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engineer and/or land surveyor’s responsibiliTies, ConT.
If the map recorded for your project is for condominium purposes, your engineer will be consulting with you, your attorney, your architect and Chicago Title in connection with the preparation of a Condominium Plan or Plans. The aspects of a condominium plan are as follows:
• A Condominium Plan is based, most frequently, on the building plans prepared by your architect. The Condominium Plan defines (using notes and definitions) the project boundary, common area(s), elements of the units and exclusive use common area(s), if any. The units and any exclusive use common area(s) are delineated on separate sheets of the Condominium Plan(s).
• Your project engineer will be requested to provide copies of the proposed Condominium Plan to your attorney (to review for consistency with the project CC&Rs and related documents), to the DRE (for review in connection with the application for a Public Report) and to Chicago Title (for review in connection with approval for title insurance to your purchasers). Any required corrections based on such reviews must be completed prior to recording the final Condominium Plan.
• Decisions that you will make about your Condominium Plan will include whether patios, balconies, decks, yard areas, storage and parking will be an element of the unit or exclusive use common area. An element of a unit means that the area is considered part of the unit, whereas exclusive use common areas are considered part of the common area but reserved for the exclusive use of a particular unit. For example, individual garages that have direct access to a particular unit are usually considered an element, whereas parking spaces in a common garage are usually considered exclusive use common area. If parking is exclusive use common area, you will need to decide whether it will be assigned to a particular unit at the time of sales or predetermined by the Plan. There are pros and cons for both methods and you should discuss with your attorney and engineer which method works best for you and your project.
• If possible, (prior to recording the Condominium Plan and the CC&Rs) the Plan should be checked in the
field by the engineer against the units as constructed (or under construction). This field review of the units
is necessary if the Condominium Plan is based solely on architectural plans of buildings to be built or under construction and not based on a survey of the units as-built. This check will enable the engineer to verify that the units built on the ground are substantially the same as defined and delineated on the Plan and that the parking
is correctly shown. (This process is called as-built certification.) This certification, if required, will prevent last minute problems in closing your escrows. If the engineer cannot make this certification because of substantial differences between the Plan and the units as-built, the Plan will need to be amended before escrows can close. Because of this, it is recommended that you keep your project engineer informed of changes occurring during construction and review your Condominium Plan carefully before it is submitted for recording.
• Before your units go to sale, your Condominium Plan will be used to provide Chicago Title with an Address Certification List. This list will provide a reference and cross check of the official addresses issued by the City and posted on the doors of the units, with unit numbers shown on the Condominium Plan. The list also provides the parking space assignments, if parking is not pre-assigned on the Condominium Plan. You should decide early if you want your unit numbers to match your address numbers. It is also essential that the Address Certification List be prepared after the unit numbers are on the doors and after you have made a physical inspection to see that the addresses are posted correctly. Early planning and a final check by you will eliminate errors in the grant deeds to your buyers. These errors can occur with parking space assignments and storage assignments as well as with the units themselves.
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