# Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture

## Presentation on theme: "Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture"— Presentation transcript:

Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Legal Descriptions "The small landholders are the most precious part of a state." -Thomas Jefferson Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Legal Description A written passage or statement that defines property and is descriptive enough for the property to be differentiated from other properties and located without other evidence. ©iStockphoto.com Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Legal Description In United States: Metes and Bounds
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Legal Description In United States: Metes and Bounds Original 13 states and HI, KY, ME,TN,TX, VA, WV Rectangular Survey System Remaining 30 states Lot and Block Used in conjunction with either of the other two systems When the US was colonized, land was described using the accepted English system of metes and bounds. Metes and bounds descriptions consist of a closed loop of distances and angles that describe the property boundaries. This system is used in the original thirteen colonies (now states) and a few other states. A more uniform rectangular system was suggested by Thomas Jefferson in 1784 and was adopted by the United States in This system is based on grids established throughout the states using the system. The lot and block system is generally used to describe the subdivision of a larger parcel of land which has already been described using either metes and bounds or the rectangular survey system. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Metes and Bounds A system of land description that identifies a property by describing the shape and boundary dimensions of a unit of land based on its edge distances and bearing angles from a defined starting point. When the US was colonized, land was described using the accepted English system of metes and bounds. Metes and bounds descriptions consist of a closed loop of distances and angles that describe the property boundaries. However early metes and bounds descriptions often included non-permanent landmarks such as trees, streams, and rocks. This practice resulted in frequent property disputes. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Metes and Bounds Mete = boundary described by a distance and direction between property corners North 30º West a distance of 567 ft Bound = boundary that is described less accurately “Along the stone wall at the edge of Isaac Porcher’s property” Point of Beginning (POB) = a property corner from which the description originates; the starting point Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Metes and Bounds “From the POB proceed N 67° 35’ E along said right of way line of State Road No.1 a distance of 120 ft.” Lines are described with respect to natural or artificial monuments and baselines. Line length is measured along a level plane. Directions are described using bearing angles with respect to the previous line. The red text is a partial example of a metes and bounds description. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Lengths Early metes and bounds
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Lengths Early metes and bounds 1 Chain = 100 links = rods = 66 feet Today, lengths are typically given in decimal feet. Example: ft (not 315’- 9”) Early metes and bounds surveys were commonly performed using a Gunter’s chain (shown in the image). How many chains in one mile? 1 mile * (5280 ft/1 mile) * (1 chain/66 feet) = 80 chains Courtesy Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Bearings The deviation measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds from a known line or direction N25° 35’ 12”E North 25 degrees 35 minutes and 12 seconds east S22° 35’W South 22 degrees 35 minutes west Angle measure 1 degree = 60 minutes 1 minute = 60 seconds A bearing is the deviation from a know line. Here is an example of a bearing [click]. How would you read this bearing? [click] [Give students a few seconds to read the bearing, then click] Angles are generally measured in degrees, minutes and seconds [click] [at end of slide] How many seconds in a degree? 1 degree * (60 minutes/degree)(60 seconds/minute) = 3600 seconds/degree Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

N 25°35’ E N S E W 25° 35' Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem N 25°35’ E N S E W 25° 35' From the initial point of the property line, determine the direction indicated by the first letter in the bearing designation (click). In this case N means north. Then turn the indicated angle (click) toward the direction indicated by the last letter (click), east, which is counterclockwise when viewed from above. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

S 22°35’W N S E W 22° 35' Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem S 22°35’W N S E W (click) In this case S means south, so begin by facing south. Then turn 22 degrees and 35 minutes [click] toward the west, which is clockwise when viewed from above. 22° 35' Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Metes and Bounds Example
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Metes and Bounds Example “From the POB proceed N 67° 35’ E along said right of way line of State Road No.1 a distance of 120 ft.” N S E W We will now lay out some property lines. Starting from the Point of Beginning, lay out the direction of the property line using the bearing (click). Measure and mark the length of the line from the POB along the bearing line (click). The end of this property line then becomes the initial point of the next property line (click). 67° 35' 120 ft POB Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Metes and Bounds “…thence N 12° 45’ W a distance of 67 ft.” N 12° 45'
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Metes and Bounds “…thence N 12° 45’ W a distance of 67 ft.” N 12° 45' 67 ft W E Starting from the end of the previous line, lay out the direction of the next property line using the bearing (click). Measure and mark the length of the line from the POB along the bearing line (click). The end of this property line then becomes the initial point of the next property line (click). N 67° 35' E 120' S POB Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Metes and Bounds POB N 78° 10 ' W 98 ' S 12° 45' E N 12° 45' W 63 '
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Metes and Bounds N 78° 10 ' W 98 ' S 12° 45' E 63 ' N 12° 45' W 67 ' And so it continues until the final property lines returns to the POB. In many cases, the distances and bearings in the legal description will not return exactly to the POB. In early descriptions, the error can be quite large. S 11° 30' W 71 ' N 67° 35' E 120 ' POB Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Rectangular Survey Thomas Jefferson Designed for the organization, division, and sale of government-owned frontier lands As you can imagine, slight errors in a distance or bearing could result in overlapping property descriptions. In addition, many early metes and bounds descriptions were based on non-permanent landmarks such as trees, streams, and rocks. This procedure resulted in frequent property disputes. Thomas Jefferson suggested a more uniform and orderly method for the division and sale of government-owned land. The new system has come to be called the rectangular survey system. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Meridian and Base Lines
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Meridian and Base Lines Principal Meridian The rectangular survey system is based on a series of north-south lines referred to as principal meridians. Each principal meridian has a corresponding east-west base line. Base Line Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Principal Meridians Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem This map shows the location of the principal meridians and base lines in the United States. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Principal Meridians Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Principal Meridians This close-up map shows principal meridians and baselines in the northwest. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Range Lines 6 miles (TYP) Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Range Lines 6 miles (TYP) Originating from each intersection of a principal meridian and its baseline, the land is divided into small areas with range lines which run north-south (click) and are spaced six miles apart. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Township Lines 6 miles (TYP) Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Township Lines 6 miles (TYP) Township lines run east-west and are also spaced at six miles. The resulting 6 mile x 6 mile squares are called townships. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Townships T2N R2W T2N R2W T2N R1E T2N R2E T1N R2W T1N R1W T1N R1E T1N
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Townships T2N R2W T2N R2W T2N R1E T2N R2E T1N R2W T1N R1W T1N R1E T1N R2E T1S R2W T1S R1W T1S R1E T1S R2E The location of a township is indicated using coordinates that originate at the intersection of the base line and the principal meridian. For instance the township designated as Township 1 North, Range 1 West is in the first row township to the north of the baseline and first column of townships west of the principal meridian (click). The township designated as Township 1 South, Range 2 East is located by counting one township to the south of the baseline and two townships to the east of the principal meridian (click). T2S R2W T2S R1W T2S R1E T2S R2E Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Each Township = 36 Sections
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Each Township = 36 Sections Each township [click] is further divided into 36 sections [click].The sections are always numbered beginning with section 1 in the northeast corner and counting to the west and then following a serpentine pattern to end with section 36 in the southeast corner of each township. [click] Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Each Section Section = 1 square mile = 640 acres
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Each Section Section = 1 square mile = 640 acres 80 acres Quarter Section 160 acres 40 acres 20 acres [click] Remember that each township is 6 miles by 6 miles. Therefore, each section is one mile square. [click] Each section can then be divided into even smaller parcels by referring to quarters or halves of the section. [click] One square mile is equal to 640 acres. So half a section contains half of 640 acres, or 320 acres. [click] A quarter section contains one quarter of 640 acres, or 160 acres. [click] These partial sections can be further divided into smaller and smaller subdivisions such as quarter-quarter sections or half-quarter sections. Half Section 320 acres Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Partial Sections Northwest 1/4 Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Partial Sections Northwest 1/4 The partial sections are identified by their location within the section. For example the southeast ¼ of the northwest quarter (click) can be found by identifying the northwest quarter of the section (click) and then identifying the southeast quarter of that quarter (click). Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Evidence of Rectangular Survey
Legal Descriptions Evidence of Rectangular Survey Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem SECTION Satellite image of Kansas farmland showing the land divided into square parcels. Each smaller square is a quarter section; each larger square is a section (click). The circles are a result of central pivot irrigation in which water is fed from a well in the center of each field and is dispersed through a long pipe that rotates on wheels. The color of the crop circle depends on the type of plant. Do you think the designers of the irrigation system considered the size of a section and quarter section when sizing the system? Courtesy NASA Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Rectangular Survey Example
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Rectangular Survey Example Township 1 South, Range 1 East, 3rd PM, Section 25: S1/2 NW1/4 Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Locate the Principal Meridian
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Locate the Principal Meridian 3rd PM = 3rd Principal Meridian In what state is the property located? Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Locate the Township Township 1 South, Range 1 East, 3rd PM
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Locate the Township Township 1 South, Range 1 East, 3rd PM Find T 1 S, R 1 E Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Locate the Section Section 25 Legal Descriptions
Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Locate the Section Section 25 Find Section 25. Remember, each township is divided into 36 sections [click] numbered as shown. Section 25 is toward the lower right hand corner of the township. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Locate the Subdivision
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Locate the Subdivision Township 1 South, Range 1 East, 3rd PM, Section 25: S1/2 NW1/4 S1/2 NW1/4 To located the subdivision of the section[click], start from the last division listed in the description, NW ¼. Divide the section into quarters[click] and look at the NW quarter (upper left) [click]. Divide the NW ¼ into halves horizontally. The description is the S ½ of this quarter[click] Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Lot and Block Provides for the subdivision of a tract of land
Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Lot and Block Provides for the subdivision of a tract of land Divided into blocks consisting of many individual lots Inspired the term subdivision Legal description recorded as lot number and block number of the named subdivision Used with metes and bounds and rectangular survey descriptions Eventually it became necessary to devise a system of land description that was not restricted to the rectangular parcels that resulted from the rectangular system. The lot and block system provides for the subdivision of a tract of land into lots of various shapes and sizes. Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Lot and Block Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture
Unit 4 – Lesson 4.1 – Commercial Building Design Problem Lot and Block This partial plat shows the use of a lot an block system in a neighborhood in Charleston, SC. Courtesy Register Mesne Conveyance, City of Charleston, SC Project Lead The Way, Inc. Copyright 2010

Image Sources Microsoft, Inc. (2010). Clip art. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from us/clipart/default.aspx Istockphoto (2010). Stock photograph. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from Register Mesne Conveyance Office, City of Charleston, SC. Title is blue 44 pt. Arial Text black 24 pt. Arial Refer to APA 5th edition if you have questions regarding citations

Download ppt "Legal Descriptions Civil Engineering and Architecture"

Similar presentations