Area Surveying, Inc.


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A Word of Caution

Over the years we've seen more people than we care to remember come roaring into our office dreaming of the fortune they were going to make in real estate.  Then they find out that the platting process is where the whirling wheels of free enterprise meet the inertia of government bureaucracy.   Enormous fortunes have been made in this country in real estate.  Even more enormous sums have been lost.  So before you head down the road to becoming the next real estate tycoon, please read this page.

The most important lesson to remember is this:  When you undertake to plat property you are a Real Estate Developer.  It doesn't matter if you just want to build one house on some land you own, add on to your business, or build a 1000 lot subdivision, you are a Real Estate Developer.  This means one thing to the various city officials you will come in contact with:  You have very deep pockets filled with cash.  Before you begin the platting process, please review the following checklist.  Until you know the answer to each and every question, or have hired someone to find the answers for you, you are not ready to start the platting process.

Developer's Checklist For Plats
  • What type of Plat will you need?  What are the fees for submission?  What is the schedule for processing?
  • Does the property have the proper zoning for what you are proposing to do with it?  Will the project as you plan to develop it comply with the zoning regulations?
  • Are there adequate utilities (water, sewer, electric, gas, telephone, etc..) for what you are planning?  Assume nothing.  Contact the appropriate parties and find out.
  • Are there drainage issues that will need to be addressed?  Many municipalities almost routinely require the preparation of a drainage study along with a plat.
  • Are there any street widenings planned?  Do not assume that because your property sits on a little country lane that this does not affect you.  The city may be planning to turn that little lane into a major thoroughfare.
  • Will you be required to pay for street or sidewalk improvements?
  • If you are dividing up an existing lot, are there deed restrictions that prohibit subdividing the property?
  • Will the neighbors oppose your plans?  While legally, neighborhood opposition doesn't compel the city to deny your plat, it certainly doesn't make obtaining approval any easier.
  • What impact fees will you be charged?  Most cities impose large fees upon developers for connecting to the city water and sewer systems (see deep pockets above).
  • What fees or expenses have we failed to mention here?

We do not mean to discourage anyone.  We prepare and obtain approval of a large number of plats each year so it can be done.  In fact, we're quite good at it.  We offer this advice so you can be fully informed before you go into this process.