Find out what new construction is planned for your street by researching building permits, inspection records, filings of architectural plans, inspection records and other documents available from the building department of your local municipality. Anyone can request access to municipal records under the federal Freedom of Information Act. You can specify construction-related documents that pertain to your street as well as information for a range of street addresses, a block or other neighborhood.
Contact your local municipal office for the building department's hours and policy on requesting copies of documents and the fee for copies.
Visit the municipal office in person to fill out a written request for construction-related documents pertaining to your street. Ask for copies of permit applications, record of permits issued, building plans and inspections, zoning variances, code compliance records and adjudication hearings.
Pick up the copies of documents from the municipal office. Be patient for the information; many permit and inspection records may not be computerized and could take some time for municipal clerks to gather together. Review the documents for details that pertain to new construction on your street.
Visit the local building official. Bring the file of documents that relate to construction on your street. Ask for clarification of any documents you don't understand. Ask the building official for any insight or plans that he/she knows of about upcoming construction on your street.
Tips & Warnings
- City, village or town council meeting minutes may be available online or by request and may have record of discussion about infrastructure plans, community development and building projects.
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