Survey results, comprehensive plan at workshop

The 2012 Salida Community Survey was distributed in December of 2012 in an effort to obtain feedback about the status of our community and priorities for the future.  Results of the community survey and the draft of the Comprehensive Plan will be presented at the upcoming public workshop on from 6 – 8 p.m., Tues., Feb. 12, at the Salida SteamPlant.

The Planning Commission revised the original 2010 draft of the Comprehensive Plan over the past several months to include updates from the 2010 census, survey results, completed projects and changing community priorities.

The Planning Commission and City Council will be holding public hearings over the coming months to consider the adoption of the 2013 Comprehensive Plan.  This upcoming workshop will be another opportunity for the public to provide input on what priorities should be included in the plan.

The survey was mailed to all 4,281 active registered voters on the list kept by the Chaffee County Clerk Recorder’s office.  In addition, the survey could be filled out electronically on the City of Salida website using SurveyMonkey.com or at local coffee shops and library.

The questions on this year’s survey were consistent with the 2009 Community Survey.  The results from both surveys will be discussed during the upcoming meeting to compare the community trends over the past three years.

There were 860 responses to the 2012 Community Survey.  According to the most recent census in 2010, there were 5,236 residents in Salida, of whom 4,301 were over 18 years of age.  Based on those numbers, the survey had a 20 percent response rate from our adult population. This is 164 more responses from the 2009 survey.

The most selected reason that people live in Salida is the small town atmosphere followed by climate, friendliness and recreational amenities.  While we can only enjoy the weather too, the City can try to better understand the valued characteristics of our small town.  As the City grows and changes in the future we should work to ensure our unique community character stays intact.

Some of the issues that rose to the top of people’s concerns for the future include new job opportunities, affordable housing and water.  These and other priorities identified in the survey will be considered when making policy and budget decisions for the City in the future.

It is the hope of the Community Development Department that the survey results will be used to inform the City Council, Planning Commission and citizens about the status of our City.  The results of the survey will help to inform the principals and policies contained in the Comprehensive Plan and will serve as a baseline for future periodic surveys of the citizens of the community.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s community survey and please  plan to join us Feb. 12 at the SteamPlant for further discussion about the future of our community.

The Citizen is happy to provide a forum for comments and discussion. Please be civil, truthful, and relevant. Please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. Real names are appreciated.