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Community Plan Survey shows Village residents largely aligned on priorities, concerns

Courtesy of Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

Courtesy of Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

Results have been released from a survey designed to collect resident input for a consensus vision of the Big Park region, inclusive of the Village of Oak Creek.

The survey data will be used in the formulation of the Community Vision Statement and Plan requested by Yavapai County as part of their 10-year update to the County Comprehensive Plan. The survey was conducted by the Community Plan Committee of the Big Park Regional Coordination Council.

According the report, 654 responses have been received from residents as of April 22, 2021. It is estimated that the response level accounts for approximately 10% of community residents. The survey data reflects 81% of respondents reside in the community full-time, 19% part-time, and 98% own their residence.

The survey included both open-ended questions to gather top of mind perceptions, as well questions to assess lifestyle and gauge levels of satisfaction with various services. A summary report is available to view and download on the community plan website.

Findings from this first survey will support the creation of the requested Community Vision Statement, which the committee already has underway.

“The strong response from the community shows excellent engagement and concern for the future,” reported Camille Cox, community plan committee chair and president of the BPRCC. “The data reflects strong consensus in almost every area, particularly the values residents feel most strongly about, and what they wish to preserve and protect. Whereas residents indicate high levels of satisfaction with life in our community, they also express deep concern about the future and problems that need attention – which will be articulated in the forthcoming Community Plan.”

Other Survey highlights

• Level of satisfaction among respondents is extremely high, with 86.5% indicating they are either Extremely Satisfied (41.5%) or Satisfied (45%) with living in the VOC. Less than 5% are Not Satisfied.

• In answer to which elements are most important to their “Way of Life”, more than 85% listed Open Space (98%), Beauty of Area (97%), Internet & Telecommunications Access (91%), Reliable Utility Access (91%), Beauty of Sunsets & Sunrises (87%), Dark Night Sky (87%) and Small Town Feel (86%).

• By far the most popular physical activities among residents are walking (85.9%), hiking (76.9%), dog walking (41.8%), working out at the gym (32.1%) and bicycling (31.4%). Golf came in a distant sixth, at 20.5%.

• Polling on the quality of various services in the community showed Gas/Electric Utilities, Public Safety and Water to be most favorably viewed; Medical Care Availability and Development Design Standards were viewed least favorably.

• The top five priorities for the future according to residents are (1) Internet and Telecommunications, (2) Medical Services, (3) Community Parks and Recreation Areas, (4) Development Design Standards, and (5) Roads.

• Asked about road conditions, respondents feel there is a need for improvement. Most (42.1%) feel conditions from I-17 to Hwy SR-179 into the Village are In Need of Repair, with only 27.1% indicating the conditions to be Good. When asked about the roads in the VOC/Big Park area, 86% indicated either Good or Average, with only 14% feeling they are In Need of Repair.

• When asked about Development and Tourism Lodging, 75.7% felt there is an overabundance of hotels and short-term rentals in the Village, and that negative impacts - obstruction of viewscapes (66.8%), undermining small-town feel (71.9%), compounding of traffic problems (81.5%) and pollution (46.9%) overweigh economic benefits (17%) or boosting tourism (18.3%).

• Resounding support was indicated to have Yavapai County incorporate development standards for limiting building heights (94.5%) and for requiring new construction and signage to reflect the colors of the natural surroundings (85.4%).

About the survey

In March and April of 2021, an online survey was sent to the BPRCC email subscriber list (~500), as well as to various homeowner associations including the Village of Oak Creek Association (VOCA) members.

It was also posted online via NextDoor and Facebook, and local media coverage provided a link to the survey that is hosted on the Community Plan website (VillagePlan2022.org).

Community Plan Committee

In late 2020, an ad hoc committee was formed through the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council to work with the citizens and businesses to develop a vision and plan. The committee is comprised of 17 core members and more than 35 contributing community members. The community reports monthly at the Big Park Council meetings, submits progress reports to The Villager newspaper, and communicates regularly to the BPRCC subscriber list to keep the community informed and engaged. The committee’s activities and details on the Purpose and Scope can be found on the VillagePlan2022 website (villageplan2022.org). To volunteer or for more information, email info@villageplan2022.com.

Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

The BPRCC was created in 1996 and has since been representing the Big Park Region, including the Village of Oak Creek. The council represents between 25-30 Residential, Business and Educational organizations who, in turn, represent more than ~6,500 residents. Where appropriate, the Council provides input to County, State and Federal agencies. Although the Council does not have formal authority, it serves to influence decisions that affect the livability of the community. For more information, visit bigparkcouncil.org.

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