Notes from Windward: #64

Why 330 feet?

      Land here in the west is laid out in square mile blocks called "sections." Each section can then be broken down into quarters which can then be broken down again into quarters which are forty acres in size, give or take a bit. Under our county's zoning rules, those quarters can be further broken down into two twenty acre parcels, hence you see twenty acre parcels with legal descriptions such as the south half of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 12 of township 4 and range 1 east of the Willamette meridian.

      The Willamette meridian is figured from a big rock just south of Portland, Oregon, and all property locations in this region are determined in relationship to a brass marker set into that rock. You have to park your car and hike down into a ravine to visit the Willamette marker, and it's not the sort of thing that most tourists would be interested in doing, but I thought it interesting to see and worth the climb.

      Anyway, a twenty-acre parcel translates into a block of land that's 660' by 1320' on a side, more or less. The "more or less" is because when you try to impose a rectangular shape on the surface of a globe, the lines are always going to be off a little bit as the actual surface deviates from the theoretical grid.

      So that's why fencing comes in 330' rolls, since two rolls will exactly cover one side of a twenty acre parcel, while four rolls will cover the other side.


To return to the discussion of Windward's Land Management Department, hit your back buttom or Click Here

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 64