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DCALS all-day seminar . . . . .
      The Law of Encroachments in DC
      Sue the DC Surveyor!
      DC's New Zoning Ordinance Affects Surveys
      The 'DC Way' Immortalized on Film!

When: 11/09/2018
From 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Where: Gallaudet University Kellogg Conference Center
800 Florida Avenue, N.E.
Washington, District of Columbia  20002
United States
Presenter: There are multiple presenters and they are listed below.
Contact: DCALS Event Coordinator

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Please join DCALS Friday November 9, 2018 at Gallaudet University’s Kellogg Conference Center in Washington DC, for an instructive 8-hour professional seminar. Featured will be FOUR completely new sessions, covering THE LAW OF ENCROACHMENTS IN DC; plus actual COURT CHALLENGES TO THE DC SURVEYOR; and the many ways DC’s NEW ZONING ORDINANCE AFFECTS SURVEYS. Last but not least, we’ll proudly unveil our new VIDEO SHOWING THE ‘DC WAY’ OF SURVEYING. It’s a World Premier! You’re invited.

DCALS is the only organization teaching DC Boundary Law and Surveying. This 8-hour session is intended for all who deal with with property lines, construction, land development or title law in Washington. Recommend-ed for DC’s licensing exam. Certificates for 8 Continuing Education Credits will be awarded - approved for surveyors and civil engineers in all surrounding states (and soon likely needed in DC.) Please join us.

The Law of Encroachments in DC . . . The District of Columbia has always devoted special care to detecting and preventing encroachments. More than a century ago DC enacted a much-needed ‘Wall Test’ statute, requiring that all new buildings, additions and retaining walls be checked for proper location by expert surveyors. A similar rule appeared in the city’s original 1791 building regulations written by George Washington.

Encroachments in DC are therefore more than ‘clouds on title.’ They’re actual violations of several city ordinances and can easily cause occupancy permits to be denied or revoked. Surveyor-attorney James J. Demma, Esquire will take us through the Law of Encroachments in DC, explaining not only statutes but all the leading DC cases. One of those cases, Kayfirst v. Union Terminal Corp., in which a prominent DC survey firm got sued over a massive underground footing, ended up being a ‘case of first impression’ affecting the title insurance industry.

Sue the DC Surveyor! . . . Has the DC Surveyor ever been sued in court? Has he ever been found wrong?  Have his official DC Surveys or Subdivisions ever been overruled?

The DC Surveyor is the District government’s top authority on correct placement of property lines. He heads the survey office that originally subdivided and monumented most of DC. Until 1974 he was equivalent to a US ‘Surveyor General’ for the District. Only a court of law can overturn the DC Surveyor on questions of where lot lines should run. But how often has that actually happened?

Retired PLS Chas Langelan researched past cases where the DC Surveyor was challenged in court. This session will present actual cases that went to appeal, involving survey disputes in DC. We’ll look at the facts and examine the plats. Seminar attendees will be the ‘jury.’ Was DCSO right or wrong? Which side do you think won the case? Then we’ll reveal what the actual courts decided - and why.

"How DC's New Zoning Impacts Surveys! . . . After more than 5 years of studies and public debate, DC in 2016 revised its entire Zoning Ordinance from top to bottom. Many of the changes affect survey work. Kathleen A. Beeton, Deputy DC Zoning Administrator, will explain the new rules that deal with surveying. Front yard setbacks are now required city-wide and must be averaged. The same is true for rear yards in certain cases. Measuring building heights has gotten trickier (if such was possible.) The city has a new form that requires basement depths as well. 24-foot alleys can now have dwellings. Parking sizes and minimums have been amended. And surveyors are often asked to determine average lot widths, green spaces, side yards, rear setbacks, ‘zoning fronts’ and other compliance issues. There hasn’t been a DCALS class on zoning in 15 years. The whole code is changed. This is an important seminar.

'The 'DC Way' of Surveying Immortalized on Film! . . . In past years DCALS offered outdoor training sessions on how to retrace boundaries in DC. We created a mock ‘Square’ on Gallaudet’s campus, and ‘field crews’ of seminar attendees went out and surveyed it, solving its boundary the DC Way – finding old points, running offsets, checking ‘reads’ and deciding in the field what works.

This year Neal Isenstein of the DC Surveyors Office made a different suggestion. Could we film a genuine DC boundary survey, while it’s actually being done on the streets of Washington?

In a joint DCALS-DCSO effort, at a real site near Logan Circle, ‘movie stars’ Alan Schiffer and Neal Isenstein were filmed step-by-step performing an authentic Survey to Mark. They’ll explain the entire process and the evidence they used. DC’s boundary techniques are now captured on film for all time. How many surveyors today have ever actually seen an official DC copper being set? This film shows the first one in 26 years. And the gold Oscar for videography goes to Jeff Smeraldo of Timmons Group.

Seminar Details at a Glance . . .


               800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington DC 20002

 Seminar Agenda
7:00am - 8:00am  Registration Desk Open – Continental Breakfast                  
8:00am - 9:40am  The Law of Enroachments in DC -James J. Demma, Esquire, Prof. LS
9:40am - 10:00am  Morning Break with Refreshments
10:00am - 11:40
 Sue the DC Surveyor - Chas Langelan, DCRLS (retired)
11:40 - 1:00pm  LUNCH – Gallaudet’s FEAST for hungry surveyors!
1:00pm - 2:40pm  DC's New Zoning Affects SurveysKathleen Beeton, DC Zoning
2:40pm - 3:00pm  Afternoon Break with Refreshments
3:00pm - 4:40pm  The 'DC Way' Immortalized on Film Neal Isenstein, DCSO and Alan Schiffer, RLS/PE
4:40pm - 5:00pm  Outcome Measures and Continuing Education Certificates


















CREDITS:   8- Professional Development Hours (PDHs); equivalent to
                    8- C E Unit Credit Hours (Virginia); equivalent to
                    8- CPC Credits (Maryland)

‘Early-Bird’ registrations, received before midnight Sunday NOVEMBER 4, 2018 . . .

             DCALS Members . . . $249           Non-members . . . $299
             ($50 Additional for registrations received after midnight Sunday November 4, 2018.)

FREE secure all-day garage parking on-campus for every attendee. DCALS will distribute a parking pass and you must display it in the windshield .

OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS:   Gallaudet University’s Kellogg Conference Center features a fine 93-room hotel.
                                                              Attendees are responsible for making their own overnight arrangements.
                                                              To reserve a room at Kellogg Conference Hotel call 202-651-6000.


‘Land Surveying in the District of Columbia’ – DCALS Manuals . . .

AVAILABLE FOR SALE at our seminar will be DCALS’ 2010 and 2017 editions of “LAND SURVEYING in the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.” Packed with useful information, these are the only books published on DC surveying. Our 2010 Manual remains DC-OPLA’s Official Study Guide for the District of Columbia land surveyor licensing exam. We’ll have it on sale for $75. (Very few are left.) And DCALS’ new updated 2017 Manual will also be available - $130 for members, $160 for non-members .

  • JAMES J. DEMMA, Esquire, Prof. LS,  attorney-surveyor at Miles & Stockbridge, has been practicing law more than 46 years. He began his career as a rookie field surveyor, became a Maryland PLS and went to law school at night. After passing the bar in '72, he began teaching Boundary Law to land surveyors. Even though he's been a lawyer now for decades, he still has his surveyors license.

  • ALAN M. SCHIFFER, PE & RLS  of Datum-East, Inc, is one of the most respected boundary surveyors practicing in the District of Columbia today. A Stanford graduate with a Master’s degree in civil engineering, he has 39 years experience performing demanding survey projects in Washington DC, and is a skilled mathematician who developed special formulas for solving DC boundaries.

  • NEAL ISENSTEIN  of the DC Surveyors Office has spent his life figuring out complex DC boundaries, first in the private sector and now as Survey & Wall Check Coordinator at DCSO. Neal reviews all Official Surveys and Wall Tests, and probably knows more about the District’s immense archive of survey records than anyone else.

  • KATHLEEN BEETON, ACIP, Deputy DC Zoning Administrator,  is Deputy DC Zoning Administrator at DCRA. She’s been with the District of Columbia government for 8 years, prior to which she was a project manager at City of Alexandria. A Certified Planner with more than 20 years experience, she’s a Rutgers graduate with a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning.

  • CHAS LANGELAN, RLS,  is a retired professional land surveyor who practiced more than 40 years in Maryland and the District of Columbia. He ran a busy survey office on Capitol Hill before retiring in 2008. A charter officer of DCALS, he’s one of only two individuals (along with DC Surveyor Rick Dreist) to have served continuously on DCALS’ Board of Directors since its founding in 2001.



2017-LAND SURVEYING IN DC - Event Promotion

2017-LAND SURVEYING IN DC - Event Promotion