Notice of Intended Action

Minimum standards for property surveys, ch 11

Untitled document

ARC 7414C


Notice of Intended Action

Proposing rulemaking related to property surveys

and providing an opportunity for public comment

The Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board hereby proposes to rescind Chapter 11, "Minimum Standards for Property Surveys," Iowa Administrative Code, and to adopt a new chapter with the same title.

Legal Authority for Rulemaking

This rulemaking is proposed under the authority provided in Iowa Code section 542B.6.

State or Federal Law Implemented

This rulemaking implements, in whole or in part, Iowa Code chapter 542B and Executive Order 10.

Purpose and Summary

These proposed revisions to Chapter 11 implement changes recommended by Executive Order 10. The rules of Chapter 11 provide information on minimum standards for property surveys.

Fiscal Impact

This rulemaking has minimal fiscal impact to the State of Iowa. The agency bears the cost of Board meetings, including a $50 per diem per board member, per meeting, plus travel expenses as needed. Travel expenses in 2022 were approximately $500. Staff salaries to support the work of the Board are covered by the Licensing and Regulation Fund established in 2023 Iowa Acts, Senate File 557. The agency is funded by licensing fees. There are no costs to the public.

Jobs Impact

After analysis and review of this rulemaking, no impact on jobs has been found.


Any person who believes that the application of the discretionary provisions of this rulemaking would result in hardship or injustice to that person may petition the Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing for a waiver of the discretionary provisions, if any, pursuant to 481—Chapter 6.

Public Comment

Any interested person may submit written or oral comments concerning this proposed rulemaking. Written or oral comments in response to this rulemaking must be received by the Department no later than 4:30 p.m.on January 31, 2024. Comments should be directed to:

Robert E. Lampe

Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing

6200 Park Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50321

Phone: 515.725.9024

Fax: 515.725.9032


Public Hearing

Public hearings at which persons may present their views orally or in writing will be held as follows:

January 30, 2024

12:50 to 1:10 p.m.

6200 Park Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa

Video call link:

More phone numbers:

January 31, 2024

12:50 to 1:10 p.m.

6200 Park Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa

Video call link:

More phone numbers:

The Department may address agenda items out of sequence to accommodate persons appearing before the Department or to aid in the efficiency or effectiveness of the meeting.

All meetings held by the Department are accessible to everyone. Any persons who need special accommodations to participate should call 515.281.0254 (TDD: 1.800.735.2942) as soon as possible in advance of the meeting to ensure sufficient time to make the appropriate accommodations.

Public attendees may make comments at the conclusion of each board director's report.

The boards reserve the right to limit the length of comments based on the number of individuals who wish to speak.

Persons who wish to make oral comments at a public hearing may be asked to state their names for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of this proposed rulemaking.

Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee

The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rulemaking by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rulemaking at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).

The following rulemaking action is proposed:

Item 1. Rescind 193C—Chapter 11 and adopt the following new chapter in lieu thereof:



193C—11.1(542B) Scope. Each professional land surveyor will comply with the minimum standards for property surveys described by statute or administrative rule. The minimum standards in this chapter apply to all property surveys performed in this state except those done for acquisition plats as described in Iowa Code chapter 354.

193C—11.2(542B) Definitions. For the purposes of these rules, the following definitions apply:

"Plat" means both a plat of survey and a subdivision plat as those terms are defined in Iowa Code section 355.1.

"Property survey" means any land survey performed for the purpose of describing, monumenting, retracing and establishing boundary lines, dividing, subdividing, or platting one or more parcels of land.

"Retrace" means following along a previously established line to logical termini.

193C—11.3(542B) Boundary location. Every property survey shall be made in accordance with the legal description (record title) boundaries as nearly as is practicable. The surveyor will acquire data necessary to retrace record title boundaries, centerlines, and other boundary line locations. The surveyor will analyze the data and determine the position of the boundaries of the parcel being surveyed. The surveyor will make a field survey, locating and connecting monuments necessary for location of the parcel, and coordinate the facts of such survey with the analysis. The surveyor will set monuments marking the corners of such parcel unless monuments already exist at such corners.

193C—11.4(542B) Descriptions. Descriptions defining land boundaries written for conveyance or other purposes shall be complete, providing definite and unequivocal identification of lines or boundaries. The description must contain dimensions sufficient to enable the description to be platted and retraced and describe the land surveyed either by government lot or by quarter-quarter section or by quarter section and identify the section, township, range and county; and by metes and bounds commencing with a corner monumented and established in the U.S. Public Land Survey System; or if such land is located in a recorded subdivision or recorded addition thereto, then by the number or other description of the lot, block or subdivision thereof that has been previously tied to a corner monumented and established by the U.S. Public Land Survey System. If the parcel is described by metes and bounds, it may be referenced to known lot or block corners in recorded subdivision or additions.

193C—11.5(542B) Plats. A plat shall be drawn for every property survey performed showing information developed by the survey and including the following elements:

11.5(1) The plat is drawn to a convenient scale that is clearly stated and graphically illustrated by a bar scale on every plat sheet.

11.5(2) The plat shows the length and bearing of the boundaries of the parcels surveyed. Where the boundary lines show bearing, lengths or locations that vary from those recorded in deeds, abutting plats or other instruments, the following note is placed along such lines: "recorded as (show recorded bearing, length or location)."

11.5(3) The plat shows and identifies all monuments necessary for the location of the parcel and indicates whether such monuments were found or placed and includes an accurate description of each monument consisting of size, shape, material type, capped with license number, and color as applicable.

11.5(4) The plat is captioned to identify the person for whom the survey was made and the date of the survey and describes the parcel as provided in rule 193C—11.4(542B) above.

11.5(5) The plat shows that record title boundaries, centerlines, and other boundary lines were retraced to monuments found or placed by the surveyor.

11.5(6) The plat shows that the survey is tied to a physically monumented land line that is identified by two U.S. Public Land Survey System corners or by two physically monumented corners of a recorded subdivision. The plat shows a distance relationship measured by the surveyor between the two corners on the physically monumented land line. The physically monumented land line shall be germane to the survey of the lot, parcel, or tract.

11.5(7) The plat bears the signature of the professional land surveyor, a statement certifying that the work was performed by the surveyor or under the surveyor's direct personal supervision, the date of signature, and the surveyor's Iowa license number and legible seal as provided in rule 193C—6.1(542B).

11.5(8) The surveyor shall record every plat and description, excluding subdivision plats, with the county recorder no later than 30 days after signature on the plat by the surveyor.

193C—11.6(542B) Measurements.

11.6(1) Measurements may only be made with instruments and methods capable of attaining the required accuracy for the particular problem involved.

11.6(2) Measurements as placed on the plat shall be in conformance with the capabilities of the instruments used.

11.6(3) The unadjusted closure for all closed traverse surveys shall be not greater than 1 in 5,000 and, for subdivision boundaries, 1 in 10,000.

11.6(4) In a closed traverse, the sum of the measured angles shall agree with the theoretical sum by a difference not greater than 30 seconds times the square root of the number of angles.

11.6(5) The unadjusted error of field measurements shall not be greater than 1 in 5,000.

11.6(6) The relative positional tolerance at the 95 percent confidence level shall be as follows:

a. For subdivision boundaries: ±(0.13 feet + 1:10,000)

b. For all other land surveying: ±(0.26 feet + 1:5,000)

11.6(7) Bearings or angles on any property survey plat shall be shown to the nearest one minute; distance shall be shown to the nearest one-tenth foot.

193C—11.7(542B) Monuments. Monuments shall adhere to Iowa Code section 355.6. More information can be found in rule 193C—11.3(542B).

These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code sections 355.3 and 542B.2.

Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board

This Organization is a part of the Professional Licensing and Regulation Bureau

Closed For Comments

This notice is now closed for comments. Collection of comments closed on 1/31/2024.

Official Document

The official published PDF of this document is available from the Iowa General Assembly’s Administrative Rules page.

View Official PDF

View the Iowa Administrative Bulletin for 1/10/2024.

View Bulletin

Administrative Rule References

The following administrative rule references were added to this document. You may click a reference to view related notices.

Rule 193C-11.1 Rule 193C-11.2 Rule 193C-11.3 Rule 193C-11.4 Rule 193C-11.5 Rule 193C-11.6 Rule 193C-11.7 Rule 193C-6.1

Iowa Code References

The following Iowa code references were added to this document. You may click a reference to view related notices.

Iowa Code 354 Iowa Code 355.1 Iowa Code 355.3 Iowa Code 355.6 Iowa Code 542B.2


The following keywords and tags were added to this document. You may click a keyword to view related notices.

Boundary location Definitions Descriptions Measurements Monuments Plats Scope
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