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November 2013

Control Corners: When and Where or if EVER

It seems that the most hand written add-ons to plats before recording is that critical statement: “Control Corner”. I reviewed one County’s checklist that gave an example of a granite monument as a control corner but stated that the quality of the corner was not the responsibility of the one completing the checklist. I have not seem a checklist for a plat of an existing parcel or other plats that do not meet the subdivision requirements; but then again those plats were not intended to be subjected to a checklist before recording. The gap between establishing a control corner and labeling a point “Control Corner” has grown to the point of ridicules. I recently saw a recorded plat with the control corners labeled on two irons that were connected to the surveyed property by dashed lines with no bearing or distance relationship. I guess the real question is what purpose does labeling one corner control, on any survey, fulfill; given that relativity to all evidence typically controls. I don’t intend to move lot corners, in established subdivisions, when my measurements don’t match the recorded plat distance from a designated control corner. My reading of the General Status leads me to believe the intent was to add permanency in land development that includes new streets, not control. I am including a copy of the General Status concerning control corners for your ease of reading. Is it time to revisit this issue and unburden surveyors of the responsibility of labeling corners “Control” just to get a plat recorded? I was quite surprised to learn that this requirement began in 1947.

Article 5A.

Control Corners in Real Estate Developments.

§ 39-32.1. Requirement of permanent markers as "control corners."

Whenever any person, firm or corporation shall hereafter divide any parcel of real estate into lots and lay off streets through such real estate development and sell or offer for sale any lot or lots in such real estate development, it shall be the duty of such person, firm or corporation to cause one or more corners of such development to be designated as "control corner" and shall cause two or more street center lines or offset lines within or on the street right-of-way lines to be permanently monumented at intersecting center lines or offset lines, points of curvature or such other control points, which monuments shall also be designated as control corners and to affix or place at such control corner or corners permanent markers which shall be of such material and affixed to the earth in such a manner as to insure as great a degree of permanence as is reasonably practical. (1947, c. 816, s. 1; 1959, c. 1159.)

§ 39-32.2. Control corners fixed at time of recording plat or prior to sale.

Such control corner or corners, as described in G.S. 39-32.1, and such permanent marker or markers, as described in G.S. 39-32.1, must be designated and affixed at the time of recording the plat of said land or prior to the first sale of any lot or lots constituting a part of the real estate development which said person, firm or corporation has caused to be laid off in lots with designated streets. (1947, c. 816, s. 2.)

§ 39-32.3. Recordation of plat showing control corners.

Upon designating a control corner and affixing a permanent marker, said person, firm or corporation shall cause to be filed in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the real estate development is located a map or plat showing the location of the control corner or corners and permanent marker or markers with adequate and sufficient description to enable a surveyor to locate such control corner or marker. No map or plat of a real estate subdivision or development made after July 1, 1947, shall be certified for recording pursuant to G.S 47-30.2 unless the location of control corners is shown thereon. (1947, c. 816, s. 3; 1997-309, s. 1.)

§ 39-32.4.  Description of land by reference to control corner; use of control corner to fix distances and boundaries prima facie evidence of correct method.

Any lot or lots sold or otherwise transferred at the time of or subsequent to the establishment of a control corner may be described in any conveyance so as to include a reference to the location of said lot or lots which are being conveyed with respect to the control corner. Thereafter the use of the control corner in ascertaining distances so as to establish boundary lines of lots within or originally within such real estate development may be admissible as evidence in any court and shall be prima facie evidence of the correct method of determining the boundaries of any lot or lots within any such real estate development. (1947, c. 816, s. 4.)