TOWN OF HUNTINGTON, New York, April 23
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Information is power, but to the Town of Huntington, it can also be a time- and money-saver.
That was the goal, Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said, in launching the town’s Professional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Service on April 15.
Through the subscription-based online service, lawyers, real estate workers, architects and other professionals will be able to access copious amount of land-use information and create reports while skipping some trips to Huntington Town Hall and Suffolk County offices.
“This service provides a valuable tool for a wide range of land-use professionals… It will help them serve their clients better and save them time and effort,” Petrone said in a press release.
For $600 a year – or $700 to include mobile, Android and iOS, device use – the town is providing a “one-stop” information shop that hosts a variety of demographic, regulator and economic data typically needed in the forming of site plan applications, working through zoning matters and filing environmental documents. This includes access to latest ownership and permitting data for 73,000 properties; property specific land-use documents; fixed infrastructure; environmental and historic delineations; property characteristics; and current and historic photographs and aerials.
The subscription service is an expansion of what the town currently offers for free through its website.
“Information is everything,” Michael McCarthy, a Huntington-based land use, zoning, real estate and development lawyer, said. “What this does is allow for local practitioners to get a quick handle on property information… It’s an invaluable tool.”
While McCarthy had yet to subscribe to the service – but said he planned to – he applauded the town for its offering and said it will assuredly make his life easier.
Ann Marie Pallister, vice president of Suffolk County for the Long Island Board of Realtors, said the service could prove to be a “game-changer for a real estate agent.”
“These agents are going to freak out when they get their hands on [the GIS service],” Pallister, also education director for the Hamptons region of Douglas Elliman Real Estate agency, said. “From talking to a client on the phone, an agent will be able to send them a market analysis in 10 minutes… and that’s very impressive to the homeowner.”
A monthly subscription of $60-$70 is also being offered, Aidan Mallamo, the town’s geographic information systems manager, said.
A similar GIS service is currently offered by Southampton Town and Suffolk County, but Mallamo said the Huntington service offers users more information.
“Essentially we’re extending the same capabilities we use on the staff side here in Town Hall to the folks who are coming to the other side of the counter,” he said.
Those interested in subscribing – including the general public – can visit the town’s website at huntingtonny.gov or bring a check to the Town of Huntington Department of Planning and Environment.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, April 23, 2015; A10)