Merging Features by Similar Attribute within a Feature Class with Spatial Tolerance

Discussion created by islindsm on Feb 15, 2012
Latest reply on Feb 15, 2012 by dlee-esristaff
I have a feature class with approximately 1000 polygons.  I need to merge these polygons together to create approx. 200 polygons.  I need to merge them together by a unique attribute and I would also like to use a spatial tolerance as to only merge features that are within close proximity of each other.

I know that this can be done manually through the editor tool.  I prefer not to do this manually.
I also know that the regular merge command will work when combining two or more feature classes.  However, I only have one feature class.

Is my only option Model Builder?  Do you have any hints on how I would get my end result using model builder?  Thank you for all your help!