I have been asked if you could still make a family plot on private land and I researched the subject and this is the information I found out .




Environmental Health Services

Cemetery Permitting

Robert Hart

Conducting sanitary investigations of proposed church/family and perpetual care cemeteries to determine site acceptability.

20-17-901. Registration required.

All cemeteries now existing in the state shall be registered with the county judge, if under his jurisdiction, or with the mayor, as the case may be, and a copy of the registration shall be filed with the Department of Health. This registration shall show the location and boundaries of the cemetery. 

History. Acts 1929, No. 204, 2; Pope's Dig., 6447; Acts 1985, No. 1014, 2; A.S.A. 1947, 82-402.

20-17-902. Burial in registered cemetery required - Records. 

(a) It shall be unlawful to bury a dead body outside of a registered cemetery. 

(b) The sexton or person in charge of the cemetery shall keep a correct record, on a form prescribed by the Department of Health, of each body buried therein. 

History. Acts 1929, No. 204, 3; Pope's Dig., 6448; Acts 1985, No. 1014, 3; A.S.A. 1947, 82-403.
20-17-903. Application to locate or extend boundaries. 

(a) Whenever it is proposed to locate a cemetery or to extend the boundaries of an existing cemetery, the party so proposing shall make written application to the county judge or to the mayor of an incorporated city or town, according to whether the cemetery, or extension of a cemetery, is to be located in the jurisdiction of one (1) or the other of these authorities. The written description shall describe accurately the location and boundaries of the proposed cemetery or extension of a cemetery. 

(b) Before acting upon the application, the county judge or the mayor, as the case may be, shall refer the application to the Department of Health for investigation from a sanitary standpoint. In making such investigation the department shall take into consideration the proximity of the proposed cemetery or extension of a cemetery to human habitations, the nature of the soil, the drainage of the ground, the danger of pollution of valuable springs or streams of water, and such other conditions as would bear upon the situation. 

(c) Having completed its investigation as promptly as can be done, the department shall submit a report to the judge or the mayor, as the case may be, and either approve or disapprove the application. 

(d) Having received the report from the department, the judge or the mayor, as the case may be, as recommended by the department, shall either grant or deny the application. 

(e) Should the application be granted, the judge or the mayor, as the case may be, shall issue to the party making the application, in such form as may be prescribed by the department, a permit to establish or extend the cemetery in question. 

(f) The permit shall be recorded in the office of the county judge or the mayor and a copy forwarded to the department. 

History. Acts 1929, No. 204, 1; Pope's Dig., 6446; Acts 1985, No. 1014, 1; A.S.A. 1947, 82-401.


The following information must be furnished to the Arkansas Department of Health in connection with their investigation of proposed cemeteries.

1) An accurate legal description of land for which the permit is requested. The legal description should be certified by an engineer or surveyor, and be consistent with all maps or plans of the proposed cemetery.

2) A contour map with five foot contour intervals is required.

3) A detailed design of the cemetery layout is required. All dimensions should conform with those on the contour map.

4) The size of the minimum grave space should be provided.

5) A map showing locations of and distances to the nearest human habitation in each direction is required. This map should show all water wells and.or springs serving as water supplies. Locations of roads or highways in the immediate vicininty should be shown. The reference point should be shown on this map.

6) At least one test hole per acre, uniformly spaced, is required. Holes should be at least six feet deep. Logs of all test holes should describe types of soil and any rock encountered. Depths at which water is encountered should be indicated. Logs should be certified by a competent person.

7) Perpetual Care Cemeteries must also make application through:

Arkansas Cemetery Board
Heritage West Building
201 East Markham Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201

8) Mail plans to:

Engineering Section
Environmental Health Branch
Center for Local Public Health
Division of Health
Department of Health & Human Services
P. O. Box 1437, Slot H-37
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437

9) A plan review of $50, required by state statute, must accompany the plans.

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