Book Review…

Finding Your Property Lines —
A Guide for the Subdivision Lot Owner

by Lee McComb, PLS

Originally published February 10, 1997 in California Land Surveyors Association News (San Diego Chapter)

Over a decade ago, Jack Roth planned to write a "how-to" booklet for property owners in need of finding their lot corners. The first edition of this 15-page publication, Finding Your Property Lines, is now available, printed on coated magazine bond and sporting the brilliant azure and gold cover of an antique surveying instrument.

Jack may not consider himself a professional writer, but his booklet is some of the best technical writing you will read. In seven brief chapters, he steps through the process of subdivision map research, map symbol and legend interpretation, and concise explanations of the integral parts of boundary corner search and identification. The style of writing is to-the-point and friendly, designed to be read by laypersons who are seeking helpful advice before contemplating a survey of their subdivision lot.

An appropriate legal disclaimer leads the booklet, placing limitations on its use. More importantly, the correct advice is given as to when a landowner may be obligated under law to contract with a licensed surveyor. Above all, the booklet provides a means for the landowner to understand and appreciate the difficulties of boundary corner recovery, and as such is likely to increase client-customer confidence if and when the professional surveyor may be asked to offer advice or service. Therefore, the booklet might well be disseminated by private companies and agencies to certain customers with simple resurvey scenarios and who may be more comfortable conducting their own hands-on investigation before formally hiring a surveyor.

The public at large holds surveyors in high regard, in part, because they make an extra effort at being a helpful professional community. Jack Roth's handbook helps to enhance this positive image. Every company should keep a number of handbooks on hand for their potential distribution to customers.

 Copyright 2003 Jack Roth
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Page updated: September 10, 2003