THE LAYPERSON’S GUIDE TO THE ROLE AND FUNCTION OF A PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR IN SOCIETY
Karl van Rensburg
with contributions and editing by
“A noble craft, a calling of great worth, that doth the bounds of earth and sky bring forth.
A measurer of lands, a chart of right, a guide to all who seek to make things right.
A Surveyor’s skill, a knowledge deep and true that doth the line of property anew.
A Master of the land, a guide to all who seek to build or make a trade or call.
A profession ancient, steeped in lore that doth the bounds of earth and sky explore.
A noble craft that doth the land’s own heart and shows the path to build a work of art.”
By Peter Newmarch
PRESIDENT SOUTH AFRICAN SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
- The function of Land Surveyors in antiquity………………………………………………………………….. 4
- The history of Land Surveying in South Africa……………………………………………………………….. 4
- The function and role of present-day Professional Land Surveyors……………………………………. 5
- The importance of land surveying in society…………………………………………………………………. 6
CHAPTER 2: THE FUNCTION AND ROLE OF PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYORS………………… 6
- The function of Professional Land Surveyors when conducting field surveys and measurements 6
- The Professional Land Surveyors’ preparation and submission of cadastral survey records to the Surveyor General’s Office……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
- The function of Professional Land Surveyors in determining property boundaries………………… 7
- The role of the Professional Land Surveyor in Sectional Title surveys…………………………………. 8
- The role of Professional Land Surveyors in obtaining land development rights…………………….. 8
- The contribution of Professional Land Surveyors in assisting in land development and construction projects 9
- The role of Professional Land Surveyors in issuing Land Audit reports…………………………….. 9
- The role of Professional Land Surveyors in determining riparian and seaward boundaries…. 10
- The function of Professional Land Surveyors in supplying information for maps, geographic information systems, and legal documents……………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
- The role of Professional Land Surveyors in analysing and interpreting data, including municipal planning policy documentation………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
- The Professional Land Surveyors’ accountability and compliance with laws and regulations. 11
- The role of Professional Land Surveyors in title deed, leasehold, and servitude registration. 11
- How Professional Land Surveyors interact and work together with other experts……………. 12
- Professional Land Surveyors can help with land development application post-approval requirements 12
- The role of Professional Land Surveyors in buildings and building plans, the cadastre and land rights and restrictions………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
- Professional Land Surveyors and municipal height restrictions…………………………………….. 13
CHAPTER 3. THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR……………………. 13
- Professional Land Surveyors are highly skilled university graduates……………………………… 13
- The benefits of accurate and reliable information and professional accountability of Professional Land Surveyors………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
- The advantages of using a Professional Land Surveyor as well as time and money saving….. 14
CHAPTER 4: CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………………………. 14
- Summary – The value and need for Professional Land Surveyors………………………………….. 14
- Encouragement – The value of consulting and hiring a Professional Land Surveyor…………… 15
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1. The function of Land Surveyors in antiquity
Land surveying can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. For thousands of years, land surveying has been a necessary profession. Land surveying was critical to the resource management and social structure of these societies.
In ancient Egypt, Land Surveyors were responsible for surveying and mapping the land for agricultural use. They measured the area with simple tools like ropes and stakes and created maps using a grid system. Farmers’ land was thus efficiently distributed, and agricultural output was organized.
Mesopotamian land surveyors worked on a variety of large-scale infrastructure projects, including the development of irrigation systems and city layouts, as well as the management of the region’s agricultural resources. They used more sophisticated equipment, such as plumb bobs, levels and water clocks, to measure and map the terrain.
In the Greek and Roman empires land surveyors oversaw surveying and mapping the land to draw borders and demarcate areas for the construction of cities, roads, and fortifications.
In ancient China Land Surveyors were responsible for allotment, land measurement, mapping, and urban planning. They mapped the country using sophisticated tools such as the gnomon, a type of sundial, and the groma, a device for calculating right angles.
In general, ancient societies and their resources were effectively managed and organized, thanks in part to the efforts of Land Surveyors. They contributed toward civilizations growth by allowing for the wise spending of resources, planning of infrastructure upgrades, and the legal demarcation of land boundaries and borders.
2. The history of Land Surveying in South Africa
Land surveying has a long history in South Africa, dating back to the early days of European colonization. The Dutch East India Company conducted the first recorded survey in the country in 1657, when Pieter Potter surveyed the first map. which defined the land allocated to set up a refreshment station for Dutch ships sailing to the East Indies.
Throughout the 18th century, the British occupied the Cape and continued to explore the region for military and agricultural purposes. Land was surveyed to distribute farms to settlers. The “land survey system” of the time divided the land into equal-sized parcels and assigned them to individual farmers.
South African Land Surveyors were first registered in 1834. The South African Geomatics Council, established in 2013, regulates the accreditation and registration of Land Surveyors and other Geomatics Practitioners. The place particular emphasis in enforcing the legal requirements that all land surveying work must be carried out by registered council members.
South African Land Surveyors were integral to the 19th century mineral revolution, providing maps of the topography and mining claims that enabled diamond and gold discovery and extraction. This revolution spurred industrialization and modernization in the country.
South African development in the 20th century was heavily reliant on surveying. Land Surveyors were instrumental in the construction of infrastructure such as roads, railways, and airports. They contributed to the nation’s urban planning and mapping, driving the growth of towns and cities.
Land Surveyors remain vital for nation-wide infrastructure and land-development projects today. Surveying continues to be a prominent profession in South Africa.
3. The function and role of present-day Professional Land Surveyors
A modern Land Surveyor is an expert in the measuring sciences, the collection and analysis of spatial data and the application of that data to the effective management of land and land use. They use a combination of modern technology and traditional techniques to gather information and create detailed maps and plans.
Their primary work includes planning and setting up new property boundaries and both determining and verifying existing ones. To do so, they use instruments like total stations, GPS receivers, measuring tapes, and scanners to take measurements and surveys in the field. This data is then used to create maps and legal documents like cadastral diagrams which act as the basis for registering title deeds and sectional titles ownership.
Land Surveyors provide data for a variety of other purposes in addition to creating and determining property boundaries. Their responsibilities include conducting engineering surveys, laying out structures, topographic mapping, establishing riparian boundaries, and many other tasks. They also use their knowledge of GIS, 3D modelling, and photogrammetry to create digital maps and models that can be used for a variety of projects.
Land surveyors are also involved in land development and construction projects. They provide architects, engineers, planners, and builders with data and plans to ensure that projects are built in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements. They also carry out quality control surveys where necessary to ensure that structures, infrastructure, and roads are built in the correct location and to the correct dimensions.
Contemporary Land Surveyors will submit land development applications on behalf of property owners or provide the data and information needed to support applications for township establishment, rezonings, consent uses, subdivisions, and other types of land development. They assist in the creation of reports required by Local Authorities or other regulatory bodies. They also interpret Land Use Management Schemes, Spatial Development Frameworks, land development legislation, and Planning by-laws. They examine construction plans to ensure that they comply with some of the legal and regulatory requirements. Additionally, they carry out assessments and investigations to ensure compliance with zoning and specific building codes.
In addition to their technical expertise, Land Surveyors are the only profession with a quasi-judicial role in land administration and development. They act as neutral and unbiased experts in legal disputes involving property boundaries, the interpretation of zoning rights and land use regulations. They are considered professional witnesses and will testify in court or at administrative hearings.
The opinions and facts they present have a significant impact on the outcomes of these disputes.
Finally, the modern Land Surveyor performs a variety of tasks related to land development, providing critical technical support as well as acting as objective experts. They play an important role in ensuring the rights and interests of all parties involved in land development applications, as well as the effective and efficient administration and management of land and property.
Land Surveyors must have a solid educational background in mathematics, science, planning, the cadastre, property, and planning law. Following completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree, they complete a two-year internship before passing registration examinations similar to an accountants Board examination to obtain professional certification. After certification they are legally bound through a process of continuing education to remain up to date with current laws and technologies to provide accurate and dependable services to customers.
In general, a Land Surveyor today is a highly skilled multi-disciplined professional who is critical to the management and development of land and property.
4. The importance of land surveying in society
Land surveying is important in society because it provides accurate and dependable information about land and property. It is of vital importance for the efficient and effective administration and management of land and property, as well as the protection of all affected parties’ rights and interests.
Land surveying is essential to society as it provides trustworthy information about land and property. It is key for the efficient administration, management, and protection of property rights.
One significant aspect of land surveying is creating and maintaining the cadastre. This is a comprehensive, up-to-date list of all land rights in South Africa This will include property boundary lines, owners, restrictions, location, size, servitudes, leases, and other applicable data. This information is required for a range of activities including land registration, property taxation, and land-use planning. For instance, the cadastre is key to the equitable collection of property taxes and provides relevant data for efficient zoning and land-use planning.
Land Surveyors are essential for constructing infrastructure such as roads, railroads, and airports, as they provide reliable data to engineers, contractors, and builders needed for the project’s accurate placement, as well as for legal and regulatory compliance.
CHAPTER 2: THE FUNCTION AND ROLE OF PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYORS
5. The function of Professional Land Surveyors when conducting field surveys and measurements
Field measurements and surveys are two of the most important aspects of a Land Surveyor’s work. They collect the data and information needed to provide accurate and comprehensive representations of land and property, including topographic maps, legal diagrams, and the calculation of cadastral compilations, through these surveys and measurements.
A variety of methods and instruments are used in field surveys and measurements. Traditional survey equipment such as total stations and levels, as well as cutting-edge technology such as drones, scanners, and high-end GPS receivers, are included. The Land Surveyor will use these survey “tools” to collect data on the location and size of land and property boundaries, as well as the position and size of natural and man-made features on the land.
In order to legally determine or re-establish property boundaries, the Land Surveyor will combine both the field measurements with visible historical evidence such as found boundary beacons and other physical objects that can be considered boundaries, such as fences or walls, as well as the property’s cadastral history and any pertinent legal documents and diagrams.
After gathering the data, the Land Surveyor will analyse the data to calculate and frame a legal diagram, map, or plan of the property, indicating the location and dimensions of the boundaries as well as any legal encumbrances such as servitudes, encroaching road reserve boundaries, or future road proclamations that may affect the property.
Overall, the ability of Land Surveyors to conduct field surveys and measurements, to obtain evidence of correct boundary markers are critical to the preservation of property rights and the efficient and effective management of land and property resources. Their competence in land measurement and mapping, as well as their understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, are required for the accurate and trustworthy construction of maps, plans and/or or legal diagrams, as well as the conformity of their work with laws and regulations.
6. The Professional Land Surveyors’ preparation and submission of cadastral survey records to the Surveyor General’s Office.
Creating and maintaining land survey records is an important aspect of a Land Surveyor’s task. These documents provide a detailed and accurate survey history of the property, as well as information about its boundaries and any legal encumbrances. These records are critical for the protection of property rights as well as the effective and efficient administration of land and property resources.
The Land Surveyor must keep these records up to date in order to be considered comprehensive. Furthermore, the Land Surveyor is responsible for maintaining these records and ensuring their accuracy and completeness. They are also obliged to submit cadastral survey records to the Surveyor General’s Offices.
The Surveyor General’s Office, a National Government Department tasked with maintaining an accurate and current record of land ownership and boundaries, disclaims liability for incorrect surveys. They are only in charge of filing and storing all cadastral surveys and cadastral survey records, thus putting the responsibility for correctness on the Land Surveyor.
The Land Surveyor’s submission of survey records to the Surveyor General’s Offices is an important step in the land registration process. This ensures that the information is available to other Land Surveyors.
7. The function of Professional Land Surveyors in determining property boundaries
Property boundary determination is one of the more crucial responsibilities of Land Surveyors. Accurate and trustworthy boundary information is critical for the preservation of property rights and land development.
The Land Surveyor will look up previous surveys of the subject property and nearby properties as the first step in planning and creating property boundaries. This information will be used by the Land Surveyor to conduct a field survey of the properties, searching for beacons and physical markers that could serve as property beacons, such as fence posts, fence corners, or walls, and surveying any such markers that are found After analysing the surveyed evidence, the property boundary is computed and established. This process is called re-construction.
After reconstructing the property boundaries, the Land Surveyor will survey and frame new diagrams for subdivision, leasehold, or servitude purposes. This legal diagram depicts the property’s undisputed spatial location using coordinates, as well as its size and extent. A cadastral survey is a type of survey that is used for legal or regulatory purposes such as the registration of real estate, leaseholds, or servitudes. Cadastral surveys are submitted to the Surveyor General’s offices.
The Land Surveyor also identifies and describes any building line restrictions, rights-of-way, or other legal encumbrances that may affect the property. This information is critical because it allows the landowner to decide how to best use and develop their property.
Only a Land Surveyor can provide information on any structures or buildings that cross the boundary line, whether on the surveyed property or a neighbouring property. This information is critical for resolving disputes or taking action to prevent encroachment.
8. The role of the Professional Land Surveyor in Sectional Title surveys
Sectional title surveying is a specialized field of land surveying that focuses on the measurement and mapping of multi-unit developments like condominiums and townhouses. In this type of survey, the surveyor’s role is to provide accurate and reliable information about the development’s boundaries, units, and common areas, exclusive use area, and participation quotas.
A sectional title survey begins with obtaining an approved building plan, followed by a field survey of the development. This includes measuring and mapping the development’s boundaries, units, and common areas, as well as any servitudes, encroachments, and other legal encumbrances.
The Land Surveyor will then use this information to create a development plan that shows the location and dimensions of each unit as well as the common areas. This is known as a draft sectional plan, and it is used to register the development with the Surveyor General’s and Registrars of Deeds offices to create individual title deeds for each unit.
The Land Surveyor will also provide information on the location of the common property, as well as each unit owner’s rights and responsibilities in relation to it. Sectional title surveying is an important tool for managing common property in these types of developments, and it helps to ensure that all unit owners’ rights and interests are protected.
The Land Surveyor might also provide information on the location and dimensions of any common areas, such as parking spaces, gardens, swimming pools, or exclusive use areas. This information is used to create a schedule of unit entitlements, which defines each unit owner’s rights and responsibilities in relation to the common areas.
The Land Surveyor’s overall role in sectional title surveying is to provide accurate and reliable information about the boundaries, units, exclusive use rights, and common areas of multi-unit developments. This information is required for the development’s registration, management, and maintenance, as well as the protection of all unit owners’ rights and interests.
9. The role of Professional Land Surveyors in obtaining land development rights
Land Surveyors are essential for the submission of land use applications in order to gain land development rights. Their knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as their expertise in land measurement and mapping, are critical for the successful completion of these applications and the protection of all parties’ rights and interests.
A landowner or developer who wishes to develop or change the use of their property must submit a land development application to the Local Authority. Land Surveyors will either submit land development applications on behalf of applicants or landowners or work with them to gather the necessary information. This includes gathering information on topics such as proposed site plans, land use control measures, zoning, infrastructure requirements, and, if necessary, traffic impact assessments, geotechnical investigations, and environmental impact assessments. It also entails
conducting field surveys and measurements, developing maps and plans, writing motivational memorandums, and providing the necessary information.
The Land Surveyor will also review the application to ensure that it complies with Municipal planning policy, land development bylaws, and the land use management scheme. Any issues will be communicated to the applicant, who will be given advice. They may also provide advice and guidance to applicants throughout the application process. Furthermore, they will act as a liaison between the applicant and the Local Authority, providing knowledgeable advice and guidance throughout the application process.
When the application is approved, the Land Surveyor will assist in obtaining development agreements and resolving potential conflicts or ambiguities, as well as completing the land development rights requirements. This includes preparing and obtaining legal documents, service agreements and reports, surveying and framing cadastral diagrams, collaborating with the conveyancer to prepare property deeds, and gathering any other information that may be required. They can also help obtain certification that the approval conditions have been met.
They review building plans as they relate to cadastral boundaries, building heights, and adherence to zoning rights and certain construction or building codes to ensure that building projects adhere to legal and regulatory standards.
Land Surveyors, in general, play an important role in securing land development rights. Their understanding of legal and regulatory requirements is critical to the successful completion of land use applications.
10. The contribution of Professional Land Surveyors in assisting in land development and construction projects
Land Surveyors are essential to the land development and building process as they provide accurate data and information to architects, engineers, and builders, protecting all parties’ property rights and interests. They gather data on property boundaries, zoning, sensitive areas, and infrastructure placement then conduct field surveys, measurements, and design work to prevent encroachments. Land Surveyors also assess project plans for regulatory compliance and propose solutions for potential issues, liaising between the project team and authorities.
During the project, Land Surveyors set out buildings and infrastructure to ensure the design plans are met and, if requested, conduct an as-built survey upon completion to record new structures and confirm compliance.
11. The role of Professional Land Surveyors in issuing Land Audit reports
Land Surveying is the only profession capable of providing a comprehensive assessment of real estate property, including measurements, reconstructions, legal encumbrances, zoning regulations, and land use restrictions. Land Surveying involves property line measurements, structure placements, and title deed investigations.
The audit report presented by the Land Surveyor will detail the property’s location, size, boundaries, and legal encumbrances.
Before buying real estate, all prospective buyers should be informed about the specific land rights and obligations attached to the property they wish to purchase, as well as the physical position of property markers and boundaries.
In the audit Land Surveyors will identify irregularities, such as unauthorised land use, encroachments, illegal buildings, restrictive title deed clauses and encumbrances on the use of the land as per servitudes registered against the land.
This role of the Land Surveyors is instrumental in protecting property rights and providing evidence- based compliance assessments to ensure that prospective buyers and fully aware of the conditions under which they purchase a portion of land and how the value of the land may be influenced by these land rights.
12. The role of Professional Land Surveyors in determining riparian and seaward boundaries
Riparian and seaward boundary surveying involves measuring and mapping land boundaries adjacent to bodies of water (e.g. rivers, lakes, oceans). This type of survey determines legal rights in relation to the water and assesses any encumbrances (servitudes, environmental restrictions, title deed conditions). Surveyors examine physical features, vegetation, and high-water debris to identify the high-water mark, and then use the evidence gathered to create a cadastral diagram/map/plan depicting the boundaries, dimensions, and rights of the land. This survey is used for land registration and land-use planning.
13. The function of Professional Land Surveyors in supplying information for maps, geographic information systems, and legal documents
Land Surveyors play an important role in providing accurate and reliable data for a variety of applications, including the creation of various maps, GIS systems, and legal documents. The successful completion of projects and the implementation of a GIS system are dependent on their knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as their proficiency in land measurement and mapping.
Land Surveyors use field survey data to create precise and accurate depictions of land and its features on maps. This includes cadastral maps, which depict property boundaries and ownership, as well as topographic maps, which depict natural and man-made land features. These maps are used for a wide range of purposes, including infrastructure planning, environmental management, and land use planning.
Land Surveyors use surveyed or calculated data to assist in building and managing GIS systems, which are computer-based systems for storing, managing, and analysing spatial data. GIS systems are used for a variety of tasks, including emergency response planning, natural resource management, and land use management.
Land Surveyors are also required to create legal documents such as those for land registration, property taxes, and land-use planning, which are frequently required to establish and maintain property rights.
Land Surveyors, in general, play an important role in providing information for maps, GIS systems, and legal documents that are required for the efficient and successful management of land and property resources.
14. The role of Professional Land Surveyors in analysing and interpreting data, including municipal planning policy documentation
Land Surveyors are responsible for the analysis and interpretation of data pertaining to land and property.
Understanding municipal policy documentation is essential for analysing and interpreting land management data. This includes building codes, zoning laws, and other laws governing construction and land development. A Land Surveyor will review these documents to ensure that planned projects comply with all applicable laws, land use management schemes, and municipal planning bylaws. They will also identify potential problems and advise the project team on how to resolve them.
Land Surveyors analyse and interpret evidence from field surveys, maps and plans, and other sources in addition to reviewing policy documentation. They use this information to generate accurate and detailed representations of land, property, property rights, and property restrictions.
In general, Land Surveyors play an important role in the analysis and interpretation of data, such as cadastral diagrams, title deeds, and municipal policy documents, which is critical for the protection of property rights and the efficient and effective management of land and property resources.
15. The Professional Land Surveyors’ accountability and compliance with laws and regulations
Land Surveyors must be knowledgeable in the laws and regulations of their profession and must follow an ethical code that binds them to act honourably, objectively, and competently. Their work must adhere to professional standards, and they must disclose and correct errors or inaccuracies immediately.
Land Surveyors are held liable for their work, and their professional council can take disciplinary action if they fail to comply with laws and regulations.
The role of the Land Surveyor in enacting compliance and ensuring accuracy is essential to the preservation of property rights, efficient land administration, and dependable service delivery.
16. The role of Professional Land Surveyors in title deed, leasehold, and servitude registration.
Title deeds, leaseholds, and servitudes are all important legal documents related to land surveying. Land Surveyors are essential in creating these documents, which are necessary for protecting property rights.
A title deed is a legal document that serves as proof of property ownership. Land Surveyors are responsible for surveying and producing the cadastral diagram, which includes coordinates, dimensions, and a description of the property’s boundaries as well as any legal encumbrances. This is done to ensure that the property is registered with the correct extent, in the correct location, and with the correct boundaries.
Leaseholds are a type of property ownership in which the owner of the property, known as the lessor, grants another party, known as the lessee, the right to use the property for a set period of time. Land Surveyors are also in charge of framing the leasehold diagram, which follows the same principles as described above.
Servitudes are legal rights granted by one property owner to another to use or access their property. The servitude diagram is created by Land Surveyors and follows the same principles as described above.
All of these documents are made up of two main parts: a deed or notarial deed and a diagram surveyed and framed by a Land Surveyor. When a title or notarial deed is registered with the Registrar of Deeds, it creates a legal record of the property’s ownership, rights, and restrictions, as well as ensuring that land rights are protected and spatially defined.
17. How Professional Land Surveyors interact and work together with other experts
To complete projects, Land Surveyors collaborate with other specialists. Communication and collaboration with architects, engineers, developers, planners, conveyancers, and government officials are all part of this.
Land Surveyors work with architects and engineers to provide accurate and reliable data and information on topography, natural ground levels, and property boundaries, which is necessary for the design and construction of structures and infrastructure.
In cases where the Land Surveyor did not submit the land development application, they work with planners to ensure that proposed development projects comply with all applicable zoning regulations and land use control measures.
Land Surveyors work closely with conveyancers to facilitate registration. They also work with government officials from the Surveyor General’s Office and the Registrar of Deeds’ Office. In addition, they work with municipal planners on land use management and development bylaws.
Overall, communication and cooperation among Land Surveyors and other specialists is critical for property development.
18. Professional Land Surveyors can help with land development application post- approval requirements.
Once a land development application is approved, several post-approval conditions may be imposed before development and construction can begin. These conditions could include submitting building- and detailed plans, removing restrictive conditions in title deeds, and resolving any outstanding issues with the property. Land Surveyors are crucial in assisting with these post-approval conditions.
Land Surveyors will collaborate with other professionals, such as engineers, conveyancers, and architects, to complete any required plans, registrations, assessments, and engineering services agreements. They also assist in resolving any outstanding property issues and land use control measures.
Overall, Land Surveyors’ roles in providing advice and assisting with post-approval conditions are critical to the successful completion of land development projects. Their knowledge is critical for ensuring that land development adheres to laws and regulations.
19. The role of Professional Land Surveyors in buildings and building plans, the cadastre and land rights and restrictions
Building development and construction rely heavily on Land Surveyors, who also provide architects with information required to produce building plans. They provide precise and trustworthy data and information on topography and property boundaries for the planning and development of structures and infrastructure. They also ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, zoning and land-use regulations, and certain building codes. As part of the building plan approval process, this information is also used to prepare Site Development Plans and Building Plans.
Land Surveyors also provide cadastral boundary information, which is necessary for building positioning, development design, and the protection of land rights or restrictions.
Land Surveyors are also responsible for identifying any spatial or legal constraints that may affect the development or construction of a project or building plan. Examples include building lines, servitudes, zoning regulations, and other legal constraints. They also make recommendations on how to deal with any problems that may arise.
Land Surveyors are also involved in positioning the building in relation to the property boundaries and in accordance with the approved building plans.
20. Professional Land Surveyors and municipal height restrictions.
The natural ground level is an important aspect of land surveying because it determines the land’s height above sea level. Land Surveyors use a variety of tools and techniques to determine a property’s natural ground level, including traditional survey equipment like levelling instruments as well as modern technologies like total stations, GPS receivers, and drones. This information is used to create accurate and detailed representations of the land, such as topographic maps that show the land’s elevation.
Understanding and determining height restrictions imposed by municipal policy are dependent on calculating natural ground level. To preserve the character and aesthetic of the area, protect public safety, and comply with zoning regulations, many municipalities have regulations in place that limit the highest point that buildings and other structures may rise.
To ensure that building plans adhere to these height restrictions, Land Surveyors work closely with municipal planners, architects, and engineers. They provide accurate and dependable data on a land’s natural ground level, which is used to calculate the project’s maximum height. If necessary, they can also check to see if construction plans, and designs adhere to land management restrictions such as height restrictions.
Land Surveyors also make recommendations on how to deal with any issues that may arise as a result of height restrictions.
Overall, the function of Land Surveyors in evaluating natural ground level and its relationship to height restrictions in municipal policy is critical to the developer’s and the general public’s protection.
CHAPTER 3. THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR
21. Professional Land Surveyors are highly skilled university graduates.
Hiring a Land Surveyor can help with any project involving land development, building, or property. Land Surveyors are highly qualified experts with a broad range of knowledge. They can provide precise and trustworthy data and information on topography, legal encumbrances, and land boundaries, which is critical for infrastructure and building planning and development, as well as property rights preservation.
One of the primary benefits of hiring a Land Surveyor is their ability to provide multi-disciplinary services. They work closely with other experts such as architects, engineers, planners, conveyancers, and developers to ensure that proposed development projects comply with all relevant rules and regulations. They also help to resolve any unsolved property issues, such as disputes over land rights and restrictions.
Because of their quasi-judicial role, hiring a Land Surveyor has additional benefits. They manage recommendations on a wide range of issues concerning land and property, zoning laws, specific building codes, and the right to autonomously decide on property boundaries. This can help ensure that all projects are completed in accordance with the law and in the best interests of property rights and the public.
Land Surveyors understand municipal policies and regulations and can advise you on how to navigate and comply with them. When it comes to land use applications, this can save time, money, and resources because they can provide all necessary surveying services.
22. The benefits of accurate and reliable information and professional accountability of Professional Land Surveyors
Land Surveyors provide critical, accurate and trustworthy data and information for the preservation of property rights and the effective management of land and property resources. This legally correct data helps developers avoid disputes and mistakes in land development projects, ensuring a project is completed in accordance with regulations, land use management requirements and in the best interests of the public.
During construction it helps lower construction errors, delays and costs and the efficient use of construction resources.
Professional accountability is paramount to the land surveying profession, requiring surveyors to abide by codes of conduct and professional standards, as well as accepting responsibility for any errors or omissions.
23. The advantages of using a Professional Land Surveyor as well as time and money saving.
Appointing a Land Surveyor is critical to land development, building, and property-related projects. Their expertise ensures compliance with laws, bylaws, and municipal planning policies. Moreover, their services reduce time, money, and resources needed to complete land use applications. As they provide all necessary surveying and planning services in-house, the need for multiple professionals is eliminated. This saves time and money and reduces errors and delays in land development. They also collaborate closely with other professionals, aiding resolution of pertinent issues, resulting in time and cost savings.
CHAPTER 4: CONCLUSION
24. Summary – The value and need for Professional Land Surveyors.
Employing a Land Surveyor at the outset, will greatly benefit any land development, building, or property-related project, especially in terms of time and money savings. Working with a Land Surveyor has several advantages, including the ability to save time and money by providing all necessary surveying and planning services in-house, eliminating the need to hire multiple professionals and reducing the time and expense of coordinating and managing multiple consultants.
One of the primary advantages of hiring a Land Surveyor early in the process is that it helps to avoid potential disputes and errors. The multi-disciplinary service of a Land Surveyor ensures that land is developed in accordance with legislation and policies, and in the best interests of property rights and the public. Hiring a Land Surveyor also aids in the completion of land development projects on time
and within budget. When accurate data is used to design and construct buildings and infrastructure, errors and delays are reduced, saving time and money.
Land Surveyors also perform a quasi-judicial function, as they are responsible for making decisions and making recommendations on a wide range of land and property issues, such as property boundaries, zoning regulations, and certain building codes, which helps to ensure that all projects are completed in accordance with land and planning legislation.
Furthermore, Land Surveyors are familiar with municipal policies and regulations and can advise owners on how to navigate and comply with them when submitting land development applications on their behalf. When it comes to land use applications, this can save time, money, and resources because they can provide all necessary surveying services in-house.
Overall, Land Surveyor services provide numerous benefits, including the prevention of disputes and errors, the reduction of delays, the saving of time and money, and the protection of property rights and the public.
25. Encouragement – The value of consulting and hiring a Professional Land Surveyor.
Land Surveyors and land surveying, as we have seen throughout this booklet, play an important role in the development and management of land and property resources. They provide accurate and trustworthy data and information, as well as support the adherence to legislation and municipal planning policies.
Before developing, sub-dividing, building, or purchasing property, the public and other professionals in the construction and land development sectors should consult with and appoint a Land Surveyor. This ensures that the property is developed in accordance with property rights, the public interest, applicable legislation, and policies. It also helps to reduce delays, avoid disagreements and errors, and save time and money.
A Land Surveyor can provide important information about a property when buying or selling it, such as the location of boundaries, any legal encumbrances, land control measures, building lines, and servitudes. This can ensure that the property transaction is carried out in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and municipal bylaws, as well as in the best interests of both the seller and buyer.
A Land Surveyor can be useful in ensuring that the design and construction comply with all applicable planning laws and regulations, including zoning and land use control measures, title deed restrictions, servitudes, and that construction is correctly positioned, respecting the land rights of neighbours, and considering other encumbrances on the property.
In general, consulting with and hiring a Land Surveyor prior to developing, subdividing, building, or purchasing real estate helps to ensure the best results and eliminates problems, disagreements, or delays that may arise due to a lack of expertise or experience.
Prepared under the auspices of the South African Geomatics Institute by:
Karl Jansen van Rensburg
Professional Land Surveyor
Vice President Cadastral: South African Geomatics Institute