Industry standard for having a GIS Zoning map certified by a surveyor.

07-19-2010 06:31 AM
New Contributor III
I work with a municipality that has just completed a comprehensive rezoning of it's city.

We produced a new zoning map using ArcGIS. This essentially involved taking GIS property parcel data maintained by the County property appraiser office and GIS street centerline data, also mantianed by our County, and simply digitizing zoning district boundaries to match these lines.

The purpose of the map is simply to determine the zoning of each property within the city. It is not the responsibilty of the city to maintain the actual property lotlines, that is undertaken by the County.

However, in order for the City to officially adopt the zoning map, certain city department heads and the city council would feel more comfortable if the zoning map was officially "certified" by a surveyor. However the surveyor we have begun to work with has never heard of GIS or ESRI and I get the feeling he wants to take a PDF of our GIS zoning map and redraw all of the lines again in AutoCAD and then charge us a bunch of money.

My questions are this:

1) Is there a legal requirement for a zoning map to be officially "certified" by a surveyor for it to be legally enforcable by a city government?

2) If so, seeing as in today's day and age, most zoning maps are created using GIS technologies, is there an official process whereby a Proffesional Surveyor can take the GIS zoning data and simply stamp some sort of seal on it? Are most professional surveyors familiar with this service?
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New Contributor III
My two cents from a long time GIS hand that has worked as a surveyor and with parcels for 15 yrs.

The zoning map you have created is a derivative product from legal documents that have the actual legal standing.  I think that what you need is a disclaimer for the map that it is such and that the original documents take precedence.  your city lawyer may be able to help you with the wording.  The documents used the create the map (Zoning decries, Plats and Deeds) will always be the last say no matter what the commission does with the map. 

I would say that the Surveyor is not comfortable putting his name on anything that he has not worked himself; good for him.  You might get his buy in that the process was correct, but I don�??t see him putting a signature on your map.  

You did not mention where your city is but my experience in the Southern US........If the city council says its done, its done.  😉
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