California Surveyors Announce Formation of Land Surveyors Advisory Council on Technical Standards

Over the last year, a small group of Professional Land Surveyors have been meeting on a regular basis to discuss the public perception of Land Surveyors as well as to discuss the rapidly changing area of real property law. Beginning with informal discussions, followed by monthly meetings, the Land Surveyors Advisory Council on Technical Standards (LSACTS) is modeled as an advisory “think tank” and is comprised of an eleven member executive board. The present ten members represent a broad cross section of industry with a diverse and extensive background in a variety of trade organizations and associated groups. The organization’s principle purpose is to research, summarize, debate, and publish its findings on various topics relating to the principles and applications of the Professional Land Surveyors Act and the California Subdivision Map Act. They also provide peer-to-peer advice to other members of the profession. In support of their charge, the organization adopted the following declaration of purpose:

Virtually all land surveying standards have resulted from the process of judicial precedent, as opposed to being an agreed upon codification of land surveying principles. Consequently, the public unnecessarily become litigants over land boundary location issues created by a lack of consistency in the application of law and the absence of uniform standards of practice.

The public is not well served by having to resort to judicial rulings to resolve common land boundary line issues that may arise in connection with real property disputes. The Professional Land Surveyor is foremost knowledgeable in these matters and can achieve discovery more efficiently so that all but the most difficult cases can be resolved through mediations and arbitrations.

The Record of Survey map is the Land Surveyor’s most powerful and respected tool as it should reflect the evidence and legal principles utilized in establishing the boundary lines, encroachments, topography and any other interest in real property disclosed by a field survey and deemed of importance by the Professional Land Surveyor. This map, when filed, permanently memorializes the surveyor’s evidence, procedures, landmarks and final conclusions in the public record.

Our organization researches, reviews, debates and publishes opinions and decisions issued by local, state and federal courts whenever they relate to the practice of land surveying. The opinions issued are intended to define and guide the standard of care in California and serve to educate fellow professionals.

We encourage and support mandatory continuing education for Professional Land Surveyors.

We encourage the development of the Land Surveyor’s professional relationships with the legal community, the land title industry, the building community, the environmental analysis community, the real estate industry, the GIS community, the land planning community, and the civil engineering community.

These goals can be accomplished by relying upon, or proposing modifications to the following documents and related areas of law:
• Standard of Care
• Records of Survey Maps
• Corner Record Surveys
• ALTA Surveys
• Land Subdivision Maps
• Condominium Plans
• Preparation of Land Descriptions
• Tentative Subdivision Maps
• GIS Mapping
• Government Required Land Surveying Documents
• Application of Surveying Measurements and Measurement Standards within the State of California.

LSACTS operates as an independent organization and its mission is to complement other industry and trade organizations. LSACTS is dedicated to the advancement of the land surveying profession and all other organizations pursuing similar goals. For further information, visit

LSACTS Executive Board Members
Michael Butcher, PLS, Gary L. Hus, PLS, CFEDS, Sean C. Englert, PLS, Gregory P. Hopkins, PLS, David E. Woolley, PLS, Michael J. Pallamary, PLS, Casey Lynch, PLS, Robert Lee McComb, PLS, David W. Ambler, PLS, Lawrence A. Stevens, PLS