep of roads and water points. All other site maintenance will be the site owners’ responsibility.
• No disinterment shall be made except with prior approval of cemetery management.
• In order to track growth and keep expenses for maintenance at a minimum, Gulf Cemetery management shall designate those gravesites that are for sale.
• Persons who dump trash, bottles, or other waste or garbage will be prosecuted as applicable and to the fullest extent of the law possible.
• Any individual, whether private or a vendor representative, who willfully disrespects the dead by driving on gravesites and not using designated roadways, will be prosecuted for any damages as well as face possible denial of future use of the Cemetery, as determined by the Board of Directors.
• Violators of these Rules and Regulations may be prohibited from future gravesite ownership.
• Visitation is CLOSED from dusk to dawn.
• All deeds will be recorded and filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Walton County, FL at the time that gravesites are purchased. These fees will be paid in full by the purchaser.

FLORIDA STATUTES REFERENCE: The Florida Statutes that address the laws and penalties concerning cemeteries and gravesites are addended below.

The 2021 Florida Statutes, Title XLVI, CRIMES, Chapter 872, OFFENSES CONCERNING DEAD BODIES AND GRAVES
872.02 Injuring or removing tomb or monument; disturbing contents of grave or tomb; penalties. —
(1) A person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if he or she:
(a) Willfully and knowingly destroys, mutilates, defaces, injures, or removes any tomb, monument, gravestone, burial mound, earthen or shell monument containing human skeletal remains or associated burial artifacts, or other structure or thing placed or designed for a memorial of the dead, or any fence, railing, curb, or other thing intended for the protection or ornamentation of any tomb, monument, gravestone, burial mound, earthen or shell monument containing human skeletal remains or associated burial artifacts, or other structure before mentioned, or for any enclosure for the burial of the dead; or
(b) Willfully destroys, mutilates, removes, cuts, breaks, or injures any tree, shrub, or plant placed or being within any such enclosure, except for a person performing routine maintenance and upkeep.
(2) A person who willfully and knowingly excavates, exposes, moves, removes, or otherwise disturbs the contents of a grave or tomb commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921, a violation of this section committed by a person in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot prohibited under s. 870.01 is ranked one level above the ranking under s. 921.0022 or s. 921.0023 for the offense committed.

CONCLUSION: These Rules & Regulations will be reviewed by the Board annually. The Board will incorporate any necessary changes and advise site owners if there is any relevant impact of those changes.

Updated: February 2022

Historic Gulf Cemetery - Santa Rosa Beach, FL