Citizens’ Service Bureau Records Now Password-Protected on Geo St. Louis

Geo St. Louis no longer displays records of Citizens’ Service Bureau (CSB) complaints for parcels. Now, only users with passwords can access those records. The site instructs people who want a password to contact the Planning and Urban Design Agency via a generic feedback form. I wonder what precipitated the change, and I wonder who can get a password.

Many residents of Old North St. Louis, where I live, use Geo St. Louis to see just how much of a problem a property is. CSB complaints offer neighbors (and potential neighbors!) the chance to monitor the history of problem properties to determine if a recently-observed nuisance is part of a chronic pattern of neglect. Some neighborhoods lack staffed neighborhood organizations, and citizens may need direct access to CSB complaint records. Geo St. Louis has been a leader among American cities’ public geospatial systems in terms of breadth and depth of information available to any site user.

While those records are public and a citizen has always been able to to obtain them with a written request, the sudden departure of open online access seems unnecessary.

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