City of Madison, Wisconsin | Legislative Information Center
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File #: 53620    Version: 1 Name: Forest Hill Cemetery
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 10/23/2018 In control: Attorney's Office/Approval Group
On agenda: 6/11/2019 Final action: 6/11/2019
Enactment date: 6/22/2019 Enactment #: ORD-19-00043
Title: Amending Section 41.09 of the Madison General Ordinances to clarify when a certificate of appropriateness is required under Sec. 41.09 of the Historic Preservation Ordinance at Forest Hill Cemetery.
Sponsors: Marsha A. Rummel
Attachments: 1. 53620 LC Report 5-20-19
Fiscal Note
No City appropriation required.
Title
Amending Section 41.09 of the Madison General Ordinances to clarify when a certificate of appropriateness is required under Sec. 41.09 of the Historic Preservation Ordinance at Forest Hill Cemetery.
Body
DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS: The Common Council designated the entire Forest Hill Cemetery as a Landmark in 1990. The form nominating Forest Hill for Landmark status provides several reasons for the historical significance of the Cemetery, including its landscape architecture and that it serves as the final resting place for several persons of transcendent importance in local, state and national history: historian Frederick Jackson Turner, Cordelia Harvey, Eston Hemings Jefferson, Robert M. LaFollette, Sr., and several other Wisconsin governors, the graves of some of Madison’s earliest Jewish citizens, as well as the confederate rest area, a specific section of the cemetery surrounded by a stone outcropping where 140 CSA prisoners of war who died at Camp Randall were buried in 1862. Thus, Forest Hill’s historic significance as a landmark site ranges from the uniqueness of its landscape architecture to the effigy mounds that were constructed there over a thousand years ago to the historical significance of the people who have been buried there.

In addition to being a Landmark, Forest Hill Cemetery is also an active cemetery that is operated and maintained by the City Parks Department. This means - among other things - that new gravesites and landscape features are being added often daily. Read literally, Sec. 41.09 would require a certificate of appropriateness from the Landmarks Commission any time the Parks Department interred a body or planted a tree. Nevertheless, the City has never sought certificates of appropriateness for such actions. Instead, the city traditionally seeks certificates of appropriateness when engaging in larger projects, such as repairs to the mausoleum.

This amendment clarifies what ac...

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