Updated Survey Requirements in Otter Tail County

land survey requirements

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners adopted new survey requirements on June 14th, 2022. Land & Resource Policy #11: Survey Requirements went into effect on July 1st, 2022, and requires several variance applications (which, when granted, allow landowners to break an otherwise applicable dimensional zoning rule) to be accompanied by a survey. The survey must be created by a land surveyor who is currently licensed in the state of Minnesota.

The following conditions now apply to variance applications that are filed in Otter Tail County, MN:

  • Substandard lots – If a property does not meet width or area dimensions standards per Table II (minimum lot dimension standards for lakes) of the Shoreland Management Ordinance (pg. 26), its variance application must include a survey.
  • Nonconformities – If a variance application is filed for a nonconforming structure (i.e. a building which does not conform to current zoning standards, but which was constructed prior to those standards’ implementation), that application must include a survey.
  • Impervious surface – If a variance application exceeds impervious surface requirements, it must include a survey.
  • Bluff/bluff impact zone – Any variance application related to setbacks to a bluff or bluff impact zone must include a survey.
  • Setback variance – Any setback variance to a property line must include a survey.

Land & Resource Policy #11: Survey Requirements also requires all conditional use permit applications to be accompanied by a survey (with the exception of earth moving conditional use permits).

Otter Tail Survey Requirements as of July 1st, 2022

Land & Resource Policy #11: Survey Requirements is important to anyone who would submit a survey to Otter Tail County, as it updates the country’s official survey requirements. According to the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners, any survey created for the aforementioned variance applications must include the following:

  • Two 11 x 17 Certificate of Survey copies or one electronic copy
    • Scale of drawing, north arrow, and property legal description
  • Names of all abutting streets, dimensions of all boundary lines, road right-of-way(s), and traveled road centerlines and known road widths D
  • ate of survey completion and Land Surveyor license number and signature
  • Location of and dimensions of all existing structures on the property including house, garage, driveways, sheds, decks, and locations of drinking water well(s) and septic system(s) if known
  • An additional drawing is required with the application showing the location of all proposed improvements, including the house, garage, driveways, sheds, and decks is required, but does not have to be completed by a licensed surveyor
  • Boundaries of all wetlands; known high water level elevations of all lakes and rivers.
  • Exact dimensions from existing structures to boundary lines, including the ordinary high-water level of the body of water
  • Percent of existing impervious surface on property
    • An additional drawing with the application showing the location of proposed impervious surface improvements, including the percent of total impervious for the property after project completion, is required, but does not have to be completed by a licensed surveyor 
  • One-foot contours, if determined by the Department
  • Location of stakes as detailed in the Staking Requirements below
  • Deviations from these requirements are at the discretion of Land & Resource staff

Staking Requirements

  • Property boundary or property boundary monuments
  • Location of road right-of-way(s), if known
  • All reference/hub stakes/irons shall be established by, or under the supervision of a land surveyor currently licensed in the state of Minnesota and shall be placed along boundary lines and/or boundary corners
    • Placement of stakes of proposed improvements must be placed, but does not have to be placed by a licensed surveyor
  • The maintenance of these stakes, once established by the surveyor, shall be the responsibility of the applicant
  • Stakes shall remain in place until project completion to allow Land & Resource staff, Board of Adjustment members or Planning Commission members to use as part of the application review and conduct inspections

As a professional land surveyor headquartered in Perham, MN, Compass Consultants stays apprised of all local, state and federal regulations for surveys. If you would like to make certain your upcoming variance application’s accompanying survey perfectly conforms to county requirements, then we welcome you to contact Compass Consultants today.