PHED Committee #2 & 3
October 16, 2017
October 12, 2017
Planning, H,7using, and Economic Development Committee
Jeff Zyonl:Znio r Legislative Analyst
Bill 24-17, Land Use Information - Burial Sites; and SRA 17-01, Approval Procedures -
Subdivision Regulation Amendment (SRA) 17-01, Approval Procedures - Burial Sites, lead sponsors
Councilmem ber Rice, Council President Berliner, and Councilmem ber Leventhal, and co-sponsors
Councilmemb ers Navarro, Hucker, and Eirich, was introduced on June 27, 2017. SRA 17-01 would
require burial sites identified in the inventory to be respected in the subdivision approval process.
Although there are state requirements for the removal of human remains and for registered cemeteries,
currently there are no specific references in County code dealing with cemeteries or burial sites. There
are no obligations for developers to do archaeological research on their sites based on County law.
Bill 24-17 was also introduced on June 27.
would require the Planning Board to establish and maintain
an inventory of burial sites. Under Bill 24-17, the Planning Board would be required revise that inventory
annually as research reveals additional sites or errors in prior research.
Once identified as a burial site, under SRA 17-01, the burden shifts to the subdivision applicant to research
and delineate the boundary of the burial site. The burial site would be protected from development unless
that protection would amount to "taking" the property.
The Plarming Board and Planning staff recommended approval of SRA 17-01 and Bill 24-1 7 with
amendments. The Planning Board recommende d allowing for more flexibility in determining when it is
appropriate to relocate buried remains. The Board also recommende d revisions to the inventory of burial
sites to allow changes whenever they are discovered, not just armually. Beyond the Bill and SRA, the
Board recommende d the appointment of a special advisory committee to comprehensiv ely explore
additional legislation concerning burial sites and archaeological resources.
The Council held a public hearing on September 12, 2017. In general, testimony supported the approval
of SRA 17-01 as the Council's first step in protecting burial sites. A number of people wanted to protect
The use offederal or state funds does trigger an obligation on the part of the active public agency to do proactive investigations.
This process is required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA). Projects requiring review
include actions with direct federal or state funding sources, pennits, licenses, or other action with state or federal involvement.