An overlay analysis using a GIS was completed, which involved placing data layers representing each weighted development constraint over each other to create a single composite map showing the land’s constraints. The weight of all the data layers were summed, grouped and color coded resulting in a map showing five constraint levels.
The constraints analysis showed that approximately 30% of the land within the study area had absolute constraints that would preclude development. Only 13% was categorized as having no to moderate constraints (a combined score of 12 or less).
NRPC staff noted after completing the development constraints analysis that dropping the zoning criteria from consideration might result in a more accurate representation since zoning limitations may be changed at any time. Additionally, if the development constraints analysis is to be used in conjunction with a build-out analysis, zoning criteria will be used by the build-out model.
Northwest Regional Planning Commission utilized the Community Build-Out Analysis to identify and illustrate potential growth in participating communities based on current regulations. To better represent build-out potential in areas that have relatively severe development constraints, NRPC factored the results of its Development Constraints Analysis into the build-out software.