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New Property Survey Standards

The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) recently issued new minimum standards for surveys that you can access here. The NSPS and ALTA each officially adopted these new standards in 2015, and they become effective on February 23, 2016.

Some notable changes include:

● The American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) is now to be known as the National Society of Professional Surveyors.
● There is now new guidance pertaining to the information that must be provided to the surveyor if available.
● There are new guidelines relating to the maximum allowable Relative Positional Precision and steps the surveyor must take if the maximum allowable Relative Positional Precision is exceeded.
● There are new requirements for depicting easements and right of ways observed by the surveyor on the ground but not disclosed to the surveyor.
● New descriptions of surveyed properties must now be accompanied by a statement explaining why the new description was required.
● Utility information is now mandatory.
● Neighboring property names are now optional.
● Water features within five feet of the perimeter boundary observed during fieldwork are now required to be shown (for example, springs, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, canals, ditches, marshes, and swamps).
● There is a new requirement that a zoning report must be provided to the surveyor by the client.
● Zoning reports must now contain setback information. If the setback information does not require interpretation by the surveyor then that information will be graphically depicted.

These new criteria will all help to ensure more accurate surveys, but I don’t expect that they will necessarily increase the cost of a survey.