Deschutes County commissioners are scheduled to discuss on Wednesday whether to create a two-tiered system for the public to access property-related information through the county’s website.
For the past decade, the county has offered several programs for accessing property information, each operated by different departments. But now, officials want to consolidate them into one comprehensive application, which led to the proposed policy.
The proposal would create a public-access version open to anyone that would not allow searches of individual properties by the owners’ names, according to a memo to commissioners. The public version also would not allow online searches of property sales deeds and related information recorded by the Deschutes County Clerk’s Office.
A professional version for registered users would allow searches by name and provide more information than would be available through the public version, according to the memo, dated Wednesday. To access the professional version, users must complete a free online registration process.
Currently, most of the information is available without a registration.
The new policy would achieve “an appropriate balance between the requirements for access to property related information with the privacy needs for individual citizens,” according to the memo.
Bob Hass, GIS program developer and coordinator for Deschutes County, said DIAL, which provides property sales, tax and valuation information, has been enhanced over time to include additional content.
He also noted that land information tools beyond DIAL exist that offer access to customizable maps and aerial photography.
There’s essentially never been a policy on the content, he said. The concept behind a new policy is to help create a framework for the new application, which could launch as early as the end of the month.
Scot Langton, Deschutes County Assessor, said when the application launches, it will create a need for a framework to address citizens’ wishes or legislative changes.
“There’s no problem we’re trying to address. We’re trying to look to the future so there’s consistency,” he said. “This is more proactive than reactive.”
If you go
What: Deschutes County Commission work session
When: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Deschutes Services Center, 1300 N.W. Wall St., Bend