Important Features and Characteristics • Location and Boundaries • Surrounding land uses • Topography • Drainage • Wetlands • Floodplains • Water table • Geotechnical Features • Contaminated Soils – need for remediation • Engineering characteristics of soils – problem soils • Slope stability – slides and slips • Erosion potential • Existing Utilities and Services • Environmental Resources • Vegetation and wildlife • EndangeredSpecies • Areas of unusual aesthetic quality • Historical and Cultural Features
Location and Boundaries • Subject of CEE 121 Elementary Surveying • Need to know horizontal and possibly vertical locations of known points that define the boundaries • These points must be tied into an adopted system of reference that accounts for the curvature of the earth • State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS) • May use a local coordinate system in some states, but these are being superseded by the SPCS • In Nevada, the Civil Engineering PE license does not qualify an individual to do boundary surveys • A PLS license is needed
1. Location and Boundaries, cont’d • What is taking place on the neighboring sites? • Military complex? • Urban area? • Recreation area? • Agricultural land? • Mining? • How will the proposed development be affected by this land use, and vice-versa? • Does the site access public thoroughfares?
2. Topography • What are the high and low points on the site? • How much land is basically flat? • Does the site slope in some predominant direction? • Does it have mountains or arroyos? Cliffs? • How will topography influence layout?
Some General Principles of Contour Maps • All points of equal elevation are joined – contour lines are continuous • The contour interval may vary depending on the scale of the map: 2ft, 10ft, 20 ft, 50ft, 100 ft • When reading the numbers on the contour lines indicating elevation, determine the uphill direction (it may be the top of the number) • Water flows downhill perpendicular to the contour line • The rule of V’s – sharp pointed V’s indicate streams in valleys; the point of the V is the location of the stream • The rule of O’s -closed loops are normally uphill on the inside and downhill on the outside, and the innermost loop is the highest area. • If a loop instead represents a depression, some maps note this by short lines radiating from the inside of the loop, called "hachures". • Spacing of contours - close contours indicate a steep slope; distant contours a shallow slope. Two or more contour lines merging indicates a cliff.
3. Drainage • Where will water go when it rains? • Identify any Floodplains • 50 year storm • 100 year storm • 250 year storm • 500 year storm • Identify Wetlands • CEE 413 Water Resources Engineering I
4. Geotechnical Features • Are the soil types known? • Some types of soils create construction problems (e.g. expansive soils) • Some soils need to drain well (e.g. septic tanks) • Are there any soils with toxic substances in them? • Are there slopes that pose stability threats? • Are there any geothermal resources? • CEE 334 Soil Mechanics
5. Existing Utilities and Services • Where are the nearest available public water and sewer lines and what reserve capacity do they have? • What roads border or serve the area and how adequate are they to serve the expected development? • Where is the nearest public transportation and how frequent is the service? • Where are the electrical power sources?
6. Environmental Resources • Is the site good for solar energy? • Is the site good for wind energy? • Are there any endangered species on the site? • Are there any sensitive areas? • Aesthetic • Animal and plant species
Landscape Visual Quality Example Source: Using GIS in Landscape Visual Quality AssessmentYingxin Wu, Ian Bishop, HemayetHossain, Victor Sposito. Applied GISVolume 2, No. 3, December 2006
Preservation of Biodiversity is a Global ConcernSource: The Nature Conservancy
7. Historical and Cultural Features • Are there Historic Buildings? • Are there Indian burial sites? • Are there other sacred sites?
Historic Structures – Approvals Needed for AlterationSource: City of Jacksonville, IL