North is pointing s...
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North is pointing south


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Hello. This is my first post. I know very little about surveying; I hope I don't embarrass myself. I own a townhouse in Virginia, purchased in 2002. At the time of the purchase, a survey plat was created by a local surveying company. I've had no reason to look at the plat since 2002. Just this week (in 2019) I looked at the plat and noticed that the North indicator is reversed, that is, it's actually pointing South. I'm about to replace my deck and will need a permit, which includes submitting a plat with my application. Is the backwards compass indicator a deal-breaker? I don't even know if the surveying company is still in business. Any thoughts from you professional folks? Thanks very much.

7 Answers

It should not be a problem.


When a draftsman labels the drawing they will begin at one monument and the directions are usually placed in a clockwise call for the bearing and distance around the property.

The reason for this is so the description can be entered into a computer program to plot, calculate and draw the property lines and obtain results that will show how well it was measured and give an acreage.



I agree with the post from Holy Cow. For additions or replacement to existing structures permitting is usually pretty simple. The people reviewing the proposed plan will probably not even realize the North arrow is wrong. They are more concerned with setbacks and any easements the proposed improvement may encroach upon. 😎  


It will only be a problem if are planning on adding solar panels...


Post a pic of this plat. We are curious. I've seen surveys with a "south arrow". He was just trying to "be different/difficult. He lost his license to practice. Up in the Mena area.



Perhaps the surveyor was a native of Australia and never adapted to seeing the world upside down.


Eh what!
Easier said than done.
Took me a while to realise your shadows don't point the same way as ours!
Got completely kerfuffled and parked the car in the imininet shady spot only to find later it was even further into the sun 😮


OMG!  Never thought of that.