South Florida Surveying Inc.

Surveying and Mapping

Survey Questions?

The purpose of this page is to provide information to the non-surveyor that they may encounter on surveys or survey issues that also might be of interest.

Standards of Practice

This years changes to Chapter 472 has brought about changes to the surveying profession.  This means that what was once called the "Minimum Technical Standards" has been changed to "Standards of Practice".  This allows through the rule making process to further regulate the professional surveyor beyond what would normally be recognized as a technical standard.  The initial rewrite has been completed and there are now new rules that will be going into effect for all surveyors in the State of Florida.  The administrative rules are being worked on in committee and will be soon sent to the Board of Surveyor and Mappers to hold workshops prior to the rules being adopted.

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Previous Survey Questions

These will be available for a period of time and then removed.


FEMA Update

FEMA says that the flood insurance program is unsustainable.

Craig Fugate, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told a Senate Committee that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is on an unsustainable path, opening the Federal government to huge potential losses.  Because of this look for changes in the future for this government program.

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The new flood maps for Collier County have gone in to effect as of May 16, 2012.  For most of Collier County that was already in a flood zone previously the required elevations have stayed the same or gone down.  The biggest change is that for a large portion of Collier County that wasn't in a flood zone previously, these homeowner's find themselves in a flood zone AH.  This is a designation for ponding/overland flow.

For those who are in a new AH zone you may be eligible to be removed from the AH flood zone if your lowest adjacent grade is above the new required flood elevation.  This first step in the process would be to obtain a FEMA certificate to determine if you are eligible for the letter of map amendment and even if you don't qualify you can use the FEMA certificate for flood insurance purposes.

What is the significance of the Mean High Water Line?

The mean high water line in common law is the separation between an upland land owner and the sovereign lands of the State of Florida in waters boundaries affected by tidal influences.  The issue of navigability does not apply to tidal boundaries as they do in fresh water, non-tidal water boundaries which require proof of navigability.  This is because the issue was decided in The Florida Supreme Court in Bucki v. Cone 6 So. 160 (Fla. 1889) noted that at common law tidal waters were regarded as navigable.  The mean high water line must be shown on a survey where there is a tidal water boundary and must follow procedures set forth by the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.  Failure to establish, by appropriate statutorily required standards, the mean high water lines of the boundaries on surveys has the effect of not locating that particular boundary line.  Thus, these surveys, in addition to being incomplete, are inadmissible pursuant to Chapter 177.40 Fla. Stat. (2011)

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What is a General Permit Line?

This is something that has recently been adopted in Collier and Lee Counties.  The line went into effect on April 7, 2010.  Information on this line and it's description is found in the Florida Administrative Code 62B-34.  This line is established so that if the beach front owner wishes to comply with this line they can shorten their permit review time.  There are of course criteria that have to be met in order to qualify to use this line, but it could be an option for some owners.  The line is a metes and bounds description that ties into the Coastal Construction Control Line which governs building along the beach.  That rule is found in 62B-33 of the Florida Administrative Code.

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What is the Coastal Construction Control Line?

The Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) is a regualatory line established by the State of Florida to control construction in the areas of beaches and shore line.  Property that is encumbered by the CCCL is subject to not only special buiding conditions but also plan review and approval by the local governing agency and the State of Florida as well.

The location of the line on the property is a requirement of permitting.  In the City of Naples, at the south end of Gordon Drive, the CCCL is actually east of Gordon Drive in areas.  This ensures review and approval by the State for any construction on the beach in this area.

The CCCL is comparable to a building set back line.  It is not a property line.  However, the special building construction requirements as well as where you can place the home on the property are significant restrictions to the property.  So much so that the owners of beach front property are required to disclose if the CCCL affects the property or not in a sale.

What is the Erosion Control Line?

The erosion control line is an agreement between the upland owner's of beachfront property and the State of Florida.  This is established as part of a beach renourishment project.  This is regulated under Chapter 161 Beach and Shore Preservation.

When the erosion control line is established and recorded it becomes the fixed property line between the upland owner and the State of Florida.  The erosion control line is simply the mean high water line that is measured for the agreement prior to the beach renourishment.  Prior to the beach renourishment the mean high water line was the property line between the State and the upland owner.  The State will not add beach to an upland owner's lot and expand his lot into what was owned by the State.  Therefor they do a mean high water line survey and that becomes the erosion control line as a basis to begin the beach renourishment.


When is a survey out of date?

According to the Minimum Technical Standards for surveys in the State of Florida all surveys must reflect a survey date.  This is found in 61G17-6.003(3)d of the Florida Administrative Code.

A survey is actually out of date usually at the time the surveyor is signing and sealing the survey for distribution to the client.  The aforementioned 61G17-6.003(3)d states that the date of the survey is the last date of data aquisition.  Or the last date that there was a field crew on site.  The reason that this is the date of the survey is that after your last day of field work till the time the survey is actually delivered there could be a number of things started on or off the property that could affect the survey.  This identifying date shows when eyes were on the site to pick up any information that might affect the property at that moment in time.

The better question might be "How old can a survey date be and still be accepted?".

This answer varies according to the use of the survey.  There are limitations to time of acceptance such as in surveys for properties involving Coastal Construction Control Line.  The topography shown on those surveys have to be within 6 months of application for permit to the state.  Some lenders will not accept a survey if it is more than 90 days from the closing.  We have done surveys for some lenders that will not accept a survey if it is not within 30 days of closing.  Surveys for building permits to the county or city may only have to be within a year of their application for permit.  It is always a good idea to find out what I would call the length of time of acceptance for your specific purpose for you survey.  The surveyor should be able to help you with this information.

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