Survey Example

8m 49s

In this ARE 5.0 NCARB-approved Project Planning and Design Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PPD exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design Exam.

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to the generation or evaluation of design alternatives that synthesize environmental, cultural, behavioral, technical and economic issues.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design Exam including design concepts, sustainability/environmental design, universal design, and other forms of governing codes and regulations. 

So let's look at an example of a survey. This is from a project for a site that was for a development for manufacturing facilities, so it was an overall development that was done by one entity, a private entity in order to allow lot's of different manufacturers to come and build their own manufacturing facilities, so it's meant for relatively small scale individual manufacturing structures, but they're all supposed to sort of be helpful to each other, it's like a housing development, but for these manufacturing facilities.

So, when we start to look at this survey, we can very quickly see we've got the property lines are the solid line, so that property line is very clearly delineated and it's very sharply written, note that in an architectural drawing, that property line would be a dash dot dot, or a dash dot, something like that, because it would be considered an imaginary line, it's not something I would see out in the world if I looked down at the ground, so you would want to draw it that way, but on the survey, it's rendered as a solid dark line, because it is in fact the most important line on this drawing.

This is a legal description and so it's the thing that's defining what's in and what's out of the legal description. And then there's gonna be the dimensions, also gonna show what angle those are on, compared off of a cardinal points, dimensions will be in decimal feet, so this whole thing is very sort of clearly delineated. So we have the roadway down here at the southern end, and this case it's Riverside Drive, and then there's a setback line here, and there's these other dashed lines in these locations, and if we looked closely we would see that each of these dashed lines is actually referring to an easement for drainage, so that's a situation where what they've said is, we're gonna put all of these buildings sort of arranged into sort of roundabout set of cul de sacs, in order to say everybody's got their sort of own place, clearly their piece of property so that in between each of these properties, there's a zone where they can clearly control the overall drainage of the site, so each site drains towards their property lines in this case, and that that space right next to the property is considered part of the overall drainage.

So that's an easement that they're selling off these pieces of property, but that you're not allowed to build in those easement areas, because that's, that's how the overall site drainage is going to work. So that dashed line is not a setback, that's not a zoning rule, that's an easement rule, so that's something that rides with the deed, if I buy this piece of land, I have to accommodate that ability for the drainage to happen there.

Now it doesn't necessarily mean there's any actual drainage happening there, it just means that there could be, it might be that they're just leaving open the opportunity for the future that if things start flooding a lot, or if there are some problems, that they would have a place to be able to do it, and that they would know that nobody would have built any structures there that would get in the way.

But right now, the assumption is that that's where I would be draining to, and then if you look over here, you'll see that it's referring to an overall site detention pond area. So these drainage lines are all reaching to where those detention ponds are, so that they have the ability to sort of absorb water over a span of time, and then slowly let it back into the overall city infrastructure. This is sort of an example of that idea, you know it's like a zoning rule, it's like a setback, but it's actually an easement, right, they're two different things but they sort of become similar to each other in certain ways.

And then this front setback, which refers to it as the building setback, that's actually not a requirement of the city, that's not a zoning code issue, it's showing up here on this easement because it's actually a covenant, so this is something that we are buying into when we buy this piece of land. There's a bunch of rules that the overall development has sort of attached to the deed of each of these different sites, and this front dashed line, here towards the front of the property, that looks like a setback, but the setbacks aren't something that would show up in the survey, setbacks are part of the zoning code, and that's something that you would bring to the project, so the fact that this is in here, that's actually referring to the fact that it's part of a covenant, this is an overall building development, set of developments where these are separate pieces of land, but when I buy one of these pieces of land, I'm buying into the whole concept and what they want, in this particular situation, they want the buildings to be set back away from the street, just a little bit, but mostly to be up close, but not right at the property edge, they want to have a little bit of breathing room, sort of creates a sort of look, there's a little bit of a green lawn in front of each of these.

These are small manufacturing facilities, they're a little worried that they're gonna look a little messy, and so they want to make sure that everybody has a nice clean, green lawn in front so that it sort of enhances the look overall for everybody.

So it looks like a setback, which would be a zoning issue, but in fact, it's a covenant issue, and it rides with the deed, it's part of the overall development. So the easement rides with the deed, the covenant rides with the deed, and then there would be setback issues. Now as it turns out, in this particular case, all the setbacks are within the easements, so in no case would we be worried about what the zoning setbacks are because the more restrictive one is the covenant and these other easements.

So the whole site drains to the property line, the buildings are set back, just about forty feet or so, and it gives a sort of uniform look to the whole place. But note that I still have to be able to get from the road to the site, and so the assumption, if you actually read the covenant, would say, well yeah there's a setback at the front, but you're allowed to put a driveway that crosses that setback.

So there's certain things that are okay to go in the setback, you might be able to put a fence there, you might be able to put a, you know a little guard house or something, some sort of accessory structure. So in that front, sort of setback that is part of this covenant, I can't put any of the main buildings, but I can put the driveway, I could potentially put, perhaps some parking, I could put a little guard house, I could put a fence, there's a bunch of accessory elements that can go there, because the point is not to stop any building, it's not an easement for a power lines or anything like that, this is just to create a certain look and so there's certain things that they would allow to sort of fit into that look in the front of the building, so you'd have to read the covenant to really know what was allowed and what wasn't.

And in general, you'll find that parking and driveways are often allowed to cross over those kinds of spaces and easements and the covenant style for that kind of space because the expectation is that you could actually still do all the things that you need to be able to do in terms of getting drainage through and all of that.

So the thought here is that you would end up with a building that would probably, mostly be right up towards the front, the driveway would go by, and then there would be a big parking zone in the back that you would then have trucks that would be able to pull around very easily and enter to be able to load and unload into your building, either they would drive into the building to load and unload, or they would drive up so you'd drive it up like that and then back into the building so that you could unload straight at the edge of the building.

So the whole process here is set up in order to have buildings be able to do this, gives you a nice green front, for everybody, gives a clear place where the building goes, it's all set up partly from just understanding the lay of the land from the survey standpoint, partly from being able to understand how the easements are working and what their point is, so if you were gonna change the topography of this, you would want to make sure that you were still draining to the drainage easement, so that it can then drain back to that detention pond.

So you have to sort of understand those issues. And you would understand the idea that the covenant is different from the zoning rules, but similar and useful from the standpoint of kind of organizing all of these different sites, so that they have a continuity of look. So, here's an example, clearly a survey, but that survey includes easement and covenant issues.

Every survey will be a little different, you're always having to figure out, well okay what are the important pieces of information from this survey that are going to start to directly impact my design choices.

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design Exam Prep

Duration: 31h

Author: Mike Newman