Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 13. Surveyor.


§ 1–1301. Salary; appointment; term of office.

The Surveyor of the District of Columbia shall receive a salary in lieu of fees, and shall be appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia for a term of 4 years, unless sooner removed for cause, and shall be under the direction and control of the said Mayor.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1424, ch. 854, § 1577.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-901.

1973 Ed., § 1-601.

Editor's Notes

History of Office of Surveyor: The Office of the Surveyor was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Reorganization Order No. 27 of the Board of Commissioners, dated April 3, 1953, abolished the previous existing Office of the Surveyor including the office of the head thereof, and established the Office of the Surveyor headed by a Surveyor, under the direction and control of the Engineer Commissioner. All positions under the previous Office of Surveyor were transferred to the new Office with certain named exceptions. This Order was issued pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. There was established within the District of Columbia Department of Transportation the Office of Surveyor by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1982, effective December 8, 1982. The functions of the Department of Transportation were transferred to the Department of Public Works be Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1983, effective March 1, 1984.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1302. Oath.

The Surveyor shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation before the Mayor that he will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of his office, which oath shall be deposited with the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1424, ch. 854, § 1578; June 28, 1935, 49 Stat. 431, ch. 332, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-902.

1973 Ed., § 1-602.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Act Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1303. Appointment of Assistant Surveyor and other employees.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia, on the recommendation of the Surveyor, is hereby authorized to appoint 1 Assistant Surveyor, and such employees as may in the judgment of the Mayor of the District of Columbia be required for the Surveyor’s office and operation.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1579.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-903.

1973 Ed., § 1-603.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1304. Duties of Assistant Surveyor.

The Assistant Surveyor shall take the same oath his principal is required to take, and may, during the continuance of his office, discharge and perform any of the official duties of his principal.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1592; June 28, 1935, 49 Stat. 431, ch. 332, § 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-904.

1973 Ed., § 1-604.


§ 1–1305. Surveyor’s office to be legal office of record of plats and subdivisions.

The Office of the Surveyor of the District shall be the legal office of record of the plats and subdivisions of all private property in the District of Columbia and of all property belonging to the District of Columbia. The copies of all records of the division of squares and lots made between the public and the original proprietors and all plats, papers, books, maps, and records now in the Office of the Surveyor shall remain therein.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1424, ch. 854, § 1574; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 544, ch. 1329.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-905.

1973 Ed., § 1-605.


§ 1–1306. Records, papers, and instruments to be kept and preserved by Surveyor.

The Surveyor shall keep his office in a room designated by the Mayor for the purpose, and shall not be engaged in the transaction of any business appertaining to any other office or appointment which may be held by him, and shall in his said office preserve and keep all such maps, charts, surveys, books, records, and papers relating to the District of Columbia, or to any of the avenues, streets, alleys, public spaces, squares, lots, and buildings thereon, or any of them, as shall for the purpose of being deposited in his office come into his hands or possession; and shall, in books provided or to be provided for that purpose, keep a true record of every survey, certificate, or account which shall be made, issued, or prepared by him, and also shall preserve and keep in good order and repair the instruments in his said office belonging to the District.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1427, ch. 854, § 1599.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-906.

1973 Ed., § 1-606.

Cross References

Designation of real property for assessment and taxation, records, see §§ 47-701 and 47-705.

Designation of real property for assessment and taxation, transcript of conveyances, see § 47-707.

Highway plans, maps and records, see §§ 9-103.02 and 9-101.13.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1307. Records of divisions of squares and lots.

All records, or copies thereof, of the divisions of squares and lots heretofore made between the public and the original proprietors, or which are authorized by this chapter, shall be kept in the Office of the Surveyor of the District of Columbia, and the Surveyor shall put up, label, index, and preserve all the maps, charts, plats, plans, and other drawings and papers relating to the District of Columbia or which appertain to his office, and which may come to his office for deposit, record, or otherwise.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1427, ch. 854, § 1596.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-907.

1973 Ed., § 1-607.


§ 1–1308. Records deemed property of District; transfer of records upon vacancy in office.

All papers, plats, books, maps, and records of his office shall be deemed the property of the District of Columbia, and shall constitute a part of the public records; and in all cases of vacancy in the office, by resignation or otherwise, they shall be transferred to his successor in office.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1427, ch. 854, § 1600; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 545, ch. 1329.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-908.

1973 Ed., § 1-608.


§ 1–1309. Typewritten records authorized.

After May 18, 1910, the recording of all instruments filed for record in the Office of the Surveyor of the District of Columbia may be done with book typewriters.


(May 18, 1910, 36 Stat. 382, ch. 248.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-909.

1973 Ed., § 1-609.


§ 1–1310. Scale of plats.

The plats and squares and subdivisions of the City of Washington shall be drawn upon a uniform scale of not less than 1 inch to 50 feet, and shall show the lines of all subdivisions of the squares as the same existed at the date of the completion of each square.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1580.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-910.

1973 Ed., § 1-610.


§ 1–1311. Transcripts as evidence.

All transcripts from such records certified by the Surveyor shall be prima facie evidence thereof.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1424, ch. 854, § 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-911.

1973 Ed., § 1-611.


§ 1–1312. Subdivision of United States squares.

Whenever the President shall deem it necessary to subdivide any square or lot belonging to the United States within the City of Washington, not reserved for public purposes, into convenient building lots or portions for sale and occupancy, and alleys for their accommodation, he may cause a plat to be made by the Surveyor in the manner prescribed in this chapter, which plat shall be recorded by the Surveyor; and the provisions of this chapter shall extend to the lots, pieces, and parcels of ground contained in such plat as fully as to subdivisions made by individual proprietors.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1594.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-912.

1973 Ed., § 1-612.


§ 1–1313. Orders regulating platting and subdividing; admission of plats and subdivisions to record.

The Council of the District of Columbia is authorized and directed to make and publish such general orders as may be necessary to regulate the platting and subdividing of all lands and grounds in the District of Columbia under the jurisdiction of the Mayor; and no such plat or subdivision made in pursuance of such orders shall be admitted to record in the Office of the Surveyor of said District without an order to that effect indorsed thereon by the Mayor of said District.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1427, ch. 854, § 1601.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-913.

1973 Ed., § 1-613.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1314 and § 1-1321.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(21) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1314. Public ways.

All spaces on any duly recorded plat of land thereon designated as streets, avenues, or alleys shall thereupon become public ways, provided they are made in conformity with § 1-1313.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1428, ch. 854, § 1602.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-914.

1973 Ed., § 1-614.


§ 1–1315. Right-of-way through cemeteries.

If by the extension of any of the present streets or avenues or the opening of any public way it becomes necessary to traverse any grounds now used as a cemetery or place of burial, the Mayor is empowered to secure a right-of-way through the same by stipulation with the proprietors thereof.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1428, ch. 854, § 1603.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-915.

1973 Ed., § 1-615.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1316. Surveys for District.

Except as specifically provided for elsewhere in this chapter with respect to surveying work authorized to be performed by a registered land surveyor, it shall be the duty of the Surveyor to execute any surveying work for the District of Columbia without charge, on the order of the Mayor; and all fees for surveys made by the Surveyor or the Assistant Surveyor shall be paid over to the Collector of Taxes of the District of Columbia under regulations to be prescribed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and be covered into the Treasury of the United States as other revenues of the District are now; and the field notes of the Surveyor and his Assistant shall be preserved and shall be a part of the public property of the District of Columbia, and all records, plats, plans, and other papers or documents now existing, or hereafter made or secured by the Office of the said Surveyor, shall be delivered by each Surveyor to his successor in office, and no plat or survey of land shall be recorded in the Office of the Surveyor of the District of Columbia except it be certified to as correct by the Surveyor of said District, or a registered land surveyor.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1591; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 5005(a), 46 DCR 3142.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-916.

1973 Ed., § 1-616.

Editor's Notes

Office of Collector of Taxes abolished: The Office of the Collector of Taxes was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Collector of Taxes including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Director, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, transferred the functions of the Collector of Taxes to the Finance Office. The same Order provided for the Office of the Collector of Taxes headed by a Collector in the Finance Office, and abolished the previously existing Office of the Collector of Taxes. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, which provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officer, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) would continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and that the Treasury Division would perform the function of collecting revenues of the District of Columbia and depositing the same with the Treasurer of the United States. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. The collection functions of the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue were transferred to the District of Columbia Treasurer by § 47-316 on March 5, 1981.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1317. Order of survey to be speedily executed.

The Surveyor shall, as speedily as possible, execute any order of survey made by any court or private individual of any lot or square within the City of Washington, or of any land within the District of Columbia outside of said City, and shall make due return of a true plat and certificate thereof.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1590.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-917.

1973 Ed., § 1-617.


§ 1–1318. Alteration of boundaries; change of surveys.

Whenever the proprietor of any tract or parcel of land in the District of Columbia shall desire or deem it necessary to subdivide or alter boundaries, or change the surveys of any such tract or parcel of land, such subdivision, alteration, or change shall be by the Surveyor of the District of Columbia, or his Assistant, only, and shall be entered in the plat book or books of said Surveyor. All such subdivisions, alterations, or changes shall be certified by the Surveyor, the party wishing such plat, and 2 competent witnesses, whose names shall be appended thereto.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1427, ch. 854, § 1595.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-918.

1973 Ed., § 1-618.


§ 1–1319. Boundaries of lots to be marked.

The Surveyor shall, or a registered land surveyor may, on the request of the proprietor or proprietors of any square, lot, or piece of ground within the District of Columbia set out and mark the proper lines, and furnish to him, her, or them a certificate describing the dimensions and boundaries of the same, according to the plan.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1427, ch. 854, § 1598; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 5005(b), 46 DCR 3142.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-919.

1973 Ed., § 1-619.


§ 1–1320. Subdivision plat; certification.

Whenever the proprietor of any square or lot shall deem it necessary to subdivide the same into convenient building lots or portions for sale and occupancy and alleys for their accommodation, he may cause a plat to be made by the Surveyor or a registered land surveyor, on which shall be expressed the dimensions and length of all the lines of such portions as are necessary for defining and laying off the same on the ground, and may certify such subdivision under his hand and seal, in the presence of 2 or more credible witnesses, upon the same plat or on a paper or parchment attached thereto.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1581; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 5005(c), 46 DCR 3142.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-920.

1973 Ed., § 1-620.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1321 and § 42-2009.

Cross References

Condominium subdivisions, see § 42-2009.


§ 1–1321. Examination of subdivision dimensions; recording of subdivision.

At the request of the proprietor the Surveyor shall examine whether the lots or parcels into which any square or lot may be subdivided as provided in § 1-1320 agree in dimensions with the whole of the square or lot so intended to be subdivided, and whether the dimensions expressed on the plat of subdivision be the true dimensions of the parts so expressed; and whether said lots or parcels conform to the general orders of the Council of the District of Columbia made under existing law or under authority of § 1-1313; and if upon such examination he shall find the plat correct he shall certify the same under his hand and seal to the Mayor with such remarks as appear to him necessary; but no such plat or subdivision shall be admitted to record in the Office of the Surveyor without an order to that effect, indorsed thereon by said Mayor.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1582; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 544, ch. 1329.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-921.

1973 Ed., § 1-621.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1322. Reference to subdivisions.

When a subdivision of any square or lot shall be so certified, examined, and recorded, the purchaser of any part thereof or any person interested therein may refer to the plat and record for description in the same manner as to squares and lots divided between the Mayor and original proprietors.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1583.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-922.

1973 Ed., § 1-622.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1323. Regulation of alleys.

The ways, alleys, or passages laid out or expressed on any plat of subdivision shall be and remain at all times under the same police regulations as the alleys laid off by the Mayor on division with the original proprietors.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1584; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 544, ch. 1329.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-923.

1973 Ed., § 1-623.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–1324. Deficiency or excess in measurement of square.

Whenever the Surveyor or a registered land surveyor shall lay off any lot, or any parts into which a square or lot may be subdivided, as provided in this chapter, the Surveyor or a registered land surveyor shall measure the whole of that front of the square on which said lot or part lies, and if, on such admeasurement, the whole front of the square exceeds or falls short of the aggregate of the fronts of the lots on that side of the square, as the same are recorded, the Surveyor or a registered land surveyor shall, except in that portion of the City of Washington included within the limits of what formerly constituted the City of Georgetown, apportion such excess or deficiency among the lots or pieces on that front agreeably to their respective dimensions; and in that portion of the City of Washington included within the limits of what formerly constituted the City of Georgetown, the Surveyor or a registered land surveyor shall allow such excess or charge such deficiency to the highest numbered original lot on that front of the square, or apportion such excess or deficiency among any lots into which such highest numbered original lot may have been subdivided: provided, that wherever in the former City of Georgetown a square or block of land is intersected by the division line between 2 original additions to said City, the excess or deficiency found between the street lines and said division line shall be applied to the highest numbered original lot on each side of said division line, or apportioned among any lots into which such highest numbered original lot may have been subdivided.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1585; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 544, ch. 1329; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 5005(d), 46 DCR 3142; Apr. 12, 2000, D.C. Law 13-91, § 114, 47 DCR 520.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-924.

1973 Ed., § 1-624.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-91 inserted “a” following “Whenever the Surveyor or”, substituted “City of Georgetown, the Surveyor” for “City of Georgetown the Surveyor”, and validated previously made technical amendments.


§ 1–1325. Party walls.

Whenever, on such admeasurement, the wall of a house previously erected by any proprietor shall appear to stand on the adjoining lot of any other person in part less than 7 inches in width thereon, such wall shall be considered as standing altogether on the land of such proprietor, who shall pay to the owner of the lot on which the wall may stand a reasonable price for the ground so occupied, to be decided by arbitrators or a jury, as the parties interested may agree.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1425, ch. 854, § 1586.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-925.

1973 Ed., § 1-625.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1326.


§ 1–1326. Wall extending over lot line.

If the wall of any house already erected cover 7 inches or more in width of the adjoining lot, it shall be deemed a party wall, according to the regulations for building in the District, and the ground so occupied more than 7 inches in width shall be paid for as provided in § 1-1325.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1587.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-926.

1973 Ed., § 1-626.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1327.


§ 1–1327. Surveyor to certify and record location of party wall.

The Surveyor or a registered surveyor shall ascertain and certify, and the Surveyor may put on record, at the request and expense of any person interested therein, the fact of the occupation of land by a party wall, as mentioned in § 1-1326.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1588; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 5005(e), 46 DCR 3142.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-927.

1973 Ed., § 1-627.


§ 1–1328. Adjusting lines of buildings; certificate as evidence.

It shall be the duty of the Surveyor or registered land surveyor to attend and examine the foundation or walls of any house to be erected for the purpose of adjusting the line of the front of such building to the line of the street and correctly placing the party wall on the line of division between that and the adjoining lot; and his certificate of the fact shall be admitted as evidence and binding on the parties interested.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1589; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 545, ch. 1329; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 5005(f), 46 DCR 3142.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-928.

1973 Ed., § 1-628.


§ 1–1329. Mayor to revise fees for Surveyor; notice of revision of fee schedule; inspection of fee schedule; employment of registered land surveyor.

(a)(1) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may establish and revise the fees and additional charges for services rendered by the Surveyor of the District of Columbia. The fees shall be established by the Mayor in such amounts as, in the Mayor’s judgment, will be commensurate with the cost to the District of Columbia for providing the services rendered by the Office of the Surveyor. The schedule of fees established by the Mayor shall be available for inspection in the Office of the Surveyor.

(2) The proposed rules issued pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be submitted to the Council for a 30-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 90-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.

(a-1) Repealed.

(b) Any person may request in writing that the Surveyor perform any survey or prepare any plat authorized by this chapter. The Surveyor may complete and may record any survey within 60 days after a written request for survey is filed. Except for those surveying or other functions, duties or obligations specifically reserved to the Surveyor in this chapter, any person may employ, at his expense, a registered land surveyor to perform any survey or prepare any plat authorized by this chapter. Such registered land surveyor employed pursuant to this subsection shall perform the survey under the direction of and in accordance with procedures established by the Surveyor. This subsection shall not apply to any department or agency of the government of the District of Columbia.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a “registered land surveyor” shall mean any person or firm licensed under the provisions of subchapter I-B of Chapter 28 of Title 47 approved and permitted by the Office of the Surveyor to prepare and certify surveys and subdivision plats in the District of Columbia, including, but not limited to, registered civil engineers. The Surveyor is authorized to establish and enforce standards and operating procedures for the performance of surveys by registered land surveyors under subsection (b) of this section. The Surveyor is further authorized to establish and maintain a list of approved registered land surveyors who may be utilized by applicants for surveys pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Mayor is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including rules to authorize the use of private land surveyors to perform surveys or prepare plats.

(e) Repealed.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1426, ch. 854, § 1593; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-149, § 2, 25 DCR 7035; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 5005(g), 46 DCR 3142; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 2031, 57 DCR 181; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 2022, 57 DCR 6242; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 9038, 58 DCR 6226.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-929.

1973 Ed., § 1-629.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-111 added subsecs. (a-1) and (e).

D.C. Law 18-223 rewrote subsec. (a) and repealed subsec. (a-1).

D.C. Law 19-21 rewrote subsec. (e).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2031 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2031 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202 of Fiscal Year 2010 Balanced Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-450, June 28, 2010, 57 DCR 5635).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202 of Fiscal Year 2010 Balanced Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-531, August 6, 2010, 57 DCR 8109).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2022 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 202 of the Fiscal Year 2010 Balanced Budget Support Temporary Act of 2010 (D.C. Law 18-222, September 24, 2010, law notification 57 DCR 9859).

Short Title

Short title: Section 2030 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle D of title II of the act may be cited as the “Surveyor and Special Review Requests Enhanced Customer Services Amendment Act of 2009”.

Short title: Section 2021 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle C of title II of the act may be cited as the “Licensing, Permitting, and Corporate Filings Amendment Act of 2010”.