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Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/07/2010 4:39 PM

I am a lay person, not an engineer. I am looking at a land survey that was completed in the Florida Keys for our home in 1975 that references a 4d spike set in a Utlility pole at "10ft. MSL (U.S.C.& G datum) I had 2 surveyors come to the home to complete a Elevation Cert. and both show this spike (its still there) set at 9.9ft. (NGVD29 datum). They say the 1975 land survey was done in error, but I wanted to make sure there is not a difference between USC&G datum vs. NGVD29? Any help or feedback?

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#1

Re: HELP

04/07/2010 4:56 PM

I'm interested to know why you are concerned.
Whatever is written down will not effect the actual reality.
0.1 of a foot is 1.2" does it actually make any difference?
What are the tolerances quoted?
If it is pure curiosity on your part, fine.
If it is for any other reason I'd suggest that your time (or that of a surveyor) is more expensive than the value of the information.
This isn't supposed to sound rude, (so sorry if it does) but there are a lot of people making a very nice living from issues like this which could be considered by some to be trivial.
I mean it's feasible that a utility pole (or Florida) could settle by 1.2" , or maybe mischievious kids could have moved it.

If this 1.2" has some greater significance I'm keen to be enlightened.
Maybe I'm missing the big picture?
Del

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: HELP

04/07/2010 5:58 PM

OK - You asked for it. BIG picture: The county issued a Flood Plain Management Ordinance in March 1975 measuring BFE in a V zone to 10ft. MSL. The home was built 5 months later (August 1975) according to the ordinance in effect at the time. In 1977, the county corrected the ordinance explaining that BFE in a V zone must be measered to the bottom of the lowest horizontal structure. (2 years after home was built) Dad bought the home in 1998. (4th owner) County is saying this floor is a "downstairs enclosure" We are saying it a first floor of 2 built at BFE in 1975 (second floor is @ 18.2 ft.) County is saying second floor is the "first floor" (aka lowest floor) We say the 10ft. floor was built to county ordinance, therefore compliant to BFE in 1975. County says, the ordinance was issued in error and the home was built below BFE (was suppoed to have been measured to bottom of the beam) We say nonsense. They say prove it. We spend $$ getting 2 surveyors measurinng 9.9ft. to top of the floor, which is the same elevation as the spike in the utility pole referenced on the 1975 land survey. Turns out, 4 or 5 poles on the block all have very old paint reading (10ft.) with similar 4d spikes, but the surveyors say current elevations read 9.9ft using NGVD29 at each of these poles and spikes. So, county says sorry you are short (and, they are backed by FEMA). So, now a bathroom and 2 bedrooms that we can prove were installed on the floor @ the time of construction (1975 aka County Tax Record) but not referenced on the original plans, must be removed (aka gutted). County says gut the floor because these features were not approved for a "downstairs enclosure." We say we should be able to keep these features under the 50% rule as the floor was built to BFE in 1975. They say, no, the floor was supposed to have been built 10ft. to lowest horizontal member. Remove a bathroom and 2 bedrooms on an Ocean Front piece of property in the Florida keys and lose $400,000 in value of your home. Fight the county over .1 and spend $100,000 in attorney's fees. (plus, counties apparently have immunity against error oridnances) Lift house 3 feet (current elevation is V11 -- 11ft. to bottom), spend $100,000. Trival? I wish. So, just to clear my mind....I was asking if NGVD 29 datum is different then USC&G and maybe that can account for the .1 difference without saying someone made an error in 1975. Or maybe, really, my inquiry on this site to meant to hook up with a very smart, well connected Engineer who can help us make sense of this and save our home or put me in touch with someone who can. Thank you for your time. Mike.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: HELP

04/07/2010 6:12 PM

Thanks for taking the trouble to explain.
It strikes me that the only people who are going to make any money here are the lawyers.
What it needs is judge with some common sense who would rule that it was done to the best information available at the time, surely they can't reterospectively change the datum...but hey I'm just a cat.
Good luck with it.
Del

PS.
Hey maybe you could grind 1.2" off the bottom of the beams, and add some extra (shallow) beams to compensate? Sorry if that's bonkers.
You have my sympathy as petty beurocracy like that drives me nuts. Do they really think 1.2" is going to make any difference to a tsunami?
Del

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: HELP

04/08/2010 8:12 AM

There is no real issue here with respect to vertical datum planes. NGVD 1929 has been replaced by NGVD 1983 (by U.S. Geologic Survey), but the difference between these planes is very small, perhaps 0.01 feet at most. The earth is not round (ellipse), but maps are flat. The model for projecting the elliptical earth onto a flat map changes ever 100 years or so.

But your problem has nothing to do with any of this. FEMA flood studies conducted in the USA during the 1970's have delineated the 100 and 500 year flood zones across the USA. You ground level is BELOW the flood plain according to FEMA. That space can be used for storage or a garage. It is not habitable space. Sorry. Yes, it once was, but no more. After the hurricane comes and destroys the pre 1975 occupancy, the reconstruction is not allowed below the flood plain (irregardless of which datum plane is used as they are essentially the same).

My brother in law had to raise his house 11 feet at the Houston waterfront for this exact reason. The area below the flood line is now the garage with the house on steel columns above this line.

FEMA waits until you go to rebuild before enforcing these regulations. But it is inevitable that the storm will come.

We lose homes every year in Massachusetts (Cape Ann, Cape Cod) by glacial recession and hurricanes, northeast gales, Perfect (no-name) Storms.

Building practices have become more onerous. Remember, FEMA is set up to provide flood insurance for properties where homes do not belong (ie hurricane alley).

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: HELP

04/08/2010 8:28 AM

(irregardless of which datum plane is used as they are essentially the same).
It ammuses me that a 'portmanteau word' which has been made up for comedic effect seems to have slipped ino US English.
The words are Irrespective and Regardless, combining the two in a slurred or mock pompous tone as 'Irregardless' used to induce mirth, but these days seems to pass for being erudite!

Wiki appears to concur
Del

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: HELP

04/08/2010 8:42 AM

Sorry. I wasn't trying to be stupid or pompous or any of those things. I just am.

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#35
In reply to #10

Re: HELP

04/08/2010 3:29 PM

I every time my boss says it, especially in front of clients.

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#19
In reply to #9

Re: HELP

04/08/2010 11:24 AM

Thank you for the response. I hear you. But, the home's first floor was not built slab on grade. The homes was built up on pilings to 10ft. in 1975 (measuring to the top of the floor per county code). The home was not built as an enclosure. Its was built as a 2 story home. It should be grandfathered in our opinion. With that said, no doubt raising the home to current BFE (11 ft. to bottom of beam) is sensible from a lose mitigation view point and maybe even a value of home angle. Most importantly, maybe, the best route to solve this problem. The question is who should pay for it? The only reason the home was not built corrrecly (10ft. to bottom of the beam) was due to county error in ordinance. The original homeowners and builders relied upon the code in effect at the time. Government should NOT have the authrority to retroactively apply NEW codes or NEW FEMA Regs. to existing structures 35 years after the structure was built. Of course, that is is just my opinion (and others who are smarter then me). Peace.

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#4

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/07/2010 6:20 PM

Welcome to CR4, you will find heaps of supportive and helpful people here that really do great things. Please though, respect the members and you will receive abundant helpful advice and develop significant (anonymous) friendships.

I can only relate to AHD (Australian Height Datum) and note that there have been "adjustments" over time since they were developed to account for continental drift and other earthly movements. Maybe the U.S.C&G datum has had similar adjustments over the years. Your own surveyors should be able to give you the history on that.

From your description though, the 0.1 is not the issue. If the 10' mark is meant to be the bottom of the lowest horizontal item and the measure is 9.9' to the floor (and I'm understanding from your description this to be the floorboards as opposed to the bottom of the bottom bearer/joist. I include this as maybe my interpretation is incorrect, please clarify) then it was built incorrectly to begin with.

There may be a "leg to stand on" in the tolerances of the original survey of the building that was approved by the council. Surveying has now become so precise that they can (and do) accurately and repeatably report to mm or fractions of inches. The older methods would have maybe reported a tolerance on their calculations and thus the "new guy" at council is really splitting hairs.

From the responses that you will get on this forum, I suggest that you assemble a set of questions for the senior engineer at the council (as opposed to a clerk on the desk) and get him to buy into the issues.

Ultimately though, if it's not in the public interest, then the authorities have the responsibility to cause it to be "made safe" even if that may seem ridiculous to us as engineers.

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#5

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/07/2010 7:11 PM

Welcome to the group.

It's about the 1929 datum.

I think there may be something in here you can use:

PDF]

GEODETIC VERTICAL CONTROL NETWORK

Good luck!

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 3:12 AM

Pitty there's not a "damn good answer" option. Well done.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 6:49 AM

Thank you for the compliment. I'm not going to pat myself on the back until I hear from the OP that the answer help him solve his problem.

Cheers.

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#6

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/07/2010 10:54 PM

With government like that, it's time to get out the tar and feathers, if not pitchforks.

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#12

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 8:58 AM

You might be able to get some further info here. The vertical datum survey was not intended to displace historical, economic or current land use (including homes) unless there was a negative environmental impact (particularily in the Everglades restoration project).

If it doesn't impact on any other property owner you might consider approaching the town council to amend the easement.

Sounds to me like the suveys branch of your county is inventing work for itself. A discrepancy of 1.2" is ignorable at best, idiotic at worst.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 10:31 AM

I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"A discrepancy of 1.2" is ignorable at best, idiotic at worst."

Ignorable, idiotic things are what local governments do best!

GA to ya.

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#13

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 9:27 AM

I have read this thread and it seems clear that the path of least resistance is to raise the structure. 100 K seems like a very high cost for a simple task. The powers that be are being inflexible but raising the structure a couple feet allows use of federal insurance program which is a fraction of the alternative and it might save life and property not to mention the cost to the flood program for replacement. I've been aroung this kind of work for a long time and for 100 K it must be something extra ordinary.

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#36
In reply to #13

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 3:49 PM

I think part of the cost is simply GETTING to the middle of the keys -- everything down there is more $$ when you talk moving equiptment, etc..I would love names and numbers of people who can lift this house REASONABLY. ps....these guys tack on the % for Ocean front property. They see the view and they all think your rich. Maybe I should explain that our family business is insuring auto dealers for a living. Peace.

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#15

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 10:38 AM

There is an online utility that will show the datum shift between NGVD29 and NAVD88.

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/VERTCON/vert_con.prl

If I am understanding your plea, this should provide the answer... I hope it is the answer you are hoping for!

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 10:48 AM

Right on!

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 11:12 AM

What is USC&G Datum? I am not sure how this conversion calculatar works. Than you for the feedback. Mike.

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#17

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 11:03 AM

Well, a lot of good feedback...and, I appreciate it. Sincerely. The person who said the path of least resistance is to raise the home to current elevations is correct. And, the person who said this is government at its best (taking of property -- taking an innocent family for a ride over .1 and/or an error in county ordinance from 1975) is also correct. Nothing would feel better then to feel retified by a judge somewhere who can see through the bueacracy and technocratcy (if that is a word). BUT, I am sensible as much as passionate about fighting for right and wrong. We have asked FEMA, the State and the county to help Dad and Mom with one of the MANY Federal Grants available to help flood proof America. It would seem this would be the true Win-Win. I am in the insurance business -- is this not all about Mitigating loss? I have asked for help pursuing a PDM (Pre-Disaster Mitigation) Grant which if I am correct, helps pay 75% of the cost to raise the home. The counties error in Ordinance should be acknowledged and they should be more then willing to help too. But, we have not heard from any of them yet on this issue. Peace.

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#20
In reply to #17

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 11:25 AM

mvstazzone,

Good luck in your quest.

Illegitimus non Carborundum

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#22
In reply to #17

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 11:36 AM

There are three problems.

1 Alleged 0.1 ft difference between 10 feet NGVD 1929 and County spikes in poles.

2 The bottom most point of the floor structure needs to meet or exceed elevation 10 feet NGVD (1929), not the TOP ( three (3) feet out, or 2.9 feet out depending on the County spike being off by 0.1 feet relative to NGVD 1929 (not sure whether this has been updated to NGVD 1983 or not (which will be slightly off, but inconsequential)

3 The dwelling as-built in 1975 did was not in accordance with approved plans then.

But to look at just Number 1 while ignoring Numbers 2 and 3 while also ignoring FEMA regulations, puts the County in a good place legally, and you unfortunately in a poor place.

I am sorry that I didn't fully read your clarifying post the first time, but I went back and took a look after getting spanked by Del on a grammatical error. Your problem is far worse than that.

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#25
In reply to #22

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 12:06 PM

Yes, I conceed #2 and #3. And for argument sake, lets say the original owner decided to build the home to 10ft. to top of floor (BFE per county ordinance) (Fact), but, only approved for a REC. Room and Storage (per county copies of plans), and decided to sneek in a bathroom and bedroom the day after the CO was issued. (Tax Record 3 weeks after CO picks up on these features so we know when they stuff was installed). The most basic question that must be asked is why would he do that? Why would he spend the money raising his home up on pilings, to BFE (per county code), then, add a bath and bedroom on the sly, when in fact, they county would have approved it. (they did not pick up on the error to measure to bottom of the beam until 1977). It simply does not make sense. But, even if he did add a bath and bed on the sly, knowing full well the county would have approved it had he asked, is it fair to have a family 35 years later destroy 1/2 their home? In end result is: we think what is fair, is meeting in the middle and helping the family obtain a grant to raise the home. America has bigger problems - this is the Win, Win. No?

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#21

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 11:27 AM

Is there any legal liability associated with the 1975 survey that was done in error? If a surveyor was paid to do the elevations for the purpose of complying with building codes then the surveyor's error caused damages. If a fire is lit under the surveyor that caused the damages then you have someone "in the business" that will have an interest in finding a reason why the first floor should not be removed.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 11:43 AM

Yes, I have looked into that. We are talking 1975. The original surveyor is in heaven and business long gone. The guy who owned the house, he is in heaven. The guy who built the house, he is in heaven (along with his in house Architect). Did find the original owners children, however, in Indiana (they are not actually children, they are retired in their 60's), who have signed documents stating everything as it stands today was there in 1975. They are outraged that they believe their father made change orders towards tail end of construction (for Mom: who was 1/2 paralyzed and could not walk up stairs), approved by the county, and today, 35 years later my family is asking to have to destroy what he legitimately built. The suspiscion is that the feild copies of the plans were altered that went home with the original owners. Again, 1975 PC's, GPS, Digital, were not invented yet. Peace.

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#26
In reply to #23

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 12:12 PM

The technologies available now (GPS and PC) have not improved in any way the ability of a land surveyor's ability to transfer a temporary bench mark (spike in a pole) to or from the more official USGS vertical datum disk or to or from these TBM's or official USGS station markers to the property site.

A level run is made from a known point into the new area and returned to the known point using a surveyors level or engineers transit.

Should the level run not close mathematically, you run it again until it does. The County did that and apparently felt that 0.1 feet represented a closed level run.

These TBM's tend to be slightly less precise than the USGS marker. he USGS marker is typically embedded into a bridge abutment and very unlikely to move.

GPS has nothing to do with these surveys. These surveys are extremely accurate.

Still not yet known is how far the county TBM's (spikes in poles) are from the USGS disks. (Can be in the range of several miles or more). But again, the level run was closed by the county (within 0.1 feet).

The other issues (see above posts) govern here.

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#24

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 11:56 AM

From:BREVARD COUNTY

d) Bench Mark Monumentation:

"Permanent Monuments" are Brevard County engraved 2.5"

diameter brass disk uniquely stamped and set in concrete that is

recognizable, durable, and immovable. Disks cemented or

epoxied in concrete head wall and storm drain structures are

acceptable. Each "Permanent Monument" must have a proper

stamping which will be provided by the Surveying and Mapping

Department. The stamping will be the P.I.D number for the GIS

database.

Example of Stamping: (See Example C Page 10)

Page 4 of 17

Examples of Acceptable Benchmark Location:

1) Brevard County 2½ inch Domed Brass Disk cemented or

epoxied into a Drill Hole on Top of a level Concrete

Headwall. (NOT RIP RAP)

2) Brevard County 2½ inch Domed Brass Disk cemented or

epoxied into a Drill Hole on Top of Concrete Drainage

Structures.

2) Poured in Place 10" round Concrete Monument with a

Brevard County 2½ inch Domed Brass Disk.

(See Example D, Page 11)

4) Deep Rod Monument. (Driven to Refusal)

(See Example E, Page 12)

e) Acceptable Primary Control Benchmarks

1) USC&GS

2) NGS

3) FDOT (with documentation)

4) Brevard County BM (set after Sept. 2002)

f ) NON Acceptable Benchmark Monumentation:

Chiseled squares in sidewalks, fire hydrants, nails in telephone

poles, "PK or MAG nails" in pavements, etc. are not "Permanent

Monuments."

Also please be advised that a turning point is not an acceptable

Bench Mark for future vertical densification. Should future

densification be required as with a multi-phase subdivision

acceptable permanent benchmarks would need to be set along

the primary level route. These permanent benchmarks would

then be used to densify into each phase.

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#27
In reply to #24

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 12:17 PM

Thank you. Yeah, I got that. But, if the survey from 1975 (prior to home construction) we have attached to the original permit (on file with the county) is stamped and Certified as correct clearly showing the Spike in a utility pole set at 10ft. MSL, does that not constitute acceptablity in a court of law? Especially,if a county approved the home to be built at that spike?

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 12:25 PM

10 foot MSL is not the same as 10 feet USGS NGVD (1929). Nor is it the same as USGS NGVD (1983).

These are different planes. We may now be getting close to the problem.

In my office I have a chart showning the relationship between the thirty or so vertical planes that we use. Ever Town (not so much Counties here) uses a different one.

We use them all since this is a regional Authority consisting of 62 municipalities.

Always have problems when one tries to compare across different datums.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 12:35 PM

There in lies the original question. The original land survey says "10ft. MSL (U. S. C. & G datum)". The 2010 EC says NGVD29 datum at 9.9. I did check a converation chart with the NOAA that shows the difference between the MSL and NGVD 29 in this area. It seems the difference in this chart does not explain the .1 I still do not know what USC&G Datum is?? Is that the same as NGVD29 Datum? Does USC&G stand for United States Coast Guard? What is United States Coast Gaurd Datum from 1975? Thank you! Mike.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 12:45 PM

United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Nothing to do with the United States Coast Guard.

But EVERYTHING to do with how the USA measures it's portion of Earth.

They do this both vertically and horizontally, most recently in 1983, but prior to that in 1929.

Most State planes are based on the United States plane.

Keep in mind that mean sea level changes in both time and space.

Grab a Topographical Map or a nautical chart and you will see how it works.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 12:49 PM

I guess I am a little fuzzy as well. You said house was built in '75?

"Since the Sea Level Datum of 1929 was a hybrid model, it was not a pure model of mean sea level, the geoid, or any other equipotential surface. Therefore, it was renamed the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29) in 1973. The NGVD 29 was subsequently replaced by the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) based upon the General Adjustment of the North American Datum of 1988."

This from Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGVD29. It appears that NGVD29 was in effect in '75, and should have been the referenced datum then. It appears NAVD88 is the updated and current datum.

It certainly sounds like the powers that be are going to make you do whatever they wish...

Hoping for you some acceptable outcome to this,

Doorman

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 1:01 PM

Not to butt in, but while one would think that folks would adopt the new Datum immediately, such is not the case. Many never will.

Instead, surveyors use converstion programs (most for the horizontal plane) to move back and forth between planes.

Again, remember the plan is flat, but the earth is an ellipse, the shape of which we changed in 1983 (ok technology helped us change).

Vertically, things aren't quite so interesting other than the fact that a level cannot curve around the earth. This is the reason that one must check into the permanent Bench mark if you travel far (say over ten miles) because the ground surveyor is not accounting for the earth curvature.

Even the cavemen (1929) realized that the sea was rising (as you point out) and the took appropriate steps.

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#33

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 1:25 PM

Interesting.....the earth curvature as adopted by WGS in 1984 does not account for anomalies of geography. If indeed this was a level survey and no earth curvature factored in then the surveyor must have calculated from the points at which he took the shot (or shots).

There must be an instrument number on the survey map of your property. This will indicate the specific type of instrument used. Unfortunately it will not indicate how many times it was dropped....but still......

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/08/2010 1:32 PM

If anyone is interested in seeing the land survey from 1975 and the 2010 EC please e-mail me at mvstazzone@aol.com. Thanks!

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#37

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 8:53 AM

Has there been a variance applied for with Monroe county building dept? Any thinking towards a Real Estate Attorney maybe doing a variance application?

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 9:58 AM

Thank you. Not officially. But, I was told a variance would never be approved "off the record".....but, I was also advised to take the steps to ask. Two issues came up with a variance 1) Ask for a variance acknowledging the difference between 9.9 in 2010 vs. 10ft. in 1975 as 10ft. was approved with issuance of CO and in 35 years a home could settle one inch. 2) and/or ask for a variance to allow a bathroom and bedroom that is not reflected on the plans, but proven to have been installed at time of construction. #2 was addressed in conversation this this was the response: The variance criteria 122-5(2) states "The following factors shall be relevant in the granting of a variance". One of those criteria b. is: "whether it is possible to use the property by a conforming method of construction;" The property can be used by a conforming method of construction. Conforming, would be to Section 122-4(a)(9). In addition, 122-5(a) states: "Generally, where owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the floodplain management provisions of the plan would result in exceptional hardship unique to the property, etc". This hardship is NOT unique to the property. There are many properties in Monroe County constructed between 1975 and 1983 that were permitted incorrectly. This would set a precedent to allow up to 50% increase is all non-conforming previously issued permits which would increase the flood damage risk significantly." Thank you for your feedback.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 10:38 AM

You are welcome, I am calling a friend to join this discussiion. sometimes he just happens to know the angle to proceed...especially here in Brevard County..lol

I read your data on the varience but I have seen things get worked out without other effects to others property. Lets see what the Wizard has to say...Hey Glenn, you reading this?

Keep the professional attitude on this as you have. Some would have had a snit fit. Still lots of ways to wrap a deal.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 11:12 AM

Thank you. My father and brothers who all reside in Melbourne (Satellite Beach) attend Holy Name of Jesus Church in Indianatlantic .....when our business was doing well (we insure more Auto Dealers in Flordia then anyone) Dad pulled the equity out of this Duck Key Home and donated it to the Church to help have a chapel extention built. So, today, with the crash, what he owes on the home is about what it is worth...maybe a little upside down = compounds this issue greatly. Our family does not want to lose the home obviously. I see you are @ the space coast. Our Corp. office is just past Coconuts on the Ocean -- Williams and Stazzone Insurance. My brother also ownes Space Coast insurance in the same building. Any help and feedback is greatly apreciated. Peace. ps....I gave up on the snit fits several months ago -- I am in a mode of trying to find a middle gorund outside of litigation with FEMA and MC. Being in the insurance buz. has us tainted on judicial procedeings.

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 3:32 PM

OK, Clear this up for me? Is mvstazzone the same guy as Guest and what's a snit fit??

Here Goes---- Let me guess; the person who told you a variance was not possible is a county employee? I think when George was saying [variance]!!, I believe he meant to vary from the strict interpretation of a zoning rule or ordinance? Correct me if I'm wrong!

Fact is, there has evidently been some government Monkey that has an opinion about this. Never put a bureaucrat in a place where he can render an opinion-- it's real hard to get them to come off of it! All governments in this economy are doing any and everything possible to give the appearance of working so Maybe they'll keep a job and they are being Real aggressive in trying to shore up dismal cash flow with fines and fees for all kinds of stuff. Never Never get yourself in a position where a bureaucrat says "Prove It"!!

Wayyyy too much importance discussed about a 1.2" elevation difference. Thats not the problem.

An Attorney may have taken you for 5 or10K before he ever mentioned "counties have immunity"!! Then it's, Oh by the way, we may have a bigger problem!! It's called "Sovereign Immunity" and ALL governments have it and will play that card if you back them in a corner. This may then put you in a Federal Court where the fees can double ++ and take years!

To elaborate on what George hit on -- Some sort of relief is in order here. It may not be a variance, it could be non-conforming use or an appeal of a building official[probably the easiest]. Bottom line --- you were told, "Off The Record" you couldn't get a variance by a person who, if they ever knew? what rights are conveyed with a fee interest in real estate, Doesn't care about your rights!! He's probably the same guy who has never figured out who pays his salary and treats a taxpayer like a criminal. Or the one who has the sign behind a desk that says " What don't you understand about, NO"!!

This situation needs to be throttled back, Real Quick!! A savvy county commissioner may help! Above all, don't let it escalate beyond what it is now. Actual minutes from the 1975 enactment and 1977 amendment area must for information purposes. You DO have a hardship, IT is not Self Imposed and it is unique! But, unless you want to spend years and lots of $$$$$$ to fix this, forget whether the world is flat or that it sunk 1.2"'s over the years. Go to the heart of the problem-- Some bureaucracy is trying to deprive you of the right of Quiet Enjoyment through no fault of yours!! If you let it go, there may be charges filed, that someone peed off the back deck in 1987 and got a snail wet!!! Then your really in trouble!!

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 4:49 PM

Yes, I am GUEST in one or two posts and also MVSTAZZONE. You sound like a man of great wisdom and experience. Let me complicate the situation by telling you what happened. My father was going in for his 15th surgery in 8 years when he got a final order issued on a code enforcment ruling. Code Enforecment hearing took place because upon pulling an Emergency permit for a Reroof, a condition was issued "inspection of home per flood plain managment review". Dad felt it was not right to let somone in to inspect his home. None of us were aware of the ongoing Saga between MC and FEMA. MC apparently is the ONLY county in America with their backs up against a wall with threats from the NFIP / FEMA to pull the plug on the entire program for 20,000+ homeowners. Reason: the county, in FEMA's opinion, have turned the blind eye to illegal build out of "downstairs enclosures" for 30+ years all over the keys. It is estimated that 10,000+ homes have them. Homes that were built up on stilts, area's underneath meant for parking, etc. -- illegally enclosed with bathrooms and bedrooms. Dads home got tied into this issue because MC has a unique "settlement agreement" with FEMA. Part of that agreement is what they call a "Pilot Inspection program" - inspections upon sale, renewal of insurance and permits pulled. Part of the "agreement" addresses homes that were built too low according to error ordinances, but permitted and legal. They let you keep what was permitted but will never let you expand upon the space and can ask you to remove the entire floor if any expansion has occured wihout a permit. In our case, the 1975 plans (only after you blow them up larger the 8x11 pieces of paper) clearly indicate "REVISIONS" in the lower right corner. Revision #1 = Elevate First Floor to 10ft. Revision #2 = Change first floor walls from Break-a-way to "Structural". Dad hired a local attorney who charged him 30K and his main defense was "the home was approved for a REC. room and a Rec. room is living space...so living space is living space". I jumped on this after reading the final order issued by Code Enforcment special master asking my Dad and mom to DESTROY 1/2 his Ocean Front property. No one in my family realized Dad was walking into a mine field on this issue. It was VERY apparent to me that somethiong was missed. Something very imporant like ELEVATION. The county, Dads attorney and everyone in between NEVER took the original plans to KINKOS to blow them UP and READ them. Instead, in the code enforcement hearing, they passed out 8x11 sheets of paper focusing solely on the floor plan. I blew them UP - LARGE -- Took them to an Architect. Guess what? Spelled out all over the plans, permits, and elevation sketchs on the plans says "First Floor to 10ft.", "First Floor Elevation Must be 10ft." "10 ft. MSL pointed to the top of the first finished floor directly on the plans". I said the CO was issued, 10ft. is spelled out everywhere, the home was built to MC ordinance, the CO was issued....WTF? This is when they said "prove it". I found the original owners children (now in their 60's,) (builder, architect, orginal owner, county officials of that time, inspectors, all passed) who provided me with PICS of the home under construction, clearly showing the home built up on pilings. The bathroom not shown on the plans, has the same dates, decor, and fixtures as the second floor bathrooms -- all 1970's stuff with toilet bowls stamped with dates (1975). This, along with the tax record card issued 3 weeks after CO proves with this stuff was installed. I addressed the missed defense with our first attorney, he found out we were not happy, he removed himself from the case while dad was under the knife in California. I met with county officials myself, called EVERY commissioner....seems everyone wants to help me but MC's flood manager is sticking to her guns with FEMA breathing down her neck and with the NFIP on the line for 20,000 homeowners. "Off the record" in meetings with the officials they give you 10ft. (would have rounded up in 1975 they say)....but on the record, with FEMA watching, they say..."sorry, you only got 9.9". New set of attorny's took a shot at a sit down as well...that cost 30K....NO help. They got 10ft. "off the record too", but the same nonsense. "the home was incorrectly permitted as a non conforming structure in 1976"..."the home is not subject to the 50% rule....built too low"...."must demolish the floor"..."county ordinance error does not matter"....yada, yada.....we have an appeal alive currenly....must be filed by June. BUT, due process does NOT allow NEW Evidence, NEW Testimony to me admissable in a Civil proceding. They will not allow a rehearing, unless Dad and Mom waive their appeallate rights to review. Attorney's see how passionte I am about trying to help my parents....say $160,000 to sue. 50K of that to follow through with the appeal that cannot introduce everything I found (aka New Evidence). So, I am FORCED to get something in my hands that explains the 9.9 vs. 10ft. so that "officially" MC can tell FEMA "look, this explains the 10ft.". In the end, even if I got 10ft., they are going to say their ordinance was in error - was supossed to measure to the bottom of the beam. Trying to fix this so Dad does not have to spend 160K, I asked the State, FEMA and MC to help dad with a PDM (Pre Disaster Grant) to help raise thie home up 3ft. so we can turn this into a Win - Win. No one -- not FEMA, not the State, not MC has advised us if this can be accomplished. The only thing that was stated was from the county officials who started this with dad said "you alreay have a floor 7 ft. above BFE"...."don't think a grant is going to help". I really just have one simple question. DO WE LIVE IN AMERICA? Thats how I feel. Thank you. Mike.

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 6:48 PM

Sometimes things get out of hand and unfortunately we have that type of issue here, but now you have asked for help and lets see what we can conjur up. I am in Satellite Beach. Glen is in Indialantic. He is someone to let work his mind around a problem. Lets see what we can do. Dont give up. There are answers and I am sure of an ending thats suitable. Glenn and I can do some more thinking on this, I have your email- and of course other posters have ideas to collect. I am devious, he is cunning. We both have been there done that. Regards, George, The RPR

Let have more from others on this too. This is America! and the tough get going- Now.This isnt a crusade, just helping out.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 7:51 PM

Thanks...Yeah..I know I typed MUCH, any feedback or direction is appreciated. My family all live in Tortoise Island (father and 3 brothers w/ 10 nieces). If any of you attend Holy Name -- that chapel built -- part paid for by the equity of this home. Father Paige nows the family well. In my humble opinion, short of getting a sit down with a Congressman or Senator, or some news media outlet willling to digest all facts and take on the story, I do not think anything is going to help this situation -- as unreasonable as all of this sounds. I am however also trying to hunt down a person to conduct a restudy of the FIS data from 1975 and a site specific BFE, if in fact I can find the FIS data from 1975....not even FEMA seems to be alble to help with that. I am told...that BFE were rounded up -- that possibly the site specific BFE could have been 9.1. 9.2, etc...that that would make up any .1 difference and if done correclty FEMA would excpet the restudy. This was suggested county officials in other parts of FLorida who sympathize in dads situation. Lastly, as the county raising questions, I have overcome each. For example, they showed me a Permit for a septic tank and drain feild.....750 gal., 75 sq ft. drain feild...drain feild located under the driveway. I had it certified -- they dug it up -- 900 Gal. tank with 110 sq. ft. feild and everything is LEFT of the driveway...not what the permit says from 1975, but clearly someone was thinking about a 3/3 home in 1975, rather the a 2/1. Peace.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/13/2010 9:05 AM

Agree on the restudy. Good move. Also the thoughts to raise the dwelling with new or repaired piles, I would consider. Let me talk to a structural Engineer I work with. Maybe some light can be shed on the subject. I am a Resident Project Representative (RPR) for a large Consulting Engineering firm with offices Miami to New York. Let me poll my buddies. Couple days of brainstorming and I will get back to you.

email with Glenn too...www.stablecrete.com

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/13/2010 9:12 AM

Your feedback and efforts are greatly apprecaited. Mike.

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

04/12/2010 5:02 PM

ps....I see your business link....the 16 piles under this house have serious spalling problems (could be the reason for 1.02 settlement right there). So, rasing the home was also a good idea to help get this issue corrected along with putting this elevation nonsense to rest. Peace.

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#48

Re: Land Survey - USC&G Datum vs. NGVD29

05/16/2010 9:09 AM

MAJOR UPDATE ON THIS ISSUE: EVERYONE WAS CORRECT TOO MUCH TIME DISCUSSING AN IRRELEVANT ISSUE 9.9 VS. 10.

#1 -- WE RESEARCHED THE FEDERAL REGUALTIONS PERTAINING TO FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT FOR YEARS 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 AND GUESS WHAT?? THE NFIP REGS. CHANGED IN 1977 MEASURING BFE TO THE LOWEST HORIZONTAL MEMBER OF THE LOWEST FLOOR. IN 1974, 1975 (WHEN THIS HOME WAS PERMITTED AND BUILT), AND IN 1976 THE REGS. SIMPLY STATED THE FIRST ELEVATED FLOOR MUST BE BUILT TO THE 100 YEAR FLOOD IN A V ZONE (THAT MEANS ANY PART OF THE FLOOR)!! 2 YEARS INTO THIS NONSESNE, 60k IN ATTORNEY'S FEES, ERRONEOUS TESITMONY MADE BY COUNTY OFFICIALS UNDER OATH IN A CODE ENFORCEMENT HEARING, AND NOT ONCE DID ANY PERSON TAKE THE TIME TO CHECK THE REGULATIONS FROM 1975 AND VERIFY IF THE STATEMENT ABOUT THE COUNTY HAVING AN "ERROR ORDINANCE" WAS ACCURATE OR TRUE! $56 AND ONE HOUR ON WWW.HEINONLINE.ORG AND THIS IS VERIFIED.

#2 -- THE FACT IS -- THIS HOME WAS BUILT 10FT. IN 1975 TO BFE COMPLING WITH TO COUNTY ORDINANCE AND COMPLYING TO NFIP NATIONAL REGS. OF 1975. THE 10FT. IS WRITTEN ALL OVER THE PLANS, ALL OVER THE PERMIT, ON A LAND SURVEY ATTACHED TO THE 1975 PERMIT, AND A CO WAS ISSUED STATING THE HOME WAS BUILT TO THOSE SPECS...END OF STORY.

#3 -- THE HOMES FIRST ELEVATED FLOOR OF 2 SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN INSEPCTED UNDER THIS UNIQUE "PILOT INSPECTION PROGRAM"....WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN INSPECTED WAS THE BELOW BFE "ENCLOSURE" WHICH STILL SITS UNDER THIS FIRST ELEVATED FLOOR WITH BREAK-A-WAY WALLS --UNINSPECTED TO THIS DAY.

#4 -- THE SPALLING ISSUES UNDER THE HOME HAS IF FACT SETTLED THE HOME ATLEAST 1.02 INCHES OVER 35+ YEARS. THESE MAJOR SPALLING PROBLEMS IRONICALLY ARE A RESULT OF FLOODS OVER THE YEARS -- "FILL" BEING ALLOWED IN 1975 (NOT ALLOWED TODAY) TO COVER 3/4 HEIGHT OF THE 16 PILINGS AROUND THE PARIMETER OF THE HOME. wHEN YOU BREAK THROUGH THE STUCCO WALLS COVERING THE REMAININ 1/4, YOU CAN JUMP DOWN AND WALK UNDER THE HOME -- YOU CAN ALMOST STAND UP STRAIGHT. WHEN WE HAD SEVERAL DIRECT HITS FROM STORMS OVER THE YEARS, THE WATER LEVEL CAME UP TO THE TOP STEP OF OUR FIRST FLOOR (AT LEAST ON 3 OCCASSIONS SINCE WE OWNED THE HOME)...THE 4+ FOOT DEEP TRENCH FORMED AROUND THE PILINGS UNDER THE HOME RETAINED SALT WATER. THE PILLINGS WERE DIPPED IN SALT WATER UNTIL THE WATER EVAPORATED. IT TOOK BROWNIE HOME MOVERS 5 MINUTES TO DETERMINE THIS ISSUE -- YOU CAN SEE THE LINE OF SPALLING ACROSS EACH PILING -- THE WATER LINE AND MAJOR SPALLING. ABOVE THAT LINE = ZERO PROBLEMS = CLEAN.

ONLY ONE EXPLANATION THE ENGINEERS TELL US.

#5 -- THE BED AND BATH WERE IN FACT PROVEN TO HAVE BEEN INSTALLED AT TIME OF CONSTRUCTION. IT COULD HAVE BEEN A CHANGE ORDER OR THEY COULD HAVE BEEN SNUCK IN THE DAY AFTER CO (WHICH IS VERY UNLIKELY BECAUSE THEY WERE TAXED ON THIS STUFF 3 WEEKS AFTER THE HOME WAS BUILT SO WHY DO IT?) BUT, EITHER WAY, THESE FEATURES FALL UNDER THE 50% RULE AS THE HOME WAS IN FACT BUILT TO BFE AS OF THE DAY IT WAS BUILT.

SO, IN THE END....WE WILL FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE ARE MADE OF SEEING SO MANY ERRORS HAVE BEEN MADE IN THIS CE CASE. DO OFFICIALS STAND UP AND ACKNOWLEDGE MAJOR OVERSIGHTS AND CORRECT THEM?.... OR??????

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