Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On a Quest?

What's the deal with that property?  There is an interesting tool on the District government's website, Property Quest, that may provide some quick answers.

This interactive database developed by the Office of Planning combines several DC government resources to allow the public to look up any property in the District.  Put in an address or a square and lot number, and it will provide plat and arial maps, and ownership, zoning, and tax status.  Property Question will also note whether the property is within a historic district, its political representation (Ward/ANC), and its police district.  It will provide a photograph of the property and provide a link to Google Maps street view. 

What may be most helpful about this tool is that the user can click on any property and pull up the information.  That's particularly useful when the precise address of a property is not known.

There are some limitations.  The database is not integrated with the DC Public School System, which would allow users to determine the schools for which the property is zoned.  It also could provide more than the Ward, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and Police Service Area number that the property is within, but also the name of each official, an e-mail link, and other contact information.  Finally, the database provides only property ownership, not business, information.  In the future, Property Quest could integrate data available from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration on ABC licenses or Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs regarding certificates of occupancy and business licenses.

You can find links to Property Quest and many other fun DC resources on the bottom of the side panel of the Other 35 Percent.

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