Surveyor to Recorder

Surveyor to Recorder

Poll runs till Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:25 pm

I want Direct to Recorder
27
14%
I want the existing County Surveyor review
38
20%
I am in private practice
46
24%
I am in government
22
11%
I am a member of CLSA
55
28%
I am NOT a member of CLSA
6
3%
 
Total votes: 194

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PLS7393
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby PLS7393 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:51 pm

Lee Hixson wrote:Sometimes all it takes is a simple red-line comment by the CS alerting the surveyor to a possible oversight, the repercussions of which could cost the public enormous amounts of time and money to deal with later.

Like: "You don't show any evidence of occupation along P/Ls anywhere on your map. Is that because there isn't any?"

Could just be an oversight. Could also be a surveyor with insufficient experience or just plain incompetence. Either way, if the CS doesn't ask the question unnecessary expense and heartache may ensue.


I would like to say it appears there is confusion between "Boundary Lines vs. Fence Lines".
I thought I had a good understanding of the two, especially when homeowners are paying taxes on their boundary lines, not fence (use) lines.
Furthermore, do you know how that fence was constructed (if not close to the P.L.)?
Showing a fence on a R.O.S. can be beneficial as evidence, but I usually don't like to use to establish a boundary.

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E_Page
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby E_Page » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:40 pm

Existence and location of fences are like any other facts. they're simply another piece of potential evidence which may or may not mean something with regard to the original boundary location, and the surveyor needs to make a case-by-case investigation when fences (or other indications of lines of occupation) exist.

Beyond that, even if a fence is not evidence of the original boundary location, it may be or may become a fact which could have an impact on title, and if it is a physical separator of the use by one landowner from the use by an adjoining landowner, should be shown, at the very least as to general location relative to the originally established boundaries/lines of written title.
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby PLS7393 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:24 am

Lee Hixson wrote:Sometimes all it takes is a simple red-line comment by the CS alerting the surveyor to a possible oversight, . . .

. . . Could also be a surveyor with insufficient experience or just plain incompetence. Either way, if the CS doesn't ask the question unnecessary expense and heartache may ensue.


Yes Lee some of this is true, and there are new CS who think they are above all with their own agenda. Maybe this is due to their inexperience as a CS and the lack of the true understanding of the position. The map review process is not that difficult and shouldn't take that long to check a map for technicalities, as I have been there.

I have been in support of the review process, but the more I see a CS opinion being forced on my maps makes me think twice about the concept of "Surveyor to Recorder".

It would benefit all if the CS would simplify the review process as some counties already do, and keeping the review fees to a minimum.

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Olin Edmundson
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby Olin Edmundson » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:47 am

Given that the ultimate question of fact in a boundary survey is the actual physical position of the lines on the ground, my question would be, in what percentage of cases does map review actually alter this position? In my opinion, this should be the lense through which we should judge the value of review.

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E_Page
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby E_Page » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:17 pm

The ultimate question of fact for a boundary survey is the location of the boundary on the ground, but that's not the primary purpose of the map.

In fact, an RS, more often than not, does not include enough detail to thoroughly depict the location of the boundary relative to the ground. It usually shows the measured relationship to controlling elements (monuments and sometimes physical features), and sometimes (probably should be often) provides enough detail to depict the relationship to significant topographic and/or plannimetric features near the boundaries.

Often, since the CS does not perform independent research or an independent survey, they have no way of knowing whether information might exist that would otherwise affect the identification of the correct boundary location. Sometimes, the CS might be aware of info the surveyor of record did not appear to use or consider which may affect boundary location (i.e. existence of unfiled survey records or existence of monuments surveyor did not show).

IMO, the purpose of the RS is for the surveyor to depict what they found, what they set, what they decided in terms of what the evidence showed them regarding the boundary location, and why they made those decisions. Secondarily, it is to show physical features which may conflict with or tend to support the boundary as depicted. To make the surveyor's reasoning clear, those monuments (actual and apparent) which were not accepted as controlling are important to show so that others later following what was done can tell all of what the surveyor gave any consideration to.

IMO, the most valuable function of the CS review is to determine that the map shows what the surveyor found, what he or she set, and the reasoning for the boundary location decisions were with reasonable clarity. Ideally, all "professionals" would have the competence and exercise the diligence to make a review for completeness and clarity unnecessary. Unfortunately, there seems to be a pretty high percentage of maps that do get filed that fail to provide adequate info to show what the surveyor did and why they did it with reasonable clarity, as well as a higher percentage than should be tolerated that appear to demonstrate negligence and/or incompetence. Too many want to be called professional while practicing at the level of a certified technician.

Part of being a true profession is that the profession performs a significant role in policing itself. There seems to be a great deal of resistance to that, at least in CA. There seems to be resistance to identifying reasonable standards of care and practice, hesitance to contact colleagues when what those colleagues did on a survey is unclear or does not make sense, and often resentment toward colleagues who do contact one to question what's shown on an RS or to inform of evidence that appears to have been missed.

Just yesterday, a surveyor sent me a short email thread wherein he informed another surveyor of a couple of existing monuments in the vicinity of later monuments which may have been established without reference to original monumentation. The other surveyor, rather than thanking for the info that might allow him to avoid perpetuating a mistake or even being later found negligent by BPELSG, instead provided a snarky response that suggested he would consider looking into the carelessness of his own fieldwork if the surveyor who tried to help him would sign a contract to pay the careless guy to fix his own mistakes. Geez! Some "professionals" just won't be helped. I don't understand the mentality that would rather continue to be wrong through oversight than risk that another surveyor might somehow get some satisfaction from causing him to correct his own error.

(Off the soap box and back to topic...)
Sometimes there may be matters of RS clarity of the presentation of info that are not matters of incompetence or negligence. Particularly with complicated boundaries, the graphic depiction and associated notations may seem to provide clarity from the perspective of the person who has followed the project from beginning to mapping, but a second set of eyes without that full background will be able to see where a more complete or better worded/depicted explanation can add clarity. That type/level of review is particularly helpful to the sole practitioner.
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby hellsangle » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:13 pm

IMO, the purpose of the RS is for the surveyor to depict what they found, what they set, what they decided in terms of what the evidence showed them regarding the boundary location, and why they made those decisions. Secondarily, it is to show physical features which may conflict with or tend to support the boundary as depicted. To make the surveyor's reasoning clear, those monuments (actual and apparent) which were not accepted as controlling are important to show so that others later following what was done can tell all of what the surveyor gave any consideration to.


As you point out . . . second set of eyes can help. Does it always have to be the County Surveyor? The County has plenty of more important things he/she can be doing that benefits his/her community! Can't a licensed/seasoned competitor review and remark? Isn't our paramount concern the well being of our client . . . or is it employing more at the county? Personally, policing the profession . . . is BPLESG's responsibility.

Surveyor to Recorder. (Nofield you're comin' 'round)

Crazy Phil - Sonoma

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E_Page
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby E_Page » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:56 pm

If policing the profession is solely the purview of a State agency, then we fail to meet one of the defining aspects of a profession. I guess we are just a technically certified vocation with no right to the title "professional".

Also, if a State agency is the sole watchdog of our vocation, then who is watching the watchdog? Someone, some knowledgeable and interested group of someones need to do that as I've seen too many instances where the watchdog has been as effective as a pup or has acted more like the wolf among the herd. The CLSA and all other groups representing licensees have proven to timid to even entertain debate about whether licensees have a right to expect the same level of competence and professional conduct of their licensing board as the Board may expect of its licensees.
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hellsangle
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby hellsangle » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:20 am

Great conference! And nice to see old friends that are now Nevada survey-cousins.

Nevada does not require County Surveyor review like many other states. I asked one of our respected Nevada cousins, "Are there any problems with no reivew?" He said, "No. They know the bad actors and virtually pay no attention to their opinions."

Same in California. We know who the bad actors are and attempt to mentor when asked.

The "bad actors" don't attend seminars, conferences or local meetings. And at almost every local meeting you pick up a nugget of information to file in the back of your head for future use.

The Record of Survey map is not infallible of typos, etc. The test of the pudding is if the survey prevails in a court of law. Could not the review be accomplished by a competitor . . . voluntary review by Count Surveyor (for a fee)? Then off to the Recorder.

The numbers in the survey don't add up:

60 responded to the first question
63 responded to the second
57 responded to the third

Let's assume the the 35 opponents of the "Surveyor to Recorder" are government persons. Persons who have a fiscal interest in keeping the gravy-train on its tracks. (Remember it appears three have not committed so they may be on the fence.) Let's just say out of those 35, (I know of at least one from gov't. that is a proponent of Surveyor to Recorder), let's assume 17 are against due to fiscal concerns only. That would make 18 "Against" and 35 "For" Surveyor to Recorder. That "assumption" would make it 66%+/- against County review and 34%+/- for County review.

I understand why at least 18 would be for the status quo. They see the junk (mine included) that passes under their noses! However, like other states - they (and we too) know the bad players . . . and don't "hang their hats" on such practitioners. County review or not does not change that fact!

The "Map Review" thread and others . . . are indicating a David versus Goliath could be possible. If it were "Referendum" it might pass. The reality is we're too small and divided. (It would require about 700,000 signatures. We could ask every client if they would be willing to sign a referendum. LOL When pigs fly, Crazy Phil).

Thanks for listening . . .

Crazy Phil - Sonoma

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Jim Frame
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby Jim Frame » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:55 am

Let's assume the the 35 opponents of the "Surveyor to Recorder" are government persons
.

Let's not, unless you have some quantifiable basis for it.

Sincerely,
A non-government person opposed to the motion.
Jim Frame
Frame Surveying & Mapping
609 A Street
Davis, CA 95616
[url]framesurveying.com[/url]

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DWoolley
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby DWoolley » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:52 am

Jim Frame wrote:
Let's assume the the 35 opponents of the "Surveyor to Recorder" are government persons
.

Let's not, unless you have some quantifiable basis for it.

Sincerely,
A non-government person opposed to the motion.


I am with Jim Frame.

Rather, let's not assume anything and apply some facts. There are 4200 California licensed land surveyors and there are 25 "Direct to Recorder" votes - this represents 0.006 of the licensees. The polling number are completely insignificant. Add in the pre-82 folks and it would move the decimal point a couple more digits to the left.

I see little harm in occasionally talking nonsense.

Best,

DWoolley

-Dave Ryan-
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby -Dave Ryan- » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:20 pm

Phil-

This assumption of yours doesn't really advance the discussion: "Let's assume the the 35 opponents of the "Surveyor to Recorder" are government persons. Persons who have a fiscal interest in keeping the gravy-train on its tracks."

I remember the proposition coming up back when I was working private and was against it. During my time checking surveys (21 years as Deputy or County Surveyor), I became more open to giving the concept more serious consideration. Checking fees were a constant source of aggravation, as I believe they should be subsidized by the public, who happen to be the beneficiaries of the public record, not the surveyor, nor the client. Further, I constantly brainstormed, envisioned, pondered, conceptualized and tried to conceive of ways to reduce the fees in the interest of ensuring RS's would remain viable. Believe me, there was never any gravy to be made off of it. It was a never ending headache trying to "charge" as little time as possible, while ensuring enough was put into it to be wiling to sleep at night after applying my stamp that all the provisions of 8766 were met. So for those who have never sat in that chair, don't just assume "government persons" are sucking at the trough of endless dollars floating out of the sky burying County Surveyors in the big money business of mapchecking. Whew, take a breath Dave. Not to pick on you Phil, I must have seen that sentiment somewhere before. I don't know how other counties work, so maybe it's justified and I just never had the business savvy to make any money off of it.

As a former County Surveyor, my vote is to continue the discussion and give the proposal serious consideration. I can't disagree that it seems somewhat unique to our profession to have this review process. There may be a way to do it, but I'm not buying in just yet.

Dave Ryan,
Arcata, Ca.

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Peter Ehlert
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby Peter Ehlert » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:10 pm

Peer Review:
Revise the title of the County Surveyor's Statement to "Reviewing Surveyor's Statement". The remainder of the statement is fine.

Process would remain the same, except Surveyor can choose to submit to the County Surveyor or contract with another PLS.

The signature and seal of the checker would be their assurance that the same standards as currently mandated, time lines and all, are complied with.

We could expect the same back and forth for needed revisions, ending with signature and stamp, with objection statement if needed.
The checker would submit to Recorder for filing.
The checker would be motivated by the need for quality, time frames, and budget... exactly the same as the County Surveyor (and staff) should now.
Any failure to perform the task in compliance with the law would flow to The Board for discipline, as it should be.

Yes, there are bad eggs out there. But remember, the CS was never designated as an enforcement arm, just a map checker.

It is keenly understood that small operations lack the staff to review in-house. Even the Huge firms can have limited resources for that much desired fresh set of eyes...
We should not be using the CS to do perform for us, they have Important things to do.

forgive me if this is an old idea that was discarded for just cause...
Peter Ehlert

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David Kendall
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby David Kendall » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:57 pm

Peter Ehlert wrote:Peer Review:
Revise the title of the County Surveyor's Statement to "Reviewing Surveyor's Statement". The remainder of the statement is fine.


I had the same idea. I’d feel much better paying for a review by someone who I respect and trust than the technician dujour at Agency X.

And I appreciate Dave Ryan’s perspective because I witnessed that genuine internal struggle (his description is haunting)....

When the position evolves from county surveyor review to engineering technician review and “overhead costs” enter the equation (which I read as generous pensions to compensate for the sacrifice of civil service and don’t necessarily oppose as it is certainly a sacrifice and why else would a competent licensed professional make that sacrifice? but should the burden be entirely borne by the people unfortunate enough to require their services?) then I’ll be in the camp supporting public subsidies for agency map review or abolition of the requirement.

I look forward to hard statistics of how the $75 housing act fee has affected survey filing numbers across the board. Same for the “full cost recovery” bandwagon every agency is on now.

Heartfelt thank you to the County Surveyors who fight to keep the fees low and find the difficult balance between protecting the public and serving the public. The rub is that it’s unfortunately never the CS who sets the fee rates but the administrative bean counters looking to pinch a penny for some other department or office.

No one is winning under the current system

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hellsangle
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby hellsangle » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:36 am

Heartfelt thank you to the County Surveyors who fight to keep the fees low and find the difficult balance between protecting the public and serving the public. The rub is that it’s unfortunately never the CS who sets the fee rates but the administrative bean counters looking to pinch a penny for some other department or office.


Well said, Kendall . . . and your comments as well - Dave Ryan.

I know the respected and highly esteemed, Dave Ryan, would do everything in his power to keeps costs down . . . together with competent review. (I hear you, Dave and apologize if I offended you or any other County Surveyor.)

What was meant by my "gravy train" was 300 Records of Surveys times $ 700 per checking = $210k per year. The employee(s) performing the checking could better spend their efforts on things that benefit the County and their constituents. Infrastructure, etc. But what if 300 Records of Surveys cost $1000 per checking? $1,500 per checking?

How 'bout the time that it takes to get a map recorded?! By the time the map gets recorded (with the ridiculous SB2 fees added) the property may have changed hands . . . and the surveyor is stuck with map addendum, mylar cost and recording fees-tax!

Too many Daves . . . Kendall: Having a map review "certificate" would defeat the purpose. I wouldn't want to put a competitor through that hoop. Because if ever BPELSG came back on the author . . . the Reviewer could also get sucked into that merry-go-round. With the County, I assume County Counsel would defend, (at the County's cost), the County Surveyor. Unlike the rest of us, we'd have legal expenses.

And . . . bottom-line . . . ten surveyors could come up with ten different answers. The ol' daze, er days, a Torrens Certificate would fix that. Quiet Title action or Boundary Line Agreement/Quitclaim if you truly want the survey to "fix" the lines. Due to the "elements" of the latter, that venue is not a 'slam-dunk'.

Surveyor to Recorder

Yes, Crazy Phil, again - Sonoma

"not from my cold dead hands" will I give up on this wish

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hellsangle
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby hellsangle » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:24 am

You ALL still in favor of your having your Record of Surveys checked?

Happy with the process? Happy with the response time? Happy with the time it takes to get a map recorded?

Attached is proposal for County checking fees (Marin) . . .

Yep! Ol' Crazy Phil keeping this to the forefront.

Don't forget to vote (which you can change if you are so inclined).

Have a good weekend, all!

Crazy Phil - Sonoma
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Peter Ehlert
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby Peter Ehlert » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:52 am

Still supporting the crazy guy, but only because he is right.

edit: "I want the existing County Surveyor review" as an Option, but Not Mandatory.
Peter Ehlert

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bruce hall
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby bruce hall » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:32 pm

I have reviewed or looked at many, many, many existing subdivision maps and record of surveys here in the OC, LA, Riverside and SD counties. I would say that 99.99 percent of the time these RECORDED OR FILED maps that predate 1990 never ever labeled the improvements or occupation adjacent to the lines being surveyed. Unless there was a problem. Or maybe all the surveyors and engineers just didn't know any better or they were incompetent or lacked experience or was an oversight. Those surveyors would include Jack Raab, Jack Raub, DD Hillyard, W. K. Hillyard, John Hoy. George Bates, VTN consolidated, CR Nelson, Hunsaker and Associates, and a s###-load more. Now this is all before 1990.

I guess it wasn't a requirement placed by the CS or it wasn't standard practice. or maybe it was because every one of those surveys never had improvements near the lines being staked.(whats the odds of that? Anyway,Take your pick. What I know is that there are a s###-load of maps that do not reference improvements, at least not in this neck of the woods(except the woods are gone, or is it the orange groves). I know in 1980 I didn't show fences or occupation on a RS or state that everything was hunky dory, unless there was a problem. This was common practice. Maybe this practice was incorrect, but that's what was happening.

Unless there was a problem with the occupation, the survey maps that I have reviewed, never mentioned "improvements fit occupation" or some such verbage. Maybe it was just taken for granted by the CS and anyone else reading the map. Now I am talking about then vs now.

I would see this note every now and again, but for the most part the improvements vs the lot line was never addressed. UNLESS THERE WAS A PROBLEM.

For the record I like the county review. Mistakes can be caught and the CS has caught some of mine (like to think they were typos, but it was a mistake never the less).

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hellsangle
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Re: Surveyor to Recorder

Postby hellsangle » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:54 pm

I agree completely with you on the improvements issue, Bruce!

The importance of delineating improvements is to show possible legal rights and/or evidence . . . that may shed light on the survey . . . that if greater care was taken . . . may have coincided with the occupation. Showing occupation also "memorializes" such at the period in time or older than when the survey was performed . Another benefit "memorializing" occupation does - is enter into the record conditions at the time of survey which could be important to adverse possession/prescriptive easement/etc.

Regarding map review: could not a respected competitor review/comment on one's map . . . then off to the recorder? Again, why the varied checking methods? Why the varied costs?

The experienced County Surveyor (with copious surveys under his/her belt) should address the boundary issues . . . the "technician-who-has-no-surveying-background-or-LSIT-etc" should check only for North arrow, etc.?

Thanks for your input, Bruce 'n have a good weekend!

Crazy Phil-who-won't-give-up - Sonoma

Oh! And when the Record of Survey checking fee become more than the cost of the survey . . . would we still want County review? Aren't we to protect the public welfare? At what point do we say enough is enough?


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