Yes or No Again
Here is an example of an average survey encountered everyday. For background, in Colorado an “improvement location certificate” requires a diagram showing the calculated property lines known by statute as “apparent deed line”, from at least two “control corners” (monuments). It also requires an official disclaimer that in essence says the surveyor is not actually liable for the information shown.
in 1959, a subdivision was created on fairly flat, thickly treed land and the original surveyor is unknown. We think he set 5/8″ rebars for several reasons. We cannot find any original monuments along the back line, but the smattering of monuments that are there are reasonably “straight”. It is most likely that the transit and tape crew set the front of all lots first. None of the pins are intervisible because of the thick trees, but the front line is reasonably “straight” and the distances of platted 86 feet work out fine north-south and east-west. there are three lots to the south of this lot with older houses and fences that all match the monuments. The 1959 plat does not state bearings for east-west line, but states that all lines are “normal” (and in my opinion, that means normal from the FRONT, not the BACK). At some time, an unknown surveyor set a 60d nail at the calculated “normal” position for the NE corner lot 3, which disagrees with the original monument by 9.5 feet. 2 years ago, a very reputable surveyor did an ILC and used the 60d nail because it was more accurate, and showed some stairs and concrete landing as encroaching. this summer I did a boundary survey, held the original monuments, and saw that the stairs and concrete landing had been removed, and the 60d nail was now encased in concrete along with a 5′ steel fence post.
My own definition of a theoretical, calculated, mathematical position is: “touchscreen corner”.
Someone decided they had to remove their steps and landing based on a touchscreen corner. While it is hard to digest a line of monuments being 9.5 feet out of normal, the neighborhood actually existed in peace with their old houses and fence lines and there was no dispute among neighbors. The touchscreen corner is completely out of whack to the whole Block as currently monumented. According to my observation, roughly half of the surveyors would take the touchscreen corner, and swear they are REQUIRED to do so as professionals. We are split as a profession.
I go back to this most basic statement recently run through this global committee, and apply it to this case: “A monument established by the first surveyor, acting in good faith, is a property corner. A boundary is the line where property rights change. Once established, a corner or line does not move, but can possibly be vacated.”
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