Most property owners have likely heard of land surveying, a process that provides information about property boundaries and man-made structures. Few realize that there are actually many different types of surveys, though. This article will offer some insight into four standard tasks that surveyors can perform to help their commercial clients manage their land.

Determining Property Lines

It’s important for property owners to know their boundaries. A standard property boundary survey will allow them to establish where their land begins and ends so that they can move forward with construction and development projects. The creation of property boundary surveys is one of the most commonly requested services from Cochran. These surveys are frequently requested by both property owners and potential buyers who want to know exactly what the parcel of land includes and what’s on it.

Avoiding Property Survey Disputes

Most property survey disputes occur because of conflicts with neighbouring property owners over boundary lines and fences. A surveyor can provide all the information the court requires in order to resolve boundary disputes, but that’s not all he or she can do to help clients facing legal conflicts.

Surveyors can also provide lawyers with information used to resolve disagreements between survey results and written descriptions in legal documents such as last wills and testaments, deeds, and sales contracts. They can also provide valuable insight into land use and zoning. The best way to avoid unnecessary legal trouble is to have a survey performed before even purchasing a piece of commercial property.

Determining Easements

Easements offer the right to use or enter onto a property to people or parties who are not the property owners. They can be used to guarantee selective access to other pieces of land that aren’t accessible by public roads, to protect utility workers by guaranteeing their legal access to the company’s utility poles, or to create a right-of-way for the public.

It’s important for commercial property owners to know if they have any easements associated with their properties and, if they do, what rights others hold to use or visit their land. Easements are usually included in a property’s deed, but it’s not uncommon for disputes to arise decades after they have been granted. Hiring a surveyor to perform an easement survey is the best way for commercial property owners to determine what other entities have the legal right to use portions of their land.

Zoning and Land Use Investigations

Commercial buildings can only be constructed on land zoned for commercial use. A zoning and land use investigation will show all existing zoning designations for a piece of land, along with any restrictions on it. Property owners can even ask their surveyors to provide zoning histories with their investigative reports that show how the property has been used in the past.

Most zoning and land use investigations take existing and historic land surveys into account. Some also require surveyors to create new surveys in addition to performing background research. The amount of work required to perform a zoning and land use investigation will depend on the property’s size, its usage history, and other mitigating factors.

The Bottom Line

The four above-listed tasks only touch the surface of the valuable services provided by commercial surveyors. Other specialized forms of surveying include topographic surveying, construction stakeouts, subsurface utility mapping, FEMA elevation certificates and LOMAs, and more.