HomePage_Rev.jpg

Services

Service 01

ALTA

An ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is an extended title insurance coverage survey. It is made for the purpose of providing you, your lender, and your title insurance company with the survey information (boundary, improvements, encroachments, easements and other legal encumbrances, etc.) necessary for issuing American Land Title Association or extended coverage title insurance for your property.

 

We specialize in providing high quality, very detailed surveys that satisfy the most demanding title officers, attorneys, and lenders. We realize that ALTA/ACSM Surveys are usually done in conjunction with the closing of a loan that has specific time requirements and we give these surveys a high priority so you can make your deadlines.

 

Our ALTA/ACSM Surveys are prized because they arrive when they are needed, they are easy to read, and they have all of the information that is required by the interested parties in the first submittal.

Service 02

Boundary Survey

A Boundary Survey is made for the purpose of locating the property corners and lines of your property.

 

We always examine the deeds of the neighboring properties and inform you if there are any conflicts (gaps or overlaps) in the legal descriptions that may affect your rights to use your property.

 

We always tag the points we set with our surveyor’s name and license number and provide you with a map that shows the points we set, the type and position, their relation to the boundary lines, and the area of your parcel.

Service 03

Boundary & Topographic

A Topographic Survey shows the physical features, both natural and man-made, such as buildings, driveways, trees, planters, fences, curbs, sidewalks, streets and utilities that are determinable by surface inspection, and city or county records. It includes spot elevations and contours that help you determine the flow patterns of the water over your site and is usually provided in conjunction with a Boundary Survey.  A complete Boundary & Topographic Survey will also show all of these features with respect to the Boundary Lines and includes the plotting of any easements that affect your site.

 

A Boundary & Topographic Survey is usually prepared when you are planning improvements to your site.  It is one of the first steps in the design process and provides your architect and/or engineer with the information you need to make sure the improvements they design fit the site that you have.

 

Our surveys are prized by local architects and engineers for providing the quality and detail they need to make effective designs.

Service 04

Building Permit

A Building Permit Survey is a Boundary & Topographic Survey with an architect’s features added for submittal to the City, or other jurisdiction, for the purpose of obtaining a Building Permit. The surveyor does not add the architectural features to the map. The surveyor provides the Boundary & Topographic Survey to the architect in either hard copy or Autocad format and the architect adds their design to show the intended improvements. Most cities require separate wet stamped and signed original copies of the survey to verify the existing conditions of the site.

Service 05

Condo Subdivisions

A Condominium Subdivision is a subdivision that divides a property into “cubicles of air space”. There is always a Common Area component of a Condominium Subdivision that is owned jointly by all of the owners of individual units in the development and the rights and restrictions are governed by a document referred to as the “Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions”, or CC&R’s. The surveyor prepares both a Subdivision Map and the Condominium Plan. The Subdivision Map is filed at the county and is a record of the exterior boundary of the property and notifies the public that there is a One Lot Subdivision. The Condominium Plans define the 3-dimensional air space of the individual units, the common area, and the Exclusive Use Common Areas (garages, parking spaces, storage areas, decks, patios, attic areas, or yard areas) of the subdivision. These Condominium Plans are recorded as an Exhibit to the CC&R’s.


Our company specializes in Condominium Subdivisions. 


We have done hundreds of Condominium Subdivisions in the Bay Area. Every jurisdiction has different requirements for their Condominium Subdivisions, so it pays to hire a surveyor who has experience dealing with the people who will be approving your subdivision.


While every jurisdiction has different requirements for Condominium Subdivisions, you usually have to go through the Tentative Map and Final Map stages, just like a regular “land division” subdivision. Generally, if you are creating 4 units or less, we prepare a Parcel Map and if you are creating 5 units or more, we prepare a Tract Map, but some communities (like Oakland and Emeryville) have slightly different rules, so check with us and find out about the rules in your community. In all cases, we have to prepare the Condominium Plans.

Service 06

Condo Plans

Our clients, the attorneys preparing the CC&R’s, the title officers, and the title companies issuing the title insurance all prize our Condominium Plans for being the most detailed, informative, and legible in the industry.

Our founder, Michael Foster, pioneered the small scale (8-1/2” x 11”) letter size format of the Condominium Plans in the early 1990’s. He realized early on that preparing the maps on large sheets and having them reduced to letter size to get recorded caused major legibility problems and created maps that you couldn’t lay a ruler on to figure out a dimension that wasn’t labeled. By drawing the maps to scale in the smaller format, he makes sure that the recorded version of the map is legible and informative. This format is now the standard of the industry.

Service 07

Construction Staking & Form Certifications

When you are building a new structure you will often be required to have a surveyor stake the position of the new structure(s) and write a letter stating that the building or improvements are being constructed according to the approved building plans. We usually need to establish the boundary of your property to provide this service, so it is much easier for us to stake your building if we were the company that did the original Boundary & Topographic Survey for your Building Permit. Building staking is done on a time and materials basis, so the fees will depend on how long it takes us to establish the boundary (much faster if we did the original survey) and how many stakes your builder needs to establish their building envelope. Some confident builders need only four stakes to establish control for the entire site and some of the larger projects require hundreds of stakes to establish positions of grid lines, wall lines, utility lines, etc.

 

Give our office a call to get a quote for your staking project. We will take a look at your site and your building plans and discuss what we need to do to meet your needs.

Service 08

Easements

Easements are prepared to provide other parties access to your property or to provide you access to another party’s property for a variety of purposes. The more common easements are for access purposes (vehicles or pedestrians) and utilities (sewer, drainage, electrical, gas, telephone etc.), but they can be created for practically any purpose. We prepare a lot of legal descriptions for easements to remedy building or fence line encroachments and many other types of structural encroachments.

 

Another type of easement that has gained popularity lately is a “View Easement”. If you live on a hillside lot that has a view of the city you may want to make sure that the person building on the lot next door to you does not construct a new structure that will obstruct the view from your house. In this case we would prepare a legal description that describes the position and the height limitation of the construction envelope the neighboring lot can build within to protect your view.

 

It is up to you to decide what the easement is needed for. The surveyor’s part of the project is to define the legal boundaries of the easement with a “metes and bounds” legal description and prepare a map to show the position of the easement on the property it is located. Both of these items will get recorded at the county, along with the Easement document which describes the purpose of the easement and the parties involved in its dedication.

 

Bay Area Land Surveying has prepared hundreds of easements over the years and we are experts at describing them in a way that will create them in the exact position that you need them and our Easement Maps are always very clear and legible.

Service 09

Lot Line Adjustments

It sometimes becomes necessary or desirable to change the configuration of your parcel or parcels of land. Some jurisdictions require a Lot Line Adjustment Map and others require a Parcel Map Waiver Map. They are basically the same type of map and the title is merely a preference in semantics. These maps are an alternative to a Parcel Map when you are adjusting the lines on 4 or fewer parcels and you are not creating any more parcels than currently exist. State law allows that you “waive” the normal parcel map requirement in these instances.

 

Different jurisdictions have different requirements for these maps, but they generally consist of a survey showing the physical features (buildings, driveways, fences, etc.) of each parcel involved to insure that you are not going to be violating any existing zoning requirements, and a “metes and bounds” legal description to describe the new parcels in a precise legal language.

 

Bay Area Land Surveying has prepared many of these surveys over the years and we are experts at giving the different city and county departments the information they need to insure that your project goes smoothly.

Service 10

Lot Mergers

It is sometimes necessary or desirable to merge two or more existing parcels of land into a single parcel. This usually does not involve many zoning issues because the new parcel is going to have the same setback issues as the separate parcels had to begin with.

 

Different jurisdictions have different requirements for this procedure. Some only require that a surveyor prepare a new legal description that describes the new parcel in a “metes and bounds” format and some require that you go through the whole Lot Line Adjustment or Parcel Map Waiver procedure (see Lot Line Adjustments or Parcel Map Waivers).

 

Bay Area Land Surveying has prepared Lot Mergers in most of the cities that we have done work in, so call our office to find out more about the Lot Merger procedure in your area.

Service 11

Parcel Maps

A Parcel Map, or minor subdivision is prepared to facilitate the subdivision of a parcel of land into four or fewer parcels, or four or few condominiums. It is done in two parts, a Tentative Parcel Map, which shows the physical site information with the proposed lot configuration and the Final Parcel Map which is filed at the county to record the new lot information in the public record.

 

The Tentative Parcel Map shows all the information that we show in a Boundary & Topographic Survey and includes the proposed position of the new lot line and the proposed easements that are necessary to serve the new parcels. Some jurisdictions require a Civil Engineer to provide a grading and drainage plan to accompany the Tentative Parcel Map and we have Civil Engineers that we work with to provide the service or we are willing to work with an engineer of your choice. The city or county officials review the Tentative Parcel Map and it generally goes before the Planning Commission for a vote. When the Planning Commission approves the subdivision, they will issue a report of the “Conditions and Approval” and you will be required to meet those conditions before you can file the Final Parcel Map.

 

The Final Parcel map shows the original parcel boundary and the new lot configurations, along with any easements that may be dedicated and the survey control used to determine the boundaries, and any points set to delineate the boundaries. After the controlling jurisdiction reviews the map, a Mylar (plastic) version is prepared and it is signed by the owners, or anyone with an ownership interest, the Land Surveyor, the city or county officials, the Clerk of the County Board of Supervisors and finally the County Recorder as a permanent record of the subdivision.

Service 12

Parcel Map Waiver Map

It sometimes becomes necessary or desirable to change the configuration of your parcel or parcels of land. Some jurisdictions require a Lot Line Adjustment Map and others require a Parcel Map Waiver Map. They are basically the same type of map and the title is merely a preference in semantics. These maps are an alternative to a Parcel Map when you are adjusting the lines on 4 or fewer parcels and you are not creating any more parcels than currently exist. State law allows that you “waive” the normal parcel map requirement in these instances.

 

Different jurisdictions have different requirements for these maps, but they generally consist of a survey showing the physical features (buildings, driveways, fences, etc.) of each parcel involved to ensure that you are not going to be violating any existing zoning requirements, and a “metes and bounds” legal description to describe the new parcels in a precise legal language.

 

Bay Area Land Surveying has prepared many of these surveys over the years and we are experts at giving the different city and county departments the information they need to insure that your project goes smoothly.

Service 13

Tract Maps

A Tract Map or major subdivision is prepared to facilitate the subdivision of a parcel of land into five or more lots or condominium units. It is done in two parts: a Tentative Tract Map- which shows the physical site information with the proposed lot configuration, and the Final Tract Map- which is filed at the county to record the new lot information in the public record.

 

The Tentative Tract Map shows all the information that we show in a Boundary & Topographic Survey and includes the proposed position of the new lot line and the proposed easements that are necessary to serve the new parcels. Most jurisdictions require a Civil Engineer to provide a grading and drainage plan to accompany the Tentative Tract Map and we have Civil Engineers that we work with to provide the service or are willing to work with an engineer of your choice. The city or county officials review the Tentative Tract Map and it generally goes before the Planning Commission for a vote. When the Planning Commission approves the subdivision, they will issue a report of the “Conditions and Approval” and you will be required to meet those conditions before you can file the Final Parcel Map.

 

The Final Tract Map shows the original parcel boundary and the new lot configurations, along with any easements that may be dedicated, the survey control used to determine the boundaries and any points set to delineate the boundaries. After the controlling jurisdiction reviews the map, a Mylar (plastic) version is prepared and it is signed by the owners, or anyone with an ownership interest, the Land Surveyor, the city or county officials, the Clerk of the County Board of Supervisors and finally the County Recorder as a permanent record of the subdivision.

Service 14

Expert Witness

If you are having a legal issue that goes to court and we were involved in any aspect of the surveying issues involved, we are prepared to testify about our involvement and defend the results and methods of our survey in a court of law.

 

Our licensed land surveyors have testified on numerous occasions, by a subpoena or as an expert witness, in court to defend the results and methods of our survey work.