Posted by: TerraSaver | December 3, 2019

What is a ‘Pre-Perc Test for a Septic System?

County of Sonoma PRMD required soil testing for septic development for an onsite septic disposal system.

​A Pre-Perc Site Evaluation is the formal documentation of the onsite soil conditions located on a subject parcel. This is commonly mistaken for a percolation test, or perc test. Although both are testing procedures for gathering data related to soil for use in a septic design, one is used to determine septic system type, while the other is used to determine the overall size of the proposed septic system.

​Well, which one is which?

  • A Percolation Test is performed by digging many test holes across a subject parcel and over the course of two days adding water and monitoring the drop or percolation rate of the soil. Typically, these tests are only required by the County of Sonoma on undeveloped properties or during the process of sub-dividing a parcel. The average percolation rate that is calculated after the test has been performed will be the major factor in the overall size of the proposed septic system.

  • A Pre-Perc Site Evaluation is the process of documenting the soil depth and composition for use in a onsite sewage disposal system. This process must be performed by a Qualified Consultant and a member of County of Sonoma Well and Septic Department. During the site evaluation, a backhoe or mini excavator will also be required to be onsite to dig profile holes in the area of the proposed septic system location and required reserve area.

After each profile hole is dug, the soil depths and compositions are logged throughout the total depth of the hole. The Qualified Consultant will be looking for any changes in the soil throughout the depth of the hole, these changes are called “horizons”. Each soil horizon will be measured in depth and documented with the specific characteristics of the soil observed within the horizon. These characteristics and depths associated with them determine whether a site has septic potential, and if so, what type of system the soil can support.

The subject parcel must have at least 24” of septic suitable soil located from grade to have septic potential. If we only find the minimum soil depth required, the property would only have the potential for an above ground septic system like a mound, or an at-grade mound with pre-treatment. The deeper we can find septic suitable soils the better, as it will allow for other septic system types to be designed.

If you’re looking to expand an existing septic system to allow for additional bedrooms or an accessory dwelling unit, you will have to perform a Pre-Perc Site Evaluation if one hasn’t been performed on the property previously.  The process of expanding an older existing gravity trench based septic system can be more challenging then designing a new system, as the soils present in the location of the existing system will need to meet the County’s requirements for depth below trench bottom. Gravity septic systems typically requires 66” – 72” of acceptable soil type to meet the County requirements to allow for the septic system to be expanded.

A large portion of properties across Sonoma County located in basin areas will also require a Wet-Weather Groundwater Determination Test be performed if looking to expand or develop a septic system on a subject parcel; please see our blog Groundwater Testing for Septic Development in Sonoma County for additional information.

Addressing County Requirements for performing a Pre-Perc Site Evaluation for Your Project

BC Engineering Group has performed Pre-Perc Site Evaluations on hundreds of properties across Sonoma County, we’re able to handle all aspects of the project from developing site exhibits, submittal to the County, scheduling of the backhoe and performing the onsite soil work.

As a leading civil engineering design firm, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding the process of documenting the soil conditions on the subject parcel.

For more information on Pre-Perc Site Evaluation’s and other septic planning and design services, please contact us at 707-542-4321. You can also stay up to date with civil engineering and land planning issues by subscribing to our blog.

Posted by: TerraSaver | October 12, 2019

PROPERTY WITH SHOP SPACE FOR LIVE/WORK

Occasionally we find country property, or even ‘in town’ property with a structure that can be used for a live/work business.  In the case of a 4 acre, 4 bedroom/4 bath property in Penngrove, CA there was also an unused cottage that had been used for canning fruit when the property had an orchard as well as a 800sf+/- shop and outdoor storage area.  While these features would not be of major benefit to every buyer – and consequently the asking price was based more on the home and acreage – the client who purchased the property was a licensed plumbing contractor and these improvements were of significant value.  Other properties recently sold included small barns and land that are being used for plant nurseries and raising chickens. Please let us know if you are looking for this type of live/work property and we will do my best to find a property that matches your need. Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate, Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Realty, (707) 483-3192, CSchnall@gmail.com, http://www.SonomaRE.com

 

 

Posted by: TerraSaver | October 4, 2019

COMBINING ART AND RANCH PROPERTY

Chanslor Wildlife has operated and consulted in the sale of Sonoma County ranches and land where the purpose has been to combine an agricultural purpose with outdoor art displays and trails.  These properties have ranged from 10 acres to 700 acres.  For over 20 years there have been several properties which have served as models for the properties we have been involved with.  At the very highest level is Oliver Ranch Foundation in Geyserville, CA, a 100 acre property featuring 18 permanent installations.  A winery which has combined art with their vineyard operations include Paradise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa.

This use of a property can be for private or public use with public use usually requiring correct zoning and permits. Some of the properties which we have worked with have had event facilities, overnight accommodations and recreation which provided financial support – or just vacant land with very special features such as ocean views, rock formations, rivers and streams which have added to the experience of an art trail on the property.  If you have an interest in property which may be suitable for art trails, please contact Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate, Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Realty, http://www.SonomaRE.com, (707) 494-5749, CSchnall@gmail.com

One of the facilities at Chalk Hill Ranch

One of the Barns at Chalk Hill Ranch, Healdsburg

Chanslor Wildlife has owned and operated equestrian properties involving trail riding, boarding, training for over 25 years and the principals have been involved in managing agricultural property for over 40 years.  We have had as few as 6 and as many as 70 horses under our custody and care.  As consultants, we have been involved in the sale of many equestrian properties in Sonoma County and the needs of buyers varies substantially based on their type of equestrian activity – ranging from buying a property as a business to being a participant in pleasure riding, dressage, training,

Occasionally we are involved in a property that offers options that address common needs across a wide spectrum of buyers.  Such a property is The Hilliard Estate in Healdsburg, CA.  The 40.5+/- acre property has paddock facilities if an owner wants to maintain horses on the property.  The adjacent property is The Chalk Hill Ranch which offers boarding and training facilities as well as access to approximately 300 acres of vineyards, riding trails and ponds.

One of the challenges for owners of a ranch property that is a primary or secondary residence is who can provide professional care for horses when the owner is out of town.  Additionally, access to trails and facilities that are maintained.  In the case of The Hilliard Estate arrangements can be made for horse care to be provided either on the property or at adjoining Chalk Hill Ranch.

On-line tours of the property are available at  http://www.artisansothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/346-l-861-3bjysp/13426-chalk-hill-road-healdsburg-ca-95448

Please contact Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate, Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Real Estate for an appointment to visit the The Hilliard Estate at (707) 483-3192/CSchnall@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

A successful family compound is not always related to the size of the property.  For example, a beach house  or small property in the wine country can satisfy the needs of many families for a family compound or retreat.  Families frequently have multiple interests and those interests can change over time.  The attributes or activities a family wants may be reasonably close to the property rather than on the property itself.  Sonoma County in general has so many diverse activities and environmental resources that as long as a home that has sufficient accommodations for the family it can frequently be the right choice for a family compound or retreat. https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/AF1QipOmaTQmMxMQJzvV2fkr5hJY7RCvYXwGXp6zAjPn

State or Federal Parks can be a major benefit and examples of activities in those locations can include boating, kayaking, surfing, fishing, beaches, hiking, cycling, beaches.  Wine tasting, art galleries and Art Trails, art ranches, event locations, Farm Trails, and animal preserves like Safari West also major attractions and are spread throughout Sonoma County.

And surprisingly – proximity to other overnight accommodations for visitors and family for which you don’t have sufficient room when there is a reunion or family celebration and restaurants within an easy drive with a diversity of price points and menus end up being important more than you may think.  Another category to consider – are there emergency services at hand.

Please call is we can help your search.  Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate, Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Real Estate.  (707) 494-5749/(707) 483-3192, http://www.SonomaRE.com, CSchnall@gmail.com

 

Posted by: TerraSaver | September 11, 2019

A LEGACY PROPERTY IN HEALDSBURG FOR A FAMILY RETREAT & COMPOUND

The Hilliard Estate at Chalk Hill Ranch, HealdsburgIf your family is looking for a family retreat that has the following: Privacy, large historic home, large lawn & entertainment areas, country kitchen, pool, lake with fishing, horseback riding, views, a managed vineyard that has a cash flow and produces fabulous merlot, and is located minutes to downtown Healdsburg please call Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate, Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Realty, (707) 483-3192, http://www.SonomaRE.comCSchnall@gmail.com – MLS# 21921588 – www.TheHilliardEstate.com

 

Posted by: TerraSaver | July 24, 2019

POND OR LAKE MAINTENANCE IN SONOMA COUNTY

 

We have owned several properties with lakes and ponds and know how valuable water elements are – very difficult to add, replace or modify. They do usually require maintenance and we recently had a demonstration of aquatic equipment from the Netherlands (reported to cost $90,000) that made a major job a whole lot easier and more cost effective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you need recommendations for pond and lake maintenance companies, or are looking to buy a Sonoma County property with a pond or lake – please call me at (707) 494-5749 or e-mail: CSchnall@gmail.com/website: www.SonomaRE.com

 

 

Posted by: TerraSaver | June 14, 2019

Very Rare Beach Front Property in Bodega Bay, CA

A former artists residence and studio, the property is just outside of Bodega Bay, CA and has a large lot with Beach access.  3 Bdrm/3.5 Bath contemporary.
Website at www.6175Hwy1.com.  Current owner has owned for 11 years and has done significant geological and erosion mitigation work.

 

In addition to opportunities for recreation, wildlife observation, irrigation, a stream, pond or lake can add very major value to property you own.
It is very difficult to add these features under current environmental regulations.

http://www.sonomare.com/2019_Buying_Property_with_Lakes_Ponds_Streams.html

A Protected Oak

In Sonoma County over one hundred thousand acres are protected with conservation easements.  If you are considering purchasing a property with an easement – or thinking of putting an easement on your property – take easements very seriously.  They are in fact a partnership with you and the agency which has the easement or may place the easement on your property.  These protective easements are intended to preserve the property in its natural state or maintain its agricultural use.  These easements may have been paid for or in some cases they have been donated.  In all cases the go with the land and in most cases are monitored for compliance.  Monitoring may be performed by the agency itself, by volunteers or by neighbors being vigilant to protect the property from development or use that is not allowed under the easement.

Recently a property owner found out the consequences of not observing terms of a conservation easement.  The final result may be a $600,000 fine.

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9556824-181/sonoma-county-couple-ordered-to

If you have interest in putting an easement on your property – use an attorney who understands the documents.  Also be aware that someone acquiring your property in the future will need to comply with the terms and this frequently affects the value of property being put on the market.  We have had considerable experience both placing easements and brokering property with easements.  Please feel free to call Chanslor Wildlife with questions at (707) 494-5749

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