It will be interesting to see how seamless this program actually is – it seems that it is only focusing on business opportunities – the zoning code in Bozeman can be cumbersome and convoluted. Anything that can help sort through it is a plus.
City of Bozeman: Zoning Check
Bozeman Magazine – Friday Nov. 25th, 2016
The City of Bozeman, Montana, is proud to announce the launch of OpenCounter: Zoning, a web-based tool available at https://bozeman.zoningcheck.com, that is designed to help business owners and citizens research and explore the uses allowed by the City’s zoning ordinance and where businesses may be conducted. The tool is a joint project of the departments of Economic Development and Community Development.
The new site provides each applicant with a customized map of where their planned project is allowed inside Bozeman city limits, and helps to educate citizens, investors and entrepreneurs as to where uses are allowed, where they require commission review and where they aren’t allowed. The data now provided by this tool was previously only available by manually cross-referencing the City’s zoning map with the text of the zoning ordinance, which is housed in the City’s municipal code.
This tool, like all those built by the San Francisco-based firm, OpenCounter, attempts to make complex municipal regulations and processes easier to understand for everyday citizens. By moving some zoning inquiries online, the City is hoping to be able to provide reliable, targeted feedback to the community 24/7. The new zoning tool also gives City staff a new level of insight into economic development trends in their community.
“We’re aiming to increase communication, and eliminate confusion on both sides of the counter,” said Brit Fontenot, Director of Economic Development. “City staff will have access to a suite of administrative tools to analyze proposed land uses while citizens are given a high level of service that reduces their discovery process from weeks down to a few minutes and put them in touch with subject matter experts for targeted follow-up. It also allows our planning staff to see what people are searching for, and give us real metrics about what kinds of business opportunities people are interested in.”
Source: City of Bozeman: Zoning Check