In this phase of work, we obtain all known information on the site. This includes information on the physical conditions of the land as well as any code and planning requirements. We use aerial photos reproduced to scale; soils maps; geotechnical investigations of subsurface conditions; testing of soils for fertility and drainage; and assessment of existing vegetations including tree health and grass types. Information about water quality; existing and surrounding wells; flood plains; average precipitation and climate conditions; historical use; existing utility size and location; and existing structures is collected. If existing topographic information is available at an appropriate scale and accuracy, then on site mapping by a surveyor may not be necessary until a later phase.
The parcel boundary, tax map, and easements form the base site plan for existing conditions. The more accurate the information is, the greater the accuracy of design and bidding for construction will be. We research the zoning and planning codes to determine relevant information regarding permitted land use on the property, environmental designations, setbacks, other code issues, and the process for obtaining approvals for construction.