Friday, February 15, 2013

When Should a Surveyor Record?

Been having an interesting conversation lately about when the 90-day clock according to ARS 33-105 should kick in.  Here is the statute:

33-105Recording of certain land surveys; contentsA. A land surveyor shall file a record of a land survey not later than ninety days after its completion with the county recorder of the county where the land is located if such survey establishes points or lines relating to land boundaries or property lines disclosing:
1. A material discrepancy based on the accuracy requirements of the current survey which, in whole or in part, does not appear on any map or record previously recorded or filed with the county recorder, county engineer, highway division of the department of transportation or the United States bureau of land management.
2. Evidence that, by reasonable analysis, might result in alternate positions of lines or points.
B. The record of survey shall be a reproducible map, legibly drawn, printed or reproduced by a process assuring a permanent record as required by section 11-481.
C. The record of survey map shall show:
1. All monuments found, set, removed, reset or replaced, the kind, size and location of such monuments and all other data relating to such monuments.
2. Bearing and basis of bearings and length of lines to the nearest one one-hundredth of a foot and ties to witness monuments. Other record data may be shown in chains, varas or other units of measurement as implemented by older surveys.
3. Dates of survey, scale of map and north arrow or other means of orientation.
4. Name or designation of tract or grant in which the survey is located, ties to adjoining tracts or grants and section or sections, township, range and political subdivision of this state.
5. Any other data necessary for the intelligent interpretation of the various items and locations of the points, lines and areas shown.
D. The record of survey shall be securely fastened by the county recorder into a separate book provided for that purpose. The county recorder shall keep proper indices of such record of survey by the name of grant, tract, subdivision or cadastral subdivisions by United States bureau of land management or general land office.

I believe the 90-day clock starts when either you set a monument or find a monument that is not of record.  So to expand that; here is my thought.  I believe that when a Land Surveyor sets monuments the final boundary determination is made.  Therefore the clock should start then.  What happens to projects for government agencies, subdivisions, and minor land splits; they should be subject to the 90-days because of the agency review they are subject to.

Why should clock start at monumentation?  Simple, that is when the notice is given to the adjoining property owners and the subject property. However there is some debate about when a project is considered complete.  When the plat is signed and sealed? When the final bill is paid?  When it is returned and approved  an agency? To these I say no.  The boundary survey is complete when the boundary determination is made and monumented.  The plat is only a representation of how we derived our conclusion.  The monuments are the conclusion; therefore they should rule the day.  Consider this; the landowners immediately impacted by the survey will rely on the physical monument either to live by or in some cases steal by.  It has been my experience that the only people who routinely place any value on a Record of Survey are Surveyors, Title Companies, and Lenders.  Nobody else really cares.  In fact if you (the practicing surveyor) were to call a client from a year ago and ask if they knew where a copy of their Record of Survey, you did for them was, they would tell probably say I don't know.  But if you drove up and said "show me the monument I set for you last year" they would probably walk you right over to it.  Now you could argue that same scenario as a reason to avoid recordation at all.  Yes but then you'd forget the reason for recordation in the first place.  It is so we can stop reinventing the wheel everytime someone needs a survey.  Recording surveys benefits title companies, other surveyors, lenders, and anyone else interested in spatial data.  Yet as far as the Record of Survey is concerned the person it benefits most, the land owner, is the one who cares least.

Today one of our own has been laid to rest.  Dave Preisch of Tucson.  Via Con Dios.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Out with the Old in with the New

Over the years dad and I have accumulated quite a bit of equipment.  Most of it is from the era of traversing and we had to take stock in the situation.  We are hard pressed to throw any thing away simply because replacement parts are hard to come by.  Plus the nearset survey supply store is 200 plus miles away.  So we we were sitting in the office and decided to see what was useful and what wasn't.  We had on hand a set of Topcon Legacy RTK equipment, pre bluetooth that we don't use.  A set of Hyper plus RTK equipment that is gathering dust.  We have become a trimble shop so the Topcon stuff was laying around doing nothing but taking up space.

We concluded that we should make the Topcon equipment work for us so we traded it for a Robotic Total station.  I can not wait to get my hands on it.  I was a little disappointted that the Topcon gear didn't fetch a higher trade in but it is Pre L2C so it is only a matter of time before it is KAPUT.  Plus we found out the "local" Topcon dealer would no longer support the legacy or the hyper so the decision was easy.

I wish the equipment dealers were a little more understanding but they are in the business of making money selling thelatest and greatest gizmoes.  When the equipment relies on computer systems and such it is a little hard to keep up when they decide to no longer support the old technology and adopt new.  So here we are.  At least we can make the older gear work for us to aquire a robotic total station.  It seems that will be of some benefit rather than sitting in the office not being used at all.  So it will be somewhat of a win if at all.

I really hate trying to keep up with the technology race but some times you just have to.