Surveys and Zoning

An ALTA (American Land Title Association) Survey is essentially a pictorial representation of the title showing a potential buyer the following elements:


Existing improvements

Utilities and Significant observations

ALTA Survey Costs

Approximately 80% of surveys will cost a buyer $3,000-$6,000. Some of the common issues in a survey are differing legal descriptions , easements and encroachments , boundary issues with neighbors, flood zones and non conformance with zoning.


Summary of an ALTA Survey and Zoning

Zoning reports are sometimes ordered for deeper investigations. A zoning report will cost an additional $600-$800 on average. A review of zoning regulations and property conformance is then able to be completed.

Overview of an ALTA Survey and Zoning issues with CRE to review the zoning conformance a check with city planning department is done along with reviewing the city’s general plan, while research is done around setbacks, height, density, etc.

Also looking at Certificates of Occupancy procedures as well as checking rebuilding thresholds in cases of nonconformity to find open violations. Some common issues in Zoning are– if a building burns down and is rebuilt it can lose it’s grandfathering for zoning.

Here are some more potential issues with zoning:

Site is under parked / not enough handicap spots

Signage is out of compliance and Un-permitted subdivisions of space

Bootleg property uses

Accessory buildings encroach onto yard setback requirements. Perhaps the landscaping is inadequate or the floor area ratio is greater than prescribed. There can also be issues with rebuilding.

Shire Commercial is a commercial real estate brokerage that represents buyers and tenants of commercial real estate in the Austin, TX area.