It's fine for my purposes, but should there be a way to choose the layer you want to select before you click the info tool just to avoid confusion?
We could show the Info pane with the layer dropdown even before you click the map, but this has its own drawbacks - for some users it might seem that they *have* to specify the layer before clicking, in some cases the pane would cover part of the map that the user would like to click, in some cases the user would click the Info tool by accident while meaning to click something else and popping out the pane would be annoying, etc. We don't think this is a big issue because it only happens once per session anyway - you click with the Info tool set to automatically choose the layer first, and if you don't get what you want right away (on sites which only allow clicking one layer - pretty common - you would) you can easily switch the layer right on the opened pane, and then as you continue using the site you remember that the Info tool goes to the layer that you can specify.
Also, if I don't zoom in enough, the parcels aren't displayed (by design), and thus should not show info when clicked. However, the dropdown does allow me to select the parcels. But, when I pick, nothing is displayed. The inability to see the information on the parcels is correct behavior but it might be confusing since parcels are allowed to be selected from the list. In some ways, it might be good to be able to obtain the information from a selected layer, even if it isn't displayed since the user has specifically requested that they see information from the layer.
Yes, you can specify a layer which is currently invisible and get nothing, but the alternatives are worse.
1. If we automatically filter the list of layers for the Info pane so that it only includes the layers that are visible, whatever you choose in the list does not stick and you stop trusting that choice. Consider this scenario: you use the Info tool, set it to use layer X, make some clicks. Then you zoom in and quickly back out because you realize that zooming in was a mistake. However, when you zoomed in, layer X briefly became invisible, and because of that the system switched the Info tool to use layer Y. You use the Info tool again and you notice that you are getting info from layer Y instead of layer X that you set explicitly. This is then called "the choice in the Info pane is wonky". The user experience isn't good.
2. If we allow the Info tool to show data from an invisible layer, it's bad because how can anyone know where to click.
In general, we considered both things above and more, and we think the current design is better even though it also has some weak points. We can make an incremental improvement by adding an icon to the Info pane and / or changing the cursor of the Info tool to indicate that clicking will not return anything, if the current layer is invisible, for example. It's all about tradeoffs.