Feasibility Studies, Floodplain Analyses & Entitlements
Walker Partners provides feasibility studies to assist our clients in determining whether a tract of land is suitable to accomplish their development and financial goals. Our feasibility studies provide the developer with vital information to determine if the project is a “Go” or a “No-Go” before the property is purchased. We evaluate and confirm the existing site characteristics and make recommendations with regards to the site’s suitability of supporting the project’s goals and objectives based upon our client’s criteria.
A “typical” feasibility study will include the following due diligence efforts: collection and analysis of existing data and reports relevant to the subject tract of land (including thoroughfare plans, comprehensive plans, infrastructure improvement plans, TxDOT highway improvement plans, previous feasibility studies, etc.); physical site assessments of the subject tract and the surrounding area to help identify “opportunities” and “constraints;” meeting with public officials and regulatory agencies to glean valuable information relevant to the development process and identify “hidden dragons;” establish topography and soils at the site; establish the property configuration (boundary); establish, in general, the drainage patterns, potential flooding risks, and FEMA floodplains; ascertain and confirm adjacent land uses and zoning; study and analyze vehicular access, ingress and egress, and circulation patterns; determine existing utility locations and associated easements; determine the water, wastewater, and power supply needs of the proposed development and verify the availability from the appropriate utilities; determine of the existing zoning regulations and make recommendations for the desired zoning to support the project; identify any potential development encumbrances on the site; and identify any subdivision or regulatory ordinance that could impact the development.
Historically, land development has occurred near the water, whether a creek, river, lake, or coastline. Even though development along waterways is generally considered desirable, so too are the risks to property and life that result from the powerful effects of flooding. Walker Partners’ engineers are highly skilled and experienced in understanding and communicating the risks associated with development along Texas’ waterways.
We analyze floodplains which impact our client’s development projects using the latest hydrologic and hydraulic analytical computer software coupled with state-of-the-art surveying equipment, software, and hardware. Our engineers are well-versed in working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program in securing Letters of Map Revisions (LOMRs) as well as Letters of Map Amendments (LOMAs).
Zoning and Entitlements
Zoning ordinances throughout Texas cities are the legislative means by which the community establishes detailed requirements for all aspects of the use of the land. Walker Partners understands that these requirements have significant impacts on the use, layout, and development intensity of a project along with height restrictions, setback requirements, minimum parking requirements, open space requirements, signage restrictions, and impervious cover limitations. Walker Partners’ relationships with city personnel and public officials have allowed us to successfully and professionally rezone properties that promote compatibility with neighboring land uses while creating desirable projects for our communities and clients.
Entitlement review and approval varies in every community, but the underlying intent is generally similar and consistent. The entitlement process includes the preparation, submittal, and processing of preliminary subdivision plans (plats) or preliminary site development plans. Walker Partners’ experience in the entitlement process is unparalleled in our region as evidenced by the fact that many of the communities in which we work have retained our services to edit or rewrite their subdivision ordinances. The cities that we work within trust us in that they know that our projects meet every facet of the ordinances. Our developer clients understand and respect our professional roles and responsibilities and find value and peace-of-mind in knowing that their project is the successful blend of the minimum ordinance requirements with the creativity and innovation of Walker Partners’ land development engineering.