Whether your need is to confirm that a property and its structures conform to zoning requirements, such as for an ALTA Title Insurance Endorsement, like 3-06 Unimproved Land or 3.1-06 Completed Structure, or to recreate an entire project history for litigation purposes, we can help. With our background in local government service we know the limitations of typical Zoning Letters. While referred to as Zoning Confirmation Letters or Zoning Verification Letters by the local governments which issue them, the information they contain is seldom complete. They are usually insufficient for an Attorney Opinion Letter and require further research. While retrieving documents for Deep Water's due diligence clients we have secured a wide variety of strategic real estate, land development and property-related documents and exhibits. Valuable and actionable intelligence has come from local permitting jurisdictions (cities, counties, authorities, etc.), federal and/or state agencies, and a wide range of private party sources, as part of complete transactional due diligence services, pre-litigation investigation or litigation support, preparation of court exhibits, etc.
We also retrieve digital and paper documents for others, who do not need other services we provide. These can be single documents, portions of files (partial file), or complete "as-filed" and/or "as-approved" documentation, depending on your objectives and existing documents in hand. In summary we request, obtain and provide you with approval documents, submitted application and/or pertinent background materials you need. We can help - just give us a call.
While other companies retrieve public records or documents like deeds, mortgages, and easements, or court filings, our experience and expertise allows us to find and retrieve much more. Examples of project, process, and background documents we frequently obtain include:
Project Documents Process Documents Existing Infrastructure Reports Checklists and Approval Procedures Concept Plans Internal e-mails Environmental Site Assessments - Phase I, II & III Approval Correspondence Market Studies Pending and Resolved Violation Notices Site Plans Meeting Agendas and Minutes Geotechnical Reports Waiver Procedures Level III Soils Studies Etc. Percolation Reports Cut/Fill Studies Grading Studies Background Documents Rock Testing Reports & Quantity Estimates Area Planning Studies Engineer Opinions of Probable Cost Environmental Impact Studies & NEPA documents Development Plans & Permit File Material Existing Precedence Records Building Plans & Permit File Material Market, Economic or Demographic Studies Notices of Violations Soil Maps Stormwater Management Reports Sewer Master Plans Hydrology Studies Water System Master Plans Applicant Traffic Studies Internal Memoranda Traffic Signal Warrant Studies Capital Improvement Program Documents Impact Fee Payments Transportation System Improvement Plans Zoning Conditions Historic and Recent Aerial Photography Certificates of Occupancy Geographic Information System Information Variances Area Traffic Studies by Others Special Exceptions Draft, Executed and Amended Ordinances Bond Documents Policy/Guidance Documents Exemption Letters Area Zoning Maps or Ordinances
Document Retrieval Process
Our experience working in and with units of government has shown us that formal Freedom of Information Act FOIA-type approaches to obtain Open Records are often intimidating to those subject to respond, and may be viewed internally as a prelude to litigation. This frequently puts the best sources of the documents on the defensive.
Instead, we aim to secure the most relevant and pertinent information to the issue(s) at hand as quickly and quietly as possible. We use peer relationships gained over twenty years within a host of jurisdictions in the southeast. Our approach is less invasive and almost always more productive in terms of quality than typical Open Records requests, which often yield many documents of little value, while overlooking others for a variety of reasons. As an example, most jurisdictions lack a centralized file management system. This means file materials are likely to be found in multiple departments or buildings and are often filed by different methods such as job numbers or assumed project names. Further, project names vary over time and earlier files are often forgotten or ignored. By sharing common experiences, building trust and goodwill first, staff often volunteers key information, which frequently leads to discovery of very important information missed by others.
Deep Water Planning serves as objective eyes and ears on the ground to get you the level of detail you require. Local firms with prior history on the project, such as attorneys, realtors or civil engineers, may sometimes seem at first glance to be convenient sources; however, our experience shows their files are often incomplete, and they are frequently subjective or limited in their approach due to limited perspective. We often work with them and use their records as source materials to lead to more contacts and information.
Document Retrieval Fees
Of course, a comprehensive, but targeted approach representing real value comes at a cost, but not an unreasonable one - our aim is for repeat business, so our document retrieval services must come at the most reasonable cost for the effort involved. As an example a typical zoning conformance report for ALTA endorsement 3.1-06 purposes ranges from $250-$500.
Our fees are based on having a clear understanding of your objectives and the work actually required, but we work to steward your money and time as though it were our own being spent. As a result we use appropriate efficiencies whenever we can. Preparatory background work is done online. Relationships are confirmed or established with key contacts and appointments are scheduled ahead of time, so valuable time on location is not squandered. We allow ample time for archived document retrieval before arrival and seek digital versions to reduce costs and aid distribution. Finally, we limit our report writing to summary issues, unless engaged for broader services.
We do not offer civil engineering or legal advice, so you are not charged fees typically requested by these other professionals. We frequently work with and for lenders, investors, developers and other professional consultants, such as appraisers, attorneys, brokers, engineers, and others who assist them. As a result, we can customize our document retrieval approach to any situation.
Please contact us for a no obligation proposal. Case Examples can be provided upon request.
Zoning Document Retrieval Services
Deep Water Planning, LLC
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