In simplest terms, a plat is a vital component whenever new parcels of land are created, or when the boundary between parcels needs adjusting. Of course, there are facets and nuances to the process which a licensed land surveyor like Advance Surveying & Engineering can help you navigate. 

Let’s go in-depth on the topic of preliminary versus final plat:

Preliminary Plat – Overview

A person wanting to divide their property will, in most cases, be required by their city to produce a preliminary plat. This document shows the full property, and illustrates the proposed division. The preliminary plat also includes:

  • Possible location for a home
  • Expected drainage solution for the home(s) to be built on the property
  • The property’s current utilities status, and how future development will affect these utilities

In producing a preliminary plat for a client, our local surveying company provides numerous services to ensure that the prelim plat contains all requisite information. The goal is to leave no stone unturned in order to ensure a smooth discussion and approval process. Services related to the creation of a preliminary plat include:

  • Creation of a “boundary survey” depicting the property’s current topography, utilities, and any improvements made. Trees and vegetation are also shown if important to the property owner’s development plans.
  • Speaking of utilities, we access city maps in order to research all underground utilities so that they can be accurately represented on the preliminary plat
  • Exhaustive research of the city code to ensure a clear understanding of the municipality’s requirements for new lots and building setbacks. This information is shown on the preliminary plat.
  • Once all of this information is aggregated and placed on the preliminary plat, our survey team overlays the property owner’s future development plans. Thus a complete “current and future” scenario is created, containing all the necessary information for discussion and approval. 

Final Plat – Overview

After the property owner’s development plan (aka the preliminary plat) is approved, we produce a final plat. This document, required by the county, is a straightforward illustration of how the property division will be executed. Also included with the final plat is a separate document that confirms the identity of all parties who have an interest in the property. And of course, there’s an addendum for the signatures of all government officials whose approval is required, as well as the land surveyor’s signature. 

We offer several services related to the final plat:

  • Research and preparation of the final plat, per county requirements 
  • Submission of the final plat to the county for its approval. If the county asks for corrections, we will make them. 
  • Once approved, we have the plat created into mylars, per county requirements
  • We put our signature on the final plat and proceed with placing new property corners in the ground

Our Expertise Helps Expedite Your Plat Approval 

If you’re a property owner in Minnesota with plans to divide your property and create a new parcel of land, preliminary and final plats are essential. Rely on the expertise of our residential surveying firm to do the job right and contribute to a smooth approval process. 


July 16, 2019 Advance Survey