Posted: February 26th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Short-handed assessor wants help from above
That’s when county Assessor Ralph Baker wants to take a series of high-resolution, low-altitude aerial photographs that promise to make goose pimples visible around the globe.
At least, the photos would show new swimming pools, cabanas, decks and workshops.
Baker wants the pictures for updating property values and hopes to shoot them in April before trees leaf out and hide the evidence.
He would post the photos on his office’s Web site as well as make them available to other government agencies – including the county Department of Building and Planning, which would be interested in construction done without permits.
The assessor’s Web site already has ground-level photos of the fronts of homes and businesses throughout the county, but they don’t reveal much.
The new aerial photos Baker proposed Tuesday would allow appraisers to see what’s behind fences and hedges without time-consuming site visits and confrontations with unfriendly dogs.
Baker has access to high-altitude “ortho” photographs used in the county’s digital mapping program, but he said their straight-down view doesn’t offer much more than his curbside snapshots.
He wants the oblique-angle photographs offered by a company called Pictometry International. Vice President Erin Ford said the Rochester, N.Y., company uses a patented process to provide five different close-up views of each property.
County officials are unaware of any other company offering such court-admissible photography. The high-quality images would allow appraisers to measure structures.
Title and Heads Up from: 12160.org