CITY COMMISSION PREVIEW: New GIS mapping for the city, updated municipal code banning texting while driving among other things


CITY COMMISSION PREVIEW: New GIS mapping for the city, updated municipal code banning texting while driving among other things

By LANDON WOODROOF

Brentwood officials will discuss the city’s geographic information systems at the next City Commission meeting Tuesday, Jan. 9.

The city’s geographic information system contains spatial data that is coupled with tabular data to produce things like interactive maps of the city’s zoning districts or park systems.

The city undertakes new aerial photography for its GIS every three years. Every six years this process is complimented by a re-do of the city’s planimetric mapping. Planimetric mapping shows a greater level of detail than an ordinary map, depicting things like building footprints and tree lines with centimeter-grade accuracy.

“This year we’re doing a complete, brand new planimetric mapping,” City of Brentwood GIS Coordinator Scott Sumners said at Thursday morning’s City Commission briefing. “Everything will be done from scratch.”

On the consent agenda Tuesday is a $68,000 agreement with Kucera International, Inc. to do this aerial photography and mapping.

As City Manager Kirk Bednar explained, the city had set aside $150,000 for this service, but was able to get a lower rate by going in with the Franklin officials on the project.

Commissioner Mark Gorman asked if there was an appreciable difference between the type of mapping the city will pay for as part of this process and what you can find on Google Maps.

Sumners said Google Maps were not as good as the maps Brentwood could make using the aerial photography.

“They may look good to the naked eye, but if you’re talking about engineers or planners they’re going to want something more detailed, more accurate,” he said.

Two other items on the agenda for next week’s meeting regard updates to the city’s municipal code: one related to vehicles and traffic and the other related to the city court.

“This has been on my to-do list for a while,” City Attorney Roger Horner, who is retiring next month, said.

The purpose of the updates is to bring the city’s municipal code in line with state law.

“It had been a while since we had taken a good look at our traffic and vehicle regulations and since they’re closely connected with state law we wanted to make sure they are current and in agreement with state traffic regulations,” Horner said.

“In some cases there are new laws that have taken effect that we can enforce that we have not yet referenced in the relevant chapter of the municipal code.”

One of the most notable things that will be added to the city’s municipal code is a ban on texting when driving. A recently passed state law prohibiting handheld cell phone use in school zones will also be incorporated into the municipal code.

Another change involves the practice of “curbstoning.”

“Curbstoning is either when a dealer sells a vehicle without a title or somebody who’s not a dealer sells more than five vehicles in 12 months,” Horner said. “That’s an issue that comes up in Brentwood some times when residents are using their residential property as a de facto car lot and just buying and selling vehicles on their property.”

Previously the city has dealt with these activities by appealing to the zoning ordinance that does not allow commercial activity in residential areas. This new text in the code, though, will give the city more ammunition to halt the practice, Horner said.

Other changes reflect evolving terminology. For instance, the word “handicapped” will be replaced with the word “disabled.”

The city is also taking a look at the chapter of the municipal code pertaining to city court.

Suggested changes here include a section that clarifies that failing to appear in court constitutes a separate offense of contempt of court. This section will also raise the court fee for a parking violation from $5 to $10.

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