Just purchased a property and after doing the survey, I realized my new
neighbor planted a palm on my property...The palm is about 8 feet tall and
has a terra cotta border (round about 3 feet in diameter) with mulch. I am
planning to construct a fence which will cut right through this terra cotta
border with the palm ending on my side completely.
How should I handle this situation? I don't think it is practical to up
root the palm and plant it on their side, nor stopping and starting the
fence and leave a gap where this palm is...
Well since its n yur property yur pretty well free to do what yu want
withit. Don't like Palms, cut it down, need the terracotta materials
for some other project, pull em u and use it. I don;t think the
neighbor is a concern when yu get right dwon to it. But yu need to
decide what its worth in the long run. Just run the fenc alongside the
palm and be done with it, and every now and every now and then tell
the neighbor how much you appreciate his concern for you with planting
a palm on your property, just to rub it in. Maybe he will think twice
the next time he decides to take initiative and do things without
Just Carol A. Gulley
On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 15:47:12 -0400, "miamicuse"
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
Perhaps you can explain to this neighbor he unknowingly planted his palm on
your land and you plan to run a fence. Get some feedback from him. You
don't want to alienate a neighbor. He may tell you to keep the plant or he
may chose to move it back further onto his land. Find a happy medium if that
It doesn't hurt to try being a good neighbor. A diplomatic approach at
the start is good. Show your neighbor your survey report.
Remember that surveyors sometimes make mistakes. Thus, if your neighbor
disputes the report, offer to delay your fence until the neighbor has
his own survey done. However, set a reasonable deadline for that.
Explain to your neighbor that palms are very easily transplanted, even
with only a minimal root ball. If he still wants it, he should dig it
up and move it to his own property.
Depending on the value of the tree (to your neighbor) it may be
practical (unless you want an on going war) to move it. Have you
considered talking to your neighbor about possibly moving the palm and
him paying to have it moved? And who did your survey? A LOT of them are
wrong and you may need to have another one done before you destroy
property that was put there (in good faith that he owned the property)
by a neighbor.
you could go along the 'good neighbour' line, over a cup of tea or
such point out the minor discrepancy, and maybe offer to buy another
palm of similar ilk for them to plant in their garden.
can't see anything wrong with being neighbourly, and if it is a common
fence line then the neighbour has right to pay 1/2 the cost of a fence
of the acceptable standard of the nighbourhood.
let us know the outcome hey? hoping it will be win/win all round?
With peace and brightest of blessings,
"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."
Don;t assume whatn yu state dis correct as it doe snot hold true to
all the states inthe USA, especiallay when yuyr in AU and making such
an assumption. In my state all yu have to do is place the fence 3
inches off property line and yu can do what yu want with the fence adn
the neighbor has nbo say so. Or yu can put it on the protpertyl ine
and you stil can do what yu want with it, and no way can yuu force or
make them pay fopr 50% of the fence costs.
Why buy them anotherpalm when they were stupid to plant it where it
did not belong in the first place. I tend to view folks that invite me
over for a cup tea a bit weird by usa standards, its either coffee
of cold beer, Tea is English thing here unless its iced tea, and thats
served in a tall glass not a cup.
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
Best to talk about moving the palm and installing a fence with your
neighbor. My neighbor was using my yard to get to get to his
backyard, and caused a path to appear on my lawn. This put me in an
uncomfortable situation too. I talked with the neighbor about
planting a hedge along the property line, but he agreed to stop using
my lawn for access. No hedge has been needed.
This is hardly a gardening question. It's a neighbor relations issue,
and a legal issue.
How long has the neighbor been using your property? If it's been long
enough, and under the right conditions, adverse possession may apply.
They could turn around and officially take the property from you. (I'm
assuming that your surveyors did a title search, and didn't just rely on
From a less legal, and more practical standpoint, the property line is
something that neighbors agree on. Obviously there isn't an agreement
here. The question is why. You think the property line is at a certain
place because you have a survey in hand. Assuming the survey is correct,
that's as good of a reason as can be for you believing the property line
is where you believe it is. So why do your neighbors believe it's
somewhere else? And exactly where do they believe it is?
If you just storm in and start building a fence where you think the line
is, you may ultimately be proven to be entirely within your rights...
but it would be at the expense of any civil relationship with those
neighbors. If they think the property line is somewhere else, it doesn't
matter if they're right or wrong, from their perspective you're
attacking, and forcefully trying to take their property.
Now your neighbors may be pure asses, and you may end up at war with
them no matter how well you handle the situation. But do you want a
guaranteed war, or do you want to at least try to work out this
disagreement by talking instead of just building a fence?
So my two pieces of advice are to talk to an attorney, laying out ALL
the relevant facts (such as time frames, who's caring for the land now,
and how long they have been, etc.), and get a legal opinion. Once you
know your true position in this situation, then talk to your neighbors.
Informally is best at first. You might get lucky, and they'll just say,
"oops! Our mistake. We're sorry". Or they might want to sit down and
more formally examine the situation, and still resolve it peacefully and
civilly. Or they might want to fight for the disputed territory.
But whatever road is taken, it will be no higher than how you start the
resolution process. If you start the resolution process with an act of
war, then you'll get no better than war. If you start as neighborly as
possible, the road may not continue so high, but at least there's a
possibility that it will be so high.
Once you and your neighbor come to a mutual understanding of where the
property line is (which absent other facts, I'll assume is where your
survey says it is), then you can talk about what to do about the palm
and any other landscaping they did on your side of the line. Then you'll
have a gardening question. But for now, you have a legal and neighbor
relations question that needs to be resolved before gardening becomes
Negotiate with the neighbour over a coffee or beer, even if you are
technically within your rights to decide whatever you want to do without
considering them it may not be the best way to go in practice.
1) You put way too much faith in the surveyor.
2) Based on the experiences with surveyor accuracy, many jurisdictions
require fences to be placed not closer than five feet inside a lot line,
good side of the fence facing out.
(A couple of reasons for that besides the survey problem - that five foot
assures a ten foot access corridor -five feet from each property as a fire
break and for fire trucks, utility trucks, city trucks, and the like to get
3) You have to live with the neighbor - visit with him, tell him you are
thinking about a fence and WHY (you have kids and the local alligators, you
have a cat and you want to let it roam the backyard, your pet rottweilers
killed somebody last year and you want them under control, etc.), and ask
the neighbor if he knows where the lot line actually is.
And don't be shocked when he points to a stake from his surveyor that is
two feet off from your surveyor's.
I have several pieces of property, and have done surveying for USCG.
IMHE, most surveying, even licensed, is a waste of money unless you have
a lawsuit, because most surveyors don't shoot off a major benchmark, the
only starting point that counts. They shoot in from a pipe or street that
moves in construction, unless they have to go to court and get embarrassed
by another surveyor.
An amicable agreement as to about where it is and moving back six inches
off that line makes for friendly neighbors.
I have a dozen stories and a series of surveyors who can't place their
truck, let alone a lot line- here are three personal examples of why you
shouldn't make bad neighbors for bad surveying, or bad assumptions about
whether the actual owner of that dirt put in a tree:
a) I have seen one of my properties surveyed at least six times across 40
years by the various neighbors - each licensed surveyor goes off a pipe
benchmark, no two surveyors get it right, and the lot line moves ten feet
(yes TEN) each time they survey. Only once was it shot in using a major
benchmark. And after 150 years, and 20 years with six licensed and board
certified land surveyors along that south line, somebody noticed the lot
lines overlapped in the description - by 20 feet! (quit claimed to fix it).
They all did chain and rod work, and apparently all missed adjustments
for elevation (the earth is close to flat, as are maps - so you have to
shoot and adjust for measuring on slopes to get map-flat distances.)
thus problem # 1 - surveyors cutting corners and assuming the last person
did good work, and that their survey is pro forma little value.
b) My house in a development
1) has the lot lines marked with buried rerod
2) the plat map has the common lot line listed from the centerline of a
road (road being
redone, and likely moved a foot or so over next year) and
3) the one coordinating point for the entire development is a major
benchmark two miles
away, a mile from the edge of the development.
The city (wisely) shot in the replacement utility poles and new street
lights off the major benchmark and set them at the corners - dead on. Back
then, I had asked the surveyor who was shooting in the poles "why shoot?",
when they had a ten foot wide easement, and it was the utility companies
pole anyway- "Peace among neighbors" was his answer.
You would think the locals thought those rerods were given by God and
put in by Moses rather than just shoved in the ground near the lot stakes,
stakes set by the contractor and replaced by eye after the land was scarfed,
rerod shoved in by an 18 yr old summer worker who got within five feet of
the moved stakes nearly all the time (fwiw -my 140 foot wide lot has the
rods spaced 150 feet, measured using a 100 ft tape on level ground).
The several surveyors for the properties on three sides have yet to get
close to each others marks.
thus problem # 2 - Surveyors too damn lazy/owner too cheap to shoot off a
major benchmark, assumptions about who puts in what (major benchmarks are
put in by top pros like USGS, and pipes and rods are put in as guides only
by local surveyors), and GPS that has errors: accuracy depends on
calibration AT the major mark, the quality of equipment, the type of signal
used, and the skill of the user. And it ain't all that damn good,
anyway -just cheaper.
c) My lake properties (5 lots in two adjacent additions, on a "peninsula
with island" 800 feet across) uses a 3" iron pipe to define a meandering
corner for the entire island and two plats. After the original plat, the
lake was later dammed and the pipe submerged.
Each time an adjacent landowner has bought property, it is surveyed off
one of the lesser survey points, and often surveyed in from the water.
E.g., I went up one weekend and saw the surveyor's mark for edge of the
western neighbor of addition one, saw a mark shot in from the south sitting
in the middle of a drive.
I had earlier seen a mark from a different surveyor, one who had done the
northern neighbor's property which was in additon two, and he shot southward
from the north edge - his mark sitting 90 feet to the north of the first
Problem was, my 2 lots in the middle of the island on that north-south lot
line were 200 feet wide. The survey was obviously wrong, since 90 is not
But the owner to the north and the owner to the west each "knew" their
mark was correct, because their land was "properly surveyed".
Neither surveyor had accounted for the dam making the island smaler, nor
had either shot off the 3" pipe ("can't be found" because everybody kept
looking near the shore when it actually is 60 feet out in the bay)
Satellite photo of present size overlaid on pre-dam map showed the island
had lost 110 feet N-S.
(this is the same property that had a large lot that was submerged when
the lake was dammed leaving it 12 sq ft, but still listed, and fifty years
later some newbie country assessor sees a large lot on a map and decides it
is waterfront with $2000 a year taxes instead of the $10 it had been for 30
years. County surveyor says maps are only changed there by court order as
the result of a lawsuit, etc, etc. )
Thus problem 3 - original maps often suck, many surveyors are too lazy to
find a major mark, and there are decades of poor survey records.
Most telling point about all three of the above is that the neighbors
won't rock the boat on those lines - they would rather think that their lots
go to the best-for-them lines and marks rather than have the lots properly
surveyed and maybe find out their lots are smaller than they imagine. Blind
bigger is better than smaller truth.
So my advice is don't put your surveyor whom you saw for ten minutes
above your neighbor with whom you will have to live with for years.
And don't put in a fence on a lot line, because if you are off six inches
the wrong way, you will have a bad festering neighbor forever and much
wasted money in lawsuits, as well as pulling out a fence and moving it
over - for six lousy inches.
Assume the surveyor was wrong and the line is a foot off - and I would
bet you I can find three surveyors to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt he
was and three that he was was not.
"Good fences make good neighbors" was talking about the condition of the
fence, not the fences location or that it was a demarcation. Otherwise he
would have said "Good fences located by good surveyors make for good
for some reason, landowners and surveyors are like lawyers and engineers -
each is expert about the other's business all the while barely knowing what
the other does..
---that was cathartic....
And your point is? So you dealt with a bunch off dumbs hit survey
crews and your self as well. I htink you just like to peck on the
keyboard keys personally. Who gives a shit about your oakefront
property, or your assumption as the so called 0 foot corridors are
made, which is a bunch of nbullshit when you think about your
statement as to their so called intended use.................utter
bullshit and day dreaming there dude. Take some meds and get some
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
I hope you had the surveyor to stake the boundaries as well. This may
help in any discussions you have with the neighbor.
Before speaking with the neighbor, I'd tie a line between the stakes,
so the conversation with the them, would illustrate the surveyor's
findings, while trying to calmly come to a resolution...It may be
easier than you think.
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