Part 1- Abandoned Public Cemeteries
Article I- County to Assume Possession and Control of Abandoned Public Cemeteries
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Henderson County. Amended 1-25-2005;]
§ 46-1. Title.
This Part 1 shall be referred to as the "Henderson County Ordinance Regulating Abandoned Public
§ 46-2. Authority.
This Part 1 is enacted pursuant to the authority of N.C.G.S. Chapter 65, Articles 1 and 10, N.C.G.S.153A-
149, N.C.G.S. 153A, Article 16, and N.C.G.S. 153A-169. This Part 1 shall be interpreted in accordance
with any sections of the N.C.G.S. which, by their terms, limit the authority or responsibility of Henderson
County with respect to abandoned public cemeteries.
§ 46-3. Jurisdiction.
This Part 1 shall apply in the unincorporated areas of Henderson County.
§ 46-4. Definitions.
The following terms are defined for purposes of this Chapter:
Abandoned Cemetery - A cemetery for which there is no ascertainable person or entity
responsible for maintenance and care, and which has not actually been maintained or
cared for so that it has fallen into a state of disrepair as evidenced by overgrown foliage,
broken grave markers, loss of grave identity, or such other circumstances indicating
neglect or abandonment.
Public Body - A County, municipality, or other governmental entity; or a quasi-
governmental entity established by a governmental entity such as an authority, a district,
a public hospital, a County home, etc.
Public Cemetery - A cemetery that:
Is or was last owned or controlled by a public body without any relinquishment
of ownership or control by said public body; or
Has been dedicated for use by the public generally by an express or implied
dedication, and accepted by the public expressly by an act of a public body or
impliedly by the actual use of the cemetery by the general public.
§ 46-5. List of Abandoned and Public Cemeteries.
The Board of Commissioners shall prepare and maintain a list of all public cemeteries in Henderson
County located outside of the limits of any incorporated towns and cities and not established and
maintained for the use of an incorporated town or city, together with the names and addresses of the
persons in possession and control of the same. To such list shall be added a list of those public cemeteries
identified which are also abandoned.
§ 46-6. Possession, Control and Maintenance.
The Board of Commissioners shall assume possession and control of all cemeteries identified as abandoned
public cemeteries in the list prepared and maintained pursuant to §46-5 above or which are found by the
Board to be abandoned public cemeteries pursuant to an application filed in accordance with §46-7 below.
The Board of Commissioners shall cause to be taken all appropriate actions to care for and maintain all
abandoned public cemeteries for which possession and control is assumed pursuant to this Part 1, shall see
that their boundaries and lines are clearly laid out, defined and marked, and shall take proper steps to
preserve them from encroachment. Upon the assumption of possession and control of an abandoned public
cemetery by the Board of Commissioners, no further burials shall be allowed in such cemetery.
§ 46-7. Identification of Abandoned Public Cemeteries.
Any person or entity may make application to the Board of Commissioners requesting that the Board of
Commissioners assume possession and control of an abandoned public cemetery located in the
unincorporated areas of Henderson County. Such application shall be made on a form approved by the
Board of Commissioners, but shall, at a minimum, include the following information:
Name of applicant.
Special relationship to any of the deceased buried in the abandoned public cemetery or
other special interest, if any.
Location of abandoned public cemetery, including address, parcel identification number
as shown on the Henderson County Geographical Information System (GIS), and a GIS
map showing approximate location of the abandoned public cemetery on the parcel
Name of last person or entity owning or controlling the property on which the abandoned
public cemetery is located.
Sufficient evidence to support a finding by the Henderson County Board of
Commissioners that the cemetery which the Board is requested to assume possession and
control over is an abandoned public cemetery as defined by this Part 1.