Cadastral Surveying in your neck of the woodsPosted by kalmanfilter on June 5, 2022 at 10:35 am
I??m curious as a non USA practitioner how the cadastral system works in your parts. For me I??m licensed in the state of Victoria, Australia, doing mostly urban and urban fringe title work. I read through these forums a bit and notice oddities to me like the word ??plat? (plan?) and the like. Down here we have to deal with multitudes of properties created in imperial measurements, converting feet inches to metres and often with little original field points of the subdivisions remaining. In rural parts, measurements may be out by metres as they were laid out in the 19th century with dodgy chains and the like.
Big topic I know, just interested if anyone wants to put in their 2c.
- 14 Replies
- MemberJune 5, 2022 at 11:12 am
Love the user name absolutely!!!!!
- MemberJune 5, 2022 at 6:24 pm
In my neck of the woods, the Pacific Northwest of the USA, the word “plat” means a map by which new lots are created. As in a subdivision. In some other parts of the USA “plat” is simply a synonym for “map” of any kind, “plan” being more used in the context of proposed construction.
The USA west of Ohio was surveyed originally, largely during the mid to late 1800’s, by a system known as the “Public Land Survey System” or PLSS. It has all the accuracy shortcomings that you describe for Australia’s original surveys. Much of western Canada was originally surveyed by a system very much patterned after the American. I would not be surprised to learn that Australia also followed the pattern to some degree or another.
- MemberJune 5, 2022 at 8:30 pm
The main difference I can see between North American survey system and NZ/AU is that while we monument the boundary corners, nearly always with wooden pegs not rebar, that we record two sheets for a survey. The title plan shows lot boundaries for lawyers and general public etc. and the survey plan which shows all vectors between control points and boundary monuments and often what occupation is near boundaries for future surveyors to use.
From what I’ve gathered about North American surveying it sounds like the control/traverse work is not recorded which to my thinking makes the next survey less accurate as harder to follow in footsteps of previous surveyor.
Also no non-recording states, if you put a legal monument in you are obligated to lodge information about it with government department who holds land records.
- MemberJune 5, 2022 at 11:06 pm
A wooden stake would not last more than 10 years in my neighborhood, right in the center of the US. I rolled over some landscaping timbers yesterday that were little more than shells. Between rot and termites they didn’t stand much of a chance.
- MemberJune 5, 2022 at 11:47 pm
Early pegs were native timber which on occasion lasted 100yrs+. Currently you can use plastic ones ( life pretty much forever if in ground not exposed to UV light) or treated timber peg 45mm x 75mm x 500mm which isn’t quite as long lasting but usually get disturbed by a fence post first.
Easy enough to reinstate boundary monuments here if the control points nearby survive, much easier than having to find the other boundary corners, prove them and then work back to reinstate the lost corner. The coordinated cadastres are even simpler again (and are all most laypersons seem to think boundary surveying is about) providing you can understand geodesy. Coordinated cadastre wouldn’t be much use in countries like NZ on the boundary of two tectonic plates that are moving in different directions though, the monument in the ground is still king.
- MemberJune 6, 2022 at 12:59 am
In California setting monuments on corners not already shown on a filed map or discovery of a material discrepancy requires filing of a Record of Survey map with the County Surveyor. After the checking process is complete it is filed at the County Recorders office.
The Subdivision Map Act provides for two types of Subdivision, 5 lots or more generally requires a Tentative Map for Planning review is followed by a Final Map which about half the Counties call a ??Subdivision Map? or ??Subdivision Plat? and the other half calls it a ??Tract Map.? Subdivision Map Counties allow a name (usually whatever they destroyed) and Tract Map counties just number them, Tract 12345.
The other type of subdivision, 4 lots or less, is called a Parcel Map. No one names these, they sometimes are given a number. There are exceptions which allow larger Parcel Maps or no map.
If the Land Surveyor is merely restoring subdivision lot corners or corners already established on a map and there are no material discrepancies or alternate boundary resolutions shown then they may file a letter sized Corner Record with the County Surveyor.
California property owners are allowed to rely on monuments set by a land surveyor (see Ernie vs. Trinity Lutheran Church, 51 Cal2d 702-1959) therefore it would not be terribly practical to rely on remote control points.
California has PLSS Section, Township and Range, Mexican Rancho Grants and everything in between.
- MemberJune 6, 2022 at 1:00 amPosted by: @holy-cow
A wooden stake would not last more than 10 years in my neighborhood, right in the center of the US.
I recently had cause to search for a wood hub and tack that had been set for control 2 years ago. I found the tack. No trace of the wood hub remained.
- MemberJune 6, 2022 at 2:29 am
A number of years back we had a participant here by the name of Paul Cook from California. He told us of how his house and lot kept sliding downhill at a certain rate per year. That would put a kink in relying completely on coordinates from some prior date.
Nearly 50 years ago I had an engineering professor who had witnessed what can happen if the support media for a house differs tremendously. In his case, it was a home firmly connected to bedrock on the front and to about 20 feet of fill on the backside. The fill slowly slid downhill until the house literally was torn into two sections.
- MemberJune 6, 2022 at 2:59 am
In the right places old growth redwood hubs last for decades.
Cuyucos on the central California coast has areas of very weird clay migrating down hill.
- MemberJune 6, 2022 at 8:33 pmPosted by: @lukenz
The main difference I can see between North American survey system and NZ/AU is that while we monument the boundary corners, nearly always with wooden pegs not rebar…
Anyone that has been around this website or its spiritual predecessor, http://www.rpls.com, for any length of time knows of your jarrah pegs, didgeridoos and surveying cockups. There was once a wise surveyor from your state of South Oz that came north to educate the suveyors of these lands. He was knowledgeable in the ways of Sir Torrens and shared his experience at meetings, great and small. I don’t know if he still walks the earth, but Coober Pedy and the blue haired clerks at the Comanche County Courthouse of Oklahoma will never be the same…
- MemberJune 7, 2022 at 8:06 pm
Canada adopted a similar system to the U.S.’s PLSS but they were smart and limited it to relatively flat lands that are practical to use when divided into rectangles.
- MemberJune 8, 2022 at 11:01 am
Thanks for the replies folks. Perhaps providently I found an old wooden peg today from a survey of over 30 years ago. Wasn??t in great shape but enough to identify. I must admit it would make life easier if it were simply a matter of pointing the shondstedt in the corner vicinity and ??bingo?. I did use the metal detector to find the buried reo rods (traverse points from 50+ years) that led me to the peg though??
still a treasure hunt, this surveying game, at times. If only the treasures were actual treasures ????
- MemberJune 8, 2022 at 11:24 am
Just read your summary @lukenz, that??s very informative. You??re right, in aus we must submit both a plan (forming the title of the land) and also a record of field measurements and reference marks in the vicinity of a survey.( At least when land is subdivided). If we had to rely on property corners only for re-establishment of title we??d be screwed for sure. Very few title corner marks are ever found during surveys – certainly in urban or peri-urban areas.
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