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Visualizing zoning regulations
May 14, 2013 Maria R9

Whether planners in the U.S. like it or not, what ultimately dictates what our neighborhoods, built environment 3-D vision is the two dimensional zoning code. I am a county planner in NY where home rule gives localities all zoning authority. I do technical assistance and help update zoning codes--I don't get to do the 'visioning' part rather translate visions into legally binding words.
Our county has a number of good GIS data sets including having digitizing all building footprints. I use technology to help local planning boards decide what currently is 'on the ground' in there locality. How many accessory structures per lot do people currently have? What is the typical setback? Many villages have old codes from 1960's 'model codes' that have large lot suburban dimensions that don't fit a village pattern. I try and create maps, tables etc. using GIS so they see what really exists then estimate how many parcels would become nonconforming if they pick a particular dimension

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