Residential Impervious Surface Analysis

The Village of Morton Grove, IL has a regulation in place that allows the Village to govern impervious surfaces, which accounts for everything that is not grass, for residential rear yards, with only 50% coverage being the regulated limitation.  The village Zoning Administrator requested that the village’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department assist them with understanding the existing total impervious surface coverage for all parcels in the residential zoning districts.  The Department of Community and Economic Development would like to use this information to better understand the amount of residential impervious surfaces village wide and to use this information to craft regulations, public notices, and gain a better understanding of land use in the community.

Currently, the village does not require residents to record the type and amount of impervious surface in the rear yard of a property. To help determine what type and how much impervious surface exists, the GIS staff leveraged the existing buildings, driveway, and sidewalk data layers that exist for the village to determine what was present on each residential parcel. This provided a good base for an average impervious surface percentage to be calculated. The total area of buildings, driveways, and sidewalks per residential parcel was calculated and divided by the total area of the residential parcels to yield the percentage of impervious surface.

By leveraging existing GIS data to calculate this information, the village Zoning Administrator was able to get an approximate percentage of impervious surface per parcel in all residential zoning districts.  Without GIS, this type of analysis would have been very time consuming and most likely would have involved paying for a costly survey of the village.

Selling Unincorported Utility System Assets

​The Village of Glenview, IL has historically provided sewer and water service to the unincorporated North Maine Township, located south of the village limits.  Providing these utility services to the unincorporated area caused a conflict with the village’s overall mission to provide the best service to the residents of Glenview, as managing this system took away from staff’s ability to directly service village residents.    A solution to this conflict appeared when an opportunity to sell these utilities to a larger local utility network was offered. The village Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department was asked to assist with the transition and eventual sale of the utilities and easements in the North Maine area through the production of both map products and utility statistics for the area in question.

By working together with the Community Development and Public Work departments, the GIS department was able take current land use data (such as residential zoned, commercial zoned, recreation zoned, etc.) and determine the utility easements that pass through a given land use classification.  By determining the area taken up by the easements, the village appraiser was able to determine a fair price for the sale of these utilities based on the land use classification and land value.

Without the aid of GIS in a study such as this, intensive work on the ground involving multiple staff members would be needed to gain the same information that GIS was able to accomplish in a relatively short time. This investment of manpower and time was easily averted by leveraging the village’s existing GIS services, leading to a significant cost and times savings.

Deerfield Fine Arts Festival

The Village of Deerfield, IL Fine Arts Festival is an annual event that brings many renowned artists from around the Midwest together to celebrate art, present exhibitions, and display their products. This event has been growing in popularity and attendance from year to year, so for 2014 the village decided to take a multi-departmental approach to planning. To assist with these planning efforts, the village’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department was asked to develop a map product that could be used as a universal communication medium for the event. 

Working with the Public Works, Police, and Community Development departments, map products were created showing the locations of vendor booths and exhibitions, parking areas and what they were to be utilized for, and the location of village equipment such as temporary No Parking signs, Handicap Parking areas, and road closure barriers.  Having this type of information exposed in a spatial environment helped each department better understand what was needed to execute the event and help to communicate between departments what the logistics would be leading up to and during the event.

Another aspect of this process was working closely with police and public works to plan and map traffic pattern changes and road closure implementations. By assigning police resources a certain area of the festival and showing the patrol patterns, as well as showing the road closure signage and equipment, a clear map showing the overall plan was able to be distributed to event attendees, vendors, and staff to assure the festival was well-coordinated and executed without any major communication issues.

Using ArcGIS Online to Reveal Available Properties

An important step in attracting new businesses and industry to a community is promoting the commercial properties that are available for purchase or development.  The Village of Woodridge, IL previously had a web-based mapping application that displayed the locations of available sites in the village, but the Community Development department was interested in upgrading this application and making it easier for interested businesses to search and easier for village planners to upgrade the data being displayed in the application.  To fulfill this need the department asked the Geographic Information System (GIS) department to develop a more customized application that fit the needs of what the department was looking for.

In response to this request, the GIS staff decided to use an ArcGIS Online Story Map template, which can be customized from what’s provided out-of-the-box to provide the additional functionality the Community Development department was looking for.   Based on input from the department, the story map created displays available or vacant office, retail, and industrial property opportunities and is branded so the design is consistent with other parts of the village website.  A revised process for updating the data has also been established, so planners can quickly update the application with new property locations and information as it becomes available.    This revised available property application design and update process provides the Community Development department with a more robust process for advertising vacant space and a more efficient method for updating the application with new content.

Home Foreclosure Tracking in the Village of Northbrook

 

Within the Village every month homes are receiving notice, entering into, and being sold out of foreclosure.  These documents are mailed to Village hall and scanned electronically.  However, due to the constant change and sometimes long process involved it was difficult for the Community Development and Planning Department to easily keep track of specific properties.  GIS was asked to create a system to record and display which properties are involved in the foreclosure process, and their current status.  

At the end of every month GIS reviews the scanned documents and records on an excel spreadsheet the dates that a property receives a lis pendens or notice of foreclosure, is foreclosed upon, and is sold out of foreclosure.  This list of addresses is then geocoded and displayed on a map by status:  yellow for pending foreclosure, red for homes currently in foreclosure, and purple for homes that have come out of foreclosure.  This map is then distributed by email to both the Planning and Police departments for use.  Knowing which properties are involved in the foreclosure process is helpful to planning inspectors who check for code violations as well as police who are interested in knowing which homes may be vacant.  Moving forward as more data is collected and tracked GIS will be able to perform more in-depth analysis and look for possible trends.

Using Interactive Mapping to Search Historical Landmark Properties

 

The City of Lake Forest, IL has developed an intuitive application that allows the public to view historical landmark properties and related property information that are located throughout the city. Community Development requested a method for staff and residents to be able to search for historical properties by address or architect. With the assistance of staff from the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department, the Community Development department will created a map application that will display the location of all city parks. Each park will have a unique photo, as well as a comprehensive list of related information. 

The first step is for GIS staff to acquire all of the locations and information. The historic properties were then be mapped and the related information will be populated. The data will be loaded into an online map environment, called Story Maps, which is powered by ESRI’s ArcGIS Online application. The Story Maps interface provides a user the ability to host an inactive map showing localized data, in this case historical landmark properties. The end result of this project will be a URL web link that is embedded on the city’s webpage. Once the Story Map is published users can search property by address or architect. Once a property is chosen, additional information is displayed in a pop-up dialog box. 

Creating this interactive map provides staff and residents with a streamlined source of information. Users can be able to browse historical landmark properties without looking through a cumbersome database. Having this information in an intuitive format and in accessible location has proven to be a valuable and time saving resource. 

 

Available Commercial Properties Interactive Map

 

 

Historically, the Village of Glencoe has kept track of all available commercial properties located within the Village limits.  This list was available as a Microsoft Word Document and located on the Village’s website.  This document contained a picture of the property as well as any relevant information such as address, square footage, and contact information.  The Village decided that they wanted to make it easier for prospective buyers and renters to compare properties, so they asked the GIS Department to create a map that provided location and attribute information. 

An interactive online map was created using a product from ESRI called ArcGIS Online.  This product creates something called a “Story Map”, which is a combination of pictures, maps, and information.  The Story Map created specifically for Glencoe has an interactive map with points representing each available property.  When a user clicks on the point, a pop-up window appears that contains a picture of the property as well as information about the property.  The user can easily navigate between locations to do a comparison of each property.  By using GIS, the Village of Glencoe is able to provide prospective commercial real estate buyers and renters with a tool that makes it easier for them to make buying and renting decisions.

Creating Legal Descriptions using GIS

The City of Des Plaines has a number of TIF Districts, as known as Tax Incremental Financing Districts.  A TIF is a method of public financing that is used to subsidize redevelopment, infrastructure and other city projects.  When a TIF is not functioning as it should it can become a hindrance to development within the district.  In these cases the TIF agreements and districts should be re-evaluated.

 

TIF 6 in Des Plaines is being redrawn and a new TIF District, TIF 7, is being created.  The TIF agreements need to have legal descriptions included with them to describe the land within the district.  GIS was able to assist the Community Development Department with drawing the legal descriptions and determining their accuracy.  

The legal descriptions that were created by the city staff, were drawn out in GIS using the calls, which consist of a northing, easting and distance such as, north 87 degrees 44 minutes 30 seconds east for 316.065 feet.  A legal description always begins with point of beginning and then a series of calls describe the boundary and eventually ends with a final call that brings the shape back to the point of beginning.  This allowed staff to see where there were potential errors in their original descriptions.  The GIS Department was then tasked with creating updated legal descriptions.  This was a relatively quick and easy process.  The COGO, coordinate geometry, toolset was utilized to determine the calls that were needed to create an initial accurate legal description, to be used for in house purposes. 

Using GIS for Car Dealership Location Analysis

 

Municipalities across the Unites States are attempting to make themselves business friendly in order to attract and keep businesses within their borders. The City of Des Plaines is no different.  Recently, there has been interest in opening a car dealership in Des Plaines.  Car Dealerships are different from other businesses, since they are franchised there are location regulations based on current dealership territories.  

The City Manager’s office requested a regional map of the Chicagoland area showing the location of specific dealerships and a seven mile radius around each of the locations.  This allowed them to know what manufacturers would be candidates for having a dealership in the City without infringing on any other territories.  

ESRI’s world geocoding service was utilized to place the points regionally.  The requested buffers were then created using tools within ArcGIS.  Separate regional maps were then made for each manufacturer highlighting the buffers and the City of Des Plaines, making them easy to read and decipher.  The maps were then used in a report related to possible available locations.  GIS allowed the City to confidently discuss and support the available economic opportunities here in Des Plaines.   

Updated Photogrammetric Mapping History for GIS Consortium Members

​A proactive approach is taken every year to update GIS Consortium members on how current their spatial data is. The GIS Consortium photogra​mmetric vendor is a nationwide engineering, mapping and survey firm that provides high-accuracy geospatial data that the counties cannot. All available orthophoto (aerial imagery similar to what one might see on Google), planimetric (roads, buildings, rivers) and topographic (elevation) data is visualized by the year it was purchased. Aerial LiDAR coverage is also shown with the topography data. This technology produces surface models from laser pulses emitted from a helicopter or plane. The color-coded maps allow communities to budget for updated data by seeing which areas have been updated in the past and if those areas have seen any significant construction or demolition over the years.

Collecting and maintaining accurate data for a Geographic Information System (GIS) program assures the base map is complete and allows GIS users, municipal employees, and decision makers to consume precise data and make decisions based on accurate, complete data. Commercial mapping companies​s might provide good data from a regional perspective, but their price and low precision are not ideal for local governments. Up-to-date photogrammetric and topographic data is beneficial to both MGP, Inc. employees as well as their clients.