View Full Version : Proportioning
02-26-2005, 03:04 PM
A PLS friend submitted a Parcel Map for a remnant piece of land that has a tract to the east and to the west. It has a street to the north and a street to the south. Each tract was laid out independent of the other. Upon completion of the survey it was discovered that the east line of the westerly tract was about 0.20ft easterly of what the records showed. Because 3 record monuments were found along that line and the improvements fit the monumented line, it was accepted as the westerly line of the subject property. Similar evidence was recovered along the east line of the subject property. All things considered, the survey and subsequent map looked good.
Q-If you find a monument (tract corner that is a tagged pipe) that has been accepted for 50 years as such and the accessories (ties and lot corners) fit, is it not acceptable to "accept" the found monument as past surveys have done?
Example-Imagine finding the 1/4 corner of a section with the accessories intact. You have accepted the corner and shown it as such on a Parcel Map. Now imagine the map checker telling you to go to BOTH section corners and proportion the location of the 1/4 corner. After doing the measurements and proportioning the location of the 1/4 corner, you miss the monument by 0.20ft. Are you going to set a new monument 0.20ft away from what has been accepted as the 1/4 corner for the last 50 years? Probably not.
This leads to MY question as an LSIT studying for April: should my friend go west 1000ft+ outside of the west tract for a centerline intersection so that a proportioning calculation can be made along the north line of the adjoining tract to the west? (I hope my wording makes sense!)
In the end my PLS friend will do what the City has asked but it seems like the methodology is flawed, or is it???
02-26-2005, 03:49 PM
Proportioning is a last resort. Tell the checker to turn in his license (if he has one).
Bob Hart (home)
02-26-2005, 05:36 PM
You have found the section corner, some map checkers want the references and ties to match their records. Suggest that the County or City add a note to the map discribing their objection to your acceptance of the monument. They will likely choose not to add the note.
Good Luck with this.
02-27-2005, 07:08 AM
This is a Parcel Map, not a Record of Survey. Without passing judgment on the merits of the boundary situation (not enough information), if the map checker wants to make an issue of it, and his boss (City Engineer or other responsible licensee) elects to back him up, offering to accept a note of objection is likely to go nowhere. Your friend is in the unfortunate position of having to weigh the cost of making additional and possibly superfluous ties and their effect upon his boundary resolution against potentially long delays in map processing and the possibility of an expensive battle to do what he believes is right.
My biggest gripe about the local agency map checking process is that many agencies, especially the smaller cities, have no one on staff who understands boundary surveying. The responsible licensee is generally a grandfathered civil engineer who delegates all of the map review work to unlicensed technicians who are good at checking lot closures but are pathetically clueless when it comes to evaluating whether or not a competent exterior boundary has been presented. In my city there are dozens of maps that are hung on the flimsiest of evidence, and some of them have turned out to be feet out of position.
I'm only modestly hopeful that the situation will improve as the grandfathered CEs retire and agencies are forced to put real land surveyors in charge of map review. The reality of local agency budgets is that highly-paid professionals are under pressure to spend all of their time on management-level duties, leaving underqualified map checkers in charge of the whole review process.
Dave Karoly, PLS
02-27-2005, 10:34 AM
If I do a boundary survey and an ROS is required, regardless it is submitted to the County Surveyor. If I do a boundary survey that would otherwise require an ROS but it is for a Subdivision it goes to the City Engineer.
It's kind of ridiculous but you could file a ROS, get that recorded then use that to do your exterior PM boundary although 0.2 feet is almost not enough to argue over.
Before you pull your six-guns out and start firing maybe a personal meeting with the City Engineer is in order, be sure to ask him about his boat or fishing or whatever his favorite hobby first. That's a trick I learned from a mentor I had at one time. When I was doing an Inspection job in a former life I had a contractor that didn't want to talk to me (maybe he had a problem with another State employee or who-knows-what). I said, "You ever fish in that lake (Millerton Lake)?" That loosened him up, started talking about his bass boat, amazing, we had a good working relationship after that.
03-02-2005, 03:45 PM
When I was in the central coast area, many times the old property corners along the street R/W did not fit the 1/2 width to the C/L monuments. Many times the 1/2 width was less, ie 29.90' instead of 30.00'
If the property line mons were of original record and the c/l mons weren't I held the property line and off called the c/l. The County surveyor didn't like having narrow streets, but that wasn't my problem.
In your case it might be best to file the RS then follow with the PM.
Many big subdivisions down here do that to lock in the boundary so there isn't any problems later on with phased mapping.
03-03-2005, 05:47 AM
FIRST DECIDE WHAT THE TRUE CHARATER OF THE RECOVERED MONUMENT IS AND THIS WILL DETERMINE YOUR COURSE OF ACTION.
PERPETUATION OF ORGINAL MON. (ORIGINAL OBLITERATED)
OPINION MON.(LINE NEVER RUN OR MARKED ON THE GROUND AS PART OF AN ORIGINAL SURVEY)
It is important to understand the character of the recovered
monument. There is a difference between an ORIGINAL monument, set as part of a conveyance and a monument set latter as a surveyor's OPINION of the deed or Tract Location. In the first case barring certain exceptions the original monument is NEVER wrong. In the second case the opinion monument is always subject to attack. There is a difference between a record title line and a line of occupation. An opinion momument may represent a line of occupation which is not coincident with the record title line and if that is the case then your mapping should reflect that situation. At least that is my understanding what I am suppose to be doing as a surveyor.
03-03-2005, 09:03 AM
The responsibility of the County Surveyor is to make sure the boudaries are correct. No where in the Act does it say the map needs to close. Map checkers seem to get on a holy high horse 'better than' kick and lose track of what thier function really is.
Just my 2 cents worth.
03-03-2005, 09:17 AM
As a map and records checker myself, I am often humbled by meeting and talking to the field guys. I too was in the field for a few years before getting into the office. Sometimes it helps when we are reminded that although the paper map is flat, the ground is not and conditions vary widely from job to job. Getting out of the office once in a while helps keep it all in perspective. Because falling off of a 'high horse' can hurt, I will try hard to keep my feet on the ground. Thanks.
03-03-2005, 11:22 AM
In your example regarding the govt. corner, the method suggested would be improper and contrary to the BLM Manual. The corner (and monument exists). You only proportion when all other methods have been exhausted.
As to the subdivision situation; if one determines the monuments that were found to be originals or valid perpetuations of the originals (and it sounds like they may well be), again, there is no point in proportioning from distant monuments, especially past block lines or outside of the subdivision in question. Like you said, "All things considered, the survey and subsequent map looked good. "
03-03-2005, 01:14 PM
only, only as a last resort
I think most plat/map checkers, whether licensed or not, are doing their best to protect the public. As a licensed professional, currently in private practice, that is my number one priority as well.
Having worked for a number of years as a plat checker, I understand better what a lot of the concerns are. I use that experience to my advantage by trying to make the plat checker's job as easy as possible. A well executed survey resulting in a quality map seems to make things go a lot smoother for all involved.
03-03-2005, 08:48 PM
Section 8766 of the PLSA states that the county surveyor shall examine the record of survey as to the accuracy of its' mathamatical data. Maybe the subdivision map act indicates that the parcel map or tract map does not have to be mathamatically correct, but if my map is not mathamatically correct, I want to know about it.
If the subdivision map act does not have a blurb in it that requires the map to close, maybe it is about time CLSA helped put a blurb in there stating that the mathematical data shown on the subdivision map is accurate.
It also might help if the surveyor could explain to the map checker that the map represents the survey. The monuments in the ground are the survey.
I might even be tempted to put my note on the parcel map indicating that "I believe the westerly line of the subject property falls on the 3 found monuments. the westerly line shown on this map is placed two tenths of a foot easterly of these monuments per the requirements of the City Engineer." What the City Engineer is asking your friend appears to be "flawed" as you put it. There is nothing in the SMA or PLSA that prevents me from placing a "note" on my map. But will the City Engineer sign it? Bruce Hall
03-09-2005, 10:45 AM
Surveying is an art, not a science. The solutions that surveyors arrive at are the result of judgement, interpretation and gut feelings. Sure, there's math and precise calculations but there's also "Because of its character and general location, I accept this as being the record monument even though it does not agree exactly with the record distances."
As a map checker of many years, if I saw a map with 3 monuments and various improvements agreeing with each other and within .20 of a foot of fitting outside monuments, I would question why you WOULDN'T accept it as the line. While its nice to have perfect agreement between all monuments, I am instantly suspicious when it appears on a map.
The fact is, things move. Hell, the HPGN monuments we sent in '92 have moved .25 feet!!!! I would call pipes that have been in the ground for over 50 years and still agree to .20 to be flat.
Lastly, I have always felt that my job as a checker was to make sure that the surveyor was using accepted survey practices but not to tell him/her how to perform their survey. If I see a different solution (and maybe I think its better) I'll make that suggestion on the checkprint but ultimately the surveyor signing the map is responsible for the work on it. Only when the process is incorrect will I make a stand (one CE tried to connect the centers of two sections to re-establish the 1/4 corner)
Oh, and about your question on the found 1/4 section corner and accesories..... I'd look at the checker and tell them "File the ****** map as it is!" and then report somebody to the Board.
03-17-2005, 06:35 AM
Attached is the official response from the local jurisdiction. After reading it I have concluded that the author is correct...to a point. I don't think that their way is the only way to determine the correct location. I understand that their goal is to have a surveyor retrace the original survey; however, when all of the 100+ year-old monuments are gone and you have new (1-10year old) monuments in their place, it stands to reason that you use all of the evidence available without leaving the original subdivision.
Please read it and post your opinion here.
Dave Karoly, PLS
03-17-2005, 06:55 AM
What they say is true in an Ivory Tower sort of way. We have a similar situation in Sacramento County, no original Lot corners in the unincorporated metro area (mostly the 10 acres lots created in the 19th century that are largely broken up into deed cuts); the corners are mostly a collection of rebars and spikes that are either resets or maybe perpetuation of the originals. Gary O (whom I finally met yesterday) put it the best. Gary, I'll get that case of red pens you'll need over there as soon as I can;-)
03-17-2005, 07:07 AM
You’re kinda mixing apples and oranges in your examples. The response from the jurisdiction has to do with a non-gov't subdivision that had no interior corners set. I agree with their response since you have no monuments to work from and proportioning is the only solution UNLESS there are improvements from the time of the subdivision which MAY indicate the location of the property corners.
The example you gave in the original question had to do with sectionalized land. It was common for section and quarter corners to have accessory monuments (bearing trees, rocks, etc.) so that even though the monument itself is gone it is not ‘lost’ if it can be rest using these accessories. Proportioning is the absolute last and final procedure to re-establishing a section corner.
03-17-2005, 07:18 AM
I am grateful for your responses. Without hearing a third party perspective, it's hard for me to digest. I was under the impression (wrongly so) that the oldest evidence is usually the best evidence. In this case the west line was monumented about 50 years ago. Those monuments all checked good with respect to each other. The monuments along the east line also checked good with respect to each other. After seeing that they were good with respect to each other and they fit improvements and the lines of occupation have been that way for 50 or so years, why not accept the monuments as being the west and east lines of our lot? Put another way, after reviewing all of the evidence that was available within the block, the monumented lines appeared to be good. Assuming that is true, can't a PLS "accept" the monuments and monumented line as being the lot lines?
I hope I'm not rambling but I am trying to understand where local policy supercedes professional judgment.
Dave Karoly, PLS
03-17-2005, 07:22 AM
Is this the scenario?:
Tract A was created in 18whatever which made Lots (perhaps large).
Tract B1 (to your west) and Tract B2 (to your east) were created in circa 1950. Tract B1 and B2 were subdivisions of Lots shown on Tract A. The surveys of the exterior boundaries of B1 and B2 established the Lot corners of Tract A from original or otherwise street PIs by proportioning. Monuments were set at these positions.
Now you find these monuments. Your survey finds (subject to errors) that Tract B1 is east 0.20 feet if you proportion to the Tract A PIs. You checked the improvements in Tract B1 and they agree that, at least, the found monuments have NOT moved (or were NOT set) 0.2 feet east relative to the rest of Tract B1.
You conclude that 0.2 feet is slightly loose but, nonetheless, the surveyor of Tract B1 did a reasonable job for the equipment available in 1950+/-, the monuments have been in place and relied upon for 50 years, therefore they should be held in place. In addition, you are construing against yourself.
03-17-2005, 07:29 AM
Also, the original block corners (CL intersections of streets) are no longer present; that is there are no monuments in the ground. There are 2 well monuments, the east block line, which my mentor found 20 years of history on. Those with respect to all of the other found monuments are within reasonable tolerances for the project. And yes, our lot takes all of the shortage so that there will be no conflict between owners (4 adjoining lots/owners). Again, is it reasonable to accept the monuments that have been found in this situation?
Dave Karoly, PLS
03-17-2005, 07:34 AM
given that you have no original monuments (except for the 50 year old Tracts), I can't imagine anyone arguing of two tenths.
They're right in an Ivory Tower sort of way IF IF IF IF they can prove the PI monuments are in exactly the same position as the 19th century originals.
On the other hand, along the lines of what Jim said, after a while you wonder why you're arguing over less than the width of the fence lines that are probably present. Maybe make 'em happy but don't set new monuments. Just use the old for witness corners.
03-17-2005, 07:45 AM
Because it is a Parcel Map my friend has no apparent choice except to do as they have requested. This means that to find the westerly block line he must go to the westerly line of the adjoining block and proportion in. It seams unreasonable but that is why I am asking all of these questions. I really want to understand the "why" in why we, as a profession, do things a certain way. In the above attachment there is a statement about how the monuments in this type of case don't control the line. I was inclined to disagree with that assumption only because I thought that all of the evidence had to be analyzed to determine what weight to give it.
Let me say thank you again for all of your responses. This forum is the place I go to seek solid information. Keep responding if you like and I'll keep reading and learning.
03-18-2005, 11:23 AM
The city has a problem with the way you established your boundary. They are providing PROPER references to LEGAL PRINCIPALS which affect how a boundary is retraced and re-established. Until you can quote chapter and verse in your own defense of your location you are not going to convinve them other wise. As far as I am concerned it does not matter if I am within 0.20' or 2.00' of the true corner, if I did not follow proper procedure I am wrong.
03-18-2005, 11:52 AM
03-18-2005, 08:14 PM
I just reviewed the scenario described in his "Monuments-Use and Utilty in Surveys". There is more than just a proportioning question in his sketches. There is something wrong with the surveys. Tract 2000 states that each lot is 100 feet wide. Tract 3500 states that each lot is 99.75 feet wide. Tract 4500 states that each lot is 100.25 feet wide. There is a problem with the numbers. It looks like Tract 4500, even though each lot is long by 0.25' from the record, has it wired. The surveyor found a spike and washer on the east line of tract 3500 that didn't fit perfectly by proportion by 2 or 3 hundreths. I like the monuments so far, unless I am missing something. I like calling the monuments as found .02' west, accepted as lot corner or on lot line produced. I let everyone know I measured these monuments in a slightly different position than perfect, but I like where they are at. I mean all the lots in Fig 3 are real close to being the same width.
As to the statement in the text stating that "the surveyor placing the monument doesn't claim to establish the line by placing the monument." I am not buying into that. I set pipes and spikes all the time and don't spell out that I am "re-establishing this line by setting this pipe". Maybe I am doing something wrong. My map would state "searched, fd nothing. re-established the northeast corner of lot 5 by proportion." The map also shows a symbol at the lot corner which the legend on the map describes "set a 1 inch ip with tag"at that corner. No other statements. Just because I don't cover the map up with more ink doesn't mean that this pipe is not at the Lot Corner.
There are too many number crunchers out here with an idea that there is only ONE WAY to do somethin'. Granted, there are certain things that a surveyor must do. I think it is stupid to go 1000 feet down the road with my 100 foot chain and try to move this line that Greg has accepted. Maybe I should buy a shooter, then I could call all of the monuments that I find, that were set using a steel tape, and not perfect, OFF. I could then set another monument right next to it. I mean if it's off it's off, right?
Another thing about his Reference to the Marquette Law Review blah, blah, blah. His quote has to do with measuring record distances from each end of the block to ascertain lot corners in a block that is (See Fig 3)1.5 feet short. Well I am not going to end up in the same place if I do this. That is why apportionment(proportion)is a good way of doing things. In Gregs case some other surveyors came along way back when, and monumented this line, probably by proportion, as best they could.
Dave Karoly, PLS
03-19-2005, 06:36 AM
all the high-minded talk about proportioning is nice except the spikes or pipes or whatever you are going to measure to are not necessarily in the exact positions of the 19th century originals. I think 0.2 feet is well within the normal slop (actually pretty darn good) for the date of the original.
Shoot we have an old subdivision (we don't call them Tracts up here and we name them) "Orangevale Colony" that where 12 to 15 feet in 660 feet can commonly be found.
03-19-2005, 07:10 AM
in that where do I start my survey? Where do I end it? The pipes or spikes at either end of a line might not be exactly in the same place as they were 50 or 80 or 100 years ago. I know that I proportion quite a bit, but there are times when I do not. I stop the survey here at this spike and that's all there is to it. At least I'd like to think so. Anyway, I got calcs to do for curbs next week. I am missing out on Vegas. But it is still a good day. Bruce Hall
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