Topographic Survey for Garage in Elmhurst

I think it must have been because of all the teardowns in Elmhurst.  That HAS to be it.

I'm talking about the City of Elmhurst's requirement for a Topographic Survey for gaining approval on your building permits.  I'm only building a detached garage off of our alley, and the city still makes us get one of these done.  They're aren't cheap. does tell us some "interesting" things about the grading of our property.

The city engineers say that these surveys are critical to ensure that anything you do on your property (building some HUGE McMansion for example) doesn't adversely affect your neighbors by throwing tons of groundwater/drainage onto their yards.  I suppose that makes sense.  But..the requirement for one of these to just simply build a garage is a bit steep in my opinion.

Here's what ours looks like.  You can click to make the picture bigger to see the details.
I've been on the Village Board before, so I understand some of the merits of building permits and the hoops residents have to go through, but as a citizen of the United States, we should have some basic property rights.  A person **should** be able to do whatever he wants on his own land as long as it isn't hurting anyone.  I suppose that's all that is happening here with this Topographic Survey - the city is making sure I don't harm my neighbors.  However, the long arm of the government has to stop somewhere and it should stop at my property lines.

I won't bore you with my politics any further, but property rights should be an issue that Republicans jump on.  It goes hand-in-hand with smaller government.  Speaking of smaller government....ah....that's for another day.  Stay tuned!


  1. Amen, Jake. Good luck with the garage project.

  2. Although I'm a bit of a "lefty," I agree with conservatives when it comes to property rights. My right to swing my fist ends when the other person's nose begins, but for the most part a person should be able to invest and build on their property as they wish.


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