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How wide is a property line?

property line widthHow wide is a property line?  You may be asking yourself "Did he say that out loud"?  Well, Yes I did.  And here are the potential reasons why; see which one you can identify most with, then think about your own reason and add to the list.  I will list the first three (3) and you provide the rest.  First comment should be begin with the number four (4).


  1. It has no width.  It is an abstract line;
  2. It is as wide as the corner markers are;
  3. It's as wide as you and your neighbor agree that it is.
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  • Land Surveyor

    The line has no width - it is a LINE - it is unsubstantial.

    The markers are substantial.Some place on the monument is the terminus of the line.

    It may be the center. It may be an edge. It may be the center of a dimple on the monument.

    I don't understand the energy in this discussion. The line is simply a line. A corner is where one line intersects another.

    All measurements are approximate. That doesn't impart a width to the line being measured. It simply indicates our precision.

    The monuments are intended to witness to the public and are substantial enough to do so.They memorialize where a line is to be found. They are not the line. Their substance does not give substance to the line.


  • My next ? is, If you have to mark a property line,it has to be seen. In this context it must have a width .It can not be invisible but we know you can not measure it, It equals zero from both sides.Like Mr Cavell said, If you have to locate this line you still +/- margin of error. So when you mark it you are saying this is where it is, and this line is visible for everyone to see.So now you have a property line that can be seen. Take this example I did a survey on a Liquor store were it was built on a wet and dry county line. The store was first built and no one was aware of the wet and dry line . I was not involved with this.  My survey was to mark the wet and dry line,if the building was out or in the wet side, because no one knew where this line fell.  The line fell in the middle of the store. So now you have one half of the store wet the other dry. Simple solution, a line on the floor marking the wet and dry county's one side could sell liquor the other could not.The store was not split, only a line on the floor.In this case the property line was representative of  a line mark on the floor 3 inches wide for everyone to see.In a surveyors world the line has no width. but sometimes it has to be showed with one, to the intent of dividing or separating  visibly with a width.This case went to court. and this line separates the store.

  • It has no width.  It is an abstract line;


  • Well most of the time, it can be as thick as a cross hair or a head of a tack or even a point on PK nail ,to a point of a survey rod or to a point on a capped iron rod. You just can not set up on nothing.I can also draw one a piece paper or see it on a plat or title survey. We measure over to them for ties, sometimes both directions. So to set a instrument up on it, It must be there. I have mark them on many different surfaces, even popped  chalk lines on them.I have never made them wider than my cross hairs or my rod point and most of the time it not how wide it is, but where it is. People go to court over them ,countries go to war. I am sure the courts will have final say on this matter one day. Just like every other survey law.

  • Land Surveyor

    A boundary line is as wide as the area it covers in practice as opposed to a thin imaginary line in theory. Two small plots (50ft * 100ft) will have a very thin boundary, probably as thick as the fence between them. However, a district or county will have a river as a boundary comfortably.

  • For a topo survey, based on record information for boundary, I usually plot as 0.5' or greater.

  • A property line is: an imaginary line dividing two owners or parcels.  Usually only a licensed surveyor has the authority to exercise that imagination. So I would say it is as wide as the LS imagines it to be.  Sort of "how many angels can fit on the head of a pin"  However a surveyor does not have the final word, that is reserved for the courts. 

  • Land Surveyor
    A property line has no width. Thus, it is an imaginary line without width/thickness (very tiny and invisible to measure the width/thickness) connecting two or more points. These points are property beacons/pillars/monument.
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