Land Surveying and Subdivision Platting

Real Estate Continuing Education Course

Course Description

This course focuses on the different types of surveys used in real estate and provides background on subdivision platting and specific subdivision regulations. Upon completion of this course the student will have an understanding of why and how surveys are performed, and understand why subdivisions are created and how laws have evolved to protect land owners.

Course Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain what land surveying is
  • Discuss the different types of boundaries and how they are created
  • Discuss the types of boundary surveys used in Colorado including monumented land survey, improvement survey plat, and land survey plat
  • Define the American Land Tile Association/American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ALTA/ACSM) survey
  • Discuss what Improvement Location Certificates (ILC) are and why they are not used to establish property boundaries.
  • Recognize the minimum requirements for an ILC
  • Define how ILC’s are updated (recertified), and the potential problems created when ILC’s are represented as a “survey”
  • Define other types of mapping such as topographic surveys, aerial mapping, environmental surveys such as wetland mapping, fire mitigation mapping, slope analysis, site plans, and floodplain mapping
  • Discuss the different types of easements, both public and private and how they are created
  • Recognize the importance of locating apparent easements on surveys
  • Identify Geographic Information Systems; how GIS is used in land use planning and what features are found in a typical GIS
  • Discuss how and why surveys and maps are used in land use planning
  • Define what type of surveys may be required during land development
  • Discuss the general history of subdivision platting in the United States
  • Define the general purposes of subdivision regulations, and address the form and legal basics of what a subdivision plat is
  • Discuss Colorado municipal and county statutory and local ordinance limitations on the platting process
  • Define the subdivision review process under state statutes and local ordinances and the substantive requirements for subdivision approval under those laws
  • Recognize that the first step in determining any subdivision exemptions is to check the definition of a “subdivision” within the local regulations
  • Discuss the need to review both the local regulatory definition and the statutory definition to determine whether an exemption exists and the scope of the exemption when it does exist
  • Discuss the various mechanisms for the enforcement of subdivision plats and platting requirements
  • Recognize that most jurisdictions place the most significant burden of a subdivider’s noncompliance with local regulations on the shoulders of the “innocent purchaser”
  • Identify the two types of vested rights as well as the state and local laws that govern the vesting process
  • Discuss the general land dedication and impact fee requirements in connection with the subdivision platting process
  • Explain the law of “exactions” as part of the subdivision approval process and define the difference between a dedication requirement and a discretionary exaction
  • Recognize federal constitutional law that has evolved in recent years to address these issues
  • Discuss the right of local governments to impose impact fees on capital facilities.
  • Discuss the process and technical requirements that arise when amending a subdivision plat
  • Recognize the importance of and purposes of recording a plat
  • Discuss the legal mechanisms and substantive standards involved in a landowner's (or neighbor’s) challenge to the approval or denial of a subdivision plat by a municipality or county

The course contains numerous multiple choice exams, and interactive exercises, and is completed with a multiple choice final exam.

Approved States: CO