Most asked questions of the County Surveyor:
Q: Will the County Surveyor survey my property?
R: No, the County Surveyor is responsible for maintaining the monuments that are used by private surveyors to survey your property.
Q: How do I get my property surveyed and how much does it cost?
R: The first step is to select a “good” licensed surveyor. Keep in mind that your selected surveyor will stand with you if there is a dispute with adjacent property owners. Look in the phone book or ask a trusted neighbor for names of surveyors within our community. There are several local Licensed Surveyors. Although you may hire a Licensed Surveyor from a distant community, the local surveyors are most familiar with the local control monuments. Hiring a local surveyor is particularly important when your survey parcel is at the west side of Uintah County where a method of survey called the “Three Mile Method” was used that is fairly uncommon.
Your selected surveyor will need information about your property. Take your tax records, deeds, or any other property information that you have to your surveyor. Your surveyor may need more information that he will obtain from the Recorders office.
The surveyor finds the controlling monuments that were used to originally divide your property parcel. Those monuments are the same monuments that the County Surveyor is so concerned about. The surveyor then retraces the description of your property on the ground.
You have the option to have property corners set for future reference. Most surveyors set property corners by pounding a metal rod, rebar, or tee iron into the ground at the position of the property corner. Many surveyors will place an aluminum or plastic cap on the top of the rod.
Your surveyor must prepare a plat showing what his survey consisted of and what corners were set on the ground. Your surveyor will then file that plat with the County Surveyor.
The cost to survey your property will vary with many factors such as what surveyor you pick, how large you property is, how complex the property boundary is, if you intend to divide the property, etc. A regular residential lot re-survey will usually cost from $300 to $800 dollars to complete.
Q: My neighbor had a survey completed and he says that my fence is not correct. What should I do?
R: As previously mentioned, your neighbor’s surveyor by law was required to file a plat with the recorders office showing all corners found or set and any fences or lines of occupation that exist. I would go to the recorders office and request a copy of the survey plat. I would take that survey plat to an independent surveyor and ask for his opinion.
Q: Why do two property descriptions next to each other with a common line, overlap or underlap?
R: The most common reason is that there are two different points of beginning. In other words, the two adjacent property parcels each have a survey that begin at different controlling corners. For example, the first property could be described from the west 1/4 corner of a particular section and the next property parcel could be described from the south west corner of the same section. The author of the descriptions assumed that the distance from the south west corner to the west 1/4 corner was ½ mile. In reality, the distance is almost never ½ mile so the overlap or gap would be caused by the difference from the assumed and actual length of the 1/4 section line.
Q: Why can’t my surveyor just use his GPS to set my property corners?
R: He may use a GPS or many other instruments to conduct the measurements. A GPS can be used as a tool to measure very accurately but your property description originates from corner monuments on the ground. A GPS knows where it is within the world, but does not know where the corners on the ground are located. The surveyor must occupy those corners with his GPS, then compute positions of your property corners with relation to those controlling corners. A simple explanation is that if a surveyor used a GPS to survey your property, he is using it to measure distances and angles from controlling corners on the ground. This is similar to measuring a room with a measuring tape.
Q: What is a GPS?
R: GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System. The simple explanation for a very complex system is that we are able to uses orbiting satellites, microwave receivers, mathematical statistics, and hand held computers to determine positions on earth. GPS was developed for navigation by the military. Civilians have developed methods to use the navigation signal and refine it to obtain very accurate measurements between positions on earth. There are several types of GPS receivers/computers. The type you can buy at a retail store for $100 to $1,200 dollars are made for navigation and cannot be used by a surveyor to obtain accurate measurements. The type of receivers used for GIS (Geographic Information System) data collection vary from $1,500 to $14,000 and are more accurate than navigation style receivers and they have better ability to collect data types. The type of GPS receivers used by land surveyors have a way to differentially correct the signal. This usually involves having a base and a rover receiver. Surveying with differential correction allows distances to be measured very accurately. These GPS receivers are called survey grade and vary from $40,000 to $60,000.
Q: What does the GIS department do?
R: Lately the main goal of the GIS department has been to track all of the county RS 2477 rights-of-ways so that we may keep these roads open to the public.