Rising Cost of Doing Business
The idea of private boundaries cheapens our work. We can't exercise our quasi-judicial functions under the cover of night.
So you define all surveys that don't produce a recorded plat as "secretive"? This is a poorly thought out idea. Mandatory recording is a new concept. Boundaries have been maintained in the Colonial tradition for millennia and were not consider secret until mandatory recording came about. The foundation of Common Law, as it relates to real property, is that tangible monumentation of the boundary is superior to all else. Recorded plats are nice, but they are not necessary. I record more surveys than not, but I place a high value on the right of my client to use the knowledge they paid for as they see fit.
If I set an iron, hack a tree thrice, and hang blue and pink flagging around it am I being secretive?
Far from quasi-judicial, the PLS in the mandatory recording state becomes quasi-administrative.
Fees aren't always high in recording states. I'm in one of the most populated counties in Iowa and the recording fee for a plat is $7 + $5 per additional page.
I've not worked in a non-recording state. But I do work in states where some would consider them non-recording. Seems to be a matter of degree.
I'm glad I don't have a $3000 fee to add to each existing lot survey that is already recorded.
We had one fellow who worked this general area for a few decades who simply would not record his plats or file section corner reports because he viewed all of that as being "HIS" private property. He assumed he could sell it all for a pile of gold when he retired. The small fraction of his work that made it into the records of the numerous courthouses is good work, based on solid rationale. If I called him directly and asked for info on a specific job, he would send it and maybe add in some nearby data on which he had also relied. I returned the favor. Apparently, one other firm did not reciprocate and he cut them off. Then they started to go after his license. The attempt failed. He never changed his ways. He has been slope staking on new streets of gold for over ten years now.
Met with a client today to expand an existing tract that was one created by this fellow. He is almost certain they ever received a drawing, just a description. I knew a surveyor had been involved, despite the absence of any proof in the courthouse, because of the dimensions and bearings. No homecooked description would seem so complex.
Surveying is a business. A good business man doesn't share information with his competitors. Not the way I roll but I've known many who roll that way.
edit: I see holy cow beat me to it 6 hours ago. Lol