After two years of programming and tweaking, the city of Bozeman has released a new web program for viewing development projects.

Called the Community Development Viewer, the program features a map to show where projects are and what stage in planning they’re in. Users can also view project applications and see building specifications and renderings, parcel owners and more.

Early versions of the program have been available for a couple of years now, but the city recently put finishing touches on it and it’s ready for the public.

“We have been quietly working on this for quite a while,” associate planner Danielle Garber said.

New features include a tool that allows users to see projects in their neighborhood, the ability to search for projects in final planning stages and project summaries.

Though real estate agents and developers will use the tool most often, it’s available to the general public at bozeman.net by clicking on the “Maps & Data” icon and then “Community Development.”

As Bozeman continues to grow at unprecedented rates with a population that’s expected to double by 2040, it will be increasingly important for residents to have access to development information, city spokeswoman Melody Mileur said.

In 2018, the community development department processed 535 applications, Mileur wrote in a news release. While that number is similar to the year before, she said the type of projects the city is working on have become more complex.

About 70% of new residential units were in multi-family buildings in 2018, with the rest being single-family homes. That’s a 20% jump from 2017, when about 50% of new units were in multi-family buildings and 50% were single-family homes, according to Mileur.

The Community Development Viewer also combines all those applications and information from multiple city departments into one web program, Bozeman’s strategic services director Jon Henderson said. It should answer users’ questions a lot more efficiently than having to contact multiple offices.

“Everyone up to the clerk’s office is responsible for managing our record archives,” he said. “It’s really important that we have a consistent approach to the info we’re able to provide.”

The city will continue working on the Community Development Viewer, adding more features like push notifications, texts or email notices for projects in specific neighborhoods, Henderson said.

“It will provide a foundation for us to develop community engagement tools and other ways folks can discuss information,” he said.

Garber said those looking for more information on specific projects can contact city planning by calling 406-582-2260 or visiting its offices at 20 E. Olive St., in the Alfred M. Stiff building. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Abby Lynes can be reached at alynes@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2651. Follow her on Twitter @Abby_Lynes.

Abby Lynes covers business and the economy for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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