Letters to the Editor

To Remove or Not to Remove Lot Corners

We have a situation here in our firm about removing existing lot corners. We are replatting a portion of an existing plat. The original exterior corners of the plat are found. No original interior corners have been found. However, interior corners set by another surveyor have been found and they agree with the original plat corners on the plat map. Several lots in the plat have been sold and houses have been built on the lots based on the other surveyors' set corners. No record exists of the other surveyors' corners since a record of survey is not required in Washington State. Now we are replatting a portion of the existing plat. Two surveyors in our office want to remove the other surveyors' corners within the portion of the replat we are doing. Their concern is that someone may mistake these corners for the replatted lot corners which have been shifted some 20 to 40 feet along the road right-of-way and the rear lot lines. Two other surveyors in our office, including me, are against removing the corners set by the other surveyor. I'm not sure if the existing interior corners should be shown as found on our survey, and we are not showing them as found, but I think there are some ethics involved here. I don't think any surveyor should remove another surveyors' corners-ever. If we disagree with them, we should show the disagreement; not remove them. If we agree with them, as in this case, but the lot lines have been shifted, we should still not remove them. There are plenty of cases where a right-of-way corner may be mistaken for a lot corner in any plat or subdivision. For instance, the p.c. of a curve on the right-of-way may be 10 feet from a lot corner common to two lots. Does this mean we should not even set that p.c. because it may be mistaken by someone to be a lot corner? I think not. If someone wants to lay something out off of lot corners in a plat or subdivision, then they need to know how to verify the corners they are using or they do so at their own risk as far as I am concerned. That's what surveyors are for.
I have been surveying for over 25 years and I have never removed or moved another surveyors' corner. I have always thought of it as being an unwritten code of ethics and professionalism.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Does anyone have an opinion? Like the song goes: "Does anyone really know what's happening? Does anyone really care?"

Bob Matter
Via the Internet

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