2013-01-16

Chiseled Cross

This is certainly not a benchmark in the true sense of the word, but it may be, on a certain level, just as important.

Surveyors often set temporary marks in the course of a survey.  They may set a wood hub, or stake if the use is truly temporary, like if it's only going to be used for that day, or even a single set-up of the instrument.  For a mark with a bit more permanence, such as one intended to be used for the duration of a project, a nail and shiner in concrete or pavement, or a cross in concrete may be set.

Chiseled crosses are also used in many areas as tie marks to help identify important cadastral marks, such as property corner monuments and Public Land Survey System (PLSS) monuments (Section Corners).  Crosses such as these can be used to help re-establish the position of a lost or destroyed Section Corner when they are properly mapped and that map filed with the County Surveyor.

This cross caught my eye simply because it had been brightly painted by the crew using it that day.

Chiseled cross on top of a curb.  A surveyor can use this for just about anything, from a triangulation or tie point, as a traverse point, or even to mark a property line or corner.
Chiseled cross on top of a curb.  A surveyor can use this for just about anything, from a triangulation or tie point, as a traverse point, or even to mark a property line or corner.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

i live in valley village, california which is a part of los angeles county. i've noticed chiseled cross-marks on the curb that seem to indicate the position of the outermost wall of the home on the property. in a legal sense, i realize this chiseled mark does not indicate the property line. but is there a "rule of thumb" or general principle regarding how to interpret this cross-mark as it applies to the minimum distance between the adjacent home? i'm hoping to determine whose property a fence belongs to without incurring the enormous surveying expense for this one property line. thanks!

Kevin Nehring, PLS said...

There is no general principle or "rule of thumb" for the use of, or placement of, chiseled crosses in survey work. They are most often used as "temporary", project specific marks, intended to last through project completion. That's not to say that crosses aren't used for more permanent applications, such as property line alignment, only that it's more common that they are random.

To determine the location of your property line, fence line, or building setback, you should consult a local Licensed Land Surveyor. You, as a property owner, can inquire with the County Surveyor's Office to determine if any maps have been filed for your property and/or subdivision. Those maps may show the cross you found and its significance to adjacent property lines. They may not. Just be aware that a found point (chiseled cross, iron pipe, brass cap, etc.), whether shown on a map or not, only indicates (potentially) one end or a line. The location of the other end of the line must also be determined to properly locate a boundary line.

I understand the desire to Do It Yourself. I'm very much a DIY'er. However, this is a situation where it's in your, and your neighbor's best interest, to consult a Professional. The money you spend will be much less than the potential lawsuit which may develop if you incorrectly determine a property line location and use it to build a fence.