The new information portal helps the public understand property history and development opportunities
San Francisco, CA (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Symbium Corp. has launched a new property information portal, available at Symbium.com, which enables the public to freely access information about properties and the built environment around them. In addition to informing the public about what has been built on a property and enabling them to view its permit history, this portal will help users understand what can be built on any property.
Previously, data about properties was either unavailable, difficult to access, or expensive to obtain. This reality meant that, in some cases, a digital copy of property information could only be accessed by filling out a paper form. Symbium aims to alleviate these bottlenecks. The property information portal makes it easy for the public to access property and permit information and streamline construction project applications. Specifically, Symbium will allow the public to:
- Visualize data about any property, including different structures on a lot and applicable land uses;
- Evaluate possible additions or changes to existing buildings;
- Download planning, building, and assessor forms; and
- View submitted permit applications and permit history.
Launching first in California, Symbium’s property portal features a novel search engine that compiles all publicly available government data about properties and makes it convenient and easy to access by everyone. Unlike open data websites and other search engines, this new portal allows the public to perform structured searches that yield answers, not just links and documents. By enabling the public to find out what can be built on any property within a few clicks, this information portal is making it simple for Californians to prepare their properties to reach their maximum potential.
“The public’s access to rich data about their built environment has been blocked by expensive, archaic systems for way too long,” explains Leila Banijamali, Symbium Co-Founder & CEO. “Why can’t transacting with local governments be as easy as purchasing something on Amazon? Symbium is reimagining the built environment as data and empowering the public with the ability to seamlessly browse and visualize this data to understand what’s possible. This will lay the foundations of Symbium’s concept of a Government Relationship Management (GRM) system, which uses forms and permits as a mechanism to update this data and computational law (Complaw®) to streamline and validate these updates.”
The company’s broader mission is to streamline the regulatory aspects of construction. Empowering the public with knowledge about their built environment is fundamental to the success of this mission.
The launch of Symbium.com in California comes after Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 10, which legalized duplexes, ADUs, and small multi-family properties on lots previously zoned exclusively for single-family homes. Routinely updated to reflect changing laws, rules, and regulations, Symbium offers a unique platform that enables Californians to understand how these new laws affect their properties and the future of housing development in the state.
“Our mission at Soup is to provide affordable and accessible housing solutions for all—a mission that Symbium’s technology has helped us advance,” said Pam Dorr, Director of Housing at Soup. “With Symbium I’ve been able to help clients from all walks of life realize what is possible in their backyards. Recently, that has meant using Symbium to help a disabled homeowner construct an ADU that will help keep his family safe and secure in their main home. The ADU not only provides a stable rental income for the homeowner, but also helps address the housing shortage the entire nation is facing. I look forward to the expanded possibilities created by Symbium’s new platform.”
Symbium, which grew out of a collaboration at Stanford University’s CodeX and the Computer Science Department, has previously worked with the City of San Francisco, City of San Mateo, City of Milpitas, and others to help them harness their own data to understand development in their communities. Now, Californians statewide can easily access public data and utilize it on their own properties.
“The first time we saw Symbium we knew it would be a great tool for the ADU industry,” said Steve Vallejos, President and CEO of prefabADU. “We’ve typically done property evaluations using various time-consuming tools, but Symbium helps our customers easily picture an ADU on their property and visualize all the regulations surrounding it. Symbium’s innovative tools also helped us to identify 155,000 properties in San Jose that could fit an ADU, leading us to partner with the city to launch a pre-approved plan program to expedite ADU construction. Symbium’s new portal will grow beyond ADUs and be a tremendous benefit across California.”
After successfully launching in California, Symbium.com plans to expand into other states with high housing needs – and apply its Complaw® technology to other aspects of everyday life that are governed by complex rules and regulations.
The key to Symbium’s business is Complaw®, which is concerned with the representation of laws and regulations, such as planning codes, in a computable form. Symbium’s applications make the zoning regulations that shape our cities and towns easy to navigate, empowering anyone to quickly assess what’s possible on a piece of property or across a jurisdiction. Symbium was recently recognized as a 2021 GovTech 100 company, a 2021 American Bar Association Women of Legal Tech award recipient, and a 2020 Ivory Prize awardee for innovations in regulation and policy to achieve housing affordability. Symbium is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information, visit www.symbium.com.