There are two main resources for research you can easily get access to: The City and County Building Departments have microfiche documents that you can review to find out more about the property in question.
For instance, at the City of San Diego Building Department, they have a Records Office on the second floor where you can go and do your own research. You have to make an appointment first, so someone can guide you on what you need to do to get the information you are looking for but once you get in, there is a lot you can find out about a property, parcel, neighborhood or even subdivision. They have maps for zoning, sewer and many other disciplines. They have documentation on the different developments in the city, and most important, they give you access to all those documents and even let you make copies of some documents if you follow their guidelines. Continue reading