For those who dream of finding loads of easy-to-access information about what is being built when and where in their neighborhoods, a new online tool on the county’s website will provide a deluge of data-driven delight. Andrew Knuppel, Neighborhood Planner in the Community Development department, introduced an interactive “Development Dashboard” at the February 13 Crozet Community Advisory Committee (CCAC) meeting and described how citizens can use it.
“We’re pretty excited about this tool that will allow you to more accurately see what’s happening in your area,” said Knuppel, “from things like rezoning applications and site plans to subdivisions under construction, and lots more.”
Built by department staff using Microsoft Power BI analytics, the dashboard displays all county building projects at any stage in the development review process in a series of screens that follow projects from inception to completion. With a clean and colorful design, the dashboard allows users to filter projects by area of interest—whether CAC boundary, elementary school district, comprehensive plan area, or magisterial district—or to look at everything in the county as a whole.
Though the typical development review process can be a maze of administrative steps, the dashboard distills it down to five categories of project activity: legislative review, approved legislative actions, site design review, approved site design, and under construction. The data is easy to visualize with both mosaic-type grids and pie charts to help users see quantities in relative proportion. Individual project data pop up when hovering over any line item, and application numbers and document locations are provided for further investigation.
Knuppel said that while the site is still a work-in-progress, it’s a big improvement for interested citizens. “We have been working on system and process integration, and it’s taken a lot of staff time to get this set up,” he said, “but it used to be that we didn’t get data until site approval, so this is definitely more timely.” The county hopes to integrate this data with other departments’ information for use in master planning, residential capacity analysis, capital improvements projects, and school enrollment and facilities planning.
At present, the data in the development dashboard are being updated periodically, so Knuppel advises checking countyviewweb.albemarle.org for the most current information on specific parcels and GIS mapping.
Development dashboard usage tips: Visit www.albemarle.org/developmentdashboards, or you can click on the green “Development Dashboards & Maps” tab on the Community Development web page at www.albemarle.org.
For the best view, click on the diagonal arrow at the bottom right of the dashboard to expand it to full screen.
Currently, the dashboard works better using Firefox and Chrome browsers than it does with Internet Explorer.
Below the dashboard are links for a user’s guide, a more detailed development process diagram, and maps for each of the major development areas in the county.