ALTA Survey Zoning Classification Options (Table A Item 6)

September 18, 2015

Do I need 6(a) or 6(b)?

Zoning Classification Options

When considering the inclusion of Optional Table A Item 6, there are two options, 6(a) OR 6(b).

6(a) Zoning Classification Options

  • When 6(a) is included, the surveyor will report the zoning classification ONLY for the surveyed property as provided by the insurer.

6(b) Zoning Classification Options

  • When Item 6(b) is included, the surveyor will report the zoning classification ALONG WITH any setback requirements, height and floor area space requirements for that classification as provided by the insurer.

These may differ between single family homes, mobile homes, commercial zone or industrial zone as these all have different zoning laws. For the zoning information to be reported on the face of the survey, 6(a) or 6(b) must be requested. This is useful in many transactions as the parties involved look to the zoning information and then to the data revealed on the survey to confirm compliance to zoning matters (i.e., the required building setback vs. how far the building is set back from the property line). Also, the title company is looking at this same information if they are asked to provide a 3.1 Zoning Endorsement to their title policy.

2011 ALTA Survey Standards

With the adoption of the 2011 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements, the process of providing this information on the survey has changed. Previously, when Item 6 was included, the surveyor would perform research with the zoning authority and report this information on the survey. Per the new requirements, in order for the zoning information to appear on the survey, the insurer, which is the title company, must provide the information to the surveyor. However, since the adoption of the new standards, it is rare that title companies (the insurer) to provide this information. In most cases, the surveyor is provided with a copy of a zoning report and/or a zoning letter from a third-party zoning company and then states the source of the information. If Item 6(a) or 6(b) is requested, the ordering client needs to be prepared to provide this zoning information to the surveyor and discussions with transaction parties may be necessary to establish who is responsible for ordering the zoning report. Without receipt of the zoning information, the surveyor may report "The surveyor was not provided with zoning information pursuant to Table A Item 6(a) or 6(b)."