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Basics of subdivision plat surveys

Subdivision plat surveys are the cornerstone of suburban and urban development, providing the essential framework for the creation of new residential, commercial, and industrial spaces. These surveys play a crucial role in transforming raw land into organized parcels. At Viox & Viox, we deal with subdivision plats regularly. In this blog, we explore the fundamental aspects of subdivision plat surveys, including their definition, significance, steps involved, and contents!

What are they

Subdivision plat surveys are detailed maps or drawings created by licensed surveyors to divide pieces of land into smaller parcels or lots for development. They establish clear boundaries, easements, and rights-of-way, commonly needed when landowners want to divide their property into smaller plots, often seen in housing development projects. These surveys are indispensable tools in land development, providing a legal and organizational framework for subdividing land and ensuring clarity in property ownership and development rights. They play a crucial role in guiding the orderly growth of communities, facilitating property transactions, and enabling the installation of essential infrastructure. Without subdivision plat surveys, the process of dividing and developing land would lack the necessary clarity and legal foundation, leading to potential disputes and inefficiencies in land use.

what is involved in subdivision plat surveys

In a subdivision plat survey, the process typically involves several key steps:

  1. Initial Assessment: Surveyors conduct an initial assessment of the property, reviewing legal documents, zoning regulations, and any other relevant information to understand the property’s characteristics and any restrictions or easements that may impact the subdivision.
  2. Boundary and Topographic Survey: Surveyors perform a boundary survey to determine the exact property lines. This involves measuring and verifying existing boundary markers, monuments, or survey pins, as well as researching historical survey records. A topographic survey is conducted to map the existing terrain, natural features, and man-made structures on the property including elevations, contours, trees, buildings, utilities, and other relevant elements. This information helps in designing the subdivision layout, ensuring proper drainage, and identifying potential issues or constraints.
  3. Subdivision Design: Based on the survey data and project goals, surveyors collaborate with engineers, architects, and planners to design the subdivision layout. They determine lot sizes, roadways, easements, setbacks, and other required elements, while considering zoning regulations, accessibility, utilities, and the developer’s requirements.
  4. Plat Preparation: Surveyors prepares a subdivision plat, which is a legal document illustrating the proposed lot layout, dimensions, access points, and any relevant restrictions. The plat is typically submitted to the local government or planning department for review and approval.
  5. Approval Process: The surveyor assists the developer in navigating the subdivision approval process. This may involve submitting the plat, attending meetings or hearings with the planning commission or zoning board, addressing any concerns or modifications requested, and obtaining the necessary permits or approvals.
  6. Construction Staking: Once the subdivision plat is approved, surveyors stake out the proposed improvements, including lot corners, road alignments, utility easements, and other infrastructure elements, to guide the construction process.
  7. Final Survey: After construction is complete, surveyors conduct a final survey to verify that the improvements were constructed according to the approved plans and specifications. This survey ensures accuracy and compliance with regulatory requirements before the subdivision is officially recorded.

Throughout each stage of the process, surveyors use advanced technology and adhere to professional standards to ensure accuracy, integrity, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Subdivision plat surveys require expertise in land surveying, engineering, and planning to effectively create organized and legally sound subdivisions.

what is included on a subdivision plat

Let’s go over the various elements that will be included on a subdivision plat

  • Dimensions: Subdivision plats will have measurements indicating the size and boundaries of individual lots within the subdivision. Each lot is labeled with bearings and distances which help surveyors establish the size and location of the lot.
  • Easements: The subdivision plat designates and depicts necessary easements for utilities, drainage, access, and other purposes, ensuring specific areas remain accessible for authorized uses. It outlines utility companies and rights of easement use on lots within the subdivision, specifying the width and location of these easements. These easements, typically established by planning and zoning, may also be pre-existing.
  • Street Information and Right-of-Way: Subdivision plats will contain all the information needed on surrounding streets and locations for the area. They will state legal street names as defined by the city or municipality, plus things like street width and location. This will make referencing larger areas within the plat much simpler

These components collectively provide a clear and comprehensive representation of the subdivision, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and facilitating effective land use and development.

With offices in Ohio and Kentucky, the pros at Viox & Viox are here to assist you with your next project that requires a subdivision plat or other surveying needs. Get in touch with us today!