Client win for engineering, planning consultant

DETROIT—Giffels Webster, the Detroit-based consulting firm that offers infrastructure, community planning, and infrastructure products and services for public, private and institutional clients, announced that Springfield, a city of 5,200 in Calhoun County, has adopted Giffels Webster’s  Clearzoning planning tool.

“Clearzoning improves customer service and enhances the user experience in both print and online platforms,” said Rod Arroyo, partner and director of community planning at Giffels Webster. “The city of Springfield’s zoning ordinance and zoning map are available online, even when the city’s offices are closed. It sends a positive message to residents, local business owners and those interested the development in the city.”

The new Springfield zoning ordinance includes an interactive zoning map. This map was created by Giffels Webster using its Geographic Information Systems technology and links parcel data directly to the corresponding zoning district requirements in the zoning ordinance. The map also has a search feature to enable lookup of zoning information by parcel ID or address.

The Springfield City Council voted to adopt Giffels Webster’s Clearzoning product earlier in August, following a unanimous recommendation from the city planning commission.

“The City’s Planning Commission worked tirelessly over a period of two years, crafting a new master plan and zoning ordinance,” said Springfield City Manager Kevin A. Catlin. “We truly believe Giffels Webster has positioned us for strategic economic and community development success by incorporating best practices and innovative standards in our new ordinance.”

Added Brent Falkema, planning commission chairman: “Residents, businesses, and prospective guests of our community now have a chance to be engaged in responsible government and development because of the user-friendly ordinance developed in partnership with Giffels Webster.”

Clearzoning reformats online versions of municipal zoning codes with a user friendly format with color graphics, links to key information, and searchable works and terms. This makes it easier for citizens, business owners, real estate developers and public officials to quickly access important zoning information. Whether the user is a homeowner determining what is allowed on your property, or an experienced developer, zoning codes can be confusing and intimidating. Clearzoning makes development codes clear and connected.

The Clearzoning product starts with Giffels Webster conducting a zoning audit of the municipal zoning code. The team then identifies and fixes incorrect cross-references, duplicate language and inconsistent text. Through the audit, inconsistencies between the zoning code and master plan policies, changes in regulations, new case law and industry best practices are identified.

Giffels Webster, founded in 1952, provides civil engineering, municipal consulting, planning, land development consulting, landscape architecture, traffic engineering, surveying and GIS consulting. For more information, visit giffelswebster.com.

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