A type of land survey that verifies and determines the property lines of a tract of land as described in the deed is called a boundary survey. Boundary surveys involve meticulous analysis, research, and precise assessment of the legal boundary positions of a property by means of reports from earlier surveys, historical information of the property from publicly documented official records, measurements of the dimensions of the land, surveying markers placed at property corners, and with the proficiency of a skilled licensed surveyor. A boundary survey can furthermore reveal any likely encroachments, scope of any easements, or specify any limitations enforced by the state or local regulations on the property.
After some time, property owners forget the exact location of their property corners or property lines and a boundary survey is needed to confirm the information on the title deed. The property markers or monuments may have been repositioned, transferred, concealed from view, or even taken away. Boundary surveys are usually performed prior to improving, building, subdividing, or buying a property to prevent any nuisance and expenses of boundary disagreements, court proceedings, or making the mistake of building a fence or structure that is too close or even on the adjacent property.
Objectives of a Boundary Survey
As a requirement for individuals and/or companies buying or selling properties
Establish any easements and discover possible encroachments on or within the property
New commercial site
Resolve disputes concerning boundaries
Sale of business properties
Setting up boundary lines for fences
Splitting a big land
To locate lost or concealed lot corners
To reinstate the boundary lines of existing properties
All boundary surveys are performed by skilled and certified land surveyors who possess adequate skills and education, and adequate understanding on the subject of the laws and regulations involving property boundary concerns like for example property developments and apportionments.
Below are the procedures that boundary surveyors do:
1. Consultation and discussion with the client (client’s objective, property location and description, any questions or concerns about the survey).
2. Research (property records, historical deeds, as well as other significant documents describing the location and rights associated with the property).
3. Field work (finding boundary markers or evidence such as walls, monuments, iron pipes or rods, fences, etc).
4. Calculation and examination of information and facts gathered in field work.
5. Reinstating property’s boundary lines either by restoring existing markers found or adding of new markers on the property in cases where no monuments previously exist.
6. Design of a concluding boundary survey map explaining the essential facts and results of the survey, with the seal and signature of the professional land surveyor attached.
7. The completed boundary survey map will be handed over to the client and to the local registrar of deeds.
A boundary survey requires a detailed research and study of the property to set up the dimension, area, and location of a particular parcel of land. It involves meticulous study and retracing of the land title to establish physical proof of boundary lines, and finished with a final survey map in agreement with the requirements of the state board and legal regulations. Boundary surveys are performed best by accredited and skilled land surveyors who have a complete understanding and knowledge of the rules, procedures, and laws about boundary surveying.
Lot splits are the legal division or splitting up of developed or undeveloped land into two or more sub-lots or tracts to separate ownership or for current or future sale, lease, or financing purposes. The divided lot or lots should not be in excess of one block of a registered subdivision and must not include any expansion, opening, narrowing, vacating, or altering the arrangement of any main road, alley, street, right-of-way, or easement. The majority of land surveys for lot splits include lot split plats of the new parcels that provide legal description required to record the split. Just about all lot splits/divisions need governmental evaluation and authorization.
The two most important factors to consider when splitting a lot is the location of the property and the zoning guidelines of the municipality or county. In addition, there are several criteria that must be met for lot-splits to be allowed by the Subdivision regulations and standards, and these are:
direct access to a main street or county road must be provided
each respective lot should be fronting an existing street or road at a minimum of thirty (30) feet
lot splitting must not affect any existing service facilities or require additional ones
lot splitting must not consist of a new road, alley, or street
sufficient easement or right-of-way access for utility companies
the design of private thoroughfares and associated easements must be forwarded to the local Planning Commission for review and approval and must be in compliance with the State laws governing such features
the frontage should comply with the proper zoning description of frontage and right of entry requirements
the resulting tracts of land or sub-lots should not be more than ten (10) acres
there must be adequate space to appropriately accommodate a proper sewage disposal system
vacating or closing any easements, alleys, streets, or setback lines must not be proposed or required
The governing body of every municipality, town, city or county shall regulate the lot splits. However, they can only control the area, shape, and dividing lines or boundaries of the sub-lots but not the terms and conditions of lease or sale of the land. Hiring a professional consultant is highly recommended so as to manage the numerous steps involved to carry out the lot split. Examples of the steps involved would be filing an environmental report, authorizing a traffic study, etc.
In some States, a Tentative Parcel Map (TPM) is required for a land to be split into smaller lots. To get a Tentative Parcel Map, a Registered Civil Engineer or a Licensed Land Surveyor will have to submit an application to the municipality or county’s Planning Department. The zoning regulations and Department of Environmental Health (DEH) will specify the minimum size allowed for lot splits.