Florida Gulf front riparian issuePosted by andy-j on February 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm
doing a survey of a platted lot, (with a metes and bounds description) with calls to the gulf of mexico in 1967. Current mean high water is hundreds of feet beyond the 1967 distances. In my research, I found a survey for the adjoiner that has an interesting take on the riparian lines. The 67 line is shown, and then the boundary lines are ‘bent’ at that point to go basically perpendicular to the current shoreline. I’m trying to find the logic to this interpretation of the riparian lines. I understand what the surveyor is trying to do, (apportion the accretion) but I’m not sure I’m sold on his technique here. Anyone have a court case or doctrine that I could hang my hat on either way??
- 19 Replies
- MemberFebruary 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm
Dang Andy, I’ve got a ton but FL is re-writing the books on this issue. Take a look at Clarks Boundaries, there is a ton of examples in there for you.
I’m not in the office right now or I’d send you some.
Whatever you do, don’t listen to spledeus!! Hahahaha (just kiddin’ spledeus)
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:21 am
Have you seen UF professor David Gibson’s take on Riparian rights? It’s a little old, 1986, but mentions a couple of cases.
Do you know if there was an ACOE beach renourishment in your area? That changes things since the ACOE will claim they own the beach they created. But generally, riparian rights run from property corners perpendicular to the deep water line (or channel, if there is a channel that runs near parallel to the shore). Sounds like what the neighboring survey did. The question, though, in my mind is are you talking about riparian rights over the accreted land, or ownership of the accreted land, and do the same rules apply? Interesting problem. Post your solution when you come to one.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:32 am
Stop The Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Lord v. Curry (1916) kinda old an I can’t find the info.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:39 am
There are times when perpendicular to the new shoreline is the appropriate method. Be sure to look at any property that was affected by the other surveyor’s interpretation. Also, was the accretion simple and natural? Why wouldn’t you use the colonial or perpendicular to the old shore method? Or I like the headlands method, but how many of those do you have in Florida? Never just trust a survey that does not show how the division affects all properties, be sure to attempt to understand how that surveyor came to his/her conclusion.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:53 am
No erosion control line for beach renourishment, just natural accretion. Yes, was looking through Dave gibsons report too. I’m just wondering why the line would bend BEFORE the mean high water. This is on the gulf of Mexico, so no thalweg and no bulkhead or sea wall.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:55 am
Do you have a copy of “Water Boundaries” by George M. Cole?
Edit: I’m skimming thru it now to see if he sites a case..
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 1:19 am
Not handy, but if you find anything interesting, I’d appreciate hearing about it. Another bit of info… In this area, the lot lines converge, so that theoretically, projecting the property lines further out could sever the upland property from the shore. I’ll give the other surveyor a call, but that must be why he did that.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 1:22 am
Try this on for size.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 1:49 am
> Not handy, but if you find anything interesting, I’d appreciate hearing about it. Another bit of info… In this area, the lot lines converge, so that theoretically, projecting the property lines further out could sever the upland property from the shore. I’ll give the other surveyor a call, but that must be why he did that.
While I have never surveyed in Florida, the riparian doctrines I use (situationally) in Maine are:
1) extension of the property line,
3) the colonial method, or
4) the perpendicular method.
The way I apply the criteria to use one doctrine over another is to approach the situation partially from a standpoint of equity, and also to eliminate absurd results. Sometimes these results are mutually exclusive. Also, some doctrines in Maine have historically been used along fresh water (long, thin lakes and rivers typically use perpendicular and proportionment, while others have been used on the coast (typically colonial and extension.)
I saw one project recently where both the colonial method and the perpendicular method were shown on the plan. The upland line ran south to north, with the north end at the shore. The colonial method produced a line with a bearing of ~ N 02 W. The low water mark to the west of the line had a “close bulge”, which put the bearing for the perpendicular method at ~ N 70 W. In my opinion, using the perp method in this case would be absurd and not equitable.
In your case however, it appears that the previous surveyor used the perp method as a way to be equitable. Obviously extension didn’t work, since the lines would converge. I don’t know which doctrines you Floridians have a precedent to apply, but so far it sounds like perpendicular tops the list. Let us know how it plays out.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 1:57 am
Thanks. Lots of good stuff there, will have to print out for reference. Lots of info about the shoreline but not much about adjusting upland side boundaries.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 2:21 am
It seems to me more a question of the rules governing ownership of accreted land, rather than the rules of riparian rights. In other words, do the property lines extend straight across the accreted land to the MHWL, then bend perpendicular to the deep water of the Gulf in accordance with the riparian rights “rules” … or, does the ownership bend at the platted/deeded location of the original lot corner and run from there perpendicular to the deep water of the Gulf, with the riparian rights line extending straight into the Gulf. From Andy’s description, it sounds like the neighbor’s survey does the latter. I have collected a lot of Florida cases over the years, but I can’t find anything that addresses this.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 2:51 am
Yes, that is the issue.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm
Try Shalowitz here:
I did not have time to search for any relevant chaapters.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm
There are fifteen general methods to apportion flats and accretions , these are:
1 Extending the upland sidelines without change in direction.
2 Projection at right angles to the thread of a stream.
3 Projections at right angles to the course of a river.
4 Projection at right angles to the line of the channel.
5 Projection at right angles to the pier head, bulkhead or harbor line.
6 Projection at right angles to the general line of the shore.
7 Projection perpendicular to the old shore.
8 Projection perpendicular to the new shore.
9 Projection to the nearest point on the bank.
10 Projection to the shortest distance to the water.
11 Proportionate shore method (distance).
12 Proportionate shore method (area).
13 Agreement between parties.
14 Colonial Method.
15 Headland Baseline Method (Kingman’s Notes on Legal Aspects).
1-14 can be found in Brown’s.
Just be sure the perp. to the new shoreline does not cross someone else’s land. 🙂
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm
So my question is different than everyone else. What do the adjoining deeds on each side say? If they say one bearing to the Gulf, then merry up to those lines and punch that mother trucker to the MHW and “fugetaboutit”.
The only reason I bring this up is you noted metes and bounds. So, being from a metes and bounds state, we can only analyze our tract when we have all of the info, i.e., the adjoiners and their calls also.
While I’m not a shoreline expert, I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express, or play a Surveyor on TV, and have never surveyed along the Gulf, I seem to remember an area, at least in Texas, being reserved as a public easement along the shoreline from the vegetation line to the water line. Do you have a similar law/rule in Florida that you would also have to show that area as an easement?
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm
Just be sure the perp. to the new shoreline does not cross someone else’s land. 🙂
which is FINE, as long as all the adjoiners use the same methodology… however, if that isn’t the case and everyone else is projecting the boundary to the current shoreline (which the City LIKES to do if possible) there will be confusion. Add to that the other surveyor used the Old shore as a “match line” then rotated his inset map to fit the page and it’s pretty hard for a layman to understand what’s going on. seems odd to me.
- MemberFebruary 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm
I did a couple of surveys along the gulf coast when I worked in Tampa. I always made sure that I looked at the Coastal Construction Setback Line to see where it fell in relation to my survey.
From the FDEP web site:
The Coastal Construction Control Line Program (CCCL) is an essential element of Florida’s coastal management program. It provides protection for Florida’s beaches and dunes while assuring reasonable use of private property. Recognizing the value of the state’s beaches, the Florida legislature initiated the Coastal Construction Control Line Program to protect the coastal system from improperly sited and designed structures which can destabilize or destroy the beach and dune system. Once destabilized, the valuable natural resources are lost, as are its important values for recreation, upland property protection and environmental habitat. Adoption of a coastal construction control line establishes an area of jurisdiction in which special siting and design criteria are applied for construction and related activities. These standards may be more stringent than those already applied in the rest of the coastal building zone because of the greater forces expected to occur in the more seaward zone of the beach during a storm event.
- MemberFebruary 9, 2012 at 2:59 am
Appropriation of accretions is covered well in the BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions, 2009. There is no one answer, but the perpendicular shoreline method you describe is appropriate in many instances as compared to the proportional shoreline methods.
- MemberFebruary 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm
Thanks. Not really a CCCL issue here, but I do love those kind of projects! We also have a Setback Line issue and occasionally an ECL (Erosion Control Line) if they have done beach renourishment. (that would make this a total non-issue) Mean high water, Ordinary high water, FEMA V zones, vertical datums, native vegetation, excavation, drainage. etc. etc. etc. gotta love it!
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