Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

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goodgps
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Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby goodgps » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:51 pm

I am interested in opinions as to why we set actual pins, pipes, concrete monuments etc, buried in the ground ?
The question goes beyond the mandates of the LS act and SMA.

Why put anything in the ground ? Who's gonna use them ? Why would someone use them ? Who's authorized to use them ?

I am interested to see responses.

Thanks All

"Good"

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Jim Frame
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby Jim Frame » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:14 am

Boundary markers have been used for as long as humans have claimed real property rights. They're used directly by land owners themselves in many cases, though often the owners delegate the task of physically finding their boundaries to others (e.g., architects, engineers, land surveyors).

As for authorization to use boundary markers, that depends on who's doing what for whom. If a prudent person believes that extant markers genuinely delineate a property boundary, he/she doesn't require authorization to make reference to them in locating a property line. For example, if a carpenter is shown two markers and is told my his client that they mark the parcel corners, the carpenter isn't violating any laws by stringing a line between them in order to establish a building setback location so he can start construction. But if someone offers to find a property owner's parcel corners for a fee, he needs to be duly licensed in order to avoid violating statute law.

This is pretty basic stuff. Why the ask?
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mpallamary
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby mpallamary » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:35 am

"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."

- Proverbs 22:28

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goodgps
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby goodgps » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:31 am

"But if someone offers to find a property owner's parcel corners for a fee, he needs to be duly licensed in order to avoid violating statute law."

For a fee, So, could this violation apply to a fence builder who has a metal locator, finds a "property corner" then builds a fence ?
He's getting (in a sense) to find a property line. or at least an apparent property line. Can Power companies locate property markers in order to set poles , vaults or other facilities ?

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Jim Frame
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby Jim Frame » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:00 am

So, could this violation apply to a fence builder who has a metal locator, finds a "property corner" then builds a fence ?
He's getting (in a sense) to find a property line. or at least an apparent property line. Can Power companies locate property markers in order to set poles , vaults or other facilities ?


If a contractor, using his own judgment, relies on a monuments as marking property corners and builds a fence along the line so defined, he's not surveying. If the monuments are later shown not to mark the corners he may be liable for civil damages (e.g. moving the fence), but in my opinion he hasn't violated the statute regulating land surveying. (If he were smart he'd have the property owner sign a statement to the effect that the owner directed him to build the fence between the found monuments.) Same thing with a power company, they're assuming the liability for correctly locating the poles, but they aren't providing surveying services.
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goodgps
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby goodgps » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:57 am

There are a few "Estate Planning" services out and about. Sometimes these "planners" go to a site with a map metal locator and shovel, to find corners so they can measure around to assist land owners plan their properties. They may help plan for such things as solar panels, gazebos, pergolas, swimming pools, horse corrals, etc.
Assuming these "planners" have indeed found the mapped corner eliminating that "wrong line" liability, PLUS, the fact that they are being paid to measure, might they NOW be practicing surveying ? OR could this fall under property owner exemption whereby, the "planners" are simply assigns of the owner?

There seems to be a gray area of Practicing surveying or simply measuring from a previous map.

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Jim Frame
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby Jim Frame » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:03 pm

I don't have a copy of the PLS Act handy, but there's an exception for surveys that are soley for the purpose of landscaping or geological activity. That sounds like the activity you're describing.
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DWoolley
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby DWoolley » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:19 pm

Jim Frame wrote:I don't have a copy of the PLS Act handy, but there's an exception for surveys that are soley for the purpose of landscaping or geological activity. That sounds like the activity you're describing.


Business and Professions code 8727.

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goodgps
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby goodgps » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:39 pm

So NOW I ponder,

If the planners need to determine property lines, by locating previously set property corners, is that quasi-surveying ?
I actually believe it wouldn't be.
There is a cross-over of public agency regulations where the building department demands the exposure of property corners for construction, This would normally be a simple task for a contractor, in today's world, however, NOW we add monument preservation to the equation.
THIS requires a Land Surveyor.

As a City contract Surveyor for a couple of Cities, I often hear "what good did it do me to have my property surveyed, when I can't use the corners myself" ? OR, "Those are MY corners, I paid for them and I can do what I want with them". Sure, both statements are less than perfectly correct, However, frustrated people make their point.

People buy a piece of property, Pay for a ROS. Then they save their money to hire a "private site Planner" to help them make improvements. After submitting their plans, they get slapped with note from a PPC about how they used (dug up), their corners, OR how they must hire a surveyor to assure their corners are protected. I TOTALLY see their point.

I am trying to gather information to help formulate good policy to balance contradictory regulations with positive citizen relationships.

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Jim Frame
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby Jim Frame » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:49 pm

they get slapped with note from a PPC about how they used (dug up), their corners, OR how they must hire a surveyor to assure their corners are protected.


8725. Necessity of license
Any person practicing, or offering to practice, land surveying in this state shall submit evidence that he or she is qualified to practice and shall be licensed under this chapter.
It is unlawful for any person to practice, offer to practice, or represent himself or herself, as a land surveyor in this state, or to set, reset, replace or remove any survey monument on land in which he or she has no legal interest, unless he or she has been licensed or specifically exempted from licensing under this chapter.


"It is unlawful for any person to...remove any survey monument on land in which he or she has no legal interest, unless he or she has been licensed"

It sounds to me like anyone can remove a survey monument on land in which they have a legal interest. So I don't understand how a PPC or anyone else can object to a landowner mucking about with their corner markers. They might incur civil liability if they pull a monument that their neighbor doesn't want pulled, but I don't see a statutory violation.
Jim Frame
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William Magee
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby William Magee » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:09 pm

Its too bad the following:

"It is unlawful for any person to...remove any survey monument on land in which he or she has no legal interest, unless he or she has been licensed“

Wasn’t instead worded to say:

"It is unlawful for any person to...remove any survey monument which controls the location of land in which he or she has no legal interest, unless he or she has been licensed”
Don't shoot the messenger.

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Olin Edmundson
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby Olin Edmundson » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:46 pm

mpallamary wrote:"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."

- Proverbs 22:28

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beating_the_bounds

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Olin Edmundson
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby Olin Edmundson » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:14 pm


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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby LS_8750 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:01 am

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

- Genesis 1:1

Who monumented that line?

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goodgps
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby goodgps » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:31 am

SO,

We've addressed the REMOVAL of monuments, however, we haven't addressed the legality of a fence builder or contractor who locates and EXPOSES a property corner. Would hired subs, like fence builders and contractors, (and landscape designers) have a quasi- record interest in the property ?
The Idea here is to legally determine just WHO can expose property corners without being held in contempt by some passing by surveyor and reported to the Board.
We certainly frown upon anyone REMOVING property corner markers. The term "Digging Up" means removing the crust that covers the monument material.

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Jim Frame
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby Jim Frame » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:27 pm

There's no law against exposing a boundary monument. You have to expose it in order to use it.

A little common sense goes a long way here. Corner monuments aren't Top Secret facilities, they're just markers. There's a duty to protect them, but stuff happens, too.
Jim Frame
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goodgps
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby goodgps » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:47 am

Thank you Jim,

The issue is a local PPC wanting to head hunt anyone who looks like they may be surveying.
I am trying to garner opinions so I can be forthright making a statement as a "City Surveyor"

I'm not into breaking laws but common sense is indeed common sense.
Thanks again ALL

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T. S. Higgins
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby T. S. Higgins » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:57 am

Jim Frame wrote:
they get slapped with note from a PPC about how they used (dug up), their corners, OR how they must hire a surveyor to assure their corners are protected.


8725. Necessity of license
Any person practicing, or offering to practice, land surveying in this state shall submit evidence that he or she is qualified to practice and shall be licensed under this chapter.
It is unlawful for any person to practice, offer to practice, or represent himself or herself, as a land surveyor in this state, or to set, reset, replace or remove any survey monument on land in which he or she has no legal interest, unless he or she has been licensed or specifically exempted from licensing under this chapter.


"It is unlawful for any person to...remove any survey monument on land in which he or she has no legal interest, unless he or she has been licensed"

It sounds to me like anyone can remove a survey monument on land in which they have a legal interest. So I don't understand how a PPC or anyone else can object to a landowner mucking about with their corner markers. They might incur civil liability if they pull a monument that their neighbor doesn't want pulled, but I don't see a statutory violation.



Remember Penal Code § 605:

Every person who either:

1. Maliciously removes any monument erected for the purpose of designating any point in the boundary of any lot or tract of land, or a place where a subaqueous telegraph cable lies;  or,

2. Maliciously defaces or alters the marks upon any such monument;  or,

3. Maliciously cuts down or removes any tree upon which any such marks have been made for such purpose, with intent to destroy such marks;

--Is guilty of a misdemeanor.


So if you're not removing a monument maliciously, which is defined as an act that is "Substantially certain to cause injury" or "Without just cause or excuse", you're just fine to remove a monument on property in which you have a legal interest. It's up to the remover to prove that to be the case.

It's not really a PPC issue since it's Penal Code, but it's good to keep in mind.

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T. S. Higgins
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby T. S. Higgins » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:02 am

goodgps wrote:SO,

We've addressed the REMOVAL of monuments, however, we haven't addressed the legality of a fence builder or contractor who locates and EXPOSES a property corner. Would hired subs, like fence builders and contractors, (and landscape designers) have a quasi- record interest in the property ?
The Idea here is to legally determine just WHO can expose property corners without being held in contempt by some passing by surveyor and reported to the Board.
We certainly frown upon anyone REMOVING property corner markers. The term "Digging Up" means removing the crust that covers the monument material.


I don't see the argument to go after someone for exposing a property corner. If the contractor or "estate planner" makes a definitive statement about the location of the boundary or setback lines, along the lines of "I found your property corners, so we'll build the garage 5 feet off that line to meet setback" that's a potential issue. There's no reason they can't recover the monuments and then ask the landowner if they want the improvement built between the found monuments at their own risk, though. That puts it up to the landowner if they want to expend the resources to have peace of mind or if they're comfortable moving forward without the input of a surveyor.

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mpallamary
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby mpallamary » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:33 am

These days because a lot of fences have been in place, it is not uncommon for a surveyor to set offset monuments to a corner, usually one or two feet.....

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T. S. Higgins
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby T. S. Higgins » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:24 pm

mpallamary wrote:These days because a lot of fences have been in place, it is not uncommon for a surveyor to set offset monuments to a corner, usually one or two feet.....


Agreed; this is where the main concern arises for me. You may find witness monuments, fence posts unrelated to the property line location, control points, random detritus, monuments representing a since-adjusted boundary, amongst other pitfalls.

The landowner can make their own determination of risk, but the builder, land planner, or unlicensed city official cannot opine as to the boundary location regardless of how clear the evidence may seem in their mind.

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mpallamary
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby mpallamary » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:33 pm


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marchenko
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Re: Why do Land Surveyors set monuments ?

Postby marchenko » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:24 am

Because it makes it quiet as to the professional surveyors' opinion regarding the physical position of a defined point.


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