How do I find my lot (property) lines?

It is the responsibility of each property owner to determine the location of their lot lines. An abstract will give you the dimension of a property, however, locating the property pins located at the corners of your lot will help you determine the boundaries. If you cannot find your property pins, you may consider hiring a licensed land surveyor to survey your property. The City does not have a survey crew to survey private property. The online Des Moines County GIS Mapping System shows the approximate location of property lines. The City does not locate property lines on private property. It is the property owner's responsibility to locate property lines and to check your abstract for easements and restrictive covenants.

Below are two methods that may help you establish your property lines: 

  • Locate the metal "pins" that designate the corners of your property. These "pins" may be iron pipes, iron rods or "T" bars and have a cap on them identifying the licensed surveyor who performed the survey. Sometimes they may be buried and can be located with a metal detector. A plat of your property will indicate the location of each pin (at the property corners) and lists the dimensions of all property lines. The recorded plat should be included in the abstract of your property. The Des Moines County Recorder's Office also has a copy of all recorded plats. 
  • The only accurate way to establish or verify your property corners (if you cannot find the original survey pins), is to obtain a survey from a licensed land surveyor. Names of licensed surveyors can be found under "surveyors-land" in the Yellow Pages of the phone book. Most licensed surveyors will provide an estimate for the cost of the survey. Please note that there may be utility and access easements or private covenants that may impact the development of your property that will not be indicated on a survey plat. For information on underground utilities, contact Iowa One Call, or dial 811.

If you have any questions regarding zoning and/or setback regulations, please contact the Development Department.

Show All Answers

1. What is Zoning?
2. Do I need a permit to install a fence?
3. How do I find my lot (property) lines?
4. How close to a property line am I allowed to build a garage, house, fence, etc?
5. Who is responsible for maintaining the area between the sidewalk and the street?
6. Can I place gravel for a new driveway?