for Education and Review

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Peter Ehlert
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for Education and Review

Postby Peter Ehlert » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:20 am

per CLSA Discussion Board Rules and Etiquette item #3:
The "written permission" is inherent with the surveyor filing for public record.
The posting of THIS work product is intended to provide education and meaningful discussion and not to embarrass or shame the author of the work product, client, or processing jurisdiction.
Nothing has been redacted.

===
I wish for the general Land Surveyor population to see this as an example of cooperation in sharing private records and properly citing the sources and opinions.
We all have opinions. Reluctance to express those opinions and make them Public is not constructive.

Kudos to the surveyors and county surveyor that helped put this map in the public record.
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Peter Ehlert

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Olin Edmundson
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby Olin Edmundson » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:23 pm

Thanks for doing this, Peter!

Mike,

I appreciate all of your contributions to this forum and eagerly read most everything you share. You’ve introduced a multitude of different interesting topics that have expanded my mind as a Surveyor. However, I must say that I’ve been disappointed to not hear any comments about the meat of our profession, actual survey issues, boundary resolution, references to relevant case law. The types of skills that separate a good Surveyor from one that doesn’t know what they’re doing, a glorified data collector, an engineer. These essential differences that you’ve written articles about and frequently mention. This has been surprising to me as I can tell that you deeply care about the state of our profession and are also one that would have so much to offer in this area. This is the type of professional development that would bring everyone up, close the gaps in knowledge and in a way be a modern form of mentorship. This has perplexed me and I’ve thought about it on more than one occasion. My only guess as to why you might shy away from engaging in these essential discussions, is to maintain a mercenary status, but I hope I’m wrong.

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Olin Edmundson
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby Olin Edmundson » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:43 pm

in any case, there is an easy solution. Just create an anonymous account and post away, I won’t tell anyone.

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mpallamary
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby mpallamary » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:54 am

Thanks for your comments Olin. I continue to advocate education and the promotion of the profession. I do my best whenever I can. There are those who disagree with me and they are the ones who maintain forum monitoring.

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mpallamary
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby mpallamary » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:14 am

I do not control the forum and the application of ever-changing rules and application. They change frequently, sometimes hourly.

“Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.”
- Thomas Jefferson

galindo
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby galindo » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:00 am

So a private surveyor didn't file their ROS to the public to save money?

Aren't there laws that require them to do so? Or does it depend on the county?

Also what would have to be redacted?
Gabriel Galindo, L.S.I.T.

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E_Page
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby E_Page » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:20 pm

There are many reasons a survey may not have been reflected on a filed map. Some reasons are legitimate, some aren't.

I recall reading something from the Board, either in a Cal Surveyor or the Board's occasionally published Bulletin from 1968 or 1969 where they discussed a couple of the RS triggers which are now codified in B&P 8762(b). The interpretation of what constitutes a material discrepancy or material evidence not shown on a prior record map was quite a bit different prior to 1970 than they are now, with the interpretations now being quite a bit more stringent as to the threshold for required filing. I'm not certain if the shift in views was gradual or if there was a drastic change at some point, but it has changed.

Previous surveys may have gotten to a point of finding a good deal of evidence and spatially relating that evidence, but never quite to the point of forming opinions as to how the evidence affected local boundaries. If a survey is not completed to the point of competently being able to positively determine discrepancies or deciding the level of relevance of non-record evidence, and the surveyor expresses no opinions of the locations of boundary points or lines, the requirement has not been triggered.

Although it still persists to some extent, the misconception that if no monuments are set, no filing is required was much more broadly held prior to the ease of communication and access to information afforded by modern internet sites & forums. Although incorrect, it was a very widely held misunderstanding (ignorance) of the law.

There was, and still persists in some agencies, a misconception that public agencies are not required to file maps of their surveys. The truth is, and has been for quite some time, that public agencies, when encountering one or more RS triggers of 8762, have the option of either filing a RS or filing a map that is in all respects an RS, except that it goes into the County Surveyor's records and lacks the Recorder's Certificate (B&P 8765).

And then there were the perpetually inadequate reasons of "my client can't afford it", "my client didn't pay his bill", "my client didn't want a map", "I ignore non-record monuments because their not legitimate" (that one cost a pre-82 CE over $20,000 in Board fines, well over $100k in atty fees, and his authority to survey a few years back), and other variations that come down to saving money and/or ignoring relevant evidence that would hit a RS trigger.

The fact is, and the bottom line for us now is that a great many boundary surveys have been performed in this state since 1850 and whether for legitimate reasons or not, do not have a filed map associated with them. However, valid land rights have been established according to the boundaries located during many of those surveys and/or those surveys representing the original establishment of boundaries.

When we are hired to survey existing boundaries, our only job with respect to the true boundary locations is to find the locations at which the boundaries were originally established, and not to place them where a carefully performed modern survey would place them had they never been established before, or to place them according to potentially faulty measurements of unknown origin recited in a description.

Often, the unfiled records of past surveys (physical field evidence, unfiled maps, field notes, & sometimes parol evidence of the surveyor or member of the survey crew) may be the best evidence of those legitimately established boundaries. Often, unfiled survey records might provide the linkage between original monumentation and much newer monumentation existing approximately where you hoped to find an old stone, wood post, or redwood stake.

Regardless of what you might think of the surveyor who for whatever reason, did not file a map, if the existing field and documentary evidence of that survey was reasonably available to you and you chose to ignore it, then find yourself pulled into a boundary dispute wherein your client's neighbor's surveyor did utilize such evidence in conjunction with all the record evidence you found and used, you would likely be in for a very costly lesson.

The decision whether or not to consider the unfiled records of past surveys is not about condoning or condemning the nonfeasance of not filing by the previous surveyor. It's not about choosing whether or not to "honor" his work. It does not benefit that surveyor in any way if you use the evidence of his survey nor does it hurt him if you ignore it.

It's about the landowners and the rights established by them in good faith to otherwise legally established boundary locations. The decision to ignore unfiled survey records which are reasonably available to you only hurts your client and their neighbors by potentially moving (or attempting to move) established boundaries and exposing them to potentially costly litigation should one or more parties challenge the established location or the one you indicate.

In most instances, there is nothing illegal or improper or illegitimate about the previous survey that was not reflected on a filed map. In most instances, the landowner hired a licensed surveyor, the surveyor adequately performed a field survey to establish boundary lines and corners, and the landowners relied on the results as they should have been able to. The only thing illegal (and possibly not once the standards of the time are considered) is the failure to file a map which might have been required.

The review by the County Surveyor and filing by the Recorder in no way affects the legitimacy of the actual survey. The law does not equate filing of a RS with approval and acceptance of the survey itself, nor does it require approval and acceptance by the government. The review and recording only connotes approval of the record as being adequate according to the drafting standards and required content enumerated in B&P 8764. If legitimacy of the survey was dependent upon the CS review and filing, there would be no triggers to a filing requirement, but rather, all surveys would be required to be reflected on a filed map and the reviews would be significantly more extensive than they are now. Further, no landowner would be able to act in reliance for any purpose on the points set in the field until the County Surveyor issued some manner of Certificate of Correctness and the filing was completed at the Recorder's Office. It would be an entire ridiculous permit process for a selling landowner to point out surveyed boundaries to a purchaser, to build a fence, or even to plant a hedgerow to ensure that the survey was properly approved and accepted by the government.

Also, if filing conveyed legitimacy on a survey, the local government would have the authority to have private surveys rescinded and any marks made in the field pulled or obliterated, similar to a building erected without a permit and failing to meet code. So far, the government has not assumed that authority.
Evan Page, PLS
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E_Page
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby E_Page » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:50 pm

Gabriel,

There have been occasions where someone has posted copies of maps, publicly filed or not, for the purpose of not only showing an example of poor surveying and mapping practice, but to go further and ridicule the surveyor associated with the posted map.

I personally feel there is value in discussing both good and bad examples and that there are valid reasons to post either or both, unredacted. The problem is that with a poor example, the line between legitimate observations and criticism and inappropriate ridicule is pretty fuzzy and too easily crossed. The decision by the CLSA Board of Directors (or perhaps just the Executive Committee - I wasn't involved at that level at the time) some time back was that lacking the resources to have a full-time moderator working with some objective criteria to assess all posts, it was more practical to make a rule about posting work product for the purpose of negative criticism than it was to police an undefinable limit of conduct of all participants in a thread. It's an unfortunate compromise, but for practical reasons on this private forum by an organization with limited resources, it's one I (mostly) agree with.

If a map is to be posted as a poor or questionable example, last I knew, it would be acceptable if all the identifying info was redacted from the map. That means logos, recording book & page, signatures, stamps & names, LS #s for set points in the legend and on the face of the map, and possibly street and community names. Unless you have a really important point to make that requires inclusion of an example of a poor survey or map, it's an onerous amount of work to go to on most maps. That's probably OK, because if the point isn't important enough for someone to go to that much work, it was probably just being posted to generate a bashing session against a particular surveyor.

There have been one or two forum participants who have posted maps where the intent was questionable as to whether it was really for education and entirely professional discussion, or for the purpose of generating negative criticism, and that has unfortunately led to moderating that is sometimes largely affected by personality. That is, if a certain person posts a map not prepared by him or her, and if there is even the slightest impression that there may be some negative reason for having posted it, regardless of any positive reasons, that post is coming down. And it seemed that for a while, the direction from the Executive Committee to the person who is the part time moderator (among a great many other responsibilities for CLSA) was given direction which leaned toward overzealousness when enforcing the posted work product rule. Thus the leading disclaimer statement by Peter. I suspect (and hope) that since he posted it in praise of the surveyor and CS associated with the map, and only positive comments about those individuals is likely to follow, that the post will stay up.

I might try posting one or two heavily redacted poor examples to aid in the discussion of topics within the next few weeks to see how that flies.
Evan Page, PLS
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Peter Ehlert
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby Peter Ehlert » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:25 pm

Thanks for the note. Peter
Peter Ehlert

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pls5528
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby pls5528 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:37 pm

Very Nicely put Evan!!!!

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mpallamary
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Re: for Education and Review

Postby mpallamary » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:48 am

With regards to land surveyors complying with state filing laws, most surveyors, prior to 1980 did not file their surveys. The attached article from 42 years ago, may provide some perspective. It is because of the efforts of a group of surveyors in San Diego, that compliance was implemented across California.

The way we promote the profession is to work together and roll up our sleeves.
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