HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A spokesman says Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will sign a bill that would ensure that in the future, people will have “reasonable access” to cemeteries in privately-owned land. The measure was prompted by a dispute in Berks County.
The Senate gave final legislative approval to the bill Wednesday. Berks County Democrat Judy Schwank says the measure arose from a situation with a cemetery in the southern tip of her county. The new owners of land on which burial grounds are located were refusing to allow people to visit the graves of their loved ones — posting “no trespassing” signs and even going to court.
“It was really a heartbreaking situation for the families,” Schwank said. “Some of the individuals even were concerned because they perhaps would not be able to be buried next to their spouse.”
Owners of private land in which cemeteries are located will have the right to establish hours and duration of visits. When there is a transfer of ownership of those properties, the bill requires the new owners to honor the purchase of burial plots made before the transfer.