ALTA Surveys
Reporting and Showing Access
Per the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA Surveys in Section 5.B, 6.C.iii and 6.C.iv, the surveyor has specific responsibilities in reporting and showing how the surveyed property gains access to a dedicated public right-of-way, or to clearly indicate the lack of such access. The standards are quite specific regarding the information that needs to be shown including items such as street name, right-of-way width, indication of public or private roadway, improved roadway and width of pavement along with curb cuts, driveways, etc., yet it can still be difficult to ascertain whether the property is actually accessing the traveled roadway within a dedicated public right-of-way when reviewing a survey. Not all surveyors are clear in the labeling of this information which can lead to confusion.  

The primary point of concern for someone reviewing the survey is determining whether the property line that adjoins the public right-of-way is contiguous and one in the same with the right-of-way of the road. Additionally, the boundary line that adjoins should also be clearly indicated as the right-of-way line of the roadway. Another way to confirm access is if a metes and bounds description of the property is the record description where the survey call along the roadway reads something similar to the following: “Thence N. 77 deg. 27’ 33” W. a distance of 237.55 feet along the northern right-of-way line of State Highway 41 to a point.” The bounded by component of the survey call states that the property line is along the road. It is important to learn that the property can access the road without the need to utilize lands of others that may be between the property line and the roadway.  

In instances when surveys are presented and the matter of access is unclear, it is advisable to ask the surveyor to make a general note on the survey to clarify. For example, “the surveyed property shown hereon has contiguous access to State Route 41, a dedicated public highway as shown hereon.” Furthermore, the title company may be asked to provide an access endorsement to their policy and their clear access indication is important. Lastly, if the property does not have direct or contiguous access to the public right-of-way, maybe through a private road or over the lands of others, the reviewer of the survey wants to be sure that the surveyed property has a beneficial right or appurtenant easement to gain access to the public way. 
What's a PD?
In zoning you will occasionally see the abbreviation PD or PUD. PD is the acronym for Planned Development (or Planned Unit Development). When a property has been developed according to an approved -site/development plan, the municipality will sometimes give it a special zoning designation, PD, rather than a more conventional zone such as C-2. The use of PD, typically, indicates that particular property or section will be governed by requirements that were approved specifically for that development rather than by the standard zoning code.  

When the zoning is researched, a copy of the development plan and its conditions of approval are pulled to gather information for the zoning report. Rather than pulling the permitted uses, setbacks, parking requirements, etc. from the zoning code, those same or similar requirements will come instead from the approved plan. That information can then be used to compare zoning requirements to the conditions as depicted or noted on the survey. When anticipating the completion of the zoning report it is important to note that there may be a slight increase in reporting time for PD properties, depending upon their age and the municipality document storage protocols.  
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