Corner Stakes - Survey

Anything related to the various parks, excluding the beach
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:11 am
Location: Tennessee

Corner Stakes - Survey

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In the 2021 Fall Newsletter, the Board lists as their "Proposed:
Project 2: Surveying and permanent markings of all green belt properties: $20,000
  • This will ensure that members can easily and readily enjoy these community properties that are owned by the RLFPOA.
  • This project will also ensure all boards and members going forward can easily identify when damage or illegal use of green belts properties can be quickly and easily recognized.
I'd just have to say that planning to spend $20,000 on this project is ridiculous, and just one more reason the dues do not need to be increased, as the Board obviously, collectively, has no common sense.

Rose Lake Forest is made up of fifteen plats, which were all surveyed and platted back in the 1970s. When the surveys were done, iron rods and concrete monuments were set in the ground, marking the location of all the corners, both for lots, and for the parks.

Wooden stakes were put in the ground beside the monuments to make them easier to find. Over the years, of course, most of the wooden stakes have rotted, fallen over, and become covered by leaves and debris.

Many property owners realized the wooden stakes wouldn't last, and they replaced the stakes with more durable markers, but most of the stakes didn't get any extra love. This means lots of stakes are difficult, but not impossible to find.

About eight years ago, when I began selling some of the Developer's lots, I realized I'd need to find the corners of those lots. I have a background in CAD mapping from my work in oil and gas exploration, so I knew the first thing I needed to do was draw all the plats in CAD, which I did. This gives me far more information about the relative location of monuments than I can get from just the plats themselves. Here's an example of the extra info I get from my CAD drawing:
  • The white lines are the actual plat property lines.
  • The blue numbers are the dimensions as they appear on the plat.
  • The light blue dotted-lines and numbers are dimensions I can calculate in the CAD program.
  • The magenta numbers are angles calculated by the CAD program.
Using this info along with a simple transit and a measuring tape, all I need to do is find any two monuments, either on my lot or any of the neighboring lots, and I can find all the rest of the corners fairly quickly. A metal detector helps too.

This is something I've become very accomplished at. I've found and marked the corners for dozens of lots. A few years ago, with my son's help, I marked the entire boundary between South Park and my acreage which lies south of Rose Lake Forest (so that's a huge part of the work the Board is proposing, already done).

A good transit can be had for less than $200; a measuring tape for about $30; a good metal detector for about $150. The Board has a computer, and the software I use costs about $60 -- we're talking less than $500 worth of tools. On numerous occasions over the past five years or so, I have offered to give the Board my mapping data for free, and show them how to use it. I can easily teach just about anyone how to find corners without too much effort. So far, none of the various Board members have ever shown any interest.

Geocaching Game

Have you ever heard of Geocaching? It's a game people have been playing for at least the last ten years or so. It's fun.

There's an app you get on your smartphone. People all over the world hide little capsules (it can be a film canister, a jar, or just about anything), and they usually put a small piece of paper inside. The app shows you a map with a flag on the location of the cache, and sometimes it gives you a clue about the hiding place.

The idea is to try and find the cache without any passersby knowing what you're doing. If people who don't play the game see the cache they might steal it. When you find it, you open it up and write your name and the date you found the cache on the paper, and then carefully put it back so others can find it after you.

I've played Geocaching many times with my friends and family. There are Geocaches in every town, and lots of places in between. It's fun, and it's a great way to spend an afternoon, or even just kill 20 minutes to an hour, if you're having to wait around for an appointment or something.

Finding land corners that have already been surveyed, such as the ones in Rose Lake Forest, is a lot like Geocaching. It's fun to be outside doing something, and it gives you a great feeling of satisfaction when you find a monument.

I think there are any number of property owners in Rose Lake Forest who would think it's a blast to go out and find park/greenbelt corners. And it's important to note that most of those corners are also the back corners of lots, so finding them is doing everyone a service.

All the Board would have to do is acquire a few tools, and keep a map-record of which corners have already been found. Any property owner who has had a little training could come and check out the tools for the day. It would probably take a few years, but before you know it all or most of the park corners would be marked, along with everyone's back lot lines. Sure, there might eventually be a few corners that require a licensed surveyor to sort out, but hiring a surveyor for a few corners is a lot cheaper than having him do them all.

And there's no need to spend $20,000.
Gregory Wood
Trustee for PRTC Trust, Developer
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