An important component of sound land use planning is data. Without data, a community's efforts to plan for future growth can not be grounded in reality and therefore may be severely flawed. In the last couple years, the Monroe County Planning Department has attempted to improve planning in the county by acquiring more and better data and updating that data as appropriate and feasible.
One example of the Department's efforts is the Natural Features Inventory. With this endeavor, staff is compiling data that will establish a baseline of the natural features/constraints in the County planning jurisdiction and support current and long range planning. The study will ideally make good data available so that staff, the Plan Commission, and the community have an accurate appraisal of existing conditions and possible impacts of development activities and plans. The Inventory is only part of the Department's efforts to incorporate more and better data into planning functions.
Another example of this effort is the Data Book, which compiles a wide variety of demographic and other data pertinent to the county.
On a broader scale, a Data Collection work unit is charged with collecting various economic, demographic, and other data that may inform the Plan Commission's work. An on-going use of the various data can be seen with the various Rural Community Plans. With the Ellettsville, Harrodsburg, Stinesville, and Smithville-Sanders area plans, staff, the task force, and the Plan Commission all consulted various Census and natural features data in establishing the framework. This data informed the planning process by suggesting, for example, population trends and areas of natural constraint (e.g., wetlands).
RURAL COMMUNITY AREA PLANS
Stream Characterization Study
Below is the recently completed cumulative analysis report of water quality and impervious cover assessment for Monroe County from 2005-2008. The report offers an in-depth analysis of the results and offers a scenario based approach to future zoning amendment and long range planning efforts. Also included are recommendations for mitigation and future regulatory considerations to help improve water quality for Monroe County in the future.
Cumulative Analysis Final Report (February 2009)
The Planning Department is currently conducting a Stream Assessment project utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related benchmark applications in order to develop a comprehensive assessment of watershed/catchment areas within Monroe County. Our completed studies for this on-going project which identifies the methodologies and results from the data collection within these Monroe County watersheds can be found here (link to appropriate folder of Planning Document Manager).
Natural Features Inventory
Data that describes a characteristic, feature, or phenomena of or in relation to the earth is termed "spatial data." This kind of data plays a significant role in land use planning because of the inherent spatial orientation of the discipline. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, the Department can access many spatial data that describe natural features, population, political jurisdictions, and land use, to name a few.
The County as a whole has data for county boundaries and related political jurisdictions, road centerlines, aerial photography, contour information, and many others. The County also maintains a basic web-based GIS that provides access to county records such as parcel lines and property records, zoning, road centerlines, and aerial photography. To access this on-line tool, visit the GIS Website.
For questions about Planning and/or County GIS efforts, please contact the Planning Department at (812) 349-2560.