Zonability creates a composite of regulations impacting a specific property using spatial and structured (by us) contextual data. The benefit to our customers is having more than one agency's data. Currently, in Austin we have base zoning, overlays, county parcel data. We'll soon be adding FEMA and Travis County Assessor record data. One the contextual side, we have Title 25 of the Land Development Code for Austin.
We contact the individual agencies to get spatial data. As far as reliability, all the government data comes with disclaimers about its proper use. The data is not warranted.
The contextual data, regarding development standards and uses, is structured by people and is tested for accuracy the good ole fashioned way: we run addresses, generate outputs and compare results to ordinance data. We even email city planners with questions when data isn't making sense.
The average property in Austin has over 3 zoning districts with rules requiring understanding hierarchy. We strive to provide cumulative zoning results. For instance, if a property is zoned GO-MU, the residential uses that normally would be prohibited by "GO" appear as though they are likely permitted. We designed our system to shift the uses to the correct permission as per the ordinance.
The data sets used for spatial work is updated when a new data file is made available from the agencies. The hand-curated data gets updated once every quarter and are based on changes listed on 'new' regulations as posted by the agency.
At this time, we don't recommend using Zonability for subdivisions. There are
also districts that we don't provide coverage for at this time. In such
instances, we do alert the customer of the situation. Examples in Austin
include: Transit Oriented Development, Planned Development Are, Planned Unit
Development and Public.
Additionally, not all development standards and restriction of certain uses in the 200+ legal documents governing Neighborhood Plans have been modeled.
We use Google's geo-coder and base map and sometimes it isn't able to figure out the location. We've designed a way to help guide you in such instances but require you take control and click on the correct parcel.
It isn't unheard of to have a building with multiple addresses. Google shows the assortment and yes, if you click on different parts of a parcel, a different address may appear.
The data from the agencies we subscribe to or get data from is in a raw format and while we manipulate it to standardize it, we can't change it. The lines you see are the lines inherent in the data, sorry.
In most instances, it appears the data is somehow flawed. However, we have researched and confirmed instances in which the property has an easement that does, in fact, include a portion of the street (privately maintained).
It means we've detected a larger-than-we-can-ignore sliver of zoning to report. It is possibly a flaw in the data. It is also possible the parcel has multiple types of zoning to adhere to. We'd like to say definitively and will continue to hone our data models but for now, consider it an alert.
We currently show both base zonings on the map and run the analysis as if the property were fully zoned. This means a ratio reflecting each percentage of the property would need to be applied. Also, at this time, we handle overlay zoning as though it applied to the entire parcel when it could just affect a portion of the parcel.
There are several with the majors including topography, parking, setbacks, trees and neighbor sentiment for change.
Yes and no. Homes that are classified "historic" at either the federal or local level have an indication in their zoning of the status. However, there is a sub-group that isn't articulated in the zoning clearly that makes homes 50 years or older subject to a review of their history.
This will be a multiple year effort starting sometime this year at the committee level. Based on the past experiences for cities like Denver, Oakland and Philadelphia, it is likely to be a 4 to 7 year project.