Image Cleanup Site Map Service User Guide

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Local Government Use Scenarios

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Modified on 11/12/2009 07:30 PM by msowinski Categorized as Use


City of Davis Zoning Layer with Cleanup Site Map Service in ArcGIS Map

This application was developed with the expectation that it provide a resource to local planning agencies by showing cleanup sites, and any associated land use controls can readily overlay a community's local zoning map. Zoning maps and institutional controls both guide land use, and can be in conflict. In this example, Davis California's zoning can be evaluated by a planner as they might consider if a change in zoning would conflict with any zoning limitations. The tool used is ESRI's ArcGIS and the Cleanup Map Service Content is accessed through ArcGIS Online and an ArcGIS Server to stream the content.

The balance of this page explores our understanding and approach to serving local government through the Cleanup Site Map Service. The goal of the CSMS is to provide useful information to local governments in order that informed decisions are made pertaining to properties with residual environmental hazards protected by activity and use restrictions.


The Challenges in Serving Local Governments

There are numerous challenges facing local government when approaching decision making near cleanup sites. Some of the challenges include:

  • Officials serve competing interests, and this is not the top of totem pole.
  • Local governments often lack the specialized knowledge involved in interpretation of covenants, or discerning choices in safe use of contaminated properties.
  • Limitations on authority of ministerial review can preclude local officials from considering information on cleanup sites or institutional controls in the permitting process.
  • Information on insitutional and engineering controls can be difficult to obtain and challenging to interpret.

Defining the User

Local government as a user is highly variable. The user may vary based on their demographics and geography of their jurisdiction, and also based upon their role and responsibilities within their department. Additionally the user varies upon the extent of their technology platform. Even with these variables, the level of interest is from low to high as it aligns with competing obligations within their department.

Local Government Users by Department

The Cleanup Site Map Service may be useful to multiple local agency departments. While department responsibilites can vary by agency, the outline below summerizes several local government departments, and represents their varied objectives.

  • Planning Department. A planning department would conduct discretionary review of new projects, and also consider zoning changes. Their interest is broad, and as such the information provided through the CSMS would seem to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their review process.


  • Building Department. A building department provides ministerial review, and often do not enjoy the latitude of discretion in the review process by a planning department. A building department may find that they do not hold authority as their duty is solely to implement requirements within the Fire and Building Codes, codes that do not cause enforcement of institutional controls.

  • Health Department.

  • Public Works Department. A public works department has field staff that routinely excavate, and these excavation could contact residual contamination. Therefore, the CSMS could serve a city by assisting in providing locational information with which they can make worker safety judgments, or choose to properly handle excavated materials or treat dewatering fluids.

  • Redevelopment Department. The redevelopment departments challenge is to be informed of contaminated sites, evaluate which may be brownfields, and ultimately resolve the challenges posed by brownfields to support redevelopment. These departments typically seek a catalog of brownfield properties, a need that can be supported by the CSMS.

  • Environmental Services Department. Some local governments have a separate environmental services department. The existence and status of any cleanup site would generally fall in the interest of the department. There duty would typically be to provide counsel to other departments.

  • Information Services - City Website. City websites often seek to offer a knowledge base of information about the community. As cleanup affect the community, offering an approach to build maps or listing for the community to appreciate cleanup sites aligns with this governmental interest.

  • Brownfield Coordinators Larger city's may have brownfield coordinators as an adjunct to the redevelopment or environmental agency. There interest is promotional toward brownfields, and may only work with a subset of cleanup sites targeted for redevelopment.

  • Fire Department A fire department's emergency response duties invite easy access to knowledge of cleanup sites so that risks associated with emergency response are mitigated. Fire departments may know about the presence of hazardous materials, and the CSMS would complement that knowledge by describing residual chemical hazards.

  • Land Recorder. Land recorders are becoming the permanent repository of covenants, yet they are not provided any broad resources to aid their service. A CSMS could provide a quality check to help land recorders discover any gaps between agency expectations of a covenant, and a failure in recording.

Adapting Share Tools to Local Government

Given the complexity of local government users, this section represents general application scenarios of the Cleanup Site Map Service. The scenarios capture a department, a technology assumption, and an objective.

  • Google Map or Bing Map by City Webmaster to Show Cleanups in City: A rendering of a city map showing the CSMS is shown on the figure at the right. In this sketch, the City of Newark is shown, with the extent of cleanup sites shown around town.

City Google Maps Mock-up

City Google Maps Mock-up


  • ESRI GIS to Show Cleanup Sites for Planning Discretionary Review: This use scenario is represented at the beginning of this article.
  • Map Books: ESRI permits the development of map books through plugins. Map books are commonly applied at building counters, and offer an efficient way to discover contaminated sites. Presumably a map book request would be made, and then transmitted to the agency. An ESRI plugin that could be applied to the map service may be found at MainStreetGIS

Local Government Outreach

The adapting and growing this service will be facilitated by the associations and groups representing local government. The following groups have and will be contacted about this service:





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