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It has become a more common practice here in California for local associations to treat the geographic area of their association as a private area closed to open competation by complaining to the county surveyor and state boards anytime another surveyor set a stake without filing a corner record or record of survey.  Because of the recessiona these "policing" surveyors have plenty of time to go around looking for paint and lath, then they investigate to see if a corner record or record of survey is filed.

What is wrong with that you may ask, if you read the act it allows for points on line, here in California without triggering a RS or CR.  Often an owner needs the line for setback purposes.

If another party complains to the Board or County Surveyor, they automatically contact the surveyor who staked it, and if he wishes to avoid problems, then he will file an RS or CR.  This of course raises costs to the consumer, who did not want or need that.

The surveyor who complained argues that it is for the better of the consumer, but they just dont know it. However when asked if that surveyor who complains has set POL's on new tracts, and not filed CR they will admit this is true, but claim the Act exempts it.  This is not true the Act exempts points set for the eventual recording of a map, but new subdivisions have already been recorded, developers would not invest heavily in unrecoreded tracts, the want the vesting secure.


Do you thing the consumer benefits more from competive pricing for work acutally needed or from higher prices for work he does think he needs, but will be forced to pay for. For responses presume the consumer has been fully informed.



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  • Land Surveyor

    Looks like this debate has been settled. Thank you for the information Mr. Dent.

    • Actually,

      The issue is not settled, but I will update you when it is.

      • The board has decided to place me on probation and pay a fine, based on the judges recommendations.  4 surveyors testified, and basically agreed on nothing. I conceded that the law requires a surveyor to find or set the corners when placing points for construction of fences, walls or structures established from the property line. My previous position was that according to a number of letters from the board filing a record was not required for construction stakes if the property line was established by a recorded map. In other words, if other monuments could be used to mathematically  determine the line per recorded map.

        At the hearing the Board said those letters were rescinded and no longer valid. Prior to the hearing I had spoken to 2 LS's who were licensed when I was an apprentice, they both told me the board was correct in its assertion that corners need be found or set and recorded. However this is a more recent position, and I should have kept up with the boards position via their website, also one of the ethical principals of surveying is to leave evidence of your survey.  I stood corrected. In 2012, well after my infractions, the board changed the verbiage of the law to more implicitly express this requirement.  I'm sorry if I mislead anyone, however, I did a lot of research, not only in California but other states, and can confidently say based on that research which supported my position, it was and honest mistake. Furthermore, the Judges report did express the fact that setting markers based on property lines is common practice for larger firms, utility and public agencies without filing records of those points. (such as 20 & 80's, ROW, property "takes", fences for water channels, highways, large parcels, building setbacks, etc. etc.) and that I suggested the board use me as a whistle blower,  similar to one of the surveyors who testified who has at least 30 complaints filed with the board. I wouldn't go after the little guy until the big boys cleaned up their act!  Concerning the RICO act, evidence indicated that a number of surveyors are acting in collusion against other surveyors, whether for the purpose of limiting competition was not questioned at the hearing. However, it is my opinion, that it is being done for some self serving interest.

  • I have worked for many companies the the greater Los Angeles area, and it is a fact that since the law was passed in 1985 hundreds of survey crews have been going out every day and setting points which is " The establishment of one or more points on lines not shown on any subdivision map, official map, or Record of Survey, the position of which are not ascertainable from an inspection of the subdivision map, official map, or Record of Survey." yet the records do not reflect that. I honestly believe I can go into any viable surveying office, including the state and county and find many instances of what can be literaly interpeted as failure to compy. Is this what you do not agree with, then let me go to your office, and I will find instances of contracts for setting constuction poinst which could only be established in relation to the Right of Way or Property line. If you are without sin, then cast the first stone.

    This discussion is not about the tecnicality of the law. We know you could fill a library with laws and cases filled with interpation. This discussion is about the fact of particular surveyors acting under color of authority to restrict competation but using seclective interpations of the law in a discrimating fashion, that is using the law specifically against the surveyor not in their association.

    The discussion is three fold, one is it right to limit competation by selective interpetation, which is evident by the lack of CR and RS while sending out surveyors every working day for 25 years, staking improvements tied to PL or R/w. Two by selective enfourcement, that is filing complaints against non memebers and three to use an association designed to promote land surveying, to limit the informed choices of the consumer. That is to say, the consumer does not care about a property corner, they only need some points to build a structure on their property. Remember we are licensed by the Dept. of Consummer affairs with the intent to keep the cost of professional surveying as affordable as possible to the consumer.

    If you want to get personal about the issue, then please start your own post, and If you thing you are somehow a "better" surveyor then the rest of us, you can start a post and that, and I for one will respond in an attempt to show you that one cannot be a good surveyor without humility.
  • I hardly ever "thing".. But you raise a very good question, as I understand it... I think very often our customers are forced to get survey's that are at best superfluous…. to at best… keep the legislative industry happy… living in a different part of the world I still think that our customers often pay for things that are to simply avoid law suits.
  • This has to do with specifically staking points on line of a defined, vested, and recorded property line.
    If the original vesting map gives few monuments, but they (in the opinion) of the licensed surveyor fit within reason, and the client needs a setback line for in this case a garage, according to some surveyors, this would trigger a CR or RS. When asked if they have set 20 & 80 POL's on a new subdivision or R/W fence lines on easements such as water canals, they admit they have, but need not file CR's or RS's because ? ? ?,
    This leads me to believe that this particular surveyors association is more interested in protecting market share and pricing in their jurisdiction then in fact helping the common consumer.

    They use their position to promote complaints against non-members (as far as I can tell, as I have asked them, but they don't want to talk about it)

    To avoid future problems the only practical thing to do is of course file CR and RS's, which of course drives up prices to consumers who really don't care for the CR or RS. I'm talking about informed decisions by the consumer, not trying to pull the wool over their eyes, as of course I offer the CR and RS options, but they ask me if they actually need them, my honest answer has been no, and I believe that surveyors who would add services not needed to bring up billing are being dishonest, and association who cast judgement on surveyors saving consumers money, and actually giving the public good reason to use our services doing something all the firms in Southern California have been doing for the 33 years I have worked in the industry.
    • Interestingly, I approached this as a potential LS exam question. The only reference I could find refering to a "pont on a line" in the LS Act B&P Code 8762 and presuming the few found monuments had been or were properly previously recorded as part of a ROS, subsection b-4. states; " The establishment of one or more points on lines not shown on any subdivision map, official map, or Record of Survey, the position of which are not ascertainable from an inspection of the subdivision map, official map, or Record of Survey." This would seem to me be applicable to you're setback pol. I COULD BE WRONG!
      Although I feel your pain regarding stake chasers.
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