Below are specifications for a Standard Land Survey by the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors. This type of survey is typically needed for purposes other than a Land Title transaction. This type of survey would be performed for the purpose of building a fence, locating protrusions or intrusions of the subject tract and adjoining tracts of land, locating improvements on the subject tract relative to the boundary or simply locating the subject tract on the ground. This type of survey is performed without the benefit of a Title Insurance policy or commitment. Easements, setback lines and other matters concerning the subject tract may or may not appear on the survey.
SPECIFICATIONS CATEGORY 1B
DEFINITION: A Standard Land Survey is defined as a study,investigation and evaluation of major factors affecting and influencing the location of the boundaries, ownership lines, and may include rights of way and easements within or surrounding a certain lot, parcel or quantity of real estate. Such study and evaluation will culminate in the deliberate location or relocation on the ground of the perimeters,division lines or boundaries and the determination of area on the certain lot, parcel or quantity or real estate. A Standard Land Survey is not for title insuring purposes, but is suitable for most any other purpose. This survey will not normally locate improvements, rights of way or easements within the surveyed site unless requested by the client or where such items appear to the surveyor in his professional judgement to indicate an encumbrance on the real estate. The practice of locating land boundaries requires the expert skill of a Registered Professional Land Surveyor well-versed in the science and art of boundary law and long-practiced in the mechanics of measuring and computing values pertaining to such surveys.
This includes the possibility of prescriptive or limitation rights. A Standard Land Survey is a means of marking such lines or boundaries for definition and identification
Thereby it uniquely locates each plot, parcel, lot, or other specific land area in relation to well recognized and established points of reference, adjoining properties and rights of way.
3.1 Purposes of this Specification: This specification shall be
used for the location of real property, for determining boundaries,
quantity or area, for preparing a written description or for
platting or mapping real estate as a professional service for the
public where title insurance is not the purpose of the survey.
3.2 Standard Land Surveys may include, but are not limited to the
proper location, monumentation, description or platting of the
following real estate:
3.2.1 Residential, commercial and industrial lots, tracts,
plots, blocks, sites or subdivisions.
3.2.2 Acreage tracts for homesites, farms and ranches.
3.2.3 Investment or commercial lands for production of
timber, crops, livestock, oil, gas, coal, or quarries, mines
or other excavations.
3.2.4 Public properties such as parks, beaches, lakes,
roads, streets, waterways, highways, and building sites.
3.2.5 Leases for commercial, agricultural, or industrial
3.2.6 Improved properties for the purpose of locating
buildings, utilities or other facilities in relation to the
4.1 Monuments set for all corners, points of curves or references
to property lines of the involved land (see Section 6 herein).
4.2 A signed, sealed and dated written description depicting the
new survey, as required (see Section l2 herein).
4.3 A signed, sealed, dated and certified map or plat depicting
the survey as made on the ground (see Section 10 herein).
4.4 As required, a written report of the surveyor's findings and
survey should be furnished by the client, his agent or acquired for the
client by the surveyor at an agreeable fee. Necessity of the following
data must be considered and evaluated by the surveyor: Copies of
documents relied upon should be maintained in the surveyors records.
Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
5.1 The most recent record instruments which define the location
of the subject, real property (including owners name or names and
5.2 The most recent recorded instruments which define the
location of the surrounding, or adjoining, real property
(including owner’s name and recording references).
5.3 The recorded easement or instrument (or unrecorded documents
of which the surveyor has knowledge) which define the location of
adjoining severing rights of way, particularly highways, roadways,
pipelines, or utility corridors and drainage or flood control
waterways (including grantees' names and recording references).
5.4 Surface leases. (Mineral leases when appropriate).
5.5 Permission to enter and survey on the land, preferably
5.6 Relevant data regarding special circumstances, such as
unrecorded easements, affidavits to ownership, judgments or court
decrees that may influence the property or ownership lines.
5.7 Claims against the property that may influence the location
of property or ownership lines such as possible limitation,
prescriptive rights, apparent intrusions or protrusions of
improvements or other parties in possession.
5.8 Names of tenants or parties in charge of the site.
5.9 Any grant, patent, subdivision plat, historical data,
covenants or other recorded data that will reference or influence
the position of the property lines.
5.10 In areas prone to flood, areas in flood plains or floodways
certain additional information may be required. (Note however,
inherent inaccuracies of FEMA or Flood Insurance Rate Maps prelude
a surveyor from certifying to the accuracies of locations based on
such maps. Certification to elevations derived from appropriate
benchmarks is not prohibited.)
SEC. 6MONUMENTS: Monuments set or called for, whether artificial or
natural, references or witnesses, shall represent the footsteps of the
surveyor and his professional opinion as to the proper location of the
point or corner. Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
6.1 Artificial monuments: An artificial monument considered
permanent shall be construed as any mark or marker of relative
permanence that if left undisturbed will remain in place for a
period of at least 25 years. Monuments must be set at sufficient
depth to retain a stable and distinctive location and be of
sufficient size to withstand the deteriorating forces of nature.
Monuments shall be set in such fashion as to remain stable.
6.1.1 Monument material: Material for monuments shall be
chosen in regard to the terrain and situation that exists at
the site of the survey. Consideration should be given to the
following guidelines and the natural erosive forces that will
work against the monument for decades to come.
220.127.116.11 Wooden stakes should only be used with
18.104.22.168 Iron or steel bars or rods for monuments shall
be a minimum size of 1/2" in diameter by 24" long.
Longer bars or rods should be used in soft soil to
insure stability of the monument. Where rocky or caliche
soils prevent specified lengths, the rod should be driven
to refusal at such depths where it will remain stable.
22.214.171.124 Iron pipes for monuments should be a minimum of
1/2" inside diameter and 24" long. Longer pipes shall be
used in soft soil to insure stability of the monument.
All iron pipes should be sized by the inside diameter.
Where rocky or caliche soils prevent the use of the
specified lengths, the shorter pipe should be driven to
refusal at such depths where it will remain stable.
126.96.36.199 Non-ferrous metal monuments shall be equal to
requirements for iron rods or iron pipes.
188.8.131.52 Precast reinforced concrete monuments shall have
a precise station mark such as a center punch or cross
embedded in the cap.
184.108.40.206 Poured in place concrete monuments shall contain
a precise station mark (as in 220.127.116.11) and be reinforced
with at least 1/4" or larger iron rods or pipe.
18.104.22.168 Other monumentation such as drill holes,
chiselled marks in stone, concrete or steel, punch marks,
precast bronze discs, etc., shall be of sufficient size,
diameter or depth to be definitive, stable, and readily
identified as a survey marker. Objects upon which such
marks or makers are placed shall be of a stable and
permanent nature greater than equal those of iron pipes
or iron rods.
6.1.2 Monument placement: All monuments for corners, for
witness points, points of curve, etc., shall be set vertically
whenever possible and shall be reasonably flush with the earth
or ground surface. Monuments subject to construction damage
or total destruction shall be referenced to objects that will
survive or buried deep enough to offer protection from earth
grading or destructive machinery.
6.1.3 Monument identification: Consideration should be given
to the following guidelines:
22.214.171.124 Monuments may be identified by code numbers or
letters for brevity and easy recognition. Monuments may
be identified by names of specific corners.
126.96.36.199 Monuments shall be identified by appropriate
caps, imprinted with surveyor's registration number or
188.8.131.52 The size, shape and substance or construction
material of each monument shall be duly recorded in the
field notes and recited in the survey description and
noted on the map, plat, or drawing.
184.108.40.206 When possible, monuments shall be referenced
to prominent nearby objects and the information recorded
in the description of the survey. Where permissible and
feasible, witness trees should be marked facing the
corner. Before marking any tree, the surveyor must
consider the probability of his liability for defacing
valuable private property. Only healthy witness trees,
a minimum of 6" diameter, breast high (D.B.H.)should be
used. Each witness tree shall be described by species,
diameter, and type of markings.
6.2 Natural or physical monuments: Natural monuments are the
permanent objects which are the works of nature, such as streams,
rivers, ponds, lakes, bays, trees, ledges, rock outcrops and other
definitive terrestrial features.
6.2.1 Tree for corner: A tree standing at a corner may be
marked only when permissible and then shall be marked with
care to be reasonably certain of creating only superficial
damage to the tree. Such blazing shall penetrate the bark and
leave an open vertical cut no wider than three inches and no
longer than ten inches. Tree for corner will be marked with
4-way blazes (Blazed on all 4 sides).
6.2.2 Mark boundary line trees only when permission is
received from appropriate authority.
220.127.116.11 Trees on boundary line (line trees) will be
face-blazed with one hack above and one hack below, on
opposite sides of the tree.
18.104.22.168 Trees on each side of the boundary line (within
about three feet)will be hacked with three hacks facing
the line and face-blazed on opposite sides of the tree.
Standard Land Survey; see Section III E of Standards for appropriate
and in addition refer to the tolerance chart for this Category.
with accepted technical methods as expressed in standard textbooks on
surveying theory, practice and procedures. Any textbook used for the
purpose of surveying instruction by an accredited university, college,
or junior college in the state of Texas will be considered a satisfactory
text for this purpose. Any person in charge of a survey field party
shall be well-trained in these technical aspects of surveying. The
Registered Professional Land Surveyor is additionally charged with the
responsibility of adhering to the following requirements: Also see
applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
9.1 Surveying instruments shall be kept in close adjustment
according to manufacturers’ specifications or in compliance to
9.2 Steel tapes (chains) used for boundary measurements shall be
calibrated at intervals sufficient to obtain the tolerance
required. Such calibration shall be traceable to the U.S. Bureau
of Standards National Institute for Standards and Technology
through appropriate certificates or documentation.
9.3 Electronic distance measuring devices shall be calibrated at
intervals sufficient to obtain the tolerances required. Such
calibration shall be traceable to the U.S. Bureau of Standards
National Institute for Standards and Technology through appropriate
prisms, and accessories be maintained as a matched set.
9.4 Field measurements of angles and distances shall be done in
such fashion as to satisfy the closures and tolerances expressed
in Section 8, herein.
9.5 Where special surveys for vertical or horizontal control are
required as a base for a land boundary survey, refer to Categories
7 and 8 of these specifications or to relevant, special
publications from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Department
of Interior or the Department of the Army on the special subject
matter. These are considered as satisfactory texts to define
acceptable field methods. Control by remote sensing or other
indirect methods may be employed, provided:
9.5.1 Aerial Photogrammetry shall be field checked to
sufficiently verify values for any incorporated data;
9.5.2 Satellite reliant or global positioning system (GPS)
control should be performed in accordance with special
publications on the subject and appropriate rules of boundary
9.6 Special consideration shall be afforded the rules of evidence,
footsteps of the original surveyor, and "dignity of calls" before
a decision is made as to locating on the ground any property,
tract, survey, or grant line. The best evidence and intentions of
the parties shall be sought out according to accepted surveying
procedures and as documented in standard textbooks on the legal
aspects of surveying. Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this
9.7 Corners or monuments called for in the relevant deeds to the
land to be surveyed, including those of adjoining property
affecting the location of the boundaries of the land to be surveyed
shall, be physically searched for in a methodical and meticulous
fashion. The use of magnetic or electronic locators is encouraged
and strongly recommended. Each corner or monument recovered shall
be evaluated as to its agreement by description and location with
the calls in the relevant deeds.
9.8 Easements of record or indications of possible easements that
are visible without meticulous searching shall be physically
located during the survey. Such items may include, not limited to,
overhead power, telephone or signal lines, roadbeds, car trails,
or pipe line routes through timber or pipeline markers, buried
cable markers or signs, new excavations. Any additional searching
for non-visible easements such as pipelines in open fields should
be negotiated with the client for the additional work and use of
9.9 Apparent conflicts, protrusions and evidence of prescriptive
or limitation rights along the perimeter boundaries of the tract
shall be physically located.
9.10 Field data shall be gathered to satisfy or exceed the
requirements for Section 8, and Section 10, herein.
SEC. 10PLATS, MAPS, AND DRAWINGS: Land Title Surveys shall be
represented by a reproducible plat, map or drawing at a suitable scale
to depict the results and details of the field work, computation,
research, and record information, as compiled and checked. Also see
applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
10.1 Any reasonably stable-base, standard drawing paper, linen or
film of reproducible quality is considered as suitable material for
Standard Land Survey plats, maps or drawings.
10.2 No plat, map or drawing shall be made on a sheet size smaller
than 8 1/2" x 11".
10.3 Dimensions, bearings or angles, including curve lengths, (see
Section 12.8) radii and delta angles shall be neatly and legibly
shown in respect to each property or boundary line.
10.4 Monuments found shall be labeled as "found", with a brief
definitive description of the monument as to size, type of
material, condition and what it represents.
10.5 Monuments set shall be so labeled as "set" with a brief
definitive description of the monument as to size and type of
material and what it represents.
10.6 Relevant terrain features, streets, confined watercourses,
utilities, and other similar data shall be labeled and dimensioned
as to size, height or width and referenced to the nearest property
line or represented by symbol on the map in its proper, dimensioned
location. Symbols should be clear as to what is represented or
should be labeled for identification, individually or in a separate
key to symbols.
10.7 Maps, plats or drawings shall show a north arrow. Drawing
shall be oriented as nearly as possible so that north is toward the
top of the sheet unless otherwise directed by the client or the
10.8 A statement as to the origin of the bearings or angles shall
be made on each plat, map or drawing. All bearings or angles shall
refer to a line monumented on the ground and one of the following:
10.8.1 The Geodetic meridian as observed within one mile of
the surveyed site.
10.8.2 The Texas Coordinate System of 1983 (or 1927), with
proper zone, theta angle and traverse or triangulation station
10.8.3 A record bearing, or relation thereto, as called for
in said record. Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this
10.9 Where the new survey differs materially from prior deed
information in regard to course, distance or quantity, the client
or employer should be advised of such. The existing deed-call
bearings and dimensions should be shown in parenthesis beside or
on the opposite side of the boundary or property line and
designated as "call". The deed acreage or quantity should be
designated “call” and shown in parenthesis beneath the surveyed
acreage or square footage. In this case the deed calls should be
plainly referenced by a prominent note as to volume and page or
file where the deed is recorded. Unrecorded deeds should be
identified by the grantor, grantee and date of execution or
delivery. As an alternate to this procedure, or where complications
occur, the discrepancies, problems, conflicts or difference in call
distances and bearings should be explained in a written surveyor's
report issued to the client along with the plat or drawing. Also
see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
10.10 Where separate intricate details, blowups or inserts are
required for clarity, they shall be properly referenced to the
portion of the map where they apply. This applies particularly to
overlaps, gores, hiatuses or nonconformity of boundary or property
10.11 Perimeter limits of cemeteries and burial grounds known or
found within the premises being surveyed shall be shown by actual
10.12 Properties, confined watercourses, and rights-of-way
surrounding, adjoining, penetrating or severing the surveyed site
shall be identified and labeled with the recording references.
Such reference shall be one which describes and defines the
10.13 Original subdivision, survey, league, or land grant lines
shall be shown in proper location with pertinent labeling.
Sufficient measurement by course and distance must be shown to the
nearest parent tract corner, block corner, subdivision, survey,
league or land grant corner. Approximate distance to nearest street
or road intersection shall be shown.
10.14 If a coordinate system is used on the map, it shall be
identified as to the origin such as:
10.14.1 All coordinates refer to site datum.
10.14.2 All coordinates refer to the Texas Coordinate System
of 1983 (or 1927), (specifying the proper zone, the
reference traverse or triangulation station(s) and the
published coordinates of the station(s)).
10.15 Where the Texas Coordinate System is used for both bearings
and coordinates, a statement similar to item 10.14.2 (herein) shall
be shown on the map, but should begin, "All bearings and
l0.15.1 The appropriate scale or grid factor(s) for the site
should be shown on the map.
10.16 Line weights, or width of drawn lines, should be chosen to
distinguish the surveyed site from other surrounding real estate,
county, original grant or survey lines.
10.17 Any elevations shown on the map in the form of spot
elevations or contours must be in reference to some datum or
specific benchmarks even though the elevation was assumed. A
statement as to basis of elevations shall be made on the map
similar to one of the following examples:
Elevations refer to a BM (LOCATION)- set near the N.E. corner of
the intersection of First St. and Ave. B, (DESCRIPTION)- on the
north rim of the manhole. Elevation is assumed as 200.00 feet.
Elevations and contours are based upon N.G.S. bench mark A142, mean
sea level (NAVD 88). Published elevation = 326.042 feet.
10.18 Each plat, map or drawing shall show the name, firm name and
address of the Registered Professional Land Surveyor responsible
for the survey, separate or as a part of the title block. The title
block shall show:
10.18.1 Standard Land Survey (Caption).
10.18.2 General description of the property.
10.18.3 The date of the survey.
The date on the survey should be the date field work is
complete, the date research is complete, the date of the
surveyor’s signature, (any or all dates) shall be used.
10.18.4 The stated scale of the drawing with a graphic scale
displayed whenever feasible.
10.18.5 The street address of the site if known.
10.19 The original or reproducible copy of the survey map, plat
or drawing shall be retained by the surveyor in his files. The
client shall be furnished an agreed number of copies of the survey
map, plat or drawing.
10.20 A reproducible copy of the original may be furnished at the
Surveyor’s discretion for an addition fee.
SEC. 11CERTIFICATION: See applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
The certification for each map, plat or drawing must be signed and
sealed by the Registered Professional Land Surveyor responsible for the
Land Title Survey. Rubber stamps of signatures are not to be used.
Rubber stamps of seals are acceptable. The certification may be in any
form desired but shall contain the following sentence and minimum
This survey substantially complies with the current Texas Society of
Professional Surveyors Standards and Specifications for a Category 1B,
Condition _______ Survey.
______________________________ (Surveyor's signature)
______________________________ (Registration Number)
SEC. 12DESCRIPTIONS: A description written to describe a surveyed
lot, parcel or quantity of land must provide the information to properly
locate the land on the ground and distinctly set it aside from all other
lands: Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
12.1 When the surveyed property's dimensions, boundaries and area
are in close agreement with the existing recorded deed or platted
calls, the aliquot method regarding subdivisions of rectangular
surveys or the plat method, involving lot, block and subdivision
may be used to describe the property.
12.2 Where any significant difference appears between the recorded
description and the new survey, a metes and bounds description
shall be made.
12.3 Basic information to be conveyed in any description will
consist of the general location of the property in relation to the
parent tract, established and recorded subdivisions, surveys,
leagues or other original land divisions, the abstract number or
numbers of such original land divisions, and the name of the county
in which the surveyed land is situated. Street addresses for small
tracts or lots shall be used when reasonably available.
12.4 A metes and bounds description is to be written in two parts.
The first part, called the general description, will logically
compile all the requirements of item 12.3, above. The second part,
called the particular description, shall logically compile and
incorporate calls for the following:
12.4.1 Monuments, including descriptions as to the type,
nature, size, substance or construction material, and as to
whether set or found.
12.4.2 Adjoining property or rights-of-way.
12.4.3 Courses and distances of the new survey.
12.4.4 Appropriate passing calls.
12.4.5 Parenthetical deed calls where the deed calls
significantly differ from the new survey may be used. (Or
explain differences in a written report).
12.4.6 The area stated in acres, square feet or metric units
within the specified tolerances in Section 8, herein.
12.4.7 The source of bearings.
12.5 The point of beginning of any description shall be carefully
chosen and described so as to distinguish the point from any other
point. Any other point used to locate the point of beginning shall
be known as a "commencing" point.
12.5.1 The point of beginning should be the property corner
that is most easily recognized or found by any interested
12.5.2 When the new point of beginning is not the same as the
old point of beginning called for in the current and valid
deed, the old point of beginning should be identified or
acknowledged by suitable language when passed or located.
12.5.3 The point of beginning must be located by course and
distance or other locatable methods in relation to established
and recognized record monuments.
12.6 It is recommended, for uniformity, that any metes and bounds
description be written so that the progression of courses is in a
12.7 The subsequent written courses in the description shall be
as brief and yet as explanatory as the author can construct.
Brevity shall not cause important locative information to be
omitted and explanatory phrases shall not enlarge the description
to the extent of confusion.
12.8 Curved boundaries shall be identified as tangent or nontangent
curves and sufficient data to locate the curve shall be
recited. In all cases the radius and length of the curve must be
given as well as the general direction the curve takes. Additional
data to assist in locating the curve is desirable, such as bearing
and length of the long chord, central angle, degree of curve by arc
or chord definition, tangent lengths, etc.
12.9 Each metes and bounds description must close and return to
the point of beginning and recite the area enclosed within the
specified tolerances stated in Section 8, herein.
12.10 A statement at the end of the description shall connect
the description to the date of the Standard Land Survey, and the
map or plat representing that survey. Such statement may be
phrased, "This description is based on the Standard Land Survey
and plat made by ___________(Name) #____________ Registered
Professional Surveyor on _______.(Date)"
Also see Applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.
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