Community GIS-based Build-out Analysis Tool and EMIS
Track: State and Local Government
Author(s): David Gilbert, Gary Milbrand
Municipal officials require easy-to-use tools for assessing community impacts from proposed development plans. Zoning officers, managers and community leaders need to determine if local assets are being negatively impacted so they can maintain sustainable, smart-growth initiatives. They require more than just having the geographic data layers available to them however, they must be supported with a tool that synthesizes the data and provide consistent and measurable results. The use of a GIS "build-out" tool that accurately reflects the preferred future land use and "vision" of the local community provides a base to measure these impacts. The "build-out" program allows growth rates, development densities, environmentally sensitive features and local ordinances to be displayed in both graphic and tabular form. More importantly, it is system that can be adjusted through time to accurately reflect changing variables. This build-out tool is only the first part of the Environmental Management Information System (EMIS) developed for York Township (York County, Pennsylvania). The EMIS permits thresholds of acceptable growth to be measured using carefully selected suitability indicators. These indicators are quantified so that development plans adjusted to meet the community's needs.
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