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DCALS Fall 2016 Seminar
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DCALS Fall 2016 Seminar

DCALS announces an IMPORTANT all-day seminar . . . . .
      - The Colonial ‘Girls Portion’ Tract of DC
      - Three expert sessions will explore the complex aspects of Alleys
      - The ‘RULES’ of DC Boundary Surveying

When: 11/4/2016
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: Jim Demma, Alan Schiffer, Neal Isenstein, Whayne Quin, Rick Dreist and Chas Langelan
Contact: DCALS Event Coordinator

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Please join DCALS Friday November 4, 2016 at Gallaudet University’s Kellogg Conference Center for another unique educational day. This year we’ll cover Colonial Land Grants in DC, specifically the vast 1688 ‘Girls Portion’ tract. Then three expert sessions will explore complex aspects of a topic never before taught – Alleys! And finally, we’ve ‘boiled down’ DC’s confusing boundary practices to a few basic Rules – that will keep you out of trouble.

This 8-hour session will benefit everyone in DC surveying, and all who deal with boundary issues everywhere. Recommended for DC licensing. Taught by top professionals with decades of experience, this seminar features valuable information not previously offered. Certificates for full Continuing Education Credits will be awarded. We urge you to attend.

  1. The Original ‘Girls Portion’ Tract of Maryland and DC . . . This immense 1688 colonial Maryland ‘patent’ - an original land grant – was created before DC existed. But parts of its 328-year old outline can still be seen today - on aerial photographs, GIS maps and across the modern landscape itself. Highways follow its ancient bounds. The 1776-acre tract was so huge it took in a large portion of present-day Montgomery County as well as upper Northwest all the way to Rock Creek.

    Early DC was once filled with ancestral colonial grants. Their whimsical names grace plats and deeds to this day — ‘Poor Tom’s Last Shift,’ ‘Lucky Discovery,’ ‘Hogg Pen,’ ‘Cuckold’s Delight’ — and many others.

    For years, surveyor-attorney Jim Demma pursued an intellectual quest – working to solve the old ‘Girls Portion’ boundary from surviving evidence. He researched all of Maryland’s historic documents, but got stuck trying to retrace its lines across DC. Then DCALS stepped in to help, pulling voluminous DCSO files. Those provided the elusive missing answers – and gave us this wonderful presentation.

  2. Surveying Tough Alley Lines Like an EXPERT . . . Washington has so many complicated Alleys. Some zig and zag through Squares like shards of broken glass, following angles known only to God. And they’re surveyed differently, depending on where in DC they lie, or even what time period they were last laid out. But all of them constitute property lines, which we surveyors must lay out correctly.

    DCALS has never before taught a course on Retracement of Alley Lines. Nobody has. It takes special knowledge – such as when to rely on alley control points and when not. Whether to prorate. Should the Alley be ‘normal’ to the street? How are Private Alleys treated? And what about Georgetown Alleys?

    Licensed and Registered DC surveyor Alan Schiffer will team with Neal Isenstein of the DC Surveyors Office to present this session. The research, mathematics, methods, guidelines and logic these experts apply will all be covered. Urban boundary surveying doesn’t get much trickier than Alleys in DC.

  3. DC’s Landmark Case on Alley Ownership . . . We’re privileged to have as an instructor this year Whayne S. Quin, senior law partner at Holland & Knight’s Washington DC office. In 1978 he was the young lawyer who won DC’s landmark case on underlying ownership of Alley beds. The legal question was - who actually owns the land beneath Alleys? Is it the Feds, the City, adjoining owners, descendants of original subdividers? Whayne spent weeks at archives, researching early documents from the days of George Washington. He found so much conclusive proof it filled large books. This watershed case, Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company v. District of Columbia, fundamentally changed DC’s thinking on legal rights to Alleys.

  4. Street & Alley Closings – What Every Surveyor Should Know . . . DC development projects often require Street or Alley Closings. What’s involved? How is it accomplished? Even though official plats are prepared and processed by the DC Surveyors Office, there’s still a significant role for private surveyors – advising clients, submitting applications, working with agencies, and even nailing up Public Hearing notices around the site (don’t forget to take photos.) Rick Dreist, official Surveyor of DC, knows more about this than any other person. He handles difficult Street & Alley Closings every day. He’ll explain DC’s laws, regulations, step-by-step procedures, and ‘pitfalls’ that every surveyor should avoid.

  5. The RULES of DC Boundary Surveying . . . Here’s something that’s been needed forever – a short list of basic DC ‘Rules for Surveyors.’ While boundary law principles stay fairly similar everywhere, local practices greatly differ. And DC’s boundary practices are ‘unconventional’ to say the least. Where else is proration required by Congress, or old buildings held as control, or modern Record Plats not the ‘real’ boundary, or accurate GPS coordinates useless? It’s taken DCALS 15 years of research and study to do this. People said it wasn’t possible; that DC surveying is too unpredictable; and each Square and project is different; and you simply cannot make ‘universal’ rules about DC. But it turns out, you can. We’ve reduced the bewildering art and science of DC boundary surveying down to its barest fundamentals - one single page that’ll keep you out of most trouble. Developed with input from DC’s top experts, it’ll be unveiled by retired land surveyor Chas Langelan.

Seminar Details at a Glance . . .


               800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington DC 20002 202-651-6000

 Seminar Agenda
7:00am - 8:00am  Registration Desk Open – Continental Breakfast                  
8:00am - 9:40am  The Colonial ‘Girls Portion’ Tract - James J. Demma, Esquire, Prof. LS
9:40am - 10:00am  Morning Break with Refreshments
10:00am - Noon  Surveying Tough Alley Lines - Alan M. Schiffer, PE, LS & Neal Isenstein
Noon - 1:15pm  LUNCH – Gallaudet’s FEAST for hungry surveyors!
1:15pm - 2:15pm  DC’s Landmark Case on Alley Ownership – Whayne S. Quin, Esquire
2:15pm - 3:00pm  Street & Alley Closings, What to Know – Rick Dreist, LS, DC Surveyor
3:00pm - 3:20pm  Afternoon Break with Refreshments
3:20pm - 4:30pm  The RULES of DC Boundary Surveying – Chas Langelan, retired LS
4:30pm - 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
                  4- “A” Level and 4- “B” Level CPC Credits (Maryland)

‘Early-Bird’ registrations, received through Sunday OCTOBER 30, 2016 . . .

             DCALS Members . . . $229          Non-members . . . $299
             ($50 Additional for registrations received after Sunday October 30, 2016.)

FREE secure all-day garage parking on-campus for every attendee.

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.


The DCALS 400 page comprehensive "LAND SURVEYING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, JANUARY 2010" manual are available for purchase in advance during the on-line seminar registration process or at the seminar check-in desk. Manuals purchased in advance through the website will be distributed prior to the start of the seminar at the check-in desk. This is a must have book for everyone that surveys in the District of Columbia. For more information about what is covered in the manual click the link below in the "Related Products" section.

The regular price is $130 but DCALS is offering all seminar attendees a SPECIAL PRICE of $100!!