Property Owner Compliance With “Common Ground” Boundaries

property compliance common ground boundaries

While our land surveying services are used for many purposes at Diamond Land Surveying, one of the most common and well-known needs is for property boundary surveys that solve basic marking or land disputes. Defining and fully understanding precise property lines may not be as straightforward as you assumed, but our team of professionals knows every in and out of this process and will help you determine the precise dimensions of your property and how this compares to others connected to it.

There are several industry terms you might run across during this process, and one such term is “common ground.” This is a term that sometimes creates red flags for our boundary survey experts, as it is often misinterpreted by property owners on one end or the other of a basic property dispute. Let’s go over what common ground means, plus some off-limits areas that are sometimes still broached within common ground spaces.

property compliance common ground boundaries

Common Ground Basics

In most cases, common ground in a property area is meant to provide additional space and potentially other benefits. It’s usually deeded to subdivision associates and their trustees, meant to be used by everyone on that subdivision – sometimes for recreation, sometimes for other purposes.

However, we’ve seen many cases where property owners adjacent to the common ground space are unaware of the rules surrounding it – or simply chose not to follow them. From here, we’ll look at a few examples of breaking the rules of common ground, the better to help you avoid these issues and any legal ramifications that may take place as a result.

Permanent Structures

In nearly every case, permanent structures like sheds, gazebos, retaining walls and even playsets are strictly prohibited from being placed on the common ground by an individual property owner nearby. The only exception here would be if the subdivision and its trustees vote and decide to place such items in the common area for communal enjoyment.

This theme extends to permanent areas like driveways or pathways, as well. No part of such a path should infringe upon the common ground space, even just for a few feet.

Landscaping Items

Another off-limits area for common ground spots is various items of landscaping. This could include vegetation like trees, shrubs and others, but also may include hardscape elements, pathways, rocks and several other landscaping formats.


Finally, even if you’re just trying to separate it from your own property markings, common ground areas cannot have independent fences or blockers build onto them. If you want a fence separating your property from a common ground area, you have to ensure that it’s built completely within your own property line.

For more on staying compliant with common ground areas in your neighborhood, or to learn about any of our residential land surveyor services, speak to the staff at Diamond Land Surveying today.