Robert Barrilleaux
& Associates, Inc.
What is a Wetland Determination?

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires that anyone interested in depositing fill materials into "Waters of the United States", including wetlands, must receive authorization for such activities. The United States Army Corps of Engineers has been assigned responsibility for administering the Section 404 process. The final determination of whether an area is a wetland and whether the activity requires a permit must be made by the appropriate district office of the Corps of Engineers.

It is your obligation as a landowner to have your property checked for wetlands prior to doing any construction. We take you step by step through that process. A team from our office will visit your property and delineate it for the existence of wetlands. This involves soil testing, vegetation identification, hydrology studies, and use of historical and infrared mapping. After our site visit we will prepare a report that is then submitted to the Corps with our findings. At a later date we will normally meet a Corps represenative on site and dicuss the findings. The Corps will then issue the final determination as to how much (if any) wetlands exist on the site.
     If wetland do exist on your site and they impede your plans for construction, then a 404 permit is necessary to mitigate those wetlands.  Again, we can take you step by step through this process with ease. The permitting process can become involved, but we handle everything that is needed to satisfy the agencies involved. While there is no absolute gaurantee that a permit will be granted, we provide a high quality, professional packet in order for the Corps to make an accurate, fair determination. The price of having your property delineated for wetlands or permited is dependent on several key items such as how much property is involved, how densely wooded the property is, and what activities are planned for the development of the site. We take all these facotrs into consideration in order to give you the best possible approximation of the costs involved for you.   

How Much Will A Land Survey Cost?

Surveyors' fees, like those of other professionals, are dependent on the types of services required and the amount of information in his records. The following factors help determine the final cost of a survey:

1. The type of survey, personnel, and equipment required.

2. The amount of courthouse research required.

3. The number of unknown property corners.

4. The existence of buildings, fences, and other structures.

5. The clarity (or vagueness) of the legal description.

6. The amount of land invloved.

7. The kind of terrain.

8. The accessibility of the land and the amount of vegetation on it.

9. Disputes over lines.

10. Whether the surveyor has made other surveys in the immediate area.

11. Please be advised that when you pick up your survey from our office, the total amount invoiced must be paid in full. We cannot email, fax, or mail maps until the invoice is paid. 

What Information Does the Surveyor Require?

1. The exact purpose of the survey.

2. A legal description of your property or the book and page where it is recorded in the Clerk of Court's Office.

3. A copy of the past survey plat (if one was done) and any information you may have about the locations of your corners and property lines.

4. Any information about disagreements over the location of corners and/or lines.

5. Names of adjacent property owners.

6. An agreement as to who is to pay for the survey and when.

7. A copy of all title examination notes (if available).

What Can I Do To Protect My Property Lines And Monuments?

1. Inspect your property lines occasionally.

2. Repaint monuments, marked trees, or other markers frequently.

3. Maintain and protect your survey plats and other related documents.

Some Valuable Tips For The Responsible Landowner

1. Do not mistake prelinimary traverse lines for the true property lines.

2. Louisiana law prohibits removing or disturbing corner markers without a court order.

3. Have your survey plat and description recorded even if the land is not conveyed.

4. Allow adequate time to research and plan the project by contacting your surveyor well before the survey is needed.

Can The Land Surveyor Show Me What I Own?

A land survey does not show the landowner what he or "owns". A land survey is the Professional Land Surveyor's opnion of the physical location of the landowner's title boundary (a title boundary is the boundary of such real property as defined in the recorded grant deed). A landowner's perception of their physical occupation of real property is deemed their ownership.

A Professional Land Surveyor will rely on numerous records, maps, and other data to provide his opinion of the location of a real property title boundary. Under most circumstances this opinion is satisfactory. However, most land disputes stem from the landowner's differing opinions on what they perceive they own. In such cases, only a court of law can determine ownership more decisively than a qualified Land Surveyor.

When Would I Need The Services Of An Engineer?

1. For a land delvelopment project.

2. For a hydralic study of your project to see how your site drains and will drain after construction.

3. For designing a subdivison, apartment complex or trailer park that you are planning.

4. For designing a sewer collection system and plant.

5. For an environmental review of your property before construction.

6. For a road design.

7. For an approval of your house plans certified for 110 wind loading.

8. For a variety of permits that are required by city, parish, state, and federal agencies before construction can begin on certain projects. ( DEQ, sewer discharge, DOTD drvieway, etc.)