SB 1468: Surveyors want entry into any private property that has not hired their services

This is another bill that needs more deliberations and disclosure to the public at large. The most-affected stakeholder – the private property owners – deserve to be in this legislative process prior to any adoption of such bills. (The Honolulu Department of Design and Construction (DDC) ” respectfully supports ” this Bill.)

SB 1468 ” Authorizes professional land surveyors, and any assistant under the direct supervision of the land surveyor, to enter any private property to perform land surveying, subject to certain provisions regarding notice and identification. Shields land surveyors and their assistants from prosecution under criminal trespass laws when performing their duties. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2)”

Screenshot from https://mjslandsurvey.com/about-scalice-land-surveying/

For clarifications: Subject Property – hires the surveyor.

Non-Subject Property – does not hire the surveyor but surveyor wants right of entry.

Here are some comments and questions:

  1. SB 1458 “Shields land surveyors and their assistants from prosecution under criminal trespass laws when performing their duties.”
  2. On the other side of the coin, what about the liability of the private property owners who did not hire these surveyors but are forced to provide entry to the surveyors? What happens if a surveyor is bitten by a dog, or trips on a rock and break a leg, or is attacked by a swarm of bees or has a heart attack on the non-subject property?
  3. This Bill is an over-reaching and over-arching demand of right-of-entry to any property in Hawaii.
  4. What about the privacy of the non-subject property owners? Is their property not their castle?
  5. Why this request this year? There are actually more technology options for surveyors now to map out properties.
  6. Why do surveyors need to enter another non-subject property when surveyors already have full access to the subject property that hire them?
  7. Surveyors can perform, stake the pins, and complete work on the Subject Project. The first point of reference is usually on public places like a road or highway.
  8. Surveyors have worked in this industry for ages without asking for entry into any property that do not hire their services. Polite and respectful surveyors usually have no problems with adjacent property owners should there be a need for an adjustment of some sort.
  9. Non-subject Property owners could be on vacation, have kupuna, teenagers, children, tenants, pets, guard dogs, expensive stack of surf boards, and so on that need to be considered.
  10. How can another non-subject property trust surveyors they have not hired for the job? This is opening a new can of worm for personal security of property owners. Already we have criminals who are bold enough to pose as a policeman.
  11. Are the outside party surveyors going to pay for the non-subject property owner’s time to be present, on their own private property?
  12. The beneficiary of this are the surveyors. Just a written notice to the non-subject property owners is very assuming and autocratic. Sending a written notice is insufficient. The US Post Office is unreliable. Or an owner may have a PO Box office that is not checked regularly. The owners may not read or understand English. This should read: the real property to be surveyed after providing a landowner with written notice not less than 30 days before the proposed date of entry to the non-subject property and only upon a written approval receipt from the rightful owner(s).
  13. Again, the surveyors are the beneficiaries. It’s wrong to imply approval just because the surveyors have not received a timely objection. These unsolicited requirements on private property owners takes time, effort and costs. It’s a huge inconvenience. As discussed in #10, there could be a litany of reasons why the owners may not know what’s going on. The result should be the other way around. If the surveyor does not received a written approval, it’s a “No, no approval” to enter private property. (4) A statement that the landowner may refuse entry by making a timely written objection; and(5) A statement of the date, time, and method by which a landowner may object.
  14. This again disenfranchises the private property owner who is not benefitting from these actions. The surveyor is asking for a favor. Unless the surveyor receives a written approval from the non-subject property owner, it must be considered a ” non approval” to gain entry. Also using a certified mail is insufficient notice; it must include a USPO signed RETURN CERTIFICATE from the rightful owner in this context sentence. “Written notice shall be sent to the last known address of the landowner of, or person with an interest in, the real property to be surveyed and the landowner or occupier of adjoining lands to be accessed; provided that notice sent by certified mail shall be deemed sufficient notice.

REFERENCES: This are excerpts relating to ” subject to certain provisions regarding notice and identification” as printed in this Bill:

Page 2 Ҥ464- Professional land surveyor right of entry to
private property; notification; identification; liability
. (a)
A professional land surveyor licensed pursuant to this chapter,
and any assistant under the direct supervision of the land
surveyor, may enter the private property of the landowner of the
real property to be surveyed and any adjoining lands at
reasonable times to perform land surveying at the request of the
landowner of, or person with an interest in, the real property
to be surveyed after providing a landowner with written notice
not less than ????? days before the proposed date of entry. The
written notice shall include:
(l) The date and time the entry shall occur;
(2) A description of the work to be performed;

Page 3 (3) The approximate duration of the entry;
(4) A statement that the landowner may refuse entry by
making a timely written objection; and
(5) A statement of the date, time, and method by which a
landowner may object.

Any objection shall be expressly communicated to the land
surveyor in writing no later than ????? hours before the date the
survey work is to be performed. If a landowner makes a timely
objection, a professional land surveyor shall not be authorized
to enter the private property of the objecting landowner
pursuant to this section.

(b) The land surveyor shall give at least ten days written
notice of the intention to enter the private property on which
the land surveying is to be performed when the land surveying
may involve adjoining lands. The written notice shall include:

(l) The name of the landowner of, or person with an
interest in, the real property to be surveyed and the
name of the landowner or occupier of adjoining lands
to be accessed;
(2) The date and time the survey work is proposed to be
performed; and

Page 4 (3) The name and contact information of the land surveyor
that will perform the work.
Written notice shall be sent to the last known address of the
landowner of, or person with an interest in, the real property
to be surveyed and the landowner or occupier of adjoining lands
to be accessed; provided that notice sent by certified mail
shall be deemed sufficient notice.

When the landowner or person with interest in a property
involved in the survey, including adjoining lands to be
accessed, gives notice to the surveyor that the surveying may
disrupt or interfere with operations on the properties involved,
the surveyor shall meet with the landowners or persons with an
interest in the properties to negotiate a mutually agreeable
date and time to perform the land surveying. (c) The land surveyor shall carry a government-issued
photo identification, and the land surveyor’s:

(l) Certificate of licensure with the license number
issued pursuant to this Chapter, or a facsimile
thereof; or
(2) Seal or stamp, or facsimile thereof, authorized
pursuant to section 464—11; and

Page 5

a copy of the notice submitted pursuant to this section.”

A lessee of the land or premises; or
(b) A professional land surveyor, or assistant under the
direct supervision of the land surveyor, who enters or
remains in or upon the land or premises of another,
after giving notice as required by section 464—
for the purpose of performing land surveying at the request of the landowner of, or person with an
interest in, the real property to be surveyed.”

Page 7: (b) A professional land surveyor, or assistant under the
direct supervision of the land surveyor, who enters or
remains in or upon the land or premises of another,
after giving notice as required by section 464-
for the purpose of performing land surveying at the
request of the landowner of, or person with an
interest in, the real property to be surveyed.”

Note the “Effective 7/1/2050” can be quickly amended to “This Act shall take effect upon its approval.”


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