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A stake/orange flag appeared on my property

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  • A stake/orange flag appeared on my property

    Well, I don't know technically if I own the little strip that's right next to the road, but our property is staked and about 20' in from the property marker (and about 5' in from an old property marker) there's a little wooden stake with an orange flag that appeared. Forgive the stupid question... we are first time homeowners, but why would flags just appear? Road work? There are no utility poles going down that side. We're planning our fences right now and I guess are just worried that something's going on there. Anyone we can call to find out?

  • #2
    Laws vary but

    I don't think anyone owns the 'easement' I think it is called. Depending on how big a property. I would PRONTO get myself to the county or zoning person[?] to see what is going on. Do this BEFORE you put in said fence...
    Another killer of threads

    Comment


    • #3
      In our state, if anyone is doing any kind of digging/road work, they have to call "Dig Safely NY." They then coordinate with all of the utilities - electric, gas, phone, water, septic, etc., and the utilities come out and flag their stuff. It's usually not on wooden stakes, though. Maybe ask your neighbors if they know? It might be smart to see if your state has a similar phone number and give them a call anyways if you are doing post holes soon.

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      • #4
        That little strip by the road is usually granted as an easement to the city or whatever they call it where you live as the right of way to the road and for utilities etc. So you get to pay the property taxes, mow it , etc but you cant do anything with it.
        They may be locating underground utilities in preparation to do something, or they may have come out and surveyed to prepare to widen the road.
        Either way, your area's road dept should be able to tell you.
        "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          All very interesting. Thanks! I'll put in some calls tomorrow.

          Comment


          • #6
            In our county, they put those out when they are going to do tree work, meaning cutting trees or branches that could take out power lines in the event of storms. Sometimes they tag the actual tree, sometimes it is a stake in the ground with the orange flag.

            The utilities here use little flags on metal sticks, and each company has it's own color and usually their company name on the flag.

            Or maybe your town is planning on widening the road. I think it would be worth a phone call to find out if your local public works department knows anything about it, especially if you are planning fencing. Here, you are required to set your fence line x feet from the edge of the easement line, so you might want to check into that also.
            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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            • #7
              Check it out at your city hall. This could also be your neighbor re-surveying his property, so I would not go to them first. So I would go to officials first. Be prepared to hire you own surveyor to affirm your property ($). If it's your neighbor, then may chose to have a stake buried when your property is resurveyed, in case your neighbor moves the marker (happened to me).
              There was a thread earlier on how a whole section of the town was off, several blocks were effected even the road was inaccurate. The original survey on which everyone assumed was accurate was not and chaos ensued. Get a copy of your property lot as it is filed with town hall. Proceed with caution and double check everyone. Town hall should also be able to tell you if it's a utility etc. Remember they are there to serve you a resident of the town.

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              • #8
                Here, they stake (flag on wire) underground for inspection crews so they know where to walk the line with the testers or whatever that box they tote around is. A few weeks ago, orange stakes appeared and as if by magic, gravel trucks started rolling and we have a drivable road again. It could be almost anything from surveying school testing to utilities.
                Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                • #9
                  Around here, wooden sticks with orange/pink trail marker tape tied to them indicate a land survey being done.

                  Little wire thingies with flags are used to mark where road work is to be done (pink), electrical co-op lines (white), telephone lines (clear), and "underground stuff you are supposed to not dig into on your project (orange).

                  Last year, a telephone company flag "appeared" in my front yard one day. It had an 800 phone number and a flag number on it, so silly me, I thought I could just call that phone number, give them the flag number, and find out what the hell was going on. (We were going to be shortly vacating that house and moving to a trailer a couple hundred feet away -- and if they thought they were going to be replacing the underground line to the OLD house, we wanted to head that idea off pronto and get them to run the line to the NEW house.)

                  Whoever I was talking to on the phone had no idea what the flag meant, had no record in her computer of anything having been or going to be done at my address, and said I could just pull it up. (I didn't, but the old mare eventually tromped it down.)

                  A couple of months later, ANOTHER clear telephone company flag appears, this time on my powerline meter pole in the back yard, wedged between the meter and the pole. I didn't do anything about that one, and nothing ever happened.

                  So either somebody at the phone company was really confused, or they were just going around sticking flags for the fun of it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chall View Post
                    in case your neighbor moves the marker (happened to me).
                    Happened to me also, twice. The first time the land was surveyed I was not even in the state and when I did arrive the only stakes left standing were the one's out by the road. None of the side or back stakes were anywhere to be found. Had it re-surveyed when I was ready to fence. Got the fence in on three and a half sides and cemented the surveyor stakes right in with the fence posts. Had pictures of where all the stakes were right after the survey and before I could get the last half fenced the neighb or from He!! next door moved the remaining stakes to her advantage and then complained to the county that I put my hay shed/run-in shed too close to the property line (where she had moved the stakes to make it look to be too close). Country sided with me and I heve since had the stakes put back where they are supposed to be and completed the fencing on that side, again with the stakes concreted in with fence posts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chall View Post
                      Check it out at your city hall. This could also be your neighbor re-surveying his property, so I would not go to them first. So I would go to officials first. Be prepared to hire you own surveyor to affirm your property ($). If it's your neighbor, then may chose to have a stake buried when your property is resurveyed, in case your neighbor moves the marker (happened to me).
                      There was a thread earlier on how a whole section of the town was off, several blocks were effected even the road was inaccurate. The original survey on which everyone assumed was accurate was not and chaos ensued. Get a copy of your property lot as it is filed with town hall. Proceed with caution and double check everyone. Town hall should also be able to tell you if it's a utility etc. Remember they are there to serve you a resident of the town.
                      Yup.

                      "Little orange flags" or in my case, "little pink flags" don't just appear for no reason. The pink ones on my new property appeared because we paid for a survey before buying, and wanted to know where the property lines actually are. Anyone other than the county, putting flags on your property, is cause for concern, if not alarm. I'd be calling the county ASAP to find out what's going on. And be prepared to hire your own surveyor (if you don't have a recent survey) to reinforce your claims to your own property.

                      Good luck.
                      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                      A life lived by example, done too soon.
                      www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        gah! This is all so nerve wracking. I have all the worst scenarios going through my head. zoning (don't even have the horses here yet), surveying, etc.... I trekked out there and it says "GPS base, please do not disturb". NO idea what that means. Hopefully they're just updating the GPS/GIS maps...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, they're probably updating GIS.

                          You can call the GIS mapper at the county to verify.

                          FEMA is also updating all the flood maps and using GIS instead of the old NAV data to delineate floodplains.

                          Your GIS maps are probably on your county website and you can view images from there just by typing in your PIN number, deed book/page number or address.

                          If you have any trouble locating your maps send me a PM and I'll be happy to help you if I can.



                          Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
                          gah! This is all so nerve wracking. I have all the worst scenarios going through my head. zoning (don't even have the horses here yet), surveying, etc.... I trekked out there and it says "GPS base, please do not disturb". NO idea what that means. Hopefully they're just updating the GPS/GIS maps...
                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                          -Rudyard Kipling

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