High-Five Farms came into existence when we acquired a 35 acre farm in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. One of the very first required steps was a survey project. The property hadn’t been surveyed for quite a long time and the borders, at places, were difficult to navigate. The acquisition of the property was a bit non-standard, a story for another day. However, if purchasing a plot of land, it is best to have clearly defined boundaries and an official survey. So, as good stewards of the property, good neighbors, and conscientious citizens, our first step was to have a new modern survey of the property completed. This survey project had a number of goals.
A survey can accomplish a number of necessary tasks. Specifically for new renovation and construction projects, an architect will need a number of items to effectively craft a plan. Hardscapes, Structures, a Topographic study, and an AutoCAD file are all important for an architect or contractor. However, understanding borders and boundaries is the principle reason for a survey. Whether you are building, performing a timber harvest, executing a land management plan, or working your property in any number of ways, understanding where your property starts and ends is certainly important.
Deed research – variances, easements, etc.
A surveyor, as part of a project is almost always required to do deed research. This research will allow the surveyor to obtain copies of deeds and other documents of your property and those of surrounding owners.
In almost every case, property is going to be defined by your local municipality and be “zoned” for specific uses. This can determine how you are able to use the land as well as building requirements, especially building placement. Setbacks are the distances required between parcels of land in a given zone. In a city, property lines and buildings may be one and the same. In a rural agricultural setting, an owner may be required to build 50 feet or more away from a property boundary.
Property corners (identify/ set)
This is surveying in the traditional sense. Pins, stakes, flags, blazes, and other markings are used to denote the corners of the property as well as the actual boundary lines. However, you will need to be specific with your surveyor on how much detail and marking will be used.
This is an interesting requirement yet extremely important. In almost all modern projects, storm water management can be a large endeavor. Most water management plans are based upon the amount of “hardscape” a given property may have compared to permeable structures. Hardscape like driveways, sidewalks, roofs, and patios will all affect water drainage, runoff, and collection. Planning around these items is an important aspect of land and water management.
Simlarly to hardscapes, it is important to understand what exists, above and even below the ground. The detail requested here and vary. It is important to define this deliverable with your surveyor. That’s especially true if there could be a lot of underground or hidden structures.
LIDAR topo background
Builders and excavators need to understand the slope and grade of a property. It is also important for the water management.
Welcome to the 21st century! Yes, most of the above considerations are now managed digitally. So, the output of a survey is similarly digital! It can be loaded, displayed, manipulated, and managed in immeasurable ways.