Why develop a community-wide land use survey?
Conducting a community-wide parcel survey can provide decision makers with valuable information about the current land use conditions in their community. Oftentimes decision makers must make decisions about their community based on anecdotal evidence without actual data.
A parcel survey in simplest terms is development of a series of questions for a surveyor to answer about every single parcel of land within a given boundary. Surveyors visit all parcels to create a comprehensive snapshot of the community by cataloging the on-the-ground conditions.
Survey questions have flexibility to meet the needs of the partner community. Some questions will be suggested by SBLC staff based upon best practices and previous surveys completed in partner communities. SBLC staff will work with a designated staff person or even a committee to gain input and ensure necessary data is collected. The survey could quite literally include any question that leaders want to know about their community as long as it could be observed from a street view.
Once results are collected a final report with basic analysis and recommendations will be produced for the partner community. Timing of data collection can be important based upon the goals of the partnership. As an example, observing conditions related to vegetation can be skewed if the survey were to be completed in late fall or winter and not give a realistic snapshot of the current conditions during the growing season. Survey data can be downloaded as a shapefile to use in ArcMap and layered into other GIS analysis and existing data. In addition, GIS data such as neighborhood boundaries can be added into Landgrid to assist with analysis. This creates a comprehensive snapshot of the whole community.