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In This Volume

  • 323 (1) If
  • (a) an error appears in or doubt exists as to the accuracy of an existing survey or plan,
  • (b) a discrepancy exists or is thought to exist between the occupation of a parcel and a registered subdivision plan or other plan or description under which it is held,
  • (c) parcels in which land is held are not shown on a registered subdivision plan,
  • (d) doubt exists as to the true location of a highway or as to a boundary line between parcels which it is desirable to remove by defining it without dealing with the other boundary lines of contiguous parcels, or
  • (e) the minister, in the minister’s discretion, considers it advisable,
  • the minister,

  • (f) on the request of the council of the municipality within which the land affected is located, by resolution, undertaking to pay the costs of the special survey either directly or by way of advance,
  • (g) on the request of the registrar,
  • (h) on request of 2 or more registered owners of land affected, or
  • (i) without a request if the minister thinks proper,
  • may order a special survey of land to be made by a British Columbia land surveyor approved by the Surveyor General, and may require a survey to be made and a plan to be prepared in accordance with this Part.
  • (2) The minister may delegate to the Surveyor General the minister’s powers and duties under this Part.

1979-219-323; 2003-66-35; 2004-66-124, effective January 20, 2005 (B.C. Reg. 16/2005); 2023-10-474.


Options Other Than Special Survey

A special survey is only appropriate where, for example, there are serious and widespread conflicts due to existing surveys. The minister does not order a special survey if the matter is capable of resolution without one. Where an error is part of an existing survey or plan, a special survey may not be appropriate. Other appropriate options include:

  1. the correction of an error, defect, or omission in a plan by the registrar under s. 106 of the Land Title Act on the filing of satisfactory evidence;
  2. in cases of encroachment, a court-ordered easement under s. 36 of the Property Law Act;
  3. in cases where Crown land in a municipal district is held by purchasers from the provincial government, a replotting scheme under Part 28 of the Local Government Act (in chapter 51 (Local Government Legislation)); or
  4. the filing of a composite plan under ss. 71 and 72 of the Land Title Act, which authorize the registrar to accept a composite plan that reveals boundary discrepancies if the owners of the parcels consent to the boundaries shown on the composite plan, though the registrar prefers other methods of resolution.


Registrar’s Discretion

The registrar refused to request that the minister order a special survey because the registrar was not satisfied that any error, discrepancy, or doubt existed within the deposited plan. Political considerations can affect the decision for a special survey, and the court, in this case, was not convinced that it ought to enter any sphere touched by those issues. The registrar and others involved in this matter, including two Surveyors General, were satisfied that a special survey was not needed (MacKay v. Ellis, Acting Registrar of Title (1989), 5 R.P.R. (2d) 113 (B.C.S.C.)).