Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws responded this Wednesday morning to my query about what the county is going to do to improve online land parcel information, so citizens can better assess landslide and other geological risks.
Geologist and former County Council member Dan McShane called out the county for its parcel search map, saying it was "about the worst in the state."
Louws did not respond to me in time for yesterday's blog post, which detailed comments by McShane and county public works staff on Whatcom's geological hazards.
Louws does not appear to be making any promises, but he does say his goal is to have a new, improved county website operating next year. Of course that will depend on funding.
Here's Louws' complete response, send via email:
I’ve been speaking of Whatcom County’s need for a new website for quite some time, and it is being actively pursued. The goal is to have it up and running next year. This will allow for us to incorporate many functions that will give the public more web based information.
In particular, it will allow us to get GIS information on-line, including the Geo-hazard mapping and LIDAR data. This of course will take some time and budget to accomplish, but it is a worthwhile project to accomplish.
I believe there is a window of opportunity to seek assistance and partnerships to improve the tools available, and we will be pursuing them.
This will be critical work mapping hazardous landslide areas, as we update the CAO for the 2016 Comp Plan update.