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Thread: Plotting out property lines

  1. #1

    Default Plotting out property lines

    Hello, A couple friends and I just purchased a lake front cabin and ~2 acres on Never Never Lake, which is near the west end of Big Lake. Its our first land and cabin purchase for all of us, got a great deal and are super excited! Looking forward to many years of fun and relaxation on our new cabin. (new to us, original cabin predates '64 earthquake!) Does anyone know how/where I can find information on how to plot out the boundaries of our new property? I went to the Mat Su Land & Resource Management office to see if they could help and they were most certainly NOT helpful! Their answer was basically hire a surveyor, which would cost several hundreds of dollars since it is a remote cabin without road access. I am basically looking for some way to obtain GPS coordinates or any other info that would help us plot the boundaries of our land.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    There should be existing corner markers so finding them is worth the effort. If you can't find them then the best bet is to hire a surveyor.

  3. #3

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    Go to the Borough bld. in Palmer and as you go into the bld go to the second floor and turn left going through the double doors (I can't remember the name of that department ) they can bring up a copy of that lot and subdivison .That would give you some idea where to start looking for the corner markers. The gals in that department have been very hepful. Good Luck

  4. #4

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    Also while you are there have them run a copy of the adjoning property owners and contact them as they might know where property lines are.

  5. #5
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    They can look at their plat map at http://www.matsugov.us/myproperty/ The borough can print one out that is much bigger. Then you use a drafting ruler on size 40 I believe for feet. If the cabin is on the plat, measure with the rule, then take a 100 ft tape and it should get you the front. Then measure to get the back markers.

    I would absolutely make sure that the cabin is on the plat map because it is not 75 feet from the lake. If not they can grandfather it in. If it is, say nothing about how nice it is etc..... Lakeside markers may be farther from the lake than the actual property.

    I found the people at Code Compliance for the Borough to be completely inept and unafraid to add in their own ideas to the regulations. Know the regulations better than they do and if they say something is fact make them PROVE it with their own regulations.

    If this doesn't help and you are in Anchorage, we can have coffee and I can show you on my plat map.

    Mike

  6. #6
    Member bilbo's Avatar
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    do like dirt says. Get a plot map with all measurements. TWO 100ft tapes, or some conduit line that is measured off in feet smart tape.
    A contractor can sell you 3 or 400 ft for a couple dollars. don't s...t...r...e...t...c...h it, just pull tight.
    triangulate two corners for the third.
    triangulate the opposite corners for verification. measure all 4 legs to get within correct spot(s). measure both diagonals.
    you can get close enough for being out of trouble. no one will gripe over an inch or two. surveyors often make that margin of error.
    you can get within an inch or two.
    drive some 3/8" rebar about 16-18 inches, with 2 in above ground.
    paint red.
    let someone else pay the surveyor fees at a later date.
    just pretend it is a HUGE foundation/slab you are laying out!

  7. #7
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    If you know the tax ID number. You can also go to DNR on Elmore. Ask to speak with a senior surveyor. They might be able to pull up the field notes on your survey. For instance, the lake front posts may not be the actual front corners of your property. They are installed at the nearest safe place and the number of "chains" is put on the field notes. If you get into meandering plat lines on the lakefront, PM me as it is not fun, but I have successfully done it once and have the tools and gridpaper.

  8. #8
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Personally, I would have never purchased without a surveyor locating the boundaries and doing an asbuilt on the cabin. I worked for eight years as a land surveyor and I lost count how many cabins were too close to property boundaries, easments, and plain just on the wrong lot. I once surveyed a cabin in Petersville that was SIX lots off and it was sitting astride another property line. To add to the mess, somebody else had built on the property that the guy's cabin should have been on. It took considerable time and money to sort the mess out.

    I knew Never Never rang a bell. I had to look it up, but I did some work out there in the early 90's. The problem with the subdivision of the land around Never Never lake is that it's subdivided by lots within the section by the feds called a U.S. government lot. Not every U.S. Government lot was surveyed and most were described with what's call a "meets and bounds" description. It's likely that your corners are not marked, but they could be. Be aware that the marks could be a simple wooden stake long rotted away or a piece of rebar that may or may not be in the correct place. The borough is correct, your best course of action is to hire a licensed surveyor and PLEASE do not follow bilbo's advice.
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    There must be a plat, even a paper plat, or a recorded description at the Palmer Recording office. Look it up on line or, if there was a title company involved with your sale, it should be in your packet of stuff.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    If you go get the surveyors notes. They will tell you what the corners are marked with.

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    When I layed out my two acres, I used a Garmin 530 to establish the lines and corners, then walked the flagged lines, the garmin caculated te acreage to the 100 of an acre. I used the plot map found the corner, used the compass to go in the correct direction, long tape measure till I found the next pin, repeat, repeat, repeat. It was a lot of fun and only took about 6 hours climbing thru the brush and over fallan logs and getting bit by lots of bugs. HAVE FUN

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the replies, I think I'm going to try the borough office in Palmer again and see if I can find someone more helpful than last time. (i.e. someone who is in ANY way helpful, as the last person was not in any way!) If the plat has the cabin accurately mapped it should be quite easy to find the borders of the property from there. The land on one side of us is undeveloped for many acres and the other side has a dilapidated cabin that hasn't seen much use in quite a while. I will also scour the area looking for any survey markers.

  13. #13
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    You don't need to scour. With a tape measure you shuld know within a few feet. PM me if you wish.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    All depends on your corners Dirt... When we did remote parcel surveys for the State we were required to put in the big 3" aluminum cap corners along with 3 bearing trees with tags for each corner. I imagine that's what you have out in your area. Back in the 60's when asrjb25's lot may have been surveyed they used everything from 1/2 rebar, 2x2 wooden hub stakes, to rocks with X's marked in them for marking a bunch of U.S. Governement lots. The section corners, and 1/4 corners got brass cap monuments and bearing trees, but most of the lot corners got wooden stakes. He has no corners to start with and I know for a fact that many of the section corners in that area are off by over 10 feet at times. Depending on where the lot is within the section it could be over 1000' feet to find his corners if they exist.

    I just relocated my corners (5/8 rebar) on my 1 acre lot my house sits on. Two were plainly visible. Two others were already 4" below the duff and leaves that have accumulated in the last five years since it was surveyed. I had to use a metal detector to find those two. The reason for the survey five years ago? My subdivision has corners that are off by as much as 6 feet on a measely 1 acre lot. The entire thing has had to have been adjusted because of all the conflicts.

    I wish you the best on your quest. However, if you had to pick a lot that had corners that were going to be tough to locate, a U.S. Government lot is it. Any chance you could give us your lot number? On the n.w. corner of the lake there is a subdivision called Never Never. It really is just two lots, but if it's close to yours it might help. Unfortunately that was surveyed back in 1972, so it still might be tough to find the corners. You can ask for the plat number, though, and it might have some helpful info. Plat 72-68 is what you are looking for.
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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    That is why field notes are important.





    They tell what the corners were marked with. They also give distances to rocks etc.... Some of the notes are actually cool. Remember that these are historic documents.

    I have a metal detector and plan to use it next summmer.

    Mike

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Yep. I know all about those notes. I've located monuments all over Alaska dating back to the 1910's. I don't want to be negative with this and I'm really trying to help. However, USS surveys and U.S. Government lots are totally different cans of worms. I've actually done originals surveys on close to fifty US surveys and written those notes

    While we've been posting back and forth I have done all the digging I can do on the computer. The original poster needs to go down to the Alaska BLM office, the Public room, and ask for the field notes on the Township plat of Township 17 north, Range 4 West, Seward Meridian Alaska. He then needs to ask for help finding the field notes for Section 34 (possibly 35) and have them help him find the info on whatever lot he has. For some reason I can't seem to get the field notes to come up when I search or I'd just post them

    Bureau of Land Management
    Alaska State Office
    222 West 7th Ave. #13
    Anchorage, AK 99513
    Located on the 1st Floor
    Telephone: 907-271-5960
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    O.K. I can dig up the field notes, but there are VOLUMES in relation to that township. Definately go to the B.L.M. and get help. That's what they are there for. Skip the borough, they are just going to send you to the BLM anyway. Hope this helps.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I flipped through some of the hundreds of pages of notes for that area. Cool deal and a good look into history. This is actually the only part of surveying I miss...doing the research and locating corners.. The original township surveys were done in 1912-1914 and describe the first huge Big Lake area forest burn.
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  19. #19
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    O.K. I can dig up the field notes, but there are VOLUMES in relation to that township. Definately go to the B.L.M. and get help. That's what they are there for. Skip the borough, they are just going to send you to the BLM anyway. Hope this helps.
    I have found that you have to know the persons job at the borough to get anything done.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Don't get me started on the borough I deal with them all the time on the emergency services side and it just astounds me constantly how anything gets done. I figured all that permit (tax) money they were collecting on building permits was paying to get a better land department (insert sarcastic smiley here )
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