Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 10. Board For Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers And Landscape Architects
Chapter 20. Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects Regulations

18VAC10-20-370. Minimum standards and procedures for land boundary surveying practice.

A. The minimum standards and procedures set forth in this section are to be used for land boundary surveys performed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The application of the professional's seal, signature, and date as required by these regulations shall be evidence that the land boundary survey is correct to the best of the professional's knowledge, information, and belief and complies with the minimum standards and procedures set forth in this chapter.

B. Research procedure. The professional shall search the land records for the proper description of the land to be surveyed and obtain the description of adjoining land as it pertains to the common boundaries. The professional shall have the additional responsibility to utilize such other available data pertinent to the survey being performed from any other known sources. Evidence found from all known sources, including evidence found in the field, shall be carefully compared in order to aid in the establishment of the correct boundaries of the land being surveyed. The professional shall clearly identify on the plats, maps, and reports inconsistencies found in the research of common boundaries between the land being surveyed and the adjoining land. It is not the intent of this regulation to require the professional to research the question of title or encumbrances on the land involved.

C. Minimum field procedures.

1. Angular measurement. Angle measurements made for traverse or land boundary survey lines will be made by using a properly adjusted transit-type instrument that allows a direct reading to a minimum accuracy of 20 seconds of arc or equivalent. The number of angles turned at a given station or corner will be the number that, in the judgment of the professional, can be used to substantiate the average true angle considering the condition of the instrument being used and the existing field conditions.

2. Linear measurement. Distance measurement for the lines of traverse or lines of the land boundary survey shall be made (i) with metal tapes that have been checked and are properly calibrated as to incremental distances or (ii) with properly calibrated electronic distance measuring equipment following instructions and procedures established by the manufacturer of such equipment. All linear measurements shall be reduced to the horizontal plane, and other necessary corrections shall be performed before using such linear measurements for computing purposes.

3. Field traverse and land boundary closure and accuracy standards. For a land boundary survey located in a rural area, the maximum permissible error of closure for a field traverse shall be one part in 10,000 (1/10,000). The attendant angular closure shall be that which will sustain the one part in 10,000 (1/10,000) maximum error of closure. For a land boundary survey located in an urban area, the maximum permissible error of closure for a traverse shall be one part in 20,000 (1/20,000). The attendant angular closure shall be that which will sustain the one part in 20,000 (1/20,000) maximum error of closure.

The maximum permissible positional uncertainty based on the 95% confidence level of any independent boundary corner or independent point located on a boundary that has been established by utilizing global positioning systems shall not exceed the positional tolerance of 0.07 feet (or 20 mm %2B 50 ppm).

4. Monumentation. As a requisite for completion of the work product, each land boundary survey of a tract or parcel of land shall be monumented with objects made of permanent material at all corners and changes of direction on the land boundary with the exceptions of meanders, such as meanders of streams, tidelands, lakes, swamps and prescriptive rights-of-way, and each such monument, other than a natural monument, shall, when physically feasible, be identified by a temporary witness marker. Where it is not physically feasible to set actual corners, appropriate reference monuments shall be set, preferably on line, and the location of each shall be shown on the plat or map of the land boundary.

All boundaries, both exterior and interior, of the original survey for any division or partition of land shall be monumented in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision, when such monumentation is not otherwise regulated by the provisions of a local subdivision ordinance.

5. For land boundary surveys providing for a division when only the division, in lieu of the entire parcel, is being surveyed, any new corners established along existing property lines shall require that those existing property lines be established through their entire length. This shall include the recovery or reestablishment of the existing corners for each end of the existing property lines.

D. Office procedures.

1. Computations. The computation of field work data shall be accomplished by using the mathematical routines that produce closures and mathematical results that can be compared with descriptions and data of record. Such computations shall be used to determine the final land boundary of the land involved.

2. Plats and maps. The following information shall be shown on all plats and maps used to depict the results of the land boundary survey:

a. The title of the land boundary plat identifying the land surveyed and showing the district, town, and county or city in which the land is located and scale of drawing.

b. The name of the owner of record and recording references.

c. Names of all adjoining owners of record with recording references, or with subdivision name and lot designations and recording references.

d. Inconsistencies found in the research of common boundaries between the land being surveyed and the adjoining land. The inconsistencies shall be clearly noted by the professional.

e. Names of highways and roads with route number and widths of right-of-way or distance to the center of the physical pavement and pavement width, name of railroads, streams adjoining, crossing, or in close proximity to the boundary and other prominent or well-known objects that are informative as to the location of the land boundary.

f. A distance to the nearest road intersection or prominent or well-known object. In cases of remote areas, a scaled position with the latitude and longitude must be provided.

g. Items crossing any property lines such as, but not limited to, physical encroachments and evidence of easements such as utilities and other physical features pertinent to the boundary of the property.

h. Bearings of all property lines and meanders to nearest one second of arc or equivalent.

i. Adequate curve data to accomplish mathematical closures.

j. Distances of all property lines and meanders to the nearest one hundredth (.01) of a foot or equivalent.

k. Pursuant to subdivision C 5 of this section, the bearing and distances from the new corners to the existing corners on each end of the existing property lines.

l. For property located in rural areas, area to the nearest hundredth (.01) of an acre or equivalent.

m. For property located in urban areas, area to the nearest square foot or thousandth (0.001) of an acre or equivalent.

n. North arrow and source of meridian used for the survey.

o. For interior surveys, a reference bearing and distance to a property corner of an adjoining owner or other prominent object, including intersecting streets or roads.

p. Tax map designation or geographic parcel identification number if available, for surveyed parcel and adjoining parcels.

q. Description of each monument found and each monument set by the professional.

r. A statement that the land boundary survey shown is based on a current field survey or a compilation from deeds, plats, surveys by others, or combination thereof. If the land boundary shown is a compilation from deeds or plats, or a survey by others, the title of the plat shall clearly depict that the plat does not represent a current land boundary survey.

s. A statement as to whether a current title report has been furnished to the professional.

t. A statement as to whether any or all easements, encroachments, and improvements are shown on the plat.

u. Name , address, and contact information for the land surveyor or the registered business.

v. The professional's seal, signature and date.

3. Metes and bounds description. The professional shall prepare a metes and bounds description in narrative form, if requested by the client or the client's agent, for completion of any newly performed land boundary survey. The description shall reflect all metes and bounds, the area of the property described, all pertinent monumentation, names of record owners or other appropriate identification of all adjoiners, and any other data or information deemed as warranted to properly describe the property. Customarily, the metes and bounds shall be recited in a clockwise direction around the property. The professional shall clearly identify in the metes and bounds description any inconsistencies found in the research of common boundaries between land being surveyed and the adjoining land. For subdivisions, the professional shall prepare a metes and bounds description in narrative form for only the exterior boundaries of the property.

No metes and bounds description shall be required for the verification or resetting of the corners of a lot or other parcel of land in accordance with a previously performed land boundary survey, such as a lot in a subdivision where it is unnecessary to revise the record boundaries of the lot.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-404 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR130-01-2 § 5.10, eff. October 18, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 8, eff. March 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 20, eff. September 1, 1990; Volume 7, Issue 14, eff. May 8, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 7, eff. February 1, 1992; Volume 10, Issue 15, eff. May 19, 1994; Volume 13, Issue 23, eff. October 1, 1997; Volume 18, Issue 7, eff. March 1, 2002; Errata, 18:10 VA.R. 1342 January 28, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 1, eff. February 1, 2007; Volume 32, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 24, eff. September 2, 2021.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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