The surveyor was B&B surveying and we contracted them to perform both a standard land survey and a topographic survey. We provided our research to them, meaning the owner's title documents and any deed restrictions found therein, which were none. We also had the owner do a title abstract which researched the lot back about 100 years. No restrictions were found for the rear property line in that process either. In researching the city ordinances, we also found the lot was in a Special Building Line district which is how we determined the front yard setback. Side yard setbacks were established through talking on the phone a planner. i could never find anything in writing but they assured me that side yards are 3'. None of our research turned up anything for side yard building lines either, but the surveyor also confirmed that 3' was correct for this neighborhood. We didn't think at the beginning of the project that an ALTA level survey was necessary. We thought these things would be revealed through research and dialogue with the city. i received an email from the city saying explicitly that it is not their responsibility to assist us with discovering this information, only reviewing it, which implies they know the answer but still want us to find it ourselves. they suggested our surveyor would be able to find the information. they also suggested we contact the traffic division to assess the status of the alleyway and that this may have some bearing on the building line. those calls and emails remain unanswered. I have been calling the number the Houston Permitting center gave me 832-394-8849. it goes to a directory of planners. i have called every number in the directory. no pick ups. left messages with those that had voice mail set up (not all did). got one call back, but subsequent calls back have yielded nothing. Confused as to how to proceed because as you say, this puts my client under risk, not knowing precisely where not to build. Any ideas on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.