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Land Surveying

Topographic Surveys Topographic Surveys include researching county documentation and monumentation to assess the boundaries of properties. Complete or limited, focused field surveys are done and a topographic plan of the property is prepared. The usual features located and identified on a land surveyors plan include the street frontage features, surrounding topography of the existing buildings, driveway, garage, parking, yard space, significant trees, and slope. A topographic map (“topo”) is a site map showing overall site grade and elevations: the topographic features of a site as contour lines at specified intervals. This information is used to determine placement of site improvements, estimate the volume of dirt to be moved, or for many other construction and development purposes.

Property Boundaries A Boundary Survey locates property lines, corners and/or easements. Property corners are marked with iron pipe (or an equivalent). Property line points are marked at a maximum of 75 feet with hub and tack. A “Record of Survey” map is prepared and recorded as required by the County of Marin. Maps show all monuments – both found and set-including all control monuments used, a basis of the bearings used and any conflicting boundary evidence.

Lot Line Adjustments Lot Line Adjustment Surveys help facilitate approval of minor changes in lot lines between parcels of land shown on recorded subdivision maps, parcel maps or records of survey, when the changes do not result in an increased number of parcels. Plans show existing lot lines with proposed adjustments, existing street rights-of-way, easements, existing and approved structures and setbacks.

Subdivision of Land The subdivision of a tract of land into smaller parcels requires a survey showing property corners, monumentation and survey data on a map in conformance with the Subdivision Map Act.

Lot Area Calculations Calculating and Certifying the Lot Area based on prior Records of Surveys.

Average Slope To satisfy development regulations, calculations are made in accordance with an agency’s Average Slope Equation. It is understood this is to determine that the property is NOT a hillside lot (as defined by an Average Slope ≤ 25%).

FEMA Certification FEMA Certification is an elevation certificate prepared by licensed land surveyors for submission to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) certifying that a site is or is not within a designated flood hazard area (for mortgages requiring flood insurance).

ALTA Survey & Plan An ALTA Survey & Plan is a boundary survey prepared to a set of minimum standards that have been jointly prepared and adopted by ALTA: The American Land Title Association. ALTA Surveys are often prepared for commercial properties and show improvements, easements, rights-of-way, and other elements affecting the ownership of land for title insurance.

Construction Staking Construction Staking establishes the correct location of structures shown on improvement plans and provides construction personnel with directions (by way of horizontal and vertical construction stakes) for erecting improvements shown on plans for development.

Deeds/Exhibits The creation of deeds & exhibits includes the preparation of legal descriptions based on accurate land surveyors reports. Courtroom exhibits may include expert analysis.

Civil Engineering

  • Site Improvements 
  • Grading & Drainage Plans 
  • Sewer Utility Plans 
  • Building Layout 
  • Driveway Plan & Profile 
  • Erosion Control Plans 
  • Foundation Improvements 


Escrow Inspections This includes inspections of foundations, retaining walls, and other structural problems.

Foundation Inspections To ensure a quality foundation, this involves inspecting the interior and exterior of your home for foundation related issues (drainage, tree root issues, etc.).

Drainage Inspections The purpose of this service is to check that the drainage system handles storm water efficiently and flows smoothly. The water must dissipate within a certain time according to performance standards.

Building Setback Certification Determines the proper setback from property lines of buildings and allows staff to verify minimum setbacks that are approved on the Building Permit plans.

Structural Evaluations This service evaluates the safety of the structure and makes sure it can withstand all types of conditions.

Final Inspections The final inspection is a final site review of the project to review all progress and ensure everything was executed correctly.

Roof Height Certification Determines that the elevation(s) conform to the approved elevation(s) shown on the Building Permit, based on the benchmark that is identified on the Building Permit.

Story Pole Certification Determines that the horizontal and vertical locations of the story poles have been constructed per the approved Building Plans and in conformance to the story pole staking plan performed prior to construction activities.

Building Layout Determines the placement of the building on the property based on a review of the architectural dimensions of the building.

Accurate, thorough and timely completion of projects