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Copley survey results to guide development

2/16/2017 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

More than 70 people gathered Feb. 2 to hear results of a survey conducted by Copley Township and a review of the township’s accomplishments in 2016. Township Administrator Janice Marshall was among the speakers.
Photo: Matt Springer
COPLEY — More than 70 people turned out Feb. 2 to hear results of a community attitude survey commissioned to help Copley Township trustees decide whether to proceed with forming a community investment corporation.

Township Administrator Janice Marshall said trustees were “very happy” with the turnout for the meeting at the HUB Community Center, which also included a year-in-review presentation of accomplishments by the township’s police, fire and service departments.

“It was a great turnout,” Marshall said.

There were no big surprises in the survey results, Marshall said. One of the more interesting results was how many residents are interested in greater connectivity between neighborhoods, parks and open spaces and Copley’s business district, including Copley Circle. Residents indicated they would like to be able to safely walk or bike between neighborhoods or to the township’s parks, she said.

The township began the survey in November and gathered nearly 500 responses. Township officials emailed the survey to residents and others who have a stake in Copley, mailed paper surveys to a random sample of 200 residents and put links to the electronic survey on the township website and Facebook page, Marshall said.

Questions for the survey were developed by a steering committee that included Marshall, Planning Director Matt Springer and Larry Lallo, an economic development consultant hired by the township to explore the feasibility of establishing a community investment corporation. Trustees have been working to identify potential members of the steering committee that would guide formation of the investment corporation, Marshall said.

Trustees were expected to make a decision at their Feb. 15 meeting about whether to pursue formation of a community investment corporation that would have the ability to make loans for community development purposes, among other functions, Marshall said. Results of that meeting were not known at presstime.

The survey found that residents overwhelmingly (96 percent of those surveyed) would recommend the township to family and friends as a good place to live. Chief attributes of the community included good schools, access to highways and proximity to major shopping areas. Residents also found the community friendly, quiet and to have a reasonable cost of living, according to the survey results.

Just over 95 percent said they were satisfied or strongly satisfied with the community’s safety and 87 percent said they were satisfied or strongly satisfied with the quality of public parks and recreation facilities, according to the survey results.

Regarding growth in the community, 89 percent of residents surveyed said they would support or strongly support policies that pace growth of the township in targeted areas, according to the survey results. Residents were split on support of policies that would restrict growth. About 47 percent of those surveyed said they would support or strongly support policies that restrict growth while 53 percent said they would oppose or strongly oppose those policies.

When asked what aspects of community development are most important in the next five years, those surveyed gave the biggest priority to improving community facilities, transportation, water lines and sanitary and storm sewers. Survey respondents also placed great priority on recreation, environmental and open space preservation and business/job growth.

According to the survey results, those who thought improving community facilities, transportation and utilities was a priority said it was moderately or very important to extend water and sewer services; make transportation improvements such as traffic signals and turning lanes; revitalize Copley Circle streets, sidewalks, crosswalks and curb appeal; and create a more “walkable,” “bikeable” community.

Survey respondents were about 60 percent female and 40 percent male, according to the survey results. A little over half of respondents were 36-55 years old. Another third of respondents were 56 and older. Only about 15 percent of respondents were 26-35 years old and less than 1 percent were under age 25.

A link to the complete survey report can be found at www.copley.oh.us.

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