Author: James Bruggeman P.L.S.
American Land Title Association® (ALTA®) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) have released the 2016 revision of the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys, effective date February 23, 2016. (The NSPS is the legal successor organization to the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).) This new version has replaced the 2011 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys.
The official redline edits to the 2011 standards are available for viewing. The redline edits formed the 2016 revision. To help you interpret the redline edits, CEC provides a marginal notation within this PDF for your convenience.
It is anticipated that the 2016 revised standards will resolve past questions and communication issues that have occurred between surveyors, title companies, clients, and lenders. As with all previous versions, the standards of the state in which the property is located may require additional items. To view the 2016 revised standards in their finalized version, click here.
Changes to Table A, Optional Survey Responsibilities and Specifications
The 2016 version will revise and clarify a number of items in Table A, Optional Survey Responsibilities and Specifications. These are the aspects that directly affect the processes of the survey companies you might engage to perform the work. Highlights of the revisions include:
- A zoning report (Item 6) must be provided by the client before the surveyor can list or identify setback requirements, height and floor space restrictions, and parking requirements. As long as the zoning restrictions do not require interpretation by the surveyor, the surveyor will graphically show building setback requirements.
- Parking striping (Item 9) has been clarified to specifically identify disabled spaces.
- The 2011 standards gave two options for the location of utilities: by observed evidence (11a) and by observed evidence together with evidence of provided plans and markings combined to develop a view of the underground utilities (11b). For the 2016 standards, option 11a has been eliminated, and 11b is now identified as Item 11. Therefore, if selected, this option will require underground utilities to be depicted on the survey. It is further clarified that underground utilities shown on the survey must be considered approximate and may be incomplete as a result of the lack of response from the One Call Notification and should be noted accordingly. Since the depiction of underground utilities is now required under this option, the opening of manhole structures may be necessary to confirm underground connections in some cases.
- The use of property (formerly Item 18) as a solid waste dump, sump, or sanitary landfill has been removed.
- The location of wetlands (formerly Item 19, now Item 18) has been clarified to “a field delineation of wetlands conducted by a qualified specialist hired by the client.”
- Setting survey monuments for off-site easements (formerly Item 20b) that may benefit the surveyed property has been eliminated.
A copy of the new 2016 Table A, Optional Survey Responsibilities and Specifications is provided here.
If you have any questions or would like further interpretation on any of the 2016 revisions to the ALTA survey requirements, please contact the authors, Jim Bruggeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) can be reached at (800) 365-2324, or Jeff Miller, Survey practice lead, at email@example.com; (888) 598-6808 ext. 3339.