Zoning Practice — November 2008

Ask the Author

Here are reader questions answered by Don Elliott, FAICP, author of the October 2008 Zoning Practice article "Better Zoning on the Web."

Question from Tom Charkut, City of Lakewood, Colorado:

I was wondering if your research regarding zoning and the web revealed (1) level of investment on the example cities’ solutions, and (2) how they justified their funding.

We have invested a minimal amount of funding into our ezMaps (http://maps.lakewood.org/) solution and have estimated it to be about 0.75 FTE — so it pays for itself. We are going to be adding some new features in the next year, but we won’t be getting to the stepwise zoning process until sufficient demand for that type of service justifies it.

Answer from author Don Elliott:

The short answer to your question is no, I did not research the cost and justification. At one point I thought about doing so, but I anticipated significant issues trying to corral the various numbers from multiple departments in some cities.

As you know, some cities have all this GIS effort under one department, but I also run into a significant number that have responsibilities distributed (formally or informally) in ways that would cause the expenses to appear under multiple departmental budgets.

In the time available I did not have time to tackle that.