Using the PLUS land use system

Fairfax County now uses the application PLUS to access all planning and zoning records. To find information, use the Search window at the top. Search by address, application number, parcel number, etc.

Application number – If there are multiple numbers, there is likely a Parent application where the Staff Report will be located 2 weeks before the case is heard by the Planning Commission. To find the staff report, click on the Record Information>Related Records. The parent application is listed first and the related applications indented. After selecting the parent application, under Record Information>Attachments (wait a minute for them to appear), should be the staff report.

Parcel number – Use the Validator to check the proper format for the parcel number. Start typing the 4 digit first number, with leading zeros, and options for the next numbers should appear. You can cut and past this number into the general search window of PLUS. However, it will not work in the Parcel number search option of PLUS. Use the general search option instead.

Address – Use the Validator and then the general search option.

QGIS to merge two layers

I needed to find out all zip codes within VA senate and house districts. I obtained the zip codes from Fairfax County GIS data repository as a KML file. House and Senate maps were retrieved from the VA Redistricting Commission as shapefiles. These were added as Vector layers in QGIS. The Union operation (Layer>Geoprocessing>Union) was used to create a new layer with the merged data. Edit>Select>Select Features by Expression was then used to select Fields & Values>SENATEN = 35 for Sen. Saslaw’s 35th District, or any other district could be selected.

Reston Golf Course Redevelopments

Hidden Creek Country Club in north Reston.

Reston National Golf Course in south Reston.

Washington Post article about possible development of Reston National Golf Course: ‘But this case is about more than a golf course. The Metro is coming to Reston, and lots of large development decisions are coming down the pike there. How will Reston’s master plan, using concentrated density to create green space elsewhere, fit with those who would build the next Ballston around Reston’s stations at Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway?

Reston’s creator, Robert E. Simon, told me recently [see below] that it fits fine, so long as you still have the recreation.’

Robert Simon to the Washington Post in 2012: ‘He said density was not a bad thing. “Density is good,” Simon said. ”It makes open space possible,” when you use apartments or high-rises to create density vertically. “High-rises are not anti-community,” he said, and he noted that the Stratford apartment complex near Reston Town Center has a community of engaged residents that is “really fabulous.”’

Create an iMovie from photos

In iMovie, under All Projects, Create New, Movie (vs. Trailer).

Under Preferences, set Photo Placement (Fit), Photo Duration (0.5s), Transitions (0.5s).

Under My Movie, Import Media and select all of the photos to be included.

Drag photos in sequence to the timeline at the bottom.

To save the movie, File>Share>File…

Transferring Google Drive files between accounts

I have a large collection of files that are used by a nonprofit. The nonprofit now has a Google for Nonprofits account and I wanted to move the files that I own to that nonprofit account of which I’m an admin. I logged into the G4N account and created a new folder called Test. I shared that folder with my personal account.

I then logged into the personal account and navigated to a folder that contained a test file. I selected the file and clicked on “Move to”, navigated up to “Shared with me” (by clicking on the left arrow to reach the top folder level), then selecting the new folder called Test and clicked on “Move”. The test file was moved to that folder. Permission will need to be reset for the copied files.

Using Lookup with Mac Numbers

I have two tables, one with email address (Column A) and a number of other columns, and one with email address (Table 1, Column A) and zip code. I wanted to move the zip code column to the first table linked by email address. The Numbers Lookup function makes that happen:

Lookup(A,Table 1::A, Table 1::Postal Code)

If text columns need to be merged, use the following formula:

=A1&” “&A2

Linking 2 spreadsheets based on look up value

I had two spreadsheets, one with email address and a couple of values. The other had email address and several more values. I wanted to link the two spreadsheets based on the unique email address, and copy items from one table to the other. I used Mac Numbers and entered the tables as two sheets. I used the Lookup function. In one table I created a new column. In that column cell I entered “=Lookup”, then clicked on the email address in that table, then clicked on the column in the second table where email addresses were located, then clicked on the column where zip codes were located (or other values I wanted to transfer). Then hit return and the values were transferred.

Lookup – Search for, Search where, Results.