Gravesites will go on sale at Pleasanton's Pioneer Cemetery on Sunol Boulevard starting Oct. 1, with 400 plots available until they're all sold.
No new gravesites have been available at the historic cemetery for the last two years when the city government acquired the grounds from the International Order of Odd Fellows, which developed the cemetery in the 1800s.
But being buried at Pioneer won't be cheap. Where graves once sold for less than $1,000, the city has raised the price for its new graves to $10,198 for a single double-vault plot that will hold full burials for two individuals, and to $4,277 for double urn burials for two individual cremains.
Both burial plot prices include prepaid burial service fees customarily charged by cemeteries. Funeral home services, including caskets and urns, are separate.
In a letter sent to those who have expressed an interest in buying plots at Pioneer, Susan Andrade-Wax, director of Parks and Community Services, said that the maximum number of plots available for purchase is two per family, or four graves. The plots for both full burial and cremains are double-depth, stacking one on top of the other. Only ground-level headstones or markers will be allowed.
Once purchased, the gravesites cannot be re-sold nor will the city buy them back. If individuals who buy the plots find that the plots are no longer needed, they will remain empty unless they are deeded to another individual without charge.
Pleasanton residents can begin purchasing the gravesites Oct. 1 with the sites becoming available to the general public next April 1. Once the 400 plots—capable of holding 800 individual burials—are sold, it's expected that burial sites at Pioneer will no longer be available.
The City Council, in agreeing to buy Pioneer from the I.O.O.F., ruled that the cemetery will not be expanded beyond the new 400-plots now available and that the cemetery will remain largely as it is, with no irrigation system for watering grass. It also guaranteed perpetual care of the graves and cemetery maintenance for the next 25 years as least.
The city has contracted with Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services to handle sales at Pioneer. To buy a plot or for other information, that services' agent is Jayne Archer, who can be reached at (925) 455-9696.