Online system allows for better planning for Truckee’s future
A new mapping system that Truckee has implemented could aid future planning by using a hands-on interactive map of the town’s land parcels that is attached to its past development history.
This Geographic Information System is available through an online portal that allows users to search any land parcel and have access to all of its geographical data.
“Typically if you know what GIS is, you associate it with physical geography so hydrology, typography,” said Drew Jack, Truckee information technology specialist. “But it’s much more than that. It’s really data analysis.”
Jack said that the program is essentially a multitude of spreadsheets containing different types of data combined into one map.
“When you start to put it on a map you can really see patterns and do other spatial analysis that you can’t do through just a spreadsheet,” he said. “It’s a map that really shows all the town asset information,” he said, which includes zoning, stormwater infrastructure, trails and roads.
Users can input an address and locate the desired parcel on a map and zoom in on that parcel. Jack said a typical PDF map of zoning districts would not offer the same concise image or a direct way to access additional information including what zoning district it is in.
“It’s very user friendly. You don’t have to guess where you are in that PDF map,” he said.
When a particular piece of land is located the user can click on links that will also direct them to the parcel’s building permit history as well as any comments on the record about the property.
“If you’re a developer you may be interested in what the zoning might be for a particular parcel,” said Jack. “It’s very simple but saves time and money for developers that are submitting projects.”
Not only is it useful for developers but, Jack said, it’s a helpful tool for the public to access permit history about their property.
Another feature the program allows the public to display their parcel information and sketch out a potential modification. Users can then use a function to print out a standard PDF template that the town has set up to proceed with an application for the modification. This way, Jack said, the communication is consistent between the town staff and the public because they’re all working off the same data.
“We as town staff can be confident in what their submitting. I think that’s a huge advantage,” he said.
The map can also be used to locate trails in the area, the trails length, whether it’s an asphalt or dirt trail and the last time it was updated in a maintenance database.
“There’s a lot more on the table; there’s a lot more coming,” Jack said, adding that he’d like public feedback to produce more useful data.
“It’s a program that has been coming on and improving and evolving in the past couple years,” said Jeff Loux, Truckee town manager. “Drew has been taking it to a new level, and we think he’ll keep taking it to a new level.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.