09/27/2013 05:32 EDT | Updated 11/27/2013 05:12 EST

Graveside adornments banned from Campbell River cemetery

City officials in Campbell River, B.C., have given notice that they plan to remove adornments left on graves in the city cemetery, because they say they are becoming a tripping hazard.          

The city has given families until next July to remove the adornments.  After that, they will be stored for up to a year, so loved ones can claim them and only flowers will be allowed at the Oak Falls Cemetery.

Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, says the restriction has always been on the books, but not properly enforced.

“While the city’s cemetery bylaw stipulates that only floral arrangements may be placed at a grave site, we recognize that people have different ways to mark the passing of a loved one, and over the last several decades, the bylaw has not been consistently enforced,” Milnthorp said.

“As a result, extensive adornment of graves at both City of Campbell River cemeteries has drawn citizen complaints and are creating safety concerns for burial gatherings and maintenance staff.”

Funeral director Sandy says she understands why loved ones want more than the flat plaques at these cemeteries, but agrees the adornments have, in some cases, become a hazard.

"I've seen everything from large, large, talking in excess four and a half foot statuary to beer cans, beer bottles, whisky bottles, and whirligigs is another popular one, and garden gnomes... that type of thing."

hopes the city can allow some alternatives.

"Some cemeteries have gone with upright markers, others have opted for remembrance and scattering gardens. There's also benches, those types of things," she said.