It has come to the Board's attention that some Land Surveyors may have been misinterpreting the requirements of 250 CMR with regard to the practice of dividing or subdividing land. Please be advised:
MGL C112, §81D defines the act of dividing or subdividing any parcel of land into one or more new parcels as the "Practice of Land Surveying." Said practice is therefore, one that the Board has authority to regulate via procedural or technical standards of care.
While the word, division or subdivision, is not found in the heading of 250 CMR, Section 6.01, it is clear from the heading's reference to "Cadastral*" or "Original**" that this section addresses the practice dividing or subdividing land. Additionally, section 6.01 makes several references to the word subdivision*** in its text.
The Board draws no distinction between the terminologies "division" and "subdivision" as does the Commonwealth's Subdivision Control Law****. Instead, the Board relies on the broader definition of subdivision to include any division of land that would delineate a new boundary line.
Specifically, the Board finds that any of the following practices would not comply with the provisions of 250 CMR 6.01:
- A subdivision or division of land that is not based upon an actual on-the-ground survey as required by 250 CMR.
- A subdivision that, by special language, attempts to limit the surveyor's liability to a standard of care that is less than that required by 250 CMR.
- A subdivision that would delineate a new boundary line without the placement of sufficient monumentation to locate or relocate those boundaries on-the-ground as required by 250 CMR.
- A subdivision that delineates a new boundary line, which is later found to be grossly in error, especially if said line inadvertently created a nonconforming lot as defined by zoning or other regulation or if said line becomes the basis of a law suit between abutting land owners.
Therefore, the preparation of any such division or subdivision of land that does not comply with the provisions of 250 CMR as set fourth herein, shall constitute grounds for disciplinary investigations***** by the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors.
This Advisory Ruling is issued pursuant to a determination made by a majority of members present at the duly called meeting of the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and of Professional Land Surveyors on December 16, 1999 and June 22, 2000.
* See "Definitions of Surveying and Associated Terms" published by American Congress on Surveying and Mapping defines Cadastral Survey as "A survey relating to land boundaries and subdivision, made to create units suitable for transfer or to define the limitations of title."
** See "Evidence and Procedures for Boundary Location" as well as "Boundary Control & Legal Principles" both by Brown, Robillard and Wilson states that "An original survey creates boundaries, it does not ascertain them."
*** See 250 CMR Section 6.01 paragraphs (1) d (6), (2) d, and (2) d (4)
**** see MGL C 41, § 81
***** see MGL C112, § 81P