Subdivision Monuments

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PLS7393
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Subdivision Monuments

Postby PLS7393 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:29 pm

It has always been my interpretation that it is the governing agency that approves a map to keep track and follow through with the setting of interior/exterior street monuments. The issue is closed upon receipt of a letter, satisfying Section 66497(a) of the SMA, and the agency confirming that the monuments have been set.

I recently asked a City Surveyor about a certain tract map which stated the monuments would be set on or before December 2019, and as of today, March 22, 2021 they have not been set. The condo project is in the next phase, so it has not been completed with construction, but the improvements are done.

I was instructed to contact the surveyor that signed the tract map, as it is their responsibility. Any thoughts from other City Surveyors / County Surveyors / BPELSG?
Keith Nofield, Professional Land Surveying
PLS 7393

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Warren Smith
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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby Warren Smith » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:56 pm

Ultimately, yes, it is the signing surveyor who is responsible. It's usually a case of a quick phone call or email to see if construction has pushed back the "set by" date, or something else. I have always kept a tickler file with upcoming expiration dates to follow up on these. Often, a Certificate of Correction is filed to cover offsets due to improvements, or a change in the nature of the monument, or the substitution of another surveyor to set the tags (retirement, moving on, whatever).

Deferred monumentation is going to be tied to a performance bond (or should be). In order to release that, an inspection needs to take place.
Warren D. Smith, LS 4842
County Surveyor
Tuolumne County

-Dave Ryan-
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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby -Dave Ryan- » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:12 pm

From Section 66496 of the Subdivision Map Act: Interior monuments need not be set at the time the map is recorded, if the engineer or surveyor certifies on the map that the monuments will be set on or before a specified later date, and if the subdivider furnishes to the legislative body security guaranteeing the payment of the cost of setting such monuments.
(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1536.)

The monuments should not have been allowed a deferral unless the City or County has the security in hand. I agree to check with the surveyor, but the agency also has some shared responsibility in this. After all, they've got the subdivider's security (or should have) and need to follow up once the date comes due, so they can return it if the monuments are set, or take action to get them set.

Dave Ryan-
Arcata

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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby PLS7393 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:06 pm

Dave and Warren I do understand the simplicity to keep track of monumentation issues on approved maps as I've used a simple spread sheet to coordinate. Furthermore all one needs to do is to deliver a letter to the governing jurisdiction to deffer the setting of monuments to a later date if they can't satisfy per the filed map. I have had good success in some cities when I find street monuments were not set per a subdivision map, and the City Engineer thanked me and got the monuments set within one month of my call. Kudos to them, and I don't need to list all.

I find it is common for cities with a contract surveyor to not follow through with street monumentation to satisfy the filed map. As mentioned to me, I should simply file a complaint to the Board.
Keith Nofield, Professional Land Surveying
PLS 7393

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mpallamary
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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby mpallamary » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:13 pm

I dealt with this before and I had to force the city to call the monument bond due. They said the bonding company was no longer around. I battled with them and on behalf of my client, we threatened to sue them for neglecting to monitor the situation. They were negligence for not watching over everything.

Is there a bond?

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PLS7393
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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby PLS7393 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:15 am

mpallamary wrote: They were negligence for not watching over everything. Is there a bond?


Michael, that is my understanding too, that the staff City Surveyor is responsible to follow through on the surveyors responsibility, at least that is what I had a spreadsheet for when I was in responsible charge to keep track of mapping issues. It probably would be different if the city uses a consultant. I'm sure there is a bond in place with this city, but since they are in a later phase of the project, I'm not going there. In fact I won't waste any additional time on this as there are other monuments I can use, but it is the principle to have monuments set, as shown on a subdivision map. The City Surveyor did thank me for bringing this to their attention, but appeared they wanted me to follow up with the signing surveyor.
Keith Nofield, Professional Land Surveying
PLS 7393

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Ian Wilson
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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby Ian Wilson » Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:01 am

I agree with you, Keith. The ultimate responsibility is to the agency. That's one of the reasons for the monument bond.

My first response is to contact the responsible surveyor to seek compliance.

Final resort is to have agency crews set the points and file to recover costs through the bond.
Ian Wilson, P.L.S. (CA / NV / CO)
Alameda County Surveyor

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dedkad
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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby dedkad » Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:41 pm

The City I worked at would not accept bonds for monumentation, only Certificates of Deposit or Letters of Credit. They were easier to call due if monuments weren't set. Problem was, we called one due but the value of the security was not enough to cover the cost for a different surveyor to set the monuments, so we had to pick and choose the most important monuments and file a Corner Record. After that we were also careful to make sure the security amount was enough to pay prevailing wage, which is required if the agency administers the contract.

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Tdough
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Re: Subdivision Monuments

Postby Tdough » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:59 am

To put this in a little context, I work for the agency being questioned. I communicate with surveyor whom started this post. When I received an email demanding to know why these weren't set, I stated that this was a question more appropriate for the surveyor who had deferred the setting of the monuments and go from there.
We require a warranty bond for monuments, include it as a a construction closeout item, and field check them as a standard practice. More often than not, the monuments are set following road completion. With that said, there are two common scenarios which have a bearing on the setting of the monuments.

1) Road improvements have not been completed. In this case (as is the case in this situation), I'd recommend contacting the surveyor. They committed to setting the monuments, can set temporary points in lieu of the monument, and not that on the map. Note- we have a culture where the scribes on the monuments are checked prior to punching as part of our close out exercise.
2) The company that does the construction staking is different than the one that went through the entitlement process. This isn't usually identified until construction closeout or if someone calls to complain. In this situation, we require a Certificate of Correction prior to project closeout.

In the situation that prompted this post, the surveyor had deferred the monuments roughly two years. Now any easy solution would be to defer the setting of the monuments five years- but let's face it, a lot of you signing final maps may very well not be in the profession five years from now.

Do we really want to file Certificates of Correction in the event of scenario #1? Does anyone have a better idea or process?


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