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TOPIC: Burial on Private Land, New Mexico

Burial on Private Land, New Mexico 12 Jun 2010 09:58 #337

  • Edwina Hewett
  • Edwina Hewett's Avatar
As and individual and a member of a county planning and zoning board that is considering regulation of home burial on private land in New Mexico I am looking for information regarding such activities. Does New Mexico regulate burial on private land located wtihin the county areas? What concerns should a county planning and zoning board consider in creation of an ordinance? Any and all input would be greatly appreciate.
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Re:Burial on Private Land, New Mexico 15 Jun 2010 08:17 #338


Burial on Private Land, New Mexico - FCA Forum

I ran your inquiry through the Deathcare Discussion List and received the following responses.


I am aware that burial on private lands (particularly ranches) is a fairly common practice in Socorro County, NM. If there is permitting involved, I've not heard of it.

I would be interested in knowing which county P&Z is considering such an ordinance.


All I can find in a quick search of the state laws is:

30-12-14. Unlawful burial.

Unlawful burial consists of the using of any land or lands as a burial place of interment within fifty yards from either side of the bank or border of any stream, river or any body of water, by a person or persons, society of persons, order, corporation or corporations.

Whoever commits unlawful burial is guilty of a misdemeanor.

There may be local regs, or I may have missed something, but it looks to me like the statute is pretty non-existent when it comes to burial on private land. Certainly the general practice around here would suggest that.


You'll probably need to check local ordinances also, even if your state doesn't otherwise prohibit burial on one's own land. One source: www.municode.com , then click on library tab, then your state, then the applicable county or town. Then play around with key words such as: burial, grave, cemetery

Incorporated towns and cities tend to have more restrictions than rural areas.

Rural areas may have regulations regarding how far from existing cemeteries a sewer or septic system can be placed, and it's wise to flip those regulations around. Lisa Carlson has some general tips to follow including making a record on your deed.

Sometimes the county health department folks know but there's no substitute for doing your own research.


As Holly mentioned, I recommend 150 ft. from a water supply and 25 ft. from a power line or neighbor's boundary. For some reason, I couldn't respond to the poster on that blog.


Prior arrangements must be made with the county clerk's office to record a map designating the burial site. Burial must be 50 yards from a stream or other body of water and five feet from the property line; minimum depth is six feet.


You may wish to post your inquiry to the Deathcare Discussion List.


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