Clear all

In my opinion...

not my real name
500+ posts Supporter

Recently a potential client has asked for a survey for a conservation effort. In this case the amount of land to be conserved will be a large part of a parcel that is nearly 90 acres. The amount of land remaining will be 20 acres.

The potential client has informed me that the town planner's opinion is that the remaining land does not need to be surveyed. So I only need to survey 70 acres and a note for "remaining land" would be adequate.

In my opinion the town planner should not be giving advice on land surveying to anyone, especially a land surveyor. Personally, I do not care what the planner thinks.

This is what I wrote to the potential client prior to the planner's survey advice:

When land is subdivided it is in the public interest that all boundaries be shown, and not just the part that is to be separated.
Also the common boundary of the land that is to be made part of conservation is essentially a survey of the other remaining property. 
So, the entire boundary needs to be defined before making the split.

 If the planner wants to advise or opine on a specific approach to survey land, then he or she should obtain a survey license.

Topic starter Posted : August 4, 2022 3:32 pm
5,000+ posts Supporter

What are the chances that you can survey 70 of 90 acres without figuring out the 20?

Conservation easements can be tricky. 

They aren't considered a split of land, unless its a conservation subdivision project. 


This post was modified 1 week ago by MightyMoe
Posted : August 4, 2022 4:11 pm
Brad Ott liked
not my real name
500+ posts Supporter


This is not for an easement. The client has made an agreement with an agency of the state to sell the parcel. What remains will be their homestead. 

I don't think it would be possible or practical to survey only the conservation parcel.

Topic starter Posted : August 4, 2022 4:18 pm

Dave Karoly
10,000+ posts Member

When I worked for California State Parks a very well connected individual donated a 120 acre parcel to a State Park with a reservation of an undescribed 20 parcel in the middle. There was language in the deed whereby Department surveyors would mark out a 20 acre parcel to his satisfaction. I don’t know how many staff hours were poured into that. My predecessor worked on it, I worked on it, my successor worked on it. The grantor kept changing his mind. My predecessor had it done and monumented and was working on the R/S when he wanted this here and that there. My boss was frustrated with that guy.

think of it, big tax deduction, free surveying paid for by the taxpayers. If he would’ve done the normal thing and filed a tentative parcel map then a Minor Subdivision it would’ve cost him a lot of money not to mention impact fees and improvement costs, all for a parcel of land not very close to anything.

Think of it, a 20 acre parcel all surrounded by State Park meaning nothing would ever happen on it. All for free.

Posted : August 4, 2022 5:04 pm
500+ posts Member

@dave-karoly What do you mean "for free". The guy donated 100 acres. The state made a trade of these services for those 100 acres. Certainly wasn't free.

Posted : August 5, 2022 6:26 am
Norman Oklahoma
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @lurker

What do you mean "for free". The guy donated 100 acres. The state made a trade of these services for those 100 acres. Certainly wasn't free.

Clever. The fellow gets the enjoyment of 120 acres while only paying taxes, and upkeep, on 20.  With surveying thrown in. The loss would be the potential value of timber, and any other natural resources with commercial harvest value, on 100 acres. But perhaps that was limited.

Be careful of free lunch. There is always a catch.

Posted : August 5, 2022 8:17 am