Property Information

Property lines

Property lines are the boundary of your lot identified on a plat map. Generally, these are marked by a survey marker (a pipe or metal bar) buried slightly below the ground at the corners of your property. Often the front corners are located a foot or so behind the sidewalk (toward the house).

If construction is being done on your property, it is your responsibility to show the inspector where the property boundary is located.

Contact Us

  1. City of Pleasant Hill Building Department
    5160 Maple Dr., Suite A
    Pleasant Hill, IA 50327

    Ph: 515-309-9461
    Fx: 515-309-9458

    Hours of Operation 

    Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tips for Locating Your Property Lines


If your property is a platted lot, there should be property pins located at all corners of your property.  Property pins are typically 30" long pieces of ½"-⅝" re-bar that are driven into the ground.  They are capped with a colored plastic cap that has the name of the surveyor on them.  The top of the cap should be at ground level; however, over time they may get pushed underground.  If this happens, you can locate your pins by digging for them or using a metal detector in the area that you think they are possibly located.  Surveyors may also place a metal T-bar post at the property pin location.


Your neighbor may be knowledgeable about the property lines that you share.  If they know the location of any of their other property lines, you can also use the dimensions from the plat maps to measure the approximate locations of your property lines.

DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THIS METHOD as it is only a guide and is not considered an accurate method to determine property line.


Often times existing fence lines are located along property lines.  If you are unsure of the property line locations, using an existing fence line is a good indicator of where an existing property line may be located.  If you own a platted lot, the fence line can also be a guide to where you may find a property pin.  

DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THIS METHOD as it is only a guide and is not considered an accurate method to determine property line.


Copies of plat maps can be obtained from the Building Department.  The maps will show property lines as well as road right-of-way (ROW).   The traveled portion of the road along with any shoulders, ditches and parking are all included within the ROW.  Your property line should not be measured from the edge of the road; it should be measured from the edge of the ROW


The ROW for most city roads is 60'; however, refer to the copy of your plat map for the width of the ROW fronting your particular property.  The road is generally located in the center of the ROW, so you can use it as a guide to find your front property line and possible location of your property pins.  

DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THIS METHOD as it is only a guide and is not considered an accurate method to determine property line.


A surveyor can be helpful in determining the location of your property lines. Although a surveyor can be more costly than other methods, they provide you with an accurate location of your property lines. The corners will get marked with pins so you will know your property lines for future use.

Corner Lot Yard Locations

Deck Site Plan 1

Standard Lot Yard Locations

Standard Lot Yards Color

Restrictive or Protective Covenants

The Pleasant Hill Municipal Zoning Code is the "City law" regarding the use of property. In addition to this law, the developer or previous land owners could have recorded covenants, which are additional requirements or restrictions affecting your property. These requirements would have been filed with the Polk County Recorder’s office at the time your property was platted and can be found in your abstract documents. Covenants are not enforced by the City of Pleasant Hill; however they are enforced by your neighbors and surrounding property owners that are also subject to the covenants.


The property between the sidewalk and the street is "public right-of-way." Depending on where streets are located, it could be located at the front, side and/or rear of your property. As a property owner, you are responsible to maintain the "public right-of-way" near your property.

Keep in mind the public right-of-way may contain storm sewers, water mains, sanitary sewers, electric, cable, or telephone lines. If these items need to be replaced or fixed, you should expect the right-of-way to be torn up for the purpose of replacement or maintenance of those utilities.

During the winter months, this area is often used for snow storage. When Public Works crews are clearing the streets, sand and salt may be pushed into this area. We encourage property owners not to plant landscaping features in this area - think of it as the utility room for your property.


An easement is a legal right to use someone's land for a particular purpose. In Pleasant Hill, many properties have an easement located upon them. The most common is for public utilities and drainage, which is generally located along one or more of the edges of your property. The public utility easement allows companies like CenturyLink, MidAmerican Energy, Mediacom and others to install and maintain utility lines serving your neighborhood (or the community). Most of these lines were, or are, installed prior to, or during, the construction of homes in the neighborhood, but these companies have a right to perform maintenance on those lines whenever necessary.

The drainage easement allows for the creation of a drainageway to carry or hold surface water before it flows downstream to an outlet. Generally, drainageways exist or are established at the time a subdivision is developed; however, grade changes on a home site may block the water's course. This easement requires the homeowner to maintain an appropriate drainageway.

Other types of easements may include storm sewer, sanitary sewer and water main. To find out about easements on your property check your abstract on the property.


The City occasionally receives calls from property owners regarding ditches, drainageways, swales, and cunettes (the concrete strip in the bottom of a drainage swale). Property owners should not significantly impact the capacity or conveyance of water to neighboring properties.

As water flows through creeks and ditches, it is common for the channel to move overtime. Property owners living along a creek or ditch should allow room for the water to do what it does naturally, rather than restrain the forces of nature.

Fences and Walls 

Accessory Structures