The Foundation of Egan, Field & Nowak
Egan, Field & Nowak began its tradition of surveying expertise and quality in the craft of land surveying nearly 150 years ago, meeting the surveying demands of a young, growing Minneapolis area. Today Egan, Field & Nowak continues to offer the same expertise offering a full range of professional land surveying services to an extensive group of clients with the similar surveying demands of a vibrant, growing region.
Whether you are a property developer, attorney or title company looking for an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey; an individual land owner looking for a boundary survey to build a fence; an architect or engineer looking for a topographic survey to aid in a design; or a contractor looking for construction layout services; we have the experience, expertise, personnel and technology to meet all of your surveying requirements.
ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
An ALTA/ACSM survey is basically a boundary survey prepared to a set of minimum standards. The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) have agreed upon these standards to be used when preparing a title survey. These standards were designed to give the title insurer, the buyer, and/or the lender a survey and drawing showing physical improvements, easements, utilities, boundaries and other selected items. The current adoption of these standards in 2011 and can be obtained from the ACSM Website site. ALTA/ACSM surveys are generally required by a financial institution for real estate transactions involving commercial, retail and industrial properties.
There are three major required items supplied to the surveyor when preparing ALTA/ACSM Surveys:
1) Required items from Table A of the ALTA Standards.
2) Certification language approved by both the lender and the surveyor.
3) A title insurance commitment upon which to base the survey.
Property boundary lines, once established, are unchangeable. The goal of a Professional Land Surveyor is to determine the location of these boundaries as they were originally established or “following in the footsteps” of the original surveyor. Of course it helps when your company is old enough to be the original surveyor! This determination often relies upon historical information to aid in discerning the location of proper boundary lines. The courts have given more credibility to monuments in place than to dimensions on a map to indicate the true boundary lines of a parcel of land. Egan, Field & Nowak has the benefit of having tens of thousands of previous surveys on file as a resource to aid with complicated boundary problems and can re-establish boundary locations where other surveyors are unaware of their existence. This resource is unmatched within the industry. A boundary survey can be as simple as re-establishing a lot line for a fence to re-establishing the boundary lines for a multi-million dollar commercial complex. If you are planning on developing your property, we recommend that an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey also be completed.
A topographic survey is a survey in which features are located both horizontally and vertically. Every horizontal location is assigned an elevation which can then be interpreted and represented by contour lines on the final survey. Topographic surveys provide the easiest way to show the vertical relief on a piece of property. This type of survey is generally required when a site will be changed both horizontally and vertically, such as the development of a raw land, the re-development of an existing parcel or when a building addition is planned. EFN’s experienced staff will make sure that your topographic survey is completed according to the project specifications on time and on budget. If you are planning on developing your property, we recommend that an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey also be completed.
Subdivision Plat: A subdivision plat is a drawing document that divides a larger parcel of land into smaller parts or lots. The subdivision plat can be as small as 2 parcels or as large as several hundred lots showing mathematical survey data, legal information and the graphic configuration of the division, conforming to local Government Ordinances and State Statutes. The map will depict all the lots that were created simultaneously by the plat as well as provide for the dedication of street right-of-ways and easements. Markers and monuments will be placed and established along the perimeter of the subdivision and at each newly created lot, tract and street right-of-way. The subdivision is usually done under the authority of the municipality in which the property exists, such as City and/or County. The appropriate agency within the City or County, usually the Planning & Zoning Department will have specific guidelines that must be adhered to. Depending on zoning regulations and the size and use of the property, several types of surveys may be required before the final subdivision plat map can be produced . Such surveys may include an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey or a Topographic Survey.
Condominium Plat: A Condominium Plat is similar to a subdivision plat. The difference with a condominium is that the surveyor measures, locates and defines a building (usually) into individual units. These units are defined by the airspace between the finished walls, floor and ceiling surfaces. Many times a condominium plat will identify elements other than the exterior boundary lines of the association and the airspace. These elements are called General Common Elements (GCE) and Limited Common Elements (LCE). The GCE and LCE are usually defined within the condominium declaration but generally define areas such as walkways, decks, stairwells, utility areas, parking areas, etc. that a particular unit may have an interest in.
Construction Surveys can consist of layout services prior to and during construction, or an as-built survey after construction is complete. EFN staff enjoys working directly with site construction managers and contractors to establish horizontal and vertical control at a new site and then staking all the other features of the job. EFN has experience staking lot corners, curb & gutter, building corners and gridlines, parking lots, utilities (storm, sanitary and water), detention basins, wireless communication facilities, and much more. It is critical to have all entities laid out accurately in the field to avoid costly construction mistakes. EFN has the experience, technology and resources to ensure that the layout of your project is completed accurately and on schedule.
FEMA Flood Plain Certificate
Flood plain determinations are becoming more and more important to landowners and lenders. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issues Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for insurance purposes. These FIRM maps show floodplain boundaries and elevations. Occasionally flood zones change and the maps need to be upgraded. Since FEMA recognizes this need, they have come up with procedures to request revisions or exceptions to the flood elevations shown on FIRM maps. Surveyors are often used to determine or confirm ground elevations in order to file a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) or an Elevation Certificate. EFN has a long history of providing FEMA Elevation Certificates, LOMA’s and LOMC’s to our clients.
EFN has prepared hundreds of cellular telephone tower surveys within the entire upper Midwest Region for various entities over the past 15 years. We provide multiple pre-design services, including the determination of property boundaries, topographic information across the planned site, geodetic positioning of the proposed tower (preparation of 1-A or 2-C Certifications) and any other information required by our clients and government entities. We then prepare legal descriptions for the acquisition area and any required easement areas. We also provide construction layout and as-built services on these sites as required by the client.
EFN also provides drafting services to cellular telephone providers. We work with the cellular telephone providers, site acquisition professionals, construction contractors and engineers to aide in cellular site development.
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system that can be used to compile, store and display information that is linked to a geographic location. Geographic Information System (GIS) is fast becoming one of the most important technological advances in multiple industries including the surveying industry. As a surveying company, EFN has used GIS on multiple projects including: using GIS to map parcels, pipelines, and historic survey records in addition to utilizing GIS to manage our current and past projects.
EFN’s diverse staff can perform many general consulting services such as, but not limited to: expert witness in boundary disputes, preparation of legal descriptions, interpretation of legal descriptions, review of documents, preparation of exhibits and maps, volume computations, deformation monitoring, wetland mapping, drawing conversion and general distance determination. An experienced Professional Land Surveyor is crucial in assisting you with any difficult land surveying issues. We have the staff and expertise to meet your needs.
Archived Data Request
Egan, Field & Nowak, Inc., as the oldest surveying firm in Minnesota, has a wealth of archived surveys, field notes, plats, maps and other survey information since our inception back in 1872. Considerable time, effort and money has been spent and is being spent to categorize, file, store and perpetuate the database we have created and gathered through our long history. At Egan, Field & Nowak, Inc. we rely on the file information of our past surveys to guide us in the reconstruction of property boundaries and to complete our projects efficiently and correctly. We have noticed in recent years that an increasing number of “newer” property corners recovered by our survey crews do not accurately reflect our historical positions. Our Archived data is available to others surveyors and interested parties, if you would like Egan, Field & Nowak, Inc. to provide archived survey notes please send a request here.