Site Investigation Reports: The Nuts and Bolts

April 27, 2016 by Laura Mason

To ensure projects run smoothly, potential obstacles must be determined before they become timely and costly dilemmas. Developers cannot always identify all of the restrictions that will affect the design and cost of their development. At BIG RED DOG, we have the knowledge and experience to decipher city codes and site characteristics to determine how they apply to certain projects.

Site Investigation Reports (SIRs) are written to bring to light any problems that might arise during design or construction. In our investigation process, we thoroughly research city development codes and ordinances, as well as county appraisal information and environmental quality regulations.

QR Guide
A Quick Reference Table makes it easy to see where potential issues may arise

When writing an SIR, we start with the most basic information about the property, including current owner, deed information, and zoning. It is vital to know whether a property needs to be platted and if the client’s plans are possible. To determine other site limitations, we also provide the client with the following information:

  • City Zoning and Design Restrictions – permissible developments; building, driveway, and sidewalk placement
  • Vegetation Ordinances – restrictions on adding and removing trees and landscaping
  • Topography Characteristics – site elevation and slope; soil runoff and infiltration rates
  • Water Quality and Drainage – location of flood plains; drainage design criteria; Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)
  • Fire Department Regulations – sprinkler and hydrant placement and capacity; access roadway size
  • Traffic and Parking – Traffic Impact Analysis; parking requirements
  • Public Utilities and Service – confirmation of available services and providers; utility maps and rates
  • Development Permits and Fees – permit application requirements; length of permit process; cost of all possible city fees
SIR Soils Map
Data obtained from the Web Soil Survey

We prepare these reports based on the location of the site and the developer’s plans. Some cities have very specific regulations, while others have more flexible development codes, so the Site Investigation Reports are designed to clarify the city’s expectations.

BIG RED DOG is committed to helping our clients be successful. One way we do this is by preparing Site Investigation Reports to fit their needs and ensure the success of our projects. Please contact us today!

Written by Laura Mason

Laura Mason

Laura Mason was an intern at BIG RED DOG. To learn more about joining the BIG RED DOG team, visit us at