Operators of pet cemeteries in Baltimore County will have to notify plot owners, and in some cases offer reimbursement, if those burial grounds are sold for development purposes.
The law, sponsored by Councilman David Marks, requires that operators of pet cemeteries to provide public 90-days notice of an intent to develop the burial grounds. The notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation.
Owners of unused plots would be eligible for full reimbursement. Those with pets already buried would be eligible for reimbursement of burial costs.
Marks amended out a portion of the bill that would require pet cemetery operators to pay the costs to re-bury the animals.
Marks introduced the bill out of concerns that the Oakleigh Cemetery in Parkville might be developed. Last month, the Perry Hall Republican, downzoned the property in an attempt to control possible future development.
During public testimony last week, some neighbors of the cemetery called it a quirky but welcome part of the community. Others complained that the property is poorly maintained and has become a home for vermin with some sites being desecrated and pillaged, used as open-air toilets or areas for drug and alcohol use.
The bill takes effect 45 days pending the signature of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.