ScoutMuncie, the groundbreaking citywide survey, serves as the primary planning tool to identify, record, and evaluate properties and areas within Muncie. Survey data provides baseline information to inform planning decisions and support City policy goals. Uses of survey data include the following:
- Important Data for Grant Applications: The survey data will provide valuable baseline and supporting information for the application of local, state or federal funds that could help improve infrastructure, build amenities, and protect existing structures.
- Community Plan Updates and Resources for Neighborhood Associations: An updated survey database will allow planners and Neighborhood Associations better understand the condition and resources in our community.
- Zoning Decisions and Plan Approval: It is critical that all staff with responsibilities for reviewing individual projects and development proposals have access to accurate information on historic properties.
- Cultural Tourism: One of the fastest growing segments of the tourist market is in travelers who seek out culturally significant experiences in cities. The survey will enable a variety of users, cultural organizations, and potential visitors to the city to conduct their own searches for architecturally and culturally significant resources that may interest them.
- Data for City and County Officials: The US Census (2010) estimated Muncie has over 4,200 vacant or abandoned houses. The survey will provide data on the number and location of vacant and abandoned structures and lots and their conditions. This will enable officials to make more efficient decisions on where to spend scarce resources.
- Disaster Response: After a major disaster, thousands of buildings and structures may be tagged due to unsafe conditions. When these assessments are made, it is imperative that inspectors have ready access to detailed, accurate information on the locations and significance of historic properties, so that demolitions do not occur without appropriate review or consideration.
- Potential Designation: The survey will identify potential historic districts and individual properties eligible for designation under the City’s Historic Preservation ordinances as well for listing in the National Register of Historic Places . Designation enables property owners to take advantage of financial incentive programs. Identification in a survey does not mean that a property or a neighborhood will automatically become a designated landmark or historic district; it merely provides information that would support such designation, if desired, at a later date. Designation requires public hearings and property owner notification.