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        You and I live in different countries so my comments here may be totally not applicable.  Never-the-less, here they are,
        Here in the City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, anyone can go to the Planning Department and view any documents on file.  There is no charge for this unless the documents must be retrieved from "long term storage", in which case there is a $45.00 (+-) charge.  I have personally made use of this service several times and I have never been required to identify myself or give reasons.  That said, they will not allow copying of any documents bearing an architect's or engineer's stamp without written permission; their explanation for taking this position is that copyright infringement is involved.
        I assume you could deny permission (except, possibly in cases of legitimate "need to know" situations such as building repairs or renovations) otherwise there would be no reason to even ask.
H. Daryl Richardson
----- Original Message -----
From: S. Gordin
To: Seaint
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 9:57 AM

Good Saturday morning,
I received an official request from the city to allow the release (copying) of my plans on file.
I never done that before. 
Is it just a formality?
V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA