H. B. 4656
(By Delegate Boggs, By Request)
[Introduced February 27, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section eighteen, article thirteen-a,
chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to mandatory
notification to adjacent landowners of land survey.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section eighteen, article thirteen-a, chapter thirty of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13A. LAND SURVEYORS.
§30-13A-18. Minimum standards for boundary surveys; mandatory notification procedures to adjacent landowners; constructive notice for absentee adjacent
The purpose of these standards is to establish minimum technical criteria to govern the performance of surveyors when
more stringent specifications are not required by other agencies,
contract, etc. Further, the purpose is to protect the
inhabitants of this state from dishonest or incompetent
surveying, and generally to protect the public welfare.
(a) The client discussion prior to the survey should cover the
purpose of survey, scope of services, disputes with adjoiners
fees and contract.
(b) The record search should include the record description
based on current and prior deeds, conveyance from common grantor,
or if necessary original survey or grant. It should also include
descriptions of adjoining properties, other sources of
information or resolution of conflicts in descriptions. All
records of information sources used will be retained as a
(c) Prior to performing a field survey, all adjacent
landowners to the property in question shall be notified that the
survey is to occur. Adjacent landowners who are occupying their
property, or who are residents of the county in which the land to
be surveyed is located shall be notified in person or by
certified mail. For adjacent landowners who reside outside the
county, or who are not readily ascertainable, constructive
notification shall be given by placing a Class II legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county
in which the land to be surveyed is located. The advertisement
shall run for two consecutive weeks.
(c) (d) The field survey will consist of a field search for
controlling evidence, a discussion of evidence with the owner,
adjoiners or others having knowledge of the boundaries and the
location of evidence by traverse methods. In the case of
occupying adjoining landowners, this discussion may take place at
the same time as the notification of the survey, as required in
subsection (c) above. The surveyor will use methods and
equipment suitable for the purpose of the survey and the field
notes will be retained as a permanent record.
(d) (e) Distance will be measured in feet or meters, or
fractions thereof, and angles will be measured in degrees or
parts thereof. These will be measured to a precision that will
produce the desired level of accuracy. Areas will be measured to
a precision consistent with the purpose of the survey. All
measuring devices will be checked periodically for accuracy and
(e) (f) Monumentation is required for all new or reestablished
corners, or reference monument for inaccessible corners, and is
encouraged at intervisible points between corners. Artificial or
set monuments will be made of durable ferrous material and set firmly in the ground. Pipes will have a minimum inside diameter
of one inch, while rebars will have a minimum outside diameter
of one-half inch and both will have a minimum length of thirty
inches. Other markers shall have a minimum cross-sectional
area of three-tenths square inch and will be of durable material,
identifiable and unique. Natural objects chosen for corners
shall be durable, unique and easily identifiable.
(f) (g) A plat will be prepared for all boundary surveys,
shall show the results of the field survey and will be delivered
to the client. Plats will be to a scale large enough to show
significant details. Information on plats will include when
applicable north arrows and basis of bearings, date of survey,
measured length and direction of each boundary line by distance,
bearing and quadrant and evidence of possession on or near the
The description of all corners or reference monuments, and
whether found (fd) or set, area of the parcel and of significant
parts, including streets, alleys and nonlotted area of
subdivision, state, county and district or municipality will be
shown on the plat. The subdivision name, lot, block and plat
reference will also be shown on subdivision or lot surveys.
The tax map, parcel number, name of current and/or past owners
for subject property and adjoiners, current conveyance reference for subject property and adjoiners will be shown. Name, address,
license number, signature, seal of surveyor, overlaps and gaps in
record lines, former deed or grant lines as needed, ties to
significant objects and general location information will also be
(g) (h) A description will be prepared for each boundary
survey and will include the state, county, district or
municipality and watershed or topographic location. Lot and
block numbers will be shown for new platted subdivisions, but
retracement surveys for lots and other surveys will require a
metes and bounds description. The description will also include
the point of beginning, the description of monumentation at each
corner and objects encountered along the line, the length and
direction of each line, and the radius, chord bearing and
distance of a curved boundary.
The description will also show the intent with regard to
adjoiner, physical evidence or record monument along the line.
The area of the parcel, reference to plat and surveyor preparing
description and the reference to conveyance by which the current
owner claims title, including grantor, grantee, date and place.
(h) (i) The report of survey will be used when the plat and
description do not adequately address all matters considered by
the surveyor in performing the survey and will be provided to the client with a plat and description.
The report will include all unusual circumstances surrounding
the survey, weight given to conflicting evidence and
encroachments, overlaps or gaps and how they were resolved, and
the names of adjoiners contacted and the information they
(i) (j) A mortgage/loan inspection survey in which boundaries
on a property have not been surveyed in accordance with the
methods set forth by the board, then the plat must be stamped "a
mortgage inspection survey only, not a boundary survey." The
surveyor must notify a landowner or other person commissioning
their services if a survey or an inspection was performed.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require that surveyors
notify adjacent landowners before surveying a neighboring
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that
would be added.