Surveying Services And Functions
- Right of way locations
- Maintain City benchmark (elevation) listing (available in Online Maps)
- Maintain geodetic coordinate on Public Land Survey System corners
- Operation of global positioning system (GPS) base station for differential correction
- Prepare plat of subdivisions and certified survey maps as needed for monumentation of properties and industrial park lot creation
- Topographic mapping for sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water main, curb and gutter, and street reconstruction projects
- Capture of feature locations for utility and other mapping using GPS equipment
Property Line Location/Property Surveys
The City of Wausau does not assist home owners in locating property irons, surveying private property, or locating property lines between private properties. A property corner or iron can ONLY be determined or verified by a survey. The City recommends property owners consider retaining the services of a private land surveyor if property corners or property lines must be accurately determined. Also, legal advice regarding property ownership and land disputes should be referred to your attorney. (See "Right-of-Way" below for additional information.)
Typically certified surveys completed by a private land surveyor are filed with the Marathon County Register of Deeds Office. Property owners can contact that office to determine if a certified survey may have been accomplished and filed in the past.
The City will assist property owners in identifying the location of public right-of-way. The right-of-way of most City streets is 50-60 feet. Some are narrower, and some are significantly wider. Property owners are often surprised to learn the right-of-way actually extends several feet into what they perceive is their yard, particularly in areas where there is no public sidewalk. Knowing the correct location of the right-of-way may be very important for such things as landscaping, building projects, installing a new driveway, or erecting a fence.
If residents need to know where their property line is located (other than locating the right-of-way which the City will do) they should hire a Registered Land Surveyor and have a survey completed.
The back of sidewalk is not always on the right-of-way. We have many sidewalks in the City that are five and even ten feet from the right-of-way. The back of walk should never be used as the sole location of the right-of-way.
GIS or even the original plat or deed dimensions aren’t always correct. In fact, these dimensions in most cases are never correct. If it’s a platted lot, the entire block needs to be measured and the lot dimensions prorated for long or short blocks. If it’s a deed, the adjoining deeds need to be looked at for gaps/overlaps and junior/senior rights.
Original, undisturbed plat corners are always correct. The back of walk should never be used for right-of-way location without first checking for original property corners.
The back of walk is only used for right-of-way location as a last resort. If no usable monuments are found within the block or the adjoining block, only then should the street improvements (sidewalks) be used to locate the right-of-way. In these cases, the right-of-way would be centered on the improvements, which again would mean that if the sidewalks where too close or too far apart, neither sidewalk would be exactly on the right-of-way.