2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
November 12, 2013 - Introduced by Representatives Weatherston, Brooks, Czaja,
Kooyenga, Marklein and A. Ott, cosponsored by Senators Lasee and T.
. Referred to Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations.
AB506,2,19 1An Act to repeal 236.12 (4), 236.12 (5), 236.20 (1) (b), 443.01 (4), 443.06 (2) (a),
2443.06 (2) (b), 443.06 (2) (c), 443.06 (2) (e), 443.06 (2) (em), 443.06 (3), 443.14 (8)
3(b) and 443.14 (8) (c); to renumber and amend 60.84 (1), 236.11 (2), 236.12 (8),
4236.15 (1) (intro.), 236.15 (1) (a), 236.21 (1) (b) and 236.32 (except 236.32 (title));
5to consolidate, renumber and amend 236.12 (2) (intro.) and (a) and 236.12
6(3) and (6); to amend 15.405 (2) (intro.), (a) and (b), 20.165 (2) (j), 26.09 (3) (b)
71., 30.11 (3), 30.13 (3) (a), 59.20 (2) (c), 59.43 (8), 59.45 (1) (a) 2., 59.45 (1) (b),
859.45 (3), 59.46, 59.72 (3m) (a) 4m., 59.73 (2), 59.74 (2) (b) 1., 59.74 (2) (c), 59.74
9(2) (g), 59.74 (2) (h), 59.74 (2) (j), 59.75, 60.84 (2), 60.84 (3) (a), 60.84 (3) (c)
10(intro.) and 1., 60.84 (4), 66.0309 (11), 70.27 (2), 70.27 (5), 70.27 (6), 70.27 (7)
11(intro.), 70.27 (7) (d), 84.095 (5), 157.07 (1), 157.07 (2), 157.07 (3), 236.02 (2m),
12236.03 (2), 236.12 (2) (b), 236.13 (2) (a), 236.13 (2m), 236.15 (1) (b), 236.15 (1)
13(d), 236.15 (2), 236.16 (3) (title), 236.16 (3) (a), 236.16 (3) (b), 236.16 (4), 236.20
14(1) (a), 236.20 (2) (g), 236.20 (2) (k), 236.20 (3) (b), 236.20 (4) (b), 236.20 (5) (c),

1236.21 (1) (intro.), 236.21 (1) (a), 236.21 (1) (d), 236.25 (2) (a), 236.25 (2) (c),
2236.25 (2) (d), 236.34 (1) (a), 236.34 (1) (b), 236.34 (1) (c), 236.34 (1) (d) (intro.),
3236.34 (1) (d) 1., 236.34 (1) (d) 2., 236.34 (1) (d) 4., 236.34 (1) (e), 236.34 (2) (b)
41., 293.37 (2) (a), 295.48 (1) (intro.), 440.03 (13) (b) 34., 440.08 (2) (a) 39., chapter
5443 (title), 443.01 (3), 443.01 (3r) (c), 443.02 (4), 443.06 (title), 443.06 (1) (title),
6443.06 (1) (a), 443.06 (1) (b), 443.06 (2) (intro.), 443.06 (2) (am), 443.06 (2) (bm),
7443.06 (2) (cm), 443.06 (2) (d), 443.10 (title), 443.10 (2) (b), 443.10 (5), 443.12
8(title), 443.12 (1), 443.12 (2), 443.12 (3), 443.12 (4), 443.14 (8) (a), 443.14 (8) (d),
9443.14 (11), 443.18 (2) (b), 470.025 (7), 703.02 (6m), 703.11 (2) (intro.), 703.11
10(2) (b), 703.11 (4), 703.115 (1) (b), 703.13 (6) (e), 703.13 (7) (c), 703.13 (8) (c),
11707.215 (2) (intro.), 707.215 (3), 707.215 (5) (intro.), 709.02 (1), 709.07 and
12893.37; to create 59.001 (3r), 60.84 (1g), 60.84 (3) (c) 3., 157.061 (13m), 236.02
13(9b), 236.025, 236.11 (2) (b), 236.12 (2) (ac), 236.20 (6), 236.32 (2m), 236.34 (4),
14443.01 (1m), 443.01 (3b), 443.01 (6s), 443.01 (7m), 443.134, 443.135, 703.02
15(13r) and 710.09 of the statutes; and to affect 2009 Wisconsin Act 376, section
1613 (1); relating to: professional land surveyors; the practice of professional
17land surveying; surveying land abutting navigable waters; various changes
18regarding platting, surveying, and certified survey maps; and granting
19rule-making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, with certain exceptions, a person may not practice land
surveying or represent that he or she is a land surveyor unless the Land Surveyor
Section (section) of the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects,
Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors (board) has issued a
certificate of registration or a permit to the person. "Land surveying" is defined as
determining the location of land boundaries and boundary corners; preparing maps

that show the shape and area of tracts of land or subdivisions or the layout of roads,
streets, or rights-of-way; or preparing official plats or maps of land in this state.
This bill replaces "land surveying" with the term "practice of professional land
surveying" and defines the term as any of the following:
1. Any service comprising the establishment or reestablishment of the
boundaries of one or more tracts of land or the boundaries of any of the following
interests in real property: a) the alignment and rights-of-way of roads or streets;
b) air or subsurface property rights; or c) public or private easements.
2. Designing or coordinating designs for the purpose of platting or subdividing
land into smaller tracts.
3. Placing, replacing, restoring, or perpetuating monuments in or on the
ground to evidence the location of a point that is necessary to establish boundaries
of one or more tracts of land or the subdivision or consolidation of one or more tracts
of land or that is necessary to describe the boundaries of any interest in real property
identified in item 1.
4. Preparing maps that depict any interest in real property identified in item
1. for the purpose of establishing the boundaries of any such interest in real property.
5. Preparing any of the following: a) an official map established or amended by
a city, established or amended by a village, or adopted by a town; b) an assessor's plat;
c) a map or plat of cemetery lands; d) a subdivision plat, certified survey map, or
correction instrument; e) a condominium plat or correction instrument; or f) a project
and time-share plat.
6. Performing construction or geodetic surveying in connection with any of the
practices specified in items 1. to 5.
The bill also replaces the certificate of registration requirement under current
law with a license requirement. Under the bill, with certain exceptions, a person may
not engage in the practice of professional land surveying or represent that he or she
is a professional land surveyor unless the person is issued a license or permit by the
In addition, the bill changes the name of the section to the Professional Land
Surveyor Section and changes the name of the board to the Examining Board of
Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers, and
Professional Land Surveyors. The bill also replaces various references under current
law to "registered land surveyor," "land surveyor," and "surveyor" with "professional
land surveyor."
Under current law, a person who has completed an apprenticeship training
course in land surveying, engaged in land surveying for eight years, and passed oral
and written examinations may be registered as a land surveyor. This bill eliminates
that pathway to licensure.
Current law authorizes the section to grant a permit to practice land surveying
to a person while the application for a certificate of registration is pending if the
person has paid a fee and holds an unexpired certification that satisfies one of the
requirements for registration in this state. Such a permit may be revoked by the
section at any time. The bill eliminates that authorization to grant a permit.

Current law offers several exemptions from registration as a land surveyor.
Current law exempts officers and employees of the federal government and
employees of this state from any licensure requirement while the individuals are
engaged in land surveying for the federal or state government, respectively. This bill
eliminates those exemptions. Current law also exempts employees of public utilities
who are engaged in land surveying. This bill retains that exemption until June 30,
Current law permits a town board to contract with the county surveyor or any
registered land surveyor to survey all or some of the sections of the town and to erect
monuments. The surveyor retained by the town must prepare a certificate that
provides a record of any survey created and that documents actions taken by the
county surveyor. The certificate must include the bearings of and distance between
monuments and must be recorded in the office of the county register of deeds. This
bill requires, instead, that a surveyor retained by the town prepare a U.S. Public
Land Survey monument record (monument record) that documents the actions
taken by the surveyor, including every monument erected on section and quarter
section corners. The monument record must be either recorded with the register of
deeds or filed in the office of the county surveyor in the county in which the land is
located. Current law permits the town board to determine the nature of the
monument, but the monument must be either a stone or other durable material of
certain dimensions or a three-inch diameter iron pipe of certain dimensions. This
bill permits the town board and the surveyor to agree upon an equivalent monument.
Under current law, a cemetery authority must have lands that will be used for
burial surveyed and platted into cemetery lots, drives, and walks. The plat or map
must show the location of the land being subdivided with reference to a corner or
corners established by the U.S. Public Land Survey by bearings and distances. This
bill requires, instead, that the location of the lands be indicated on the plat or map
by bearing and distance from the boundary line of a government lot, quarter section,
recorded private claim, or federal reservation in which the subdivision is located and
the monumentation at the ends of the boundary line must be described and the
bearing and distance shown.
Under current law, a registered land surveyor who prepares a lake or stream
shore plat must show certain dimensions as measured from the ordinary high water
mark (OHWM) of the lake or stream. The bill authorizes a professional land surveyor
to incorporate an OHWM that has been determined by the Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) or that has otherwise been determined by law or to approximate
the OHWM. The bill requires that statements be included on the face of certain plats
or maps that explain that the land below the OHWM of a navigable water is subject
to the public trust doctrine for navigable waters and that exposed land between the
OHWM and the water's edge is to be used exclusively by the owner of the adjacent
waterfront property, unless otherwise provided by law or by the owner's title.
The bill makes a number of changes to the laws relating to subdivision plats,
certified survey maps, and the recording of certain plats, including the following:
1. Under current law, a subdivision plat may not be recorded unless it is
approved by, depending on the location of the subdivision that is the subject of the

plat, the governing body of a town, city, or village and, in some circumstances, a
county planning agency (approving authorities). The plat must also be reviewed (to
determine whether there is an objection) by a county planning agency, county park
commission, or county park manager for any conflict with parks, parkways, or other
planned public developments; the Department of Administration (DOA); if the
subdivision abuts or adjoins a state highway, the Department of Transportation
(DOT); and, if the subdivision is not served by a public sewer and provision for that
service has not been made, the Department of Safety and Professional Services
(DSPS) (objecting agencies). Current law specifies the number of copies of the plat
that must be submitted, to whom they must be submitted, and the time limits within
which the approving authorities and objecting agencies must act and provides two
different procedures that may be used by a subdivider. The bill simplifies the
approval process by limiting it to a single procedure, which is, for the most part, one
of the two procedures under current law.
Under the bill, the subdivider or subdivider's agent must submit an electronic
copy of the preliminary or final plat, or a copy that is capable of legible reproduction,
to the approving authority or authorities and to DOA. DOA must examine the plat
for compliance with certain statutory requirements and, within two days, transmit
an electronic copy or two legible hard copies of the plat to DOT or DSPS or both, based
on the criteria under current law. Also within two days after receiving the copy of
the plat, DOA must transmit copies of the plat to the county planning agency, county
park commission, or county park manager for making the determinations required
under current law. Each objecting agency has 20 days after receiving a copy of the
plat to notify the subdivider and all other objecting agencies of any objection to the
plat, or to certify on the face of a copy of the plat that it has no objection and to return
that copy to DOA. DOA then must certify on the face of the plat that each objecting
agency has certified that it has no objection or that its objection has been satisfied.
If an objecting agency other than DOA fails to act within 20 days after receiving a
copy of the plat, or if DOA fails to act within 30 days after receiving a copy of the plat,
it is deemed that there are no objections to the plat and, upon demand, DOA must
so certify on the face of the plat.
As under current law, the approving authority or authorities have 60 days after
receiving the plat to approve or reject it, but no approving authority may inscribe its
final approval on the plat before DOA has certified that there are no objections to the
2. Current law provides that public access to a navigable lake or stream that
is established when a subdivision is platted may be vacated only by court action. The
bill specifies that such public access may, in addition, be discontinued through a
process that exists under current law in which a city, village, town, or county may,
by resolution, discontinue a public way upon the written petition of the requisite
number of landowners abutting the public way. Current law also provides that DNR
must approve of any such discontinuation by a town or county if the public way
provides public access to a navigable lake or stream.
3. Current law specifies where monuments must be placed when a subdivision
is surveyed and provides that, if a monument would have to be placed in a street

when the external boundaries of a subdivision are surveyed, the monument may be
placed in the side line of the street. The bill expands this provision to surveys of all
parts of a subdivision, not just the external boundaries.
4. Current law provides that a subdivider's project may be constructed in
phases and that the amount of any security required by the municipality in which
the project is located must be limited to the phase of the project currently being
constructed. The bill makes this provision retroactive to all subdivision plats,
regardless of when submitted for approval.
5. Under current law, a subdivision plat must have a binding margin that is one
and one-half inches on the left side and a one-inch margin on all other sides; all
lands dedicated to public use, except roads and streets, must be clearly marked on
the plat as dedicated to the public; and the location of the subdivision must be
indicated by bearing and distance from a boundary line of a quarter section, recorded
private claim, or federal reservation. The bill changes the plat margin requirements
to one inch on all sides, requires roads and streets that are dedicated to public use
also to be marked as dedicated to the public, and adds that the location of the
subdivision may be indicated by bearing and distance from a boundary line of a
government lot monumented in the original survey or resurvey of Wisconsin.
6. The bill clarifies that if land shown in a subdivision plat or certified survey
map that is to be recorded is shown in a previously recorded plat or certified survey
map, it may be described in the new plat or certified survey map by the subdivision
name or previous certified survey map number rather than requiring a
metes-and-bounds description of the land.
7. Under current law, a certified survey map may not be recorded unless it is
offered for record within 6 months after the last approval and within 24 months after
the first approval. The bill increases this timeline to within 12 months after the last
approval and within 36 months after the first approval.
8. The bill explicitly allows certified survey maps to be used to grant easements
to the public or any person, society, or corporation.
9. Current law provides a procedure for vacation of a subdivision plat by a
circuit court. The bill establishes a similar procedure for vacation of a certified
survey map by a circuit court.
10. The bill provides that the following documents may be produced for
recording on any media that is acceptable to the register of deeds: a subdivision plat,
a certified survey map, an assessor's plat, a cemetery plat, a condominium plat, and
a time-share plat.
11. Current law provides a penalty of not more than $250 or imprisonment for
not more than one year in the county jail for various violations related to the
placement of monuments by a surveyor. The bill provides that each monument to
which a violation applies is a separate violation and therefore subject to a separate
The bill codifies the holding of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in FAS, LLC v.
Town of Bass Lake
, 2007 WI 73, 301 Wis. 2d 321, 733 N.W.2d 287, by specifying that,
unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a navigable stream running through a

parcel of property does not, in and of itself, divide the parcel into two lots if the same
person holds title to the property on both sides of the stream.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB506,1 1Section 1. 15.405 (2) (intro.), (a) and (b) of the statutes are amended to read:
AB506,7,122 15.405 (2) Examining board of architects, landscape architects,
3professional engineers, designers
, and professional land surveyors. (intro.)
4There is created an examining board of architects, landscape architects, professional
5engineers, designers, and professional land surveyors in the department of safety
6and professional services. Any professional member appointed to the examining
7board shall be registered or licensed to practice architecture, landscape architecture,
8professional engineering, the design of engineering systems, or professional land
9surveying under ch. 443. The examining board shall consist of the following
10members appointed for 4-year terms: 3 architects, 3 landscape architects, 3
11professional engineers, 3 designers, 3 professional land surveyors, and 10 public
AB506,7,1813 (a) In operation, the examining board shall be divided into an architect section,
14a landscape architect section, an engineer section, a designer section , and a
15professional land surveyor section. Each section shall consist of the 3 members of
16the named profession appointed to the examining board and 2 public members
17appointed to the section. The examining board shall elect its own officers, and shall
18meet at least twice annually.
AB506,8,319 (b) All matters pertaining to passing upon the qualifications of applicants for
20and the granting or revocation of registration or licensure, and all other matters of

1interest to either the architect, landscape architect, engineer, designer, or
2professional land surveyor section shall be acted upon solely by the interested
AB506,2 4Section 2. 20.165 (2) (j) of the statutes, as affected by 2013 Wisconsin Act 20,
5is amended to read:
AB506,8,146 20.165 (2) (j) Safety and building operations. The amounts in the schedule for
7the purposes of chs. 101 and 145 and ss. 167.35, 236.12 (2) (a) (ap), 236.13 (1) (d) and
8(2m), and 236.335, for the purpose of transferring the amounts in the schedule under
9par. (kg) to the appropriation account under par. (kg), and for the purpose of
10transferring the amounts in the schedule under par. (km) to the appropriation
11account under par. (km). All moneys received under ch. 145, ss. 101.178, 101.19,
12101.63 (9), 101.654 (3), 101.73 (12), 101.82 (4), 101.955 (2), 101.973 (7), 167.35 (2) (f),
13and 236.12 (7) and all moneys transferred under 2005 Wisconsin Act 45, section 76
, shall be credited to this appropriation account.
AB506,3 15Section 3. 26.09 (3) (b) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB506,8,2216 26.09 (3) (b) 1. A court shall award damages that equal the stumpage value of
17the raw forest products harvested if the person harvesting the raw forest products
18or the person giving consent for the harvesting reasonably relied upon a recorded
19survey that was done by a person who is registered licensed under ch. 443 as a
20professional land surveyor or who is issued a permit to practice land surveying under
21s. 443.06
even if the recorded survey is determined, after the harvesting, to be in
AB506,4 23Section 4. 30.11 (3) of the statutes is amended to read: