Archive for Tuesday, September 16, 2008

City Commission agenda: ‘Green’ burial cemetery considered

September 16, 2008


Agenda highlights ¢ 6:35 p.m. Tuesday ¢ City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets ¢ Sunflower Broadband Channel 25 ¢ Meeting documents online at

'Green' burial cemetery considered

Bottom line

City commissioners will consider moving forward with plans to establish a Natural Burial Cemetery area at the northwestern edge of Oak Hill Cemetery. Commissioners will receive information from the city's Parks and Recreation Department, which wants permission to establish the section and begin selling lots Jan 1. The area would not be mowed. Only native plants, flowers and grasses would be allowed as decorations. No cut, machined or polished markers would be permitted, although "engraved natural, flat rocks, or boulders" would be allowed.


In a memo to commissioners, Ernie Shaw, the city's interim director of parks and recreation, said that the section would accommodate "green burial," or natural burial, by ensuring that the site remained "as natural as possible in all respects." Burial would be in a biodegradable casket or shroud; the process would involve no embalming fluid or concrete vaults. Oak Hill Cemetery could be the first publicly owned place to offer such "green" burials in the United States.

Other business


¢ Proclaim this week as POW/MIA Recognition Week and Friday as POW/MIA Recognition Day.

¢ Proclaim Wednesday through Sept. 23 as Constitution Week.

Consent agenda

¢ Approve City Commission meeting minutes from Sept. 2.

¢ Receive minutes from various boards and commissions.

¢ Approve all claims.

¢ Approve licenses as recommended by the Department of Administrative Services.

¢ Bid and purchase items:

a) Approve Change Order No. 1 to LRM Industries Inc. for $37,732.40 to cover to significant increases in asphalt oil prices for the 2008 Overlay Program, Phase 1, Project No. PW0808, City Bid No. B08043.

b) Approve the purchase of a pre-cast concrete restroom facility from CXT Concrete Buildings for $47,000, for placement in Hobbs Park.

¢ Adopt on first reading Joint City Ordinance No. 8301/County Resolution No. ____ regarding amendments to the Subdivision Regulations approved Sept. 9 by the City Commission and Sept. 3 by the Douglas County Commission.

¢ Adopt the following ordinances on second and final reading:

a) Ordinance No. 8323, amending Chapter VI, Article 13 and enacting Chapter VI, Article 13 Section 6-1302.1 related to occupancy of rental units in RS zoning districts.

b) Ordinance No. 8283, for Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Horizon 2020, Chapter 7.

¢ Adopt Resolution No. 6801, setting a public hearing date of Nov. 11 to discuss the condition of the dilapidated structure at 617 W. Fourth St. and to consider declaring the structure unsafe and ordering its repair or removal within a specified period of time.

¢ Approve Text Amendment TA-07-14-08, to Section 20-525 and Section 20-526 of the Development Code to specify use standards for general retail sales and retail establishments in the MU (Mixed Use) District, and adopt Ordinance No. 8318 on first reading for TA-07-14-08, to Section 20-525 and Section 20-526 of the Development Code.

¢ Approve a contract with LSA Associates Inc. for on-call traffic modeling services needed by the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization in its conduct of the regional transportation planning program.

¢ Approve request by Peridian Group, on behalf of property owners, for a variance at the Grove, a proposed multifamily development at 24th Place and Inverness Drive, from City Code 19-302(1)(B), which states that apartment houses having 12 living units or less shall have a water meter for each living unit.

¢ Authorize staff to advertise a request for proposals for design and construction phase engineering services in conjunction with project WW0601 improvements to the anaerobic digester process and small maintenance projects at the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

¢ Receive city manager's report.

Regular agenda

¢ Conduct city water and wastewater revenue bond sale and award bid to lowest responsible bidder. Commissioners will consider approving an ordinance on first and second reading that would authorize and provide for the issuance of water and sewage system improvement revenue bonds in the principal amount of $4.27 million.

¢ Conduct public hearing regarding the establishment of water and sewer improvements for Bauer Brook Estates, and consider ordering sanitary sewer and water improvements to serve the Bauer Brook Estates subdivision.

¢ Consider approving the following special use permits:

a) a Special Use Permit and Institutional Development Plan for Lawrence High School for the construction of additional parking and installation of bleachers/restrooms/concessions/lighting/sound systems to accommodate athletic competitions on-site at 1901 La. Because valid protest petitions have been received, four votes would be needed to approve the permit.

b) a Special Use Permit and Institutional Development Plan for Centennial/Lawrence Virtual School for the construction of additional parking and installation of bleachers/restrooms/concessions/lighting system to accommodate baseball and tennis competition on-site at 2145 La. A protest petition was filed, but did not meet minimum requirements to be valid.

¢ a Special Use Permit and Institutional Development Plan for Free State High School for the construction of additional parking and installation of bleachers/restrooms/concessions/lighting/sound systems to accommodate athletic competitions on-site at 4700 Overland Drive.

¢ Receive presentation of results of Recycling Survey, and receive recommendations fro the city's Sustainability Advisory Board.

¢ Receive a staff memo regarding green burials, and direct staff, as appropriate.


Paul R Getto 9 years, 1 month ago

Burn everyone; dump the ashes in the river or give them to relatives for use at home. cemeteries are a waste of time, money and real estate.

cowboy 9 years, 1 month ago

Curious , do you still have to go thru a funeral home ? always seemed kind of silly to me to spend thousands of dollars at the funeral home just so you can hang around a few more days

Danimal 9 years, 1 month ago

That's actually a fair assessment igby. I guess the difference is all in the marketing though isn't it? I for one think it's kind of a silly idea unless they plan on burning it off at least every two years as this kind of native plant life requires. Otherwise, they'll have a patch of those scrubby pine trees that everyone hates in about 5 years. If you want to go natural just be buried at sea or something. No lasting footprint on mother earth there.

George_Braziller 9 years, 1 month ago

Cardboard caskets have been used for years and aren't anything new. Yes, there will eventually be a depression in the ground when the soil sinks in but it isn't any different than what happens when a wooden coffin decays. Embalming, concrete vaults, and expensive caskets don't preserve you, they just slow down the process.Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

coolmarv 9 years, 1 month ago

To be truly green the grave will need to be dug by hand. If Marion is right we could get DNA of the deceased from the tree.

igby 9 years, 1 month ago

This is the very excuse the city used in court to bink the company that managed the graveyard out of their property; not mowing.The city should just give it back to the company that would not mow the dam place too begin with. What bastates the city has become!

gaiapapaya 9 years, 1 month ago

The green cemetery is going to be near the wooded area in Oakhill, not the cemetery on the south side of 15. I like the idea of having a green cemetery. Embalming seems creepy to me, along with concrete vaults and giant caskets. I mean, once you're dead, do you really need to be protected from dirt and water for hundreds of years?

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