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Residents want property lines restored

Longtime Groton St. resident says contractor left some things out of place after project.

October 16, 2010|By Gretchen Meier,

Residents on Groton Street are drawing a line in the sand in their fight to restore property markers that they say were misplaced or removed by a city-hired contractor.

After a sidewalk renovation project earlier this year on Groton Street, resident Dana Bleitz-Sanburg noticed that the traditional survey monuments, small indentations in the ground denoting property lines, were missing on her block.

Although her own survey monuments were unaffected, the sidewalk farther up on Groton Street no longer had any indication of where each property line was laid out.


According to Bleitz-Sanburg, who has lived in the same house her entire life, when the city returned to replace two of the survey monuments, they were placed incorrectly.

"I've called and spoken with the city many times since I noticed in May, and I still have not gotten the proper response from the city," she said. "We have not had someone come out and do the proper points, and most people don't have a clue about this."

Sean Corrigan, chief assistant public works director for Burbank, said in a message that the situation seems like a "non-issue."

Most neighbors only know about the lack of markers after hearing from Bleitz-Sanburg.

David Hobbs, a professional land surveyor and chairman of the professional practices committee for the Los Angeles Chapter of the California State Land Surveyors Assn., said he was unsure about where the blame should be placed, if any.

"Realistically, both the city and the contractor could be responsible," he said.

The contractor, however, could plead ignorance if the city did not explicitly state replacing the monuments in the agreement, although it is stated in Burbank Municipal Code.

If the contractor knowingly did not replace the monuments after construction, the business could face fines and the land surveyors could lose their licenses.

A copy of the contract with the city could not be obtained as of Friday afternoon.

"There is also a possibility surveyors may not be able to place the monuments back in the same location if too many in the area have been disturbed," Hobbs said.

The Los Angeles chapter of the state association has no current plans to file a complaint.

"We have plans to talk to the city of Burbank," said Vice President Mark Danielson. "We will determine if this can be fixed or if there is actually an inappropriate practice going on.

"We would prefer not to file a complaint and would rather educate and fix the problem, if any."

But citizens such as Bleitz-Sanburg and John Ostly, a professional land surveyor who lives in Burbank, could also initiate the process.

"Taking a picture of the point does not solve the problem," Ostly said. "A picture of the Mona Lisa doesn't replace the painting, just like having a picture of a dodo bird doesn't bring those back to life."

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