Page 13 - ESS FALL 2023-2
P. 13

Continued from previous page
        SOME SURVEY PRACTICES PRIOR TO THE SURVEY              amount of line clearing and tedious measurements in the steep and diverse
        RECORDING ACT:                                         terrain. Given the considerable cost to survey just one parcel within a sec-
                                                               tion it was common practice for surveyors to take a loss on the first bound-
           Although it was standard practice to provide a map of your boundary   ary survey within a section and then gamble on making up for that loss by
        survey to your client upon completion of your survey there were no re-  getting subsequent parcel surveys within that section. Accordingly, many
        quirements as to size or what they map should show. It could vary in size   surveyors considered their records of these surveys to be proprietary, their
        from 8-1/2” x 11” to 42” X 42” and anywhere in between. Dimensions to   drawings often showing only the boundaries of the property but providing
        the controlling monuments, if shown at all, were usually minimal. It was   no clue as to how these positions were determined in case their map fell
        assumed, and probably rightfully so, that your client really only cared   into the hands of another surveyor.
        about their “box”, not how you got there. Just show them the dimensions   If another landowner in a section was unhappy with the results of their
        of their property and where and what corners and what line points were   neighbor’s survey, they had to obtain a survey from another surveyor to
        set, and how it all relates to existing fences, and go collect your check.   challenge the first. This, of course, required another very expensive
                                                                    section subdivision by the second surveyor. The cumulative result
                                                                    of these sort of activities was strong criticism of surveyors for the
                                                                    cost of their surveys.
                                                                      The inability to obtain and compare private survey records led to
                                                                    a lot of duplication of research and field survey efforts, to disputes
                                                                    between surveyors and to unnecessary costs to landowners. The
                                                                    publics image of surveyors suffered as well. Why can’t any two
                                                                    surveyors agree?
                                                                    WASHINGTON SURVEYORS BEGIN EXPLOR-
                                                                    ING SURVEY RECORDING:
                                                                      1966 – The records of LSAW include a report by Floyd Hancock,
                                                                    Chair, Legislative  Committee  entitled  “Compilation  of past dis-
                                                                    cussions: A.) Recording of all metes and bounds surveys – 1964.”
                                                                    EDITORS NOTE: This is the first mention I found in the LSAW
                                                                    records pertaining to the recording of surveys. Apparently, there
                                                                    was some rudimentary discussions regarding recordation in 1964.
                                                                      1967 – The records of LSAW include “Technical Standards for
                                                                    Property Surveys” suggesting “a map of the survey should be re-
                                                                    corded in the public office in accordance with the provisions or
                                                                    permissions of the law in the particular state in which the survey
                                                                    was made.” These appear to be proposed standards issued by the
                                                                    Land Survey Division of ACSM .
                                                                      The Bureau of Surveys and Maps explores the idea of requiring
                                                                    certain maps to be recorded as part of their mandate to preserve
                                                                    survey monuments and approaches LSAW to come with some ideas
                                                                    regarding a survey recording law. LSAW begins to look at other
                                                                    state laws, in particular California and Oregon. At the time Ore-
                                                                    gon’s law wasn’t truly a survey recording law but California’s law
                                                                    was quite detailed.
                                                                      June 1967 - Leroy Middleton visits with the California Land
                                                                    Surveyors Association to assess how their recording law is working
                                                                    and gather information for the formulation of a similar act for the
                                                                    State of Washington.
                                                                      June – Nov. 1967 – The first draft of a proposed WA State Sur-
                       A 1965 boundary survey map              vey Recording Act is floated amongst some of the members of the LSAW.
                                                               It is modeled after California but excludes their requirement for a county
                                                               surveyor review of surveys since not every county in Washington has a
          There were no standards for corner markers and no requirement for   county surveyor.
        identification. Surveyors used a variety of materials ranging from car ax-
        les, rocket pipe, iron pipes, rebars, etc… A few questionable surveyors   November 30, 1967 – Date of Revision No. 1 of the proposed SRA is
        commonly set offsets to their client’s corners rather than the actual cor-  presented. No copy found.
        ners. Those offsets would only be revealed on their clients’ survey map.   January 11, 1968 – Taken into account some comments, Revision No.
        Only the surveyor and the client knew how the offsets related to the actual
        corner position. Another surveyor encountering such offsets would have   2 of the proposed SRA is completed. It includes a provision for taking
        to do some serious head scratching as to who set the corners and why   oaths, specifies an 18” x 22” map and a 1-inch margin on the left edge.
        their survey wasn’t fitting them. They however could often identify the   There is no mention of “boundaries common to two or more ownerships”
        surveyor by the type of corner markers used. Each surveyor had their own   and no penalty for non-compliance.
        “signature” type of corner marker. If you were lucky you might get a copy   Jan. 19, 1968 – The LSAW Board of Trustees approves the verbiage of
        of the owner’s survey map. It even helped sometimes. While surveyors   the proposed bill and distribution to all LSAW members.
        would call each other for information, some surveyors weren’t exactly
        forthcoming or timely in their response.                 September 17, 1968 – Letter from Leroy Middleton, PLS to Robert
                                                               Jones, PLS, President LSAW:
          In the mid-1960s surveys requiring the subdivision of sections, particu-
        larly in Western Washington, were very expensive due to the tremendous                Continued on next page

        www . LSA W. or g                                                                                         13
   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18