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Professionals Q&A

A

The following items are excerpts from the minutes of the Colorado Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors. They are provided in this format to afford a central and simple location to search for the Board's position on various architecture topics and are intended to be informative. The circumstances are specific to the particular architecture situation that the Board reviewed and care should be taken in extrapolating the position of the Board for other conditions. NOTE: A full copy of the Board's minutes can be here.

To search on a particular architecture subject, click on the "Edit" drop down list on the tile bar, then click on "Find." and type in the word(s) you are looking for. Try to use a word(s) that would be specific to the subject matter you are looking for, i.e., life safety, details.

Board Meeting Date:

March 14, 2014

Subject:

Request for Opinion - Clarification Concerning the Architect exemptions

Board Action:

A request for opinion was received from Mr. Patrick Buckley for clarification concerning the architect exemptions found in §12-25-303.  After discussion, a motion was made, seconded and carried to advise Mr. Buckley that four townhome units that are attached and a continuous structure would be exempt; more than four units would not be exempt.

 

Board Meeting Date: 

February 14, 2014

Subject: 

Scope of Practice – Preparing grading and/or drainage plans

Board Action: 

The Board reviewed the AES Local Officials Guide and proposed revisions as shown below:

SCOPE OF PRACTICE

Can architects prepare plans for grading and/or drainage work?

Yes.  An architect responsible for preparation of a site plan is authorized to prepare site grading and drainage plans, if the architect has the expertise to perform such work.  However, an architect may not determine property lines.

Can land surveyors prepare grading and/or drainage plans?

No, preparing grading and drainage plans is not within the scope of the practice of land surveying.

If a land surveyor makes certifications(s) on a grading and/or drainage plan, it should be limited to determined elevations of land parcels and should not contain statements of engineering design, evaluation, or analysis.

Rule 5.2.3 and 6.2.3

More on Grading and/or Drainage Plans

Design, evaluation, and analysis of grading and/or drainage plans are considered the practice of engineering that should be prepared by an engineer (or qualified architect as noted above) utilizing the data provided by a land surveyor.

 

Board Meeting Date: June 14, 2013
 
Subject: Request for Board Opinion – Dan Swallow – Issues Relating to Building Officials
 
Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for opinion from Mr. Swallow that referenced a memorandum that was issued jointly in 2004 by the Board of Examiners of Architects and the Board of Registration for Professional Land Surveyors and Professional Engineers.  The Board took no action since it does not have jurisdiction over building officials.

Board Meeting Date:
October 12, 2012

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Sealing Electronic Documents with Revisions

Board Action:
A request for Board opinion was received from the Program Director concerning electronic sealing requirements to confirm the acceptability of a practice by a particular company to remove the original seal, signature and date from plans when there are any changes. It was the consensus of the Board to confirm that this practice is acceptable:

  1. All revisions by the original registrant to a previously signed, sealed and dated drawing will be re-sealed and re-dated. The re-dated seal will be the date the signature is re-affixed. A new signature and date must be re-affixed since any changes to the electronic copy invalidates the signature and the date represents when a signature is affixed.
     
  2. The Board does not require the re-issuance of drawings that were revised and the original date was re-affixed instead of the updated date simply to conform to the requirements above.
     
  3. A note will be placed, adjacent to the second seal, on a drawing revised by a second licensee to describe the extent of what the second licensee is taking responsibility.
     
  4. The Board does not have a defined method for notifying the original licensee that a change to a drawing that the licensee previously signed, sealed and dated will be changed by a second licensee. Notification to the licensee by e-mail or some other means is acceptable.
     
  5. The original seal, signature, and date must appear on a sheet where a second licensee is modifying a sheet and taking responsibility for the revision only. Since the original signature and date are automatically removed when the electronic document is changed, the original licensee must reaffix the signature and original date. If the second licensee is taking responsibility for the entire sheet, then the original licensee signature and date are not required. However, it is not practical that a second licensee be able to be in responsible charge of the original design, per Board rule, since someone else has already done so. It is suggested to re-engage the original licensee when a change is required or the second licensee will take responsibility for the revision only.

Board Meeting Date:
October 12, 2012

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Half Size Drawings

Board Action:
A request for Board opinion was received concerning whether or not it was acceptable to produce a set of drawings for the field that are half size for portability and convenience, when there is a full size, sealed and signed record set on file. The proposal included the request that the half size version be produced electronically by printing the drawings at half size, rather than scanning in the printed version and reducing them. The former method allows scaleability of the drawings that the latter method does not. It was the consensus of the Board to issue an opinion that the seal on the record set must be full size and that if the documents are for permit or field use, half size is acceptable.

Board Meeting Date:
November 12, 2010

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Mark Baker, Architect – Building Information Modeling (BIM) Legal Issues

Board Action:
The Board considered a request for a Board opinion relating to legal issues with regard to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the many parties who contribute to a project’s BIM. It was the consensus of the Board that BIM is a tool and does not change the application of the Board’s laws, rules, and policies. It is the Board’s opinion that design professionals are responsible for the work that they sign and seal regardless of the tools used. As for the legal issues that this subject presents, the Board recommended that legal counsel be sought. On the subject of liability in reference to the use of BIM, the Board suggested that discussions be held regarding the use of this tool with the individual’s insurance carrier.

Subject:
Discussion About Quality of Submittals to Public Agencies

Board Action:
The Board reviewed and discussed the quality of professionals’ submittals to public agencies and whether the AES Board should attempt to require a higher level of submittal. It was the consensus of the Board that if the plans, calculations or specs are stamped and signed by the licensee, they shall meet the standard of care applicable for their intended use. Documents falling under the scope of Rule 5.1.4 C.R.S. shall be appropriately identified and qualified and shall meet the standard of care intended for their use.

Date Received: October 24, 2006

Subject:
Bob Ward, Chief Building Official, City of Lamar

Board Action:
The Board reviewed an e-mail from Mr. Ward requesting a Board opinion on statute 12-25-303, C.R.S., as it relates to home rule cities. Board Council, John Roberts, reviewed the request and provided his informal opinion. It was the consensus of the Board to provide Mr. Ward with the memorandum written by the Mr. Roberts addressing his question.
(Click here to view the document)
 

 
A

The following items are excerpts from the minutes of the Colorado Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors. They are provided in this format to afford a central and simple location to search for the Board's position on various engineering topics and are intended to be informative. The circumstances are specific to the particular engineering situation that the Board reviewed and care should be taken in extrapolating the position of the Board for other conditions. NOTE: A full copy of the Board's minutes can be found  here.

To search on a particular engineering subject, click on the "Edit" drop down list on the tile bar, then click on "Find" or "Find on this Page," and type in the word(s) you are looking for. Try to use a word(s) that would be specific to the subject matter you are looking for, i.e., life safety, details.

Board Meeting Date: 

February 14, 2014 

 

Subject: 

Scope of Practice – Preparing grading and/or drainage plans 

Board Action: 

The Board reviewed the AES Local Officials Guide and proposed revisions as shown below: 

SCOPE OF PRACTICE

Can architects prepare plans for grading and/or drainage work?

Yes.  An architect responsible for preparation of a site plan is authorized to prepare site grading and drainage plans, if the architect has the expertise to perform such work.  However, an architect may not determine property lines. 

Can land surveyors prepare grading and/or drainage plans?

No, preparing grading and drainage plans is not within the scope of the practice of land surveying.  If a land surveyor makes certifications(s) on a grading and/or drainage plan, it should be limited to determined elevations of land parcels and should not contain statements of engineering design, evaluation, or analysis.

Rule 5.2.3 and 6.2.3

More on Grading and/or Drainage Plans

Design, evaluation, and analysis of grading and/or drainage plans are considered the practice of engineering that should be prepared by an engineer (or qualified architect as noted above) utilizing the data provided by a land surveyor.

Board Meeting Date:
June 14, 2013

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Dan Swallow – Issues Relating to Building Officials
 
Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for opinion from Mr. Swallow that referenced a memorandum that was issued jointly in 2004 by the Board of Examiners of Architects and the Board of Registration for Professional Land Surveyors and Professional Engineers.  The Board took no action since it does not have jurisdiction over building officials.

Board Meeting Date:

October 12, 2012

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Sealing Electronic Documents with Revisions

Board Action:
A request for Board opinion was received from the Program Director concerning electronic sealing requirements to confirm the acceptability of a practice by a particular company to remove the original seal, signature and date from plans when there are any changes. It was the consensus of the Board to confirm that this practice is acceptable:

  1. All revisions by the original registrant to a previously signed, sealed and dated drawing will be re-sealed and re-dated. The re-dated seal will be the date the signature is re-affixed. A new signature and date must be re-affixed since any changes to the electronic copy invalidates the signature and the date represents when a signature is affixed.
     
  2. The Board does not require the re-issuance of drawings that were revised and the original date was re-affixed instead of the updated date simply to conform to the requirements above.
     
  3.  A note will be placed, adjacent to the second seal, on a drawing revised by a second licensee to describe the extent of what the second licensee is taking responsibility.
     
  4. The Board does not have a defined method for notifying the original licensee that a change to a drawing that the licensee previously signed, sealed and dated will be changed by a second licensee. Notification to the licensee by e-mail or some other means is acceptable.
     
  5. The original seal, signature, and date must appear on a sheet where a second licensee is modifying a sheet and taking responsibility for the revision only. Since the original signature and date are automatically removed when the electronic document is changed, the original licensee must reaffix the signature and original date. If the second licensee is taking responsibility for the entire sheet, then the original licensee signature and date are not required. However, it is not practical that a second licensee be able to be in responsible charge of the original design, per Board rule, since someone else has already done so. It is suggested to re-engage the original licensee when a change is required or the second licensee will take responsibility for the revision only.

Board Meeting Date:
October 12, 2012

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Half Size Drawings

Board Action:
A request for Board opinion was received concerning whether or not it was acceptable to produce a set of drawings for the field that are half size for portability and convenience, when there is a full size, sealed and signed record set on file. The proposal included the request that the half size version be produced electronically by printing the drawings at half size, rather than scanning in the printed version and reducing them. The former method allows scaleability of the drawings that the latter method does not. It was the consensus of the Board to issue an opinion that the seal on the record set must be full size and that if the documents are for permit or field use, half size is acceptable.

Date:
January 13, 2012

Subject:
Board Opinion - SPCC Plan Self-Certification's Impact on Engineering

Board Action:
The Board reviewed a fact sheet recently released by the EPA concerning whether or not the preparation of Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans require a PE to be in responsible charge. After discussion, the Board provided guidance and directed Staff to prepare the following statement as representative of its position:

The Board reviewed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Fact Sheet concerning streamlined requirements for Tier I and II qualified facilities and the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule to determine if Colorado would require a PE to certify SPCC Plans.

A PE may or may not be required depending on special circumstances that may be involved and/or if there are duties that fall into the definition of the practice of engineering – see 12-25-102(10)(a), C.R.S. and Board Rule 2.2. For example, the larger functions of analysis and evaluation may require a PE, whereas general inspections and observation could be handled by trained individuals.


Date Received:
March 18, 2011

Subject:

Request for Board Opinion – CDOT & Stormwater Management Plans

Board Action:
The following representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation appeared before the AES Board on April 8, 2011 for clarification on engineering drawings and engineering certifications as they relate to Stormwater Management plans (SWMPs): Scott McDaniel, P.E., and Director of Staff Services, Tony Gross, Resident Engineer, Neil Lacey, P.E., Resource for Construction Design, and Susie Smith, Landscape Architect. They had two questions essentially. The Board responded to the CDOT representatives as follows:

1.Do stormwater management plans (SWMPs) and Erosion/Sediment Control plans that do not contain engineering information or engineering features have to be signed and sealed by a licensed Professional Engineer?

No. The Board does not consider this the practice of engineering and therefore the plans do not require the signature and seal of a P.E. Grading and erosion control plans are considered the practice of engineering, however, and common sense should be exercised. For example, if excavation is required next to a bridge footer for the SWMP for some reason, engineering would be required.

2.Can a licensed P.E. sign the Colorado Department of Health and Environment Stormwater Construction Permit as a part of their duty without being in conflict with Board Rule 5.2.2 Certification Defined?

Yes. Because the SWMP is not the practice of engineering, the permit does not have to be signed and sealed and is not an engineering certification as defined by Board Rule. Therefore, it is not a conflict for a licensed P.E. to sign the permit and not be in direct responsible charge of the preparation of the SWMP.

Date Received:
September 11, 2008

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Regional Transportation District (RTD)

Board Action:
The Board reviewed RTD’s request to use half-size electronic seals and signatures on its FasTracks West Corridor Light Rail Transit project. It was the opinion of the Board that the sealing specifications outlined in Board Rule 5.1.1 indicate that whether the seal is of the crimp type, rubber stamp type, and/or computer-generated type (electronic), the seal shall be of the design and size outlined in the rule, therefore, any plans generated for approval must contain a full size seal.

Subject:
Report of Investigation

Board Action:

The Board reviewed the Report of Investigation submitted by the Office of Investigations regarding an inquiry into a possible license law violation. Sandra Scanlon moved to dismiss this case. However, she further moved that it is the Board’s position that although in-channel improvement is a developing field, the basic theories and principles of engineering apply. Therefore, projects in the future, such as the one at issue in this case, should involve the considerations listed below.

The plans, specifications, and calculations should contain the following:

  • Existing or proposed topography.
  • Exact dimensions and proposed elevations/distances for any of the improvements.
  • Methods of water control and erosion control during construction or any type of construction phasing.


The plan view for improvements should have dimensions for any improvements, and horizontal control, ties to any landmarks, property lines, or to something.

Calculations should contain the following:

  • Structure calculations.
  • Stability analysis.
  • Seepage analysis.
  • Backwater calculations.
  • Analysis of sequent depths and hydraulic jump movement tendencies for smaller or larger flows.
  • Calculations for smaller or larger flows other than the design flow.


The technical specifications should include the following:

  • Stability analysis.
  • Backfill.
  • Water control.
  • Erosion control
  • Un-grouted rock/riprap or landscaping (even though the construction of the project requires all of these).


Some of the above should be required for the development of contract documents for projects.

Material specifications for the earthwork should be provided and provisions made for quality control (testing).

The basis for filing for a water right of, for example, 1800-cfs, should not be arbitrary. Computations should be done to justify this number. Billy Harris seconded the motion and passed unanimously.

 


Date Received:
April 6, 2007

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Calvin D. Miller, PE 39929

Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for opinion regarding rules for sealing technical reports that were authored by a PE. It was the consensus of the Board to direct Mr. Miller to refer to Board Rule 5.1.2(d) and 5.1.5 and inform him that any reports based upon engineering calculations and principles do need to be signed by someone in responsible charge.

Date Received:
March 2, 2007

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion on the Responsibility of an Engineer of Record – Daniel E. Centa, PE 22604

Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for Board opinion on whether it is appropriate for an Engineer of Record to make revisions to the record drawings to correct errors and make adjustments to account for existing field conditions. It was the consensus of the Board that this is a contractual issue and should be laid out in the expectations. The City can’t require an original engineer to make modifications; only that a licensed engineer makes the required modifications.

Subject:
Discussion About Quality of Submittals to Public Agencies

Board Action:

The Board reviewed and discussed the quality of professionals’ submittals to public agencies and whether the AES Board should attempt to require a higher level of submittal. It was the consensus of the Board that if the plans, calculations or specs are stamped and signed by the licensee, they shall meet the standard of care applicable for their intended use. Documents falling under the scope of Rule 5.1.4 C.R.S. shall be appropriately identified and qualified and shall meet the standard of care intended for their use.

Date Received:
December 12, 2006

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion on Non-Engineer Verifying Engineering Work - Anonymous

Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for Board opinion on whether it is appropriate for an engineer to allow his/her work to be verified by a non-engineer. Peter Monroe moved to state that there was not enough information provided to make a determination and the information submitted was out of context. Sandra Scanlon seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Date Received:
October 24, 2006

Subject:
Bob Ward, Chief Building Official, City of Lamar

Board Action:
The Board reviewed an e-mail from Mr. Ward requesting a Board opinion on statute 12-25-303, C.R.S., as it relates to home rule cities. Board Counsel, John Roberts, reviewed the request and provided his informal opinion. It was the consensus of the Board to provide Mr. Ward with the memorandum written by the Mr. Roberts addressing his question.
(Click here to view the document)

Date Received:
September 29, 2006

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion on the Responsibility of an Engineer of Record - Daniel E. Centa, PE 22604

Board Action:
The Board reviewed documentation requesting whether it is appropriate for an engineer to stamp and sign a drawing, then issue a letter to release himself of the responsibility for the drawings he stamped. Billy Harris moved to state that an engineer cannot release responsibility for drawings that he/she sealed and signed. However, he/she can state that he/she is not responsible for future changes or modifications after he/she seals and signs the drawings. Sandra Scanlon seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Date Received:
July 13, 2006

Subject:
Discussion of NCEES Proposed Changes to the Model Law - Richard G. Weingardt, PE 5606

Board Action:
The Board considered Mr. Weingardt’s presentation in support of NCEES’ proposed changes to the Model Law regarding the requirement of an additional 30 credit hours in upper-level, undergraduate, coursework in engineering before allowing an applicant to take the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam. It was the consensus of the Board to support this proposed change to the Model Law and requested that the Board Members attending the National NCEES meeting vote accordingly on the Board’s behalf.

Subject:
Request for Reconsideration Regarding Designing and Signing of Erosion and Sediment Control Plans – David H. Ward, Executive Director, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC)

Board Action:
Mr. Ward, CPESC Executive Director, spoke to the Board about CPESC’s certification program and structure. It was the consensus of the Board to reaffirm its position that any work that is considered engineering must be done by a licensed Professional Engineer. However, the Board does encourage individuals in this field to seek supplemental certification in Erosion and Sediment control.

A

The following items are excerpts from the minutes of the Colorado Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors and the Survey Quorum of the Board. They are provided in this format to afford a central and simple location to search for the Board's or Quorum's position on various land surveying topics and are intended to be informative. The circumstances are specific to the particular land surveying situation that the Board reviewed and care should be taken in extrapolating the position of the Board/Quorum for other conditions. NOTE: A full copy of the Board or Quorum minutes can be here.

To search on a particular land surveying subject, click on the "Edit" drop down list on the tile bar, then click on "Find", and type in the word(s) you are looking for. Try to use a word(s) that would be specific to the subject matter you are looking for, i.e., ALTA, aliquot, rehabilitate.

 

Board Meeting Date: 

February 14, 2014

Subject: 

Scope of Practice – Preparing grading and/or drainage plans

Board Action: 

The Board reviewed the AES Local Officials Guide and proposed revisions as shown below:

SCOPE OF PRACTICE

Can architects prepare plans for grading and/or drainage work?

Yes.  An architect responsible for preparation of a site plan is authorized to prepare site grading and drainage plans, if the architect has the expertise to perform such work.  However, an architect may not determine property lines.

Can land surveyors prepare grading and/or drainage plans?

No, preparing grading and drainage plans is not within the scope of the practice of land surveying.  If a land surveyor makes certifications(s) on a grading and/or drainage plan, it should be limited to determined elevations of land parcels and should not contain statements of engineering design, evaluation, or analysis.

Rule 5.2.3 and 6.2.3

More on Grading and/or Drainage Plans

Design, evaluation, and analysis of grading and/or drainage plans are considered the practice of engineering that should be prepared by an engineer (or qualified architect as noted above) utilizing the data provided by a land surveyor.

 

Survey Quorum Minutes:
January 10, 2014

Subject:
Request for Opinion – Dean Glorso, PLS - Historic Land Survey Maps

Board Action:
Dean Glorso requested an opinion on § 38-50-101 and § 38-51-107, C.R.S., and Board Rule 6.5.5, regarding the filing of “historical” land survey plats.  It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to advise Mr. Glorso that no certification statement is required; however, when signing and sealing a document, he is taking responsibility for the plat. The Board encourages these plats to be recorded.

Board Meeting Date:
June 14, 2013

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Dan Swallow – Issues Relating to Building Officials
 
Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for opinion from Mr. Swallow that referenced a memorandum that was issued jointly in 2004 by the Board of Examiners of Architects and the Board of Registration for Professional Land Surveyors and Professional Engineers.  The Board took no action since it does not have jurisdiction over building officials.


From:

Survey Quorum Minutes

Date:
June 14, 2013

From:
Delmer H. Hamilton, PE-PLS

Subject:
Review of Plats by County Surveyors

Board Action:
Mr. Delmar H. Hamilton, PE-PLS 4440 asked if the County Surveyor, or his designee, is obligated by law to review land survey plats for statutory compliance.

It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to respond as noted below:

Land Survey plats recorded with the clerk and recorder may only be reviewed by the County Surveyor for form and content if approved by the Board of County Commissioners, pursuant to §30-10-903(2)(c) C.R.S.   Land Survey plats deposited under §38-50-101 C.R.S. are not required to be reviewed for form and content by the County Surveyor nor anyone else.  The County Surveyor’s deposit plat task is essentially a clerical one of maintaining a file and index system of Land Survey plats.  Also, someone other than a licensed Land Surveyor can do this task pursuant to §§38-50-101(2)(a)(II) and 38-50-101(2)(a)(III) C.R.S.


From:
Board Minutes

Date:
April 12, 2013

From:
Warren D. Ward, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion – Clarification on Board Rule 6.5.4 – Monuments Shall Conform to Statutes

Warren D. Ward, PLS #25971, Grand County Surveyor, requested that the following questions be answered:

1. Does Board Rule 6.5.4 require all professional land surveyors to set new pins at exact, precise mathematical dimensions when found original monuments do not lie at the same exact location?

2. Does the word, “location,” in the context of this Board Rule, prohibit the professional land surveyor to accept a found monument based on any legal rationale that confirms it is the property corner, and require all professional land surveyors to apply only mathematical precision as a test for verification?

After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to respond to Mr. Ward with the following:

It is the Board’s opinion that Rule 6.5.4 is intended to make sure that monumentation is maintained in a physical condition in conformance with the statutes and not to use this rule as an excuse to set a pin cushion monument in any circumstance, let alone beside a verified original monument. Original monumentation, unless set fraudulently, has no error since the establishment of that monument is what establishes the location of the original corner. This concept has been verified and re-verified ad infinitum by our court systems. It is probably in every survey textbook ever written, and it is a concept that has been in existence, in one form or another, for over 4000 years.

Please note that original monumentation set fraudulently is not the same as original monumentation set in error, or to standards of a different era. Obviously, with modern equipment and methodologies we have the capability to measure more precisely today than many decades ago. However, this ability to measure better and verify that the original monumentation location does not conform precisely to the mathematical location described on a plat or in a legal description, does not in any way diminish the fact that the placement of an original monument establishes the location of the corner most accurately.

Retracement Land Surveying is the re-establishment of property lines based on a well-reasoned opinion, which itself should be based on the evaluation of evidence. A legal description and a plat with dimensioning are each only one piece of evidence of the location of a property line. However, the placement of the dimensions in a legal description or plat on the ground in a precise manner without regard to the evaluation of physical evidence found in the field is not the practice of professional land surveying, nor the completion of a well-reasoned opinion.

From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Date(s):
April 13, 2012, June 8, 2012 & August 10, 2012

From:
Lee Stadele, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion – Improvement Location Certificates (ILCs)

Board Action:
Lee Stadele, PLS #26300, submitted an inquiry to the Survey Quorum in which he reported that title companies and/or realtors are using Improvement Location Certificates (ILCs), which were prepared for specific clients pursuant to §38-51-108, C.R.S., in order to close mortgage loans for other clients and for whom these ILCs were not prepared.

He has also seen title companies and/or realtors ask individual owners of parcels to sign affidavits stating "nothing has changed on the parcel", again using ILCs which had not been prepared for these owners. He believes both practices are violations of the statute.

Mr. Stadele requested a Survey Quorum Opinion on a list of questions. It was the consensus of the Quorum to respond as noted below:

1. When title companies and/or realtors use Improvement Location Certificates ("ILCs") that were prepared for the use of a specific client to close a mortgage loan for another client, is this procedure legal per Colorado Revised Statute 38-51-108?

A: Section 38-51-108, C.R.S., defines who the land surveyor can and cannot prepare an ILC for; that it is not a Land Survey Plat or an Improvement Survey Plat; and the requirement of a statement on the certificate and certain wording. It does not define what title companies or realtors can do with the ILC and the legality of its use is unknown. The Board's authority is limited to Professional Land Surveyors preparing the ILCs for a specific client, not over mortgage companies or brokers.

It is possible to include a statement on the ILC: "The use of this Improvement Location Certificate by any person or entity other than the person or entity certified to without the express permission of (PLS or Surveying Company Name) is prohibited."

2. When title companies and/or realtors ask individual owners of parcels to sign an Affidavit that "nothing has changed on the parcel," using an ILC that was prepared for another client, is this procedure legal per §38-51-108, C.R.S.?

A: The signing of an Affidavit by the property owner does not comply with §38-51-108, C.R.S. A Professional Land Surveyor is the only person that can sign the ILC and statement certifying to its authenticity. An Affidavit on an ILC does not meet the minimum standards for ILCs set out in Board Rule 6.6. An Affidavit signed by a property owner would probably not have the same legal bearing as an ILC.

3. Assuming that DORA is not equipped to enforce the current statute, wouldn't it be prudent and wise to change the statute?

A: The desire to change the statute regarding ILCs is something that may be more appropriate for the professional associations and the industry to pursue.

4. Would DORA consider eliminating Improvement Location Certificates as a type of "survey" entirely?

A: It is not up to DORA to decide what survey types to retain or eliminate in the Colorado Revised Statutes. This is a decision for the Colorado General Assembly and it is the Board's responsibility to modify its Rules and Policies to reflect any changes in the statutes.

5. If DORA agrees that the use of ILCs by clients other than whom they were created for violates the current statute, can or should individual land surveyors or survey firms notify the realtors or title companies in their specific part of the state of the Survey Quorum's findings?

A: The Board does not have any jurisdiction over the use of Improvement Location Certificates nor its enforcement.



From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Date:
January 13, 2012

From:
Mike Greer, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion – Offsets to Property Pins that are in Public Right of Way

Board Action:

Mike Greer, PLS #29751 and Board Member, requested a Survey Quorum discussion about crosses or tags/nails in a sidewalk and offsets to property pins that are not points but are offsets to the actual corner for reference purposes in subdivisions. The Survey Quorum reviewed the information currently on the Q&A section of the website regarding removal of monuments prior to construction as discussed at the July 9, 2011 meeting. It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to issue the following opinion:

There have been some recent inquiries to the Survey Quorum about land survey plats that contain a statement that monuments are to be set at a later date due to imminent construction that would destroy the monuments, snow presently on the ground, etc.

There is no provision in Colorado's statutes or the Board Rules that allow the setting of monuments at a later date. Thus, a statement on a land survey plat of setting monuments in the future is unacceptable. § 38-51-106 (1)(f), C.R.S., requires a description of all monuments either found or set on a land survey plat. All monuments shown set shall be in the ground by the time the surveyor seals and signs the land survey plat.

This brings up the concern of setting monuments within projects where construction activity may remove them shortly after being set. Looking at § 18-4-508(2), C.R.S., it is a class 2 misdemeanor for anyone to remove a control corner. "Any person who knowingly removes or knowingly causes to be removed any public land survey monument, as defined by section 38-53-103 (18), C.R.S., or control corner, as defined in section 38-53-103 (6), C.R.S., or a restoration of any such monument or who knowingly removes or knowingly causes to be removed any bearing tree knowing such is a bearing tree or other accessory, as defined by section 38-53-103 (1), C.R.S., even if said person has title to the land on which said monument or accessory is located, commits a class 2 misdemeanor unless, prior to such removal, said person has caused a Colorado professional land surveyor to establish at least two witness corners or reference marks for each such monument or accessory removed and has filed or caused to be filed a monument record pursuant to article 53 of title 38, C.R.S." This means any construction activity that removes control corners is illegal. But the statute has a provision in it to allow removal of the corner and be in compliance with the law by having a professional land surveyor reference the monument for later replacement before it is disturbed by construction.

Lack of knowledge that these laws exist is most likely the reason monuments are removed. It is imperative that the land surveyor make those aware that there is a law that prohibits removal of control corners and since the statute has assigned the task to the land surveyor to preserve them, assist those to comply with the law.

Additional information on this can be found under the Surveyor's Q & A website page referencing the Board Meeting Date January 14, 2001, Tabled Request for Board Opinion – Removal of Monuments Prior to Construction.

The members requested the opinion, after final approval, be sent to contractor associations, all Colorado county building departments and road/bridge departments. They also requested this information be published in the next PLSC Side Shots quarterly update.



From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Date:
January 13, 2012

From:
Roger Kelley, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion – Monumentation Requirements and ALTA Surveys

Board Action:
Roger Kelley, PLS #24667, requested an opinion concerning monumentation requirements and ALTA surveys. His question was whether monuments were required to be set or not. It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to respond to Mr. Kelley with the following:

This issue is addressed in Board Rule 6.12 which requires that monuments be set when performing ALTAs, even if removed during construction. All parties, including the contractor should be made aware of Section 18-4-508, C.R.S. It was requested that an item entitled "ALTA Monumentation and the Bulldozers" be placed on the next Survey Quorum agenda for discussion.

From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Date:
January 13, 2012

From:
Michael Dlin, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion – Obliteration of Range Line Tie Crosses on Denver Wastewater Management Division of Public Works

Board Action:
Earl Henderson, PLS #34993 and Board Member, brought to the Survey Quorum a request for opinion from Mr. Michael Dlin, PLS #34423, and his inquiry about the requirement for replacement of obliterated monuments after curb & gutter maintenance by the Wastewater Management Division of Denver Public Works in his neighborhood in 2009. It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to respond to Mr. Dlin with the same opinion as in the Offset to Property Pins request for opinion above. The members requested the opinion, after final approval, be sent to Denver's Division of Public Works.

From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Dates:
September 9, 2011

From:
Delmer Hamilton , PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion – Subdivision Plats to be Filed as Land Survey Plats

Board Action:
At the June 10, 2011 meeting, the Survey Quorum considered a Request for a Board opinion by Mr. Delmer Hamilton, PE/PLS #4440 concerning whether or not he had a statutory obligation to review, index and file subdivision plats as a County Surveyor similar to land survey plats. The Quorum responded. Mr. Hamilton requested further consideration. It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to respond to Mr. Hamilton with the following:
The county surveyor is required to perform the duties outlined under Section 30-10-903(1), C.R.S. only.

  • A surveyor should only be examining plats if authorized by the Commissioners pursuant to Section 30-10-903(2), C.R.S.
  • Pursuant to Section 38-50-101, C.R.S., the county surveyor is to maintain a survey plat records file and index system for depositing plats. Plats deposited are totally separate from the clerk and recorder’s office recording of documents. This is supported in Section 38-50-101(5)(b): “No plat deposited in accordance with this section shall constitute notice pursuant to section 38-35-109.”



From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Date:
June 10, 2011

From:
Kim Albers, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion Basis of Bearing – Who Can Specify the Establishment of the Basis for Bearing?

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed Mr. Albers request for an opinion concerning Broomfield County dictating how and what to use for the basis of bearing instead of allowing the PLS to make that determination. Mr. Albers requested that the three following questions be answered:

  1. Is the Basis of Bearing Statement on a plat solely the responsibility of the licensed surveyor or can it be changed, modified or dictated by others. If so, by whom, and to what extent?
  2. Is the policy of requiring a new basis of bearings every time a property is surveyed consistent with land surveying practice and procedures?
  3.  Do these Broomfield requirements constitute practicing land surveying?  It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to respond to Mr. Albers with the following:
    1. There isn’t a statute that states that “establishing a Basis of Bearings is the sole responsibility of a PLS.” Section 38-51-106(e), C.R.S., only requires a statement by a Professional Land Surveyor explaining how bearings were determined.
    2. Counties have been requiring subdivision plats be tied to their surveys and control systems for years, so this would appear to be the standard of practice.
    3. Section 30-28-133, C.R.S., gives counties the responsibility for establishing subdivision regulations, so this would not constitute the practice of land surveying.

A client or government entity can require that certain monuments be used for the basis of bearing. The surveyor shall ensure the basis of bearing statement shall use one of the methods described in Board Rule 6.8.3, showing the mathematical relationship from the basis of bearing line to the survey, and label the basis of bearing line.

From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Date:
March 11, 2011

From:
Mike Greer, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion Basis of Bearing – Found Pins vs. Set Pins

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed Mr. Greer’s request for an opinion about whether a basis of bearing for a survey can be established between two monuments that are set, rather than found, as part of the survey. Following discussion, it was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to refer to Board Rules 6.8.1 and 6.8.2 which state:

  • 6.8.1 Purpose. The purpose of a basis of bearing statement on a land survey plat is to enable other surveyors to retrace all or part of that survey. Any basis of bearing statement that does not facilitate a retracement is inadequate.

If two monuments are set as the result of a survey, are completely defined on the plat, and the bearing indicated, that survey is retraceable and meets the rule’s purpose. It is also validated in Board Rule 6.8.2.

  • 6.8.2 Composition. The basis of bearing statement shall state the method used to derive the bearing (i.e., assumed, astronomic, geodetic, grid, reference to recorded or deposited survey, etc.) and the bearing between fully described monuments (i.e., monument material, diameter, length (if set), cap size and material, cap markings/stampings, etc.) at each end of a single line. When the monuments at each end of the reference line are fully described on the plat, they need only be referenced in the "Basis of Bearings" statement. A land survey plat shall show the graphic and mathematical relationship between the basis of bearing and the survey.[Emphasis added.]


Board Meeting Date:
January 14, 2011

Subject:

Request for Board Opinion – E.C. Jake Jacobsen, PLS – Online Monument Record System Search

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed a letter from E.C. Jake Jacobsen, PLS, regarding the limitations of the current Online Monument Record System’s search capabilities.
Program Director Kinnaird Linn recently met with the Department’s IT section. There is a plan to transition to new software and hardware by the end of the 2011 calendar year that will improve the system. However, Mr. Jacobsen’s problem appears to stem from not using the wildcard function when searching the monument records.


Board Meeting Date:
January 14, 2011

Subject:
Tabled Request for Board Opinion – Lawrence T. Connolly, PLS – Removal of Monuments Prior to Construction

Board Action:
At the July 9, 2010 meeting, the Survey Quorum reviewed an inquiry regarding replacing or resetting monuments after construction and tabled the discussion until Staff conducted and completed research of past Board opinions on this issue. It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum that its position remains virtually unchanged from what was stated in the September 2001 minutes. It is restated here for reference.

It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum that if it is known which corners will be destroyed during construction, they may be referenced prior to destruction and replaced after construction by a surveyor using his/her own caps. An exhibit map should be prepared showing the original monuments, how they were referenced, and what monuments and caps were used to replace the destroyed monuments. This exhibit should be deposited. In this situation the surveyor is not attesting to the accuracy of the original corners, only replacing them as found.

In the event that the corners are destroyed before they can be referenced, the replacement of those corners would then necessitate the preparation of a land survey plat in accordance with state statutes.



Board Meeting Date:
November 12, 2010

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – J. David Foley, PLS – Changing Common Boundary Lines

Board Action:
The Board considered a request for a Board opinion relating to two situations involving changing common boundary lines.

The first question involved a question of changing a common boundary line between two properties and whether it is acceptable to monument only that line or if the entire perimeter of the two properties is required to be monumented. One of the properties is a metes and bounds parcel.
The second question posed was the vacation of a boundary line between two contiguous parcels and whether the entire perimeter of the newly combined parcels must be monumented. The properties are metes and bounds parcels.

It was the consensus of the Board that neither scenario falls within the statutory requirements for platted subdivisions. Therefore, it was the Board’s conclusion that the county requirements would govern in these situations.


Board Meeting Date:
November 12, 2010

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion – Ted Shehorn, UNL – “Information Map”

Board Action:
The Board considered a request for a Board opinion relating to an Information Map prepared by licensed Professional Land Surveyor. There are no statutory criteria for the preparation of an “Information Map.” Since the Board was not able to determine the purpose of this document, it is unable to judge whether it is correct or not. The Board suggested that the individual meet with the land surveyor to discuss his concerns and should that effort fail, submit a complaint to the Board’s office including as much additional documentation as feasible to assist the Board in determining the scope of work in this project, including the contract.

Board Meeting Date:
April 9, 2010

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion Regarding the Definition of “Survey Point” – Roger Nelson, PLS

Board Action:
The Board reviewed Mr. Nelson’s inquiry regarding the definition of “survey point”. It was the recommendation of the Survey Quorum this is an ambiguity in the statute that should be addressed in sunset review. Until then,because of the ambiguity the Quorum agreed that no action should be taken should a complaint be filed on the basis of a “survey point”.



Board Meeting Date:
November 9, 2007

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion on Preparation of Easement Exhibit Maps – Robert G. Persichitte, PLS #37174

Board Action:
The Board reviewed Mr. Persichitte’s request for the Board’s opinion regarding preparation of easement exhibit maps. The Board directed that Mr. Persichitte be notified that any documents that are signed and sealed by a licensee are to be prepared under statute requirements and a clear statement qualifying any attestations should be included when applicable.


Date Received:
May 13, 2007

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion on Property Boundary Monumentation – Albert H. Barnes, PE-PLS #7481

Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for opinion regarding property boundary monumentation submitted by Mr. Barnes. It was the consensus of the Board to direct Mr. Barnes to refer to section 35-51-105 (7), C.R.S., and deny his request to waive the requirement to monument specific corners.

Date Received:
March 8, 2007

Subject:
Request for Board Opinion Regarding Plats – James B. Ackerman, PLS

Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for Board opinion on whether lot pins or plat bearings and distances that are run from the outer boundary hold. Paul Gilbert recused himself from the discussion and the vote and left the room during both. It was the consensus of the Board that there was not enough information provided to make a determination and that each case is unique requiring the individual to do research to make the determination.

Date Received:
March 2, 2007

Subject:

Request for Board Opinion Regarding Board Policy 60.2 – Dale V. Greer, PLS

Board Action:
The Board reviewed a request for Board opinion regarding Board Policy 60.2, depiction of easement and rights of way in subdivision plats. It was the consensus of the Board to direct Mr. Greer to refer to C.R.S. 38-51-105.

Subject:
Discussion About Quality of Submittals to Public Agencies

Board Action:
The Board reviewed and discussed the quality of professionals’ submittals to public agencies and whether the AES Board should attempt to require a higher level of submittal. It was the consensus of the Board that if the plans, calculations or specs are stamped and signed by the licensee, they shall meet the standard of care applicable for their intended use. Documents falling under the scope of Rule 5.1.4 C.R.S. shall be appropriately identified and qualified and shall meet the standard of care intended for their use.

Date Received:
October 24, 2006

Subject:
Bob Ward, Chief Building Official, City of Lamar

Board Action:
The Board reviewed an e-mail from Mr. Ward requesting a Board opinion on statute 12-25-303, C.R.S., as it relates to home rule cities. Board Council, John Roberts, reviewed the request and provided his informal opinion. It was the consensus of the Board to provide Mr. Ward with the memorandum written by the Mr. Roberts addressing his question.
(Click here to view the document)

From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Dated:
June 9, 2006

Date Received:
February 23, 2006

From:

Dean P. Schultz, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion on Requirement for Showing Ties to Controlling Monumentation

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed Mr. Schultz's request for review of Section 38-51-106(1)(c) to clarify requirements for land survey plats. It was the consensus of the Quorum to respond to Mr. Schultz that with regard to Mr. Schultz's concerns that surveys may not be showing the ties between a parcel and a basis of bearing, the Quorum referred Mr. Schultz to Policy 60.1.1 which surveyors must follow. Regarding ties to control monumentation, the Quorum agreed that Mr. Schultz's interpretation of Section 38-51-106(1)(c) is correct and that dimensions to control monuments must be shown on a plat.

From:
Survey Quorum minutes

Dated:
June 9, 2006

Date Received:
March 24, 2006

From:
Thomas E. Cave, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion Regarding Monument Preservation

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed Mr. Cave's request for review of a procedure outlined in a City of Louisville correspondence of January 30, 2006, regarding existing survey monumentation, and the City's statement that "offset points or chiseled crosses placed in concrete walk or curb head will not be considered a survey monument unless recorded documentation is available and submitted." It was the consensus of the Quorum to request clarification from the City of Louisville of the term "recorded documentation" and what it meant in this instance. Further, it was the consensus of the Quorum to make the City of Louisville aware that surveyors must use all evidence in their work and chiseled crosses are often the best and only historical evidence available for property line determination. Standard procedures today in construction areas dictate that crosses should be referenced prior to construction. After new construction is completed, the location of the original chiseled crosses should be replaced with monumentation as currently required by section 38-51-105(6), C.R.S., in the original location. Irrespective of home rule status, anyone involved in a surveying task must still comply with State statutes requiring the responsible charge of a Professional Land Surveyor.

From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Dated:
June 9, 2006

Date Received:
March 10, 2006

From:
LeRoy H. Stiles, PLS

Subject:
Request for Assistance on Surveyor Certification Wording

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed Mr. Stiles' request for Board assistance with the City of Fruita and their insistence on using certain certification language. It was the consensus of the Quorum to reaffirm its earlier statement of December 10, 2004, that local jurisdictions' requirements can be more restrictive than State requirements as long as they do not conflict with State requirements. The Quorum did not see a conflict with State law on this matter. If the issue continues, the Quorum recommended that assistance from insurance carriers might be appropriate.

From:
Survey Quorum Minutes

Dated:
June 9, 2006

Date Received:
March 14, 2006

From:
Charles Beresford, PLS

Subject:
Request for Opinion on the Monumentation of Condominium Map Phases

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed Mr. Beresford's request for a Board opinion on whether an individual Phase area needs to be monumented on the ground to reflect the Phase legal description that appears on a Condominium map. It was the consensus of the Survey Quorum to respond that when a condominium project is phased, only a very specific parcel is described as the boundary of a phase. A description of land that "may" be added to the project is also given. Under Mr. Beresford's interpretation, if for any reason, subsequent phases are not constructed or added to the project, the dividing line between the parcels will not have been monumented. A specific parcel is defined for the map and it has to be monumented before the map can be recorded. Each phase does need to be monumented as they are developed into condominiums.

From:
Board Minutes

Dated:
May 12, 2006

Date Received:

April 14, 2006

Subject:
Monument Record Not Filed - Daniel M. Russell, PLS #22583

Board Action:
The Board reviewed documentation submitted by Mike Drissel, PLS, Monument Record Reviewer, regarding monument records for Costilla County not filed and Mr. Russell's response. It was the consensus of the Board to direct Staff to request that Mr. Russell file a record on the monument referenced in the spirit of the intent of the Monument Record system, and to state that while the Board recognizes that the monument is not an official PLSS corner, it is a common practice to use the system in that area and a courtesy to other surveyors to file a record to enable them to use the information. Further, if Mr. Russell is not going to file a record in these instances, the Board strongly suggests that he not refer to the monument as a section corner.

From:
Board Minutes

Dated:
February 10, 2006

Date Received:
January 2, 2006

Subject:
Request for Board Direction on Surveyors' Certification Statements on Subdivision Plats - Jeffery Schaaf, PLS #37974

Board Action:
The Board reviewed Mr. Schaaf's request for Board direction on the issue of wording of land surveyors' certification statements on subdivision plats. It was the consensus of the Board to make Mr. Schaaf aware of the fact that local jurisdictions can be more restrictive than state requirements as long as they do not conflict with the state and refer him to Board Rule 6.2.1 for information on that which land surveyors may certify.

From:
Board Minutes

Dated:
January 13, 2006

Date Received:
November 28, 2005

Subject:
Request for Direction on a Monument Record - Richard L. Catlett, PE-PLS #26685

Board Action:
The Board reviewed Mr. Catlett's request for the Board's guidance in a matter whereby Timothy P. Fowler, Lapsed PLS #23041, filed a monument record that appears to be incorrect. It was noted that neither Mr. Catlett nor the Board has been able to contact Mr. Fowler. The Board suggested that Mr. Catlett file a monument record on his own corner, showing a tie to the other surveyor's corner, as well as an explanation on the record about the other corner, that it was possibly mismarked, and why Mr. Catlett did not agree with its location

From:

Survey Quorum Minutes

Dated:
December 9, 2005

Date Received:
November 17, 2005

Subject:
Request for Direction for Review of Monument Records - Michael W. Drissel, PLS, Monument Record Reviewer

Board Action:
The Survey Quorum reviewed Mr. Drissel's request for direction from the Quorum regarding several issues that have come to his attention during the course of his review of monument records. It was the consensus of the Board to respond as follows:
1. The first item deals with checking for monument records on found monuments set by another surveyor. Since the mid-1990s, the policy has been that the Monument Records Reviewer should check the monument record system on those monuments that were set in and since 1994 to determine whether a record had been filed as required by law. In his letter to the Board, Mr. Drissel suggested that it would be sufficient to allow the timeframe to float with a 10-year window, rather than continue to check for records on monuments back to 1994.
A: The Quorum considered this suggestion, agreed, and directed that a memo be drafted to codify its position as an informal Board direction.

2. The second item had to do with whether or not monuments that are encountered in the course of surveying for oil and gas wells are required to be upgraded and therefore have monument records filed on them when doing such well location certificates.
A: It was the Quorum's position that the performance of well location certificates is the practice of land surveying, that they therefore require the services of a licensed professional land surveyor, that monuments involved in such surveying are required to be upgraded, and monument records must be filed in accordance with the law. It was also the Quorum's position that it is willing to pursue action in circumstances where there are violations of the law.

3. The final item was an issue about witness corners and Mr. Drissel's observation of monument records indicating that oftentimes witness corners are being set rather than a monument box at the true corner position.
A: The Quorum stated that the way the statute is currently worded is clear on this issue as to when a reference monument may be set. Until the law is changed, it should be enforced as written. The monument records need to comply with the law. The Quorum directed that Mr. Drissel should use his best judgment in these matters, noting that licensees always have the option of appealing to the Board if they disagree with his discretion.

 
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