Case Study: City of Easton, PA
It’s not unusual for the City of Easton, PA to receive 50 to 70 calls, emails or drop-in requests each week for information related to the City’s Zoning Code. The complex nature of the Code can sometimes make it difficult for citizens and municipal staff to find answers quickly.
“We have a form-based Zoning Code in our community which is kind of technical and complicated to look at. While I have staff to help, it still can be really challenging to try and figure out how someone’s property is zoned or if they can [place] a certain business at their property,” said the Planning Bureau Chief for the City of Easton.
The Solution: An Interactive Zoning Map
General Code, which hosts the City of Easton’s online municipal Code on its eCode360 portal, approached the City’s challenge by linking zoning data from Easton’s online Code in eCode360 to another resource that is critical to the zoning discussion—the zoning map. Civic Webware®’s ZoningHub™ software became a key element of the solution. Created for planners by planners, ZoningHub makes it possible to present essential zoning elements from the Code through an interactive map, including districts and definitions, dimensional standards, and land uses and procedures. By combining the Code information and map into a single, user-friendly online tool, it simplified how end users find and use property information that is important to them and community growth.
The interactive map prototype, now known as MapLink™, was rolled out to the City of Easton amid positive feedback from the community. City officials noted that citizens were amazed at how easy it was to find property data with a few clicks on a map. Easton’s Planning Bureau Chief also praised the solution for helping her and other municipal officials work more efficiently.
Mapping the Future
The MapLink solution is now a regular General Code service and is being implemented by other municipalities as a complement to their Zoning Codes. “MapLink will make it easier for communities to develop properties and businesses and that’s exciting. By taking zoning information that is traditionally complex and presenting it visually, anyone who is interested in economic development will be able to quickly find and understand the zoning details they need to move their projects forward,” said Jeff Wight, Director of Product Management & Development for General Code.
General Code is helping the City of Easton and other communities better serve the public and grow with fast and efficient access to zoning information through MapLink. We can do the same for your community! To learn more about MapLink and all of our Visual Zoning™ services, call 800.836.8834 or go to VisualZoning.com.