Many Land Surveyors act on behalf of clients at public hearings and meetings when city or county permit approval is required for developments. They may also participate with other consultants in the preparation of feasibility reports for complex projects.
Land Surveyors are committed to the highest standards in protecting the interest of the public while establishing and evaluating land boundaries and laying out construction improvements.
Who can perform a land survey?In the State of Washington only a licensed Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) can perform a land survey. The field of surveying requires expertise in real property law, public records research, evaluation of historical survey evidence, mathematics, statistics, measurement systems, planning regulations and current computer technologies. The Professional Land Surveyor is a highly specialized individual, whose education, experience, and competence have been rigorously examined and who has been licensed by the State of Washington to practice land surveying.
Common types of surveys:
Boundary survey:A survey made for the purpose of establishing or re-establishing property boundary lines upon the ground or to obtain data for making a map showing boundary lines.
Topographic survey:A graphic representation of physical features of the land depicting natural and man-made features, such as fences, buildings, utilities, hills, valleys, streams, lakes and roads.
Subdivision survey:A survey made for the purpose of dividing a tract of land into smaller parcels, showing monumentation and survey data on a map, in conformance with governing agencies.
Construction survey:Construction staking to establish the correct location of proposed structures shown on engineering design plans for constructing roads, pipelines, buildings and other improvements.
ALTA/ACSM land title survey:A survey for the purpose of supplying a title company and lender with the information necessary for issuing American Land Title Association or Extended Coverage Title Insurance.
When is a Survey advisable?
A survey should be performed when any of the following situations arise:
- The title to land is to be transferred and the land is not clearly defined by plat, description or location on the ground.
- Land is to be divided by land contract, will, deed, court order, or desire of the owner.
- Land is to be divided improved by the construction of buildings, roads, fences, lakes, etc.
- There is a boundary dispute between you and your neighbor or you believe someone is encroaching upon your land.
- There is a reason to believe the description, plat or location of any property line or corner is incorrect.
How much should it cost?The cost of a survey depends on several factors, such as the type of survey needed, the time required to perform the survey and the preparation of necessary plats and description. Some variables which affect the cost of a land survey are:
Terrain and accessibility:A level, open field is much easier to survey than a wooded, hilly tract of land.
Time of year:Dense vegetation in summer often restricts the line of site. Snow in winter may conceal field evidence.
Size and shape:An irregularly shaped tract of land has more corners and a longer perimeter than a square containing the same area.
Field evidence:The presence of iron rods, corner stones and other monuments in the survey area aid the surveyor, and their absence makes the survey more difficult.
Deeds:Often the legal description of the property to be surveyed or that of the neighboring properties may be too vague, incomplete, contradictory or mathematically inaccurate.
It is not uncommon for a professional surveyor to furnish a client with a range depending upon the variables described above.
A surveyor should be selected based upon competency, reputation, education and experience. Competitive bidding for the lowest price does not always prove to be in the best interest of the client.
Code of Ethics of Professional Land Surveyors
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
Professional Land Surveyors uphold and advance the integrity, honor, and dignity of the land surveyors' profession by:
I. Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare;
II. Being honest and impartial, and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients;
III. Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the land surveyors' profession; and
IV. Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.
THE FUNDAMENTAL CANONS
1. Professional Land Surveyors shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties.
2. Professional Land Surveyors shall perform services only in the areas of their competence.
3. Professional Land Surveyors shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
4. Professional Land Surveyors shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest.
5. Professional Land Surveyors shall build their professional reputations on the merit of their services.
6. Professional Land Surveyors shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity, and dignity of their profession.
7. Professional Land Surveyors shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those under their supervision.
King County has a lot of useful tools. The most commonly needed maps are the Assessor quarter section maps. The following tool will produce a link to a map provided by King County. We do not guarantee the correctness or quality of the information obtained from King County and all information should be verified.
The following tool will produce a link to a map provided by Snohomish County. We do not guarantee the correctness or quality of the information obtained from County and all information should be verified.
The following tool will produce a link to a map provided by Whatcom County. We do not guarantee the correctness or quality of the information obtained from County and all information should be verified.