The WestCOG GIS team is working on a number of initiatives at the moment which are listed below
- Regional Parcel Viewer
- 2020 Census Boundary Update
- Parcel & CAMA Data Acquisition
- Zoning Data Acquisition
- Regional GIS Initiative
Currently in development, the Regional Parcel Viewer would allow for regional viewing of WestCOG member town’s parcel and CAMA data, along with relevant regional data sets (e.g zoning, wetlands, etc.) More information on this project can be found on the Regional Parcel Viewer Website.
The US 2020 Census’ Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP)is under way. Every ten years, the Census reviews its existing boundaries. These boundaries serve as the foundation for tabulating statistics on socioeconomic data. The Census has designated WestCOG as the PSAP Primary Official (PPO) to oversee Census Boundary Updates for Fairfield County. WestCOG will be working with its member communities, neighboring COGs, and CTDOT to perform these updates. WestCOG has identified two tasks to work on during this process. Updating Census Designated Places (CDP), and reviewing existing census block-groups and tract boundaries.
CDP Update: Census Designated Places (CDP) provide detailed socioeconomic information for a neighborhood, downtown district, or village that may be difficult to capture using census block groups or tracts. CDPs are currently used sparingly or not at all within CT. WestCOG has developed a methodology to update and delineate new Census Designated Places (CDP). The methodology can be downloaded here: CDP Strategy. A list of named places can be downloaded here: Fairfield County Named Places. WestCOG wishes to recieve these updates by May 15th 2019.
BG and Tract Review: WestCOG will be working with CTDOT and municipalities to request edits to census boundaries. The goal is to develop boundaries most useful for analytics, regional studies,and traffic modeling. WestCOG is working on a methodology to standardize its role in this review/edit process. One process is to track down special use areas and anomaly areas as these locations throw off, or skew data within the census. More information on this process can be found on the Special Use Area Strategy.
State mandate, PA-1875, requires communities to provide their respective COG with their latest Parcel and CAMA data by May 1st, 2019 and then annually thereafter. The request is timely, as WestCOG is looking into a Regional Parcel CAMA data viewer.
For the communities of Newtown, Wilton, Brookfield, and Weston; the delivery of Parcel and CAMA data is being handled by New England GEO.
For the remaining communities WestCOG is looking to establish a streamlined approach to minimize staff burden for this and future data transfers under PA-1875. Details on the data requests are provided below:
Parcel Data Request: WestCOG is looking for the latest Parcel Data Set usable in a GIS
- A date for when it was last updated.
- A unique parcel ID attribute to link with the CAMA data.
If you have a third-party vendor and you provide a contact, WestCOG would be happy to collect the updated data on your behalf from the vendor.
CAMA Data Request: WestCOG is looking for a full CAMA data extract for all properties in your community. One approach may to collect the CAMA data extracts already prepared by many towns for Warren Group Reports. Once established WestCOG can access the data each year to meet the state requirement on behalf of the community.
WestCOG is creating its Regional Plan of Conservation and Development and as such has been collecting and updating its data resources, one of which is zoning data. We have collected all our towns zoning maps in PDF format, but are looking for GIS datasets (or CAD if it’s the only option) so we can review zoning in the region and its correlation to demographics, economics, and natural resources.
WestCOG seeks GIS or CAD data from each community. Datasets can be sent to Nick Trabka to <firstname.lastname@example.org> We hope to complete our inventory of zoning data by early May 10th.
Initial Grant Award
In 2012, WestCOG’s predecessor, SWRPA, received Regional Performance Incentive Program (RPIP) funds to develop a regional GIS program to develop a regional GIS Program which would host extensive data resources such as imagery, lidar, contours, and planimetric data. With consolidation of the State’s planning regions, the project was extended to the entire Western Connecticut Planning Region, and was expanded to cover additional tasks (in the areas of property assessment and records).
GIS Data Acquisition
Flight Data for Southern Towns: The project launched in 2014 when the vendor, Kucera, was selected to generate:
- High resolution imagery (3”)
- Oblique Imagery
- Lidar, Elevation Data
This data collected was known as the 2014 Kucera Flight Data.
Flight Data for Northern Towns: RPIP funds were utilized to develop planimetrics data for the 10 northern towns in the WestCOG Planning Region. This effort was performed in 2016 using data from a state flyover performed in 2016.
Planimetrics Update for Developing Areas: In areas with high development activity (Stamford, Norwalk, and along Route 1), remaining grant funds were used to update planimetrics data to match 2016 state flight data. This work was completed by Sanborn in 2018.
Axiomatic, in partnership with WestCOG and its members, conducted a study of opportunities for regional cooperation in property assessment and records, including the viability of a regionalized Real Property Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system.
- Existing Conditions & Initial Recommendations Report (aka Regional CAMA Study), Appendix
- Regional GIS Web Application Recommendations Report, Appendix, Case Study
- Regional Recommendation Prioritization Report
Regional CAMA Study: The study found that the cost savings of a Regional CAMA Service were negligible due to the diversity in property tax base, software, and schedules within the Region. The report did identify four workflow efficiency projects:
- Regional GIS Parcel-CAMA web viewer
- Personal Property E-File
- Automated Deed Integration
- E-File for Exemptions
This report is explained in detail in the Existing Conditions & Initial Recommendations Report.
Two follow-up reports were developed to facilitate implementation of these projects:
Regional GIS Parcel-CAMA Study: This service would develop a sustainable approach to collect and standardize parcel and CAMA data across the Region, and to share these data via the web. The report provides a breakdown of cost benefits, best practices, and an implementation strategy.
Following this report, WestCOG has performed a Request for Information (RFI). Following the RFI, WestCOG Foundation Inc. is now in the middle of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify vendors to provide this service. This project is expected to commence in 2019.
This project is explained in detail in the Regional GIS Web Application Recommendations Report.
Regional Recommendations Study: This report outlines the cost, benefits, and steps for implementation for three projects:
- Personal Property E-File (Completed)
- Automated Deed Integration (In Progress)
- E-File for Exemptions (Pending)
These projects are explained in detail within the Regional Recommendation Prioritization Report.