View Full Version : Corner Record information...
R. Lee Hixson
07-06-2004, 05:02 AM
A few years ago I ran across a document that elaborated on what triggers a Corner Record. It went into a discussion about such things as construction staking. As I remember, it said that if you stake a fence, or a building that is offset from the P/L, it's the same as if you are staking property corners, and a C.R. would be triggered, if not a record of survey.
Does anyone have any information on that? It could have been an opinion from the attorney general, or something from the Board, or maybe from one of the professional practices committees.
07-06-2004, 07:40 AM
The AG Opinion you are referring to is BPELS Policy Resolution 96-03. Please note that the Board no longer issues these Policy Resolutions as it was determined that the resolutions have the semblance of creating statutes and legislation outside the legislative process. That’s why they are no longer available anywhere. Having said that, BPELS PR 96-03 is based on a request to the AG and his response to that request for delineation of the “triggers” for filing an RS or a CR.
The easiest trigger to follow is: When in doubt, file a document. If you’re replacing a monument, use a Corner record. If there isn’t a map showing the line, file an RS. For example, we recently prepared an RS for submittal on a parcel that was shown on an existing RS. However, the county had realigned a road through the northwesterly corner of the parcel. The road centerlines and sidelines were not shown on a record map. The county’s “take” was by deed. We filed an RS because the road centerline and sidelines, as the past through our client’s property, are not shown on a record map, hence the trigger for filing.
I know there are many who would disagree; however, it’s my feeling that the need to place this type of information in the public domain best serves our clients as well as the general public.
Does anyone have a copy of the original LS Act as it was enacted in 1939? Does anyone have copies of the amendments added in 1941, 1943, 1945 and 1949? If you can fax me good copies, I’ll create PDFs of them and make them available through my website.
Here's the link to BPELS PR 96-03:
R. Lee Hixson
07-06-2004, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the reply.
So did that resolution say that, if you set a construction stake that references--or is based on--a certain offset from a P/L, that you are, in effect, "locating" that P/L and therefore you should file either a C.R. or a Record of Survey (whichever would apply)?
It is my recollection that the answer to the above is "Yes." Another way of asking this question is: Has the Board ever disciplined a surveyor for going against the principle of the above guideline?
As I recall the guideline was prompted by too many cases of surveyors "getting around" the filing of a C.R. or Rec. of S. by setting wood construction stakes instead of marking the actual property line.
So my main question is, 1) am I remembering that guideline correctly? and 2) if that resolution is no longer in circulation, is there any other document of any kind that does refer to that guideline/principle?
07-06-2004, 08:30 AM
Page 3…Question “D” is your exact question. Answer: If the property lines are not shown on a record map, file a Record of Survey.
If the lines ARE shown on a record map, there is no need to file an RS. There is no statute which forces you to set any monument (other than the provisions of the SMA), therefore, you do not need to file a CR unless you set monuments. The foundations of a building are not considered monuments, per se.
I do not know of any specific example of a surveyor being disciplined for this action, but I am not privy to that information, either.
The resolution is no longer in circulation because the Board removed all resolutions. The information contained within that resolution is based on an AG opinion and would still fly if you were to find yourself “contrawise” to the spirit of that resolution.
Howard is going to love me for this, but, if you have questions about stuff like this, do yourself and all of us a favor and call the Board. They’re only too happy to help you do things right. Enforcement is very expensive. Preventing a problem is MUCH cheaper!
Now, “Go forth and file those maps!”
R. Lee Hixson
07-06-2004, 08:40 AM
Thanks again for the extra information.
I'm fine with it.
However, it seems to be inconsistent in that, if a R. of S. is triggered when the lines did NOT appear on a previously recorded map, then, by the same rationale, why wouldn't a C.R. be triggered if there WAS a recorded map showing the lines?
07-06-2004, 09:27 AM
The difference is that the RS, PM or TM establishes or places the line in the public record. The CR is designed to maintain the pedigree of the monument marking the intersections of those lines, not the line itself.
If you don’t set a new monument to replace a destroyed or decayed one, there is no addition to the pedigree and no CR is needed.
R. Lee Hixson
07-06-2004, 09:29 AM
Good description. Thanks again.
07-06-2004, 09:55 PM
You can find a long discussion on records of surveys and corner records in a post on this site titled "Future of R o S" with a last post dated 1-2-04. I thought that it was a very good discussion. You should check it out. As to the setting or not setting of a monument, weeelllllllll, what is a monument? The PLSA states that they shall be durable(section 8771). Black's Law dictionary has a different definition and I don't remember if durable was included. Also,was there supposed to be a monument at the corner of the lot that you are staking for a fence line? Probably, but maybe not. If a monument of record was set, and you don't find it, does your survey, of only the lot line that you are staking, disclose physical change which in whole or part does not appear on a map of record? (there used to be an iron pipe-something physical- and now there isn't.)(I've often wondered what this meant.)If someone can give me a better meaning, let me have it and I'll use it.
Normally I stake offsets to the lot line and let the owner or builder build the fence or wall where the plans state or where he wants it to be. I have been told by a member at the board of registration that these stakes are supposed to be tagged, see section 8772. I don't necessarily agree to the tagging of non durable stakes, but this is what I was told about 2 years ago.
One could argue that the staking of the fence or wall is construction staking and that the surveyor is exempt from setting monuments or filing a record. (many surveyors hold to this idea). I view it as the owner will be constucting a BOUNDARY. And this boundary is a lot more physical than the iron pipes that used to exist, but for some reason have disappeared. Long after my 1x2 stakes are gone this wall or fence will probably still be in existence.
Thanks for the question Lee and your answers Ian. Bruce Hall LS
R. Lee Hixson
07-07-2004, 06:55 AM
thanks for the additional information.....here are my thoughts thus far:
--first of all, i did place call to H. Bruener about this (before i started this thread)...so far no answer
--my current survey regards a lot on an old parcel map where only the street mons were set (a common, regrettable practice here in the Sacramento area)...thus, the lot lines are of record...our survey of the street mons shows that they fit well with record data...the client wants to build a new fence...adhering strictly to the letter of the law i can probably safely conclude that i can stake the fence without having to do either a C. R. or a RofS....however, the professional jimminy cricket on my shoulder says that the spirit of the law is being ignored in doing this
--thanks for the tip on the previous thread...i just finished reading it...the part i liked the most was that we need to allow for other sizes and media for RofS maps...i have grown to love the 11" x 17" sheet for maps...i use it all the time...with cad, you can get a ton of good, legible data on that size of sheet...so let me turn a RofS in on ledger size paper, WITH a digital copy on a disk...i mean, how much easier could it be for the recorder's office to supply one with a copy of that map? fire up the computer, click a few buttons and bingo! there's your crystal clear map copy being spit out on the printer...thus, with such a system in place, i/we could do more RofS maps (ledger size...on paper) for less money than we do now....or a C.R., which, by the way, could also be done on 11" x 17" paper, couldn't it? why not?
--and i couldn't agree more about keeping the costs of checking a RofS down...i have been published on that account, and stand firmly behind the principle...a $200 cap sounds right by me...i have worked for numerous surveyors who were the P.M.'s on jobs that i handled...once i finished the map they would do a Q.C. on it before submitting it to the county...a good surveyor can check most maps over in less than an hour...and go WAY beyond the mere checking for north arrows and B.O.B. statements...i can do it myself...so (all you counties & cities) don't whine to me about how arduous and time consuming it is to check a map...if they spend more than $200 then, ipso facto, they are squeezing the public and should be prohibited from doing so
07-08-2004, 07:27 AM
My thoughts are if you are defining the location of a fence, wall, or any improvement which is to be on property line or a setback; then you must establish or reestablish the property line. As you know most properties (subdivision of land by a map) which are created by simultaneous conveyance are not individually surveyed on the ground. If you assume a street centerline and starting setting construction stakes, you have not performed a property line survey - but you are also not protecting the public by insuring that these stakes are in fact on property line, which could have alternative postions based on many factors that would be uncovered in an actual property line or boundary survey.
I believe that you should ensure that there is an actual monumented property line before performing any construction layout which the improvements will be referenced to a property line or a setback to it.
What do you think?
R. Lee Hixson
07-08-2004, 07:45 AM
that's interesting...that your experience has shown that most subdivision lots were not individually monumented...
apparently, this is a practice that varies from region to region...in Sutter and Yuba counties, where i started my surveying in CA, they always required all lot corners to be monumented, for either parcel maps, or tract maps...it was only when i started working in Sacramento that i discovered that other parts of the state were not so conscientious...
but i agree that we are best serving the public when we go the extra mile and monument the corners, and then file either a C.R. or a RofS
the way it is now, per other posts on this board, it would seem that we do not have any "official" urging to do so, via state law, state regulations, Board opinions or professional ethics....which is too bad, since that would allow us to better persuade our clients to put forth the extra funds for the added work
07-08-2004, 07:53 AM
If you answer this question; you have a self checking solution to your query for what your responsibility is, under state law and you will not jeopardize your integrity. If it looks like a property survey; feels like a property survey; smells like a property survey; then without a doubt, it is a property survey.
File the appropriate document and charge your client the appropriate fee.
R. Lee Hixson
07-08-2004, 08:00 AM
But don't you think the public would be better served if we were required to do so, thus removing the tendency for clients to view this as "extra" and thus unnecessary, superfluous work that needlessly inflates the cost of their project?
07-08-2004, 08:41 AM
If you explain to your client that in order to establish the fence location, you need to establish the property line and that task triggers the filing of, at least a corner record or potentially a record of survey if you discover a material discrepancy. You may explain the state law as you understand it and not be worried about the other surveyors who chose to follow their own conscience.
07-08-2004, 11:00 AM
What is your interpretation of:
8726(e) MARKS & REFERENCE POINT
My thoughts are if you LOCATE a fence on a property line, it is covered in the LS Act. Also, if you MARK a property line with a REFERENCE POINT (being a construction stake) to layout a fence line on a property line, that is also covered.
R. Lee Hixson
07-08-2004, 11:25 AM
well, yes, i think "it's covered" but what do you mean by that?
seems to me the important section is 8762...
let's say you are asked to set stakes for a new fence along a P/L (or a new building with a 5' offset to a P/L)....what are the possibilities?
i would say that a strict reading of 8762 turns up the following possibilities:
1. if the P/L in question is not shown on a previously recorded map, then you have to do a RofS--period--and you should set markers at each end of the line (in addition to any stakes set)
2. if the P/L does show up on a previous map, then:
a. if all your found/tied monuments that you used for your resolution jive with record and everything appears kosher, then you can set your stakes, and you do not have to set corner mons, and you do not have to do either a C.R. or a RofS (i'm assuming here that corner markers either never were set in the first place, or are determined to be missing)
b. if all is kosher but you do decided to set corner mons, then, at minimum, you need to file a C.R. (however, you could do a RofS instead if you wanted to)
c. if not everything is kosher (i.e. you find a significant discrepancy between measured vs. record data), then you must do a RofS
does everyone agree with the above? that's the way i see it, at any rate...but please correct me if that summary is wrong
the problem is with 2a above...if you do not find mons marking the line in question, then you SHOULD be required to set new mons and file either a C.R. or a RofS.....i think the spirit of the law backs this up....but it would be better if it were required by the letter of the law
the other case which doesn't seem to be clearly covered by the law is this: suppose all monumentation is found and it is OK....but improvements have been built such that they cross over a P/L, or in some way significantly vary from the P/L location...
i think you could argue that a strict reading of the LS Act would not require you to treat mis-located improvements as a "material discrepancy," because that phrase is defined in a way as to be restricted to "information contained in any subdivision map, official map, or record of survey..." and since improvements typically are not shown on most recorded maps, one could argue that they do not rise to the level of a material discrepancy should you find them out of sync with a P/L
07-08-2004, 11:56 AM
I guess I should clarify after reading the post about areas where all property corners were set. Being in Southern CA, the majority of individual lots were not and currently have not been monumented. I assumed that this was the case throughout CA.
As an example I just finished a property survey which the Tract contained over 400 lots and 6 original controlling monuments were set. Three were found that reasonably fit and one was very weak. The problems came when the original monuments did not match some 30 - 40 centerline monuments and improvements. All said and done an R/S was prepared.
There are individuals in my area that do not feel that a fence staking require determining (recovery or setting) property lines.
I do not set construction stakes for improvements which would impact setbacks or line without either recovering and or setting monuments and preparing the appropriate maps to be filed.
07-08-2004, 09:28 PM
Lee: The only thing I disagree with you on is the requirement to file a CR in the case of PL being shown on a record map but you don’t set monuments. Again, the CR is to perpetuate the pedigree of monuments, not fences. There is nothing in the LS Act that requires you to set a monument anywhere. There IS a requirement that you file an RS if you survey a line not shown on a record map – WHETHER YOU SET A MONUMENT OR NOT!!!
ALL YOU GUYS WHO THINK SETTING A DAMNED HUB AND CALLING IT A “TEMPORARY CORNER” OR AN “APPROXIMATE CORNER” (LIKE THE SO CALLED BOUNDARY SURVEY I RETRACED TODAY) ARE KIDDING YOURSELVES!!! (And, yes, I know I’m yelling!)
David: I’m in Southern California, too! I live in Temecula and practice western Riverside County and southwestern San Bernardino County. I dare you to try to get a subdivision by either county without setting monuments!
Oh, I’ve surveyed in 1920’s subs in West LA and south along the coast through Orange County and San Diego County and east into Imperial County, too. With the possible exception of some VERY old subdivisions, I’ve not run into many where the lot corners weren’t set. Some of them might have been redwood 2x2s, but I’ve found those as old as 80 years in some subs. You just have to look for them.
The LS Act is written in plain English. It’s not hard to understand and doesn’t need interpretation.
07-09-2004, 04:02 PM
Ian, all those guys who set hubs and call them temporary corners or approximate corners don't read this forum. If they did, and could sell there methods and procedures, they would type a little note stating that it is okay and within the law to do this. SO DON'T YELL! I don't think those guys are within earshot, but I've been wrong before. Maybe send that last post of yours to the Cal Surveyor so that all the LS's in the state could read it. But that's just a suggestion.
Also, the law is pretty cut and dry as I read it, but I do learn a lot from others who have a certain "take" on what the black letters mean. Not only from the questions that other surveyors ask, but from the answers that other surveyors provide. So keep asking the questions Lee, and whoever else is out there, and I'm sure that someone has the answer, or at least the answer that suites them. Bruce Hall LS
07-10-2004, 06:29 AM
Good comments Lee and Bruce.
Sometimes you have to shout to get the word out. Lee there are alot of subdivisions in LA that the individual lots were not monumented or not stated in the original map as such. I have have the opportunity to work in Riverside County, specifically Lake Elsinore area. I was amazed at a 1920's survey that called for 2X2 at all lots corners for a Tract with 800 - 900 lots, and they were still in position. I thought this guy must have alot of time or client's money on his hands.
I agree with Bruce and send the post to Cal Surveyor.
Have a great weekend. Got to run some calcs.
R. Lee Hixson
07-10-2004, 09:42 AM
i'm confused by your last post...your second paragraph appears to contradict your first paragraph
first i stated, in 2a, what i considered the current status quo to be with the law...then i explained below, that i think the law is wong on that account, and you SHOULD be required to mark the corners with a permanent marker and cap/tag
so that's my position.....and your "shouting" paragraph appears to agree with that.....so if that's the case, then how can you be disagreeing?
it's probably just that it's easy to misconstrue meaning on internet posts.....like it is with emails.....anyway, i would like to make sure that i understand what you're really saying
07-26-2004, 03:02 PM
R. Lee Hixson,
It is also imperative that you understand what the county in which the CR is being filed wants to see. The law establishes the guidelines but the county surveyor may interpret them differently from you. Every county has a different take on what you should show. I have found it helpful to contact their checker and ask what they look for. Some counties look for the absolute minimum info such as north arrows and other counties treat each CR like a disputed map. Some counties will not allow wood stakes as accessories or corners. Others don't review the data or content. For example, at least one So. Cal. county WILL accept ONE document for pre and post construction monument perpetuation even though 8771(b) states that you shall file one CR before construction and one CR after construction.
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