In my last blog post, I provided the context of the revitalization questionnaire and how the results were reported. That post also contains links to all of the 10 survey documents. If you haven’t gone through the documents yet, I recommend going back to that previous post. It helps to understand how the documents fit together before you start reviewing them.
In this post, I will provide analysis of some of the results. I find that this survey is interesting, not just for the guidance it provides to the revitalization process, but also for what it reveals about us as a community. How we build out our environment and our residences will help to determine not only the world we live in, but the world we will leave for future residents, and it is obvious from the survey results that we care deeply about that. It is also clear from the fact that 240 of us on the Kendal campus took the time to fill out an extensive questionnaire.
The ”closed-ended” questions. In this post, I will focus on the “closed-ended” questions—the ones that can be reported numerically. There were 13 of them in the questionnaire. They could be called “multiple-choice” questions. Since there is a great deal of material here, I am breaking it into two parts. This is part 1, covering 6 of the 13 questions. The remaining 7 will be covered in my next post.
In conjunction with some of the closed-ended question answered by Kendal residents, I will also discuss the answers given to the same question by the other groups involved in the survey: Crosslands residents, the staff (consisting of staff at both campuses combined), the KCC board, and “other interested parties” (mostly residents of Cartmel and Conniston). Only a selected set of questions were answered by all these groups, but Crosslands residents did get a chance to answer all the questions that were asked of Kendal residents.
The closed-ended questions provided a list of answers from which you could pick. In some cases, you could pick only one option; in others, you could pick several options (2, 3, or 5 selections, depending on the question). In two cases, you could pick “as many as apply.”
The answers to the first three questions (name, unit #, years at Kendal) were not made public. The next three were open-ended. I will return to the open-ended questions in a future blog post. Here are the first group of closed-ended ones.
Question #7: “What would you consider the most important elements of exterior areas beyond my residence that you believe should not change? (Choose up to 3)”
Most people picked 3 answers, the maximum allowed (the average number of picks was 2.85). By far the most popular was “Wooded and natural areas”, selected by 86% of Kendal respondents. There is no way to tell whether it was their first, second, or third choice. Two other selections (“Walking trails and paths”, 75%, and “Views from my unit”, 51%) were chosen by more than half of respondents. Crosslands residents had similar opinions on this question.
Question #8: “What physical changes would you suggest to make Kendal at Longwood a better place? (Choose up to 3)”
There were 8 options available, including “Other (please specify)”. Only one of these options was chosen by a majority of Kendal respondents: “Convert 3-season rooms into 4-season in existing cottages” (61%). Second most popular was “Provide more spaces for resident interaction” (43%). Crosslands residents did not have the same level of interest in conversion of 3-season rooms. Their top priority was “Provide more spaces for resident interaction” (44%). No item was chosen by a majority of Crosslands respondents.
The KCC board (8 respondents) was unanimous in selecting “Provide living options with indoor connection to the center” as one of their three choices, but that option was chosen by less than 20% of both Kendal and Crosslands residents. The staff chose “Improve parking” most frequently (56%). It was not clear whether staff parking or resident parking needed improvement, and whether that applied to both campuses. (Answers to the following question suggested that there are parking problems at Crosslands, but not Kendal.)
Question #9: “Do you believe there are parking problems at Kendal at Longwood?”
The vast majority of Kendal residents (76%) do not think there is a parking problem on this campus. At Crosslands, on the other hand, just over half (52%) think there is a parking problem. The majority of staff think Crosslands has a parking problem (63%) but only 42% think Kendal has a problem. Similarly, the KCC board thinks that Crosslands has a problem (57%). But only 14% (just one of the 7 who answered this question) thinks Kendal has a parking problem.
Personally, I have never experienced parking problems at Kendal. At Crosslands, it has often been difficult to park for dinner and for evening concerts and presentations. I attribute this to the fact that Crosslands is less compact (meaning people have to go farther to get to the Center) and many areas are not connected to the Center by covered walkways. That makes driving to the Center more attractive.
Question #11: “If new covered parking was built, which would be preferred? Choose one.”
Overwhelmingly, both Kendal residents (79%) and Crosslands residents (80%) chose “Current type: roofed and three walls.” The KCC board prefer that option, too. However, the “Interested parties” (mostly Cartmel and Conniston residents) preferred “A fully enclosed garage” (80%). That preference is understandable, given that their present units have garages.
Question #12: “Recognizing that the concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social, which of these strategies would you consider to be most important to implement at Kendal at Longwood? (Choose up to 3)”
To me, this is a confusing question. It tries to address several issues at once, without really explaining what they are. But there is useful information in the answers. A majority of Kendal residents selected “Improve energy efficiency of existing buildings” (72%). There was also strong interest in solar panels, either roof-mounted (44%) or ground-mounted “where minimally visible” (41%). The top two Crosslands responses were the same: 63% chose “Improve energy efficiency of existing buildings”, followed by 53% who chose roof-mounted solar panels. However, the third-place choice among Crosslands residents was “Build new carbon neutral buildings to the greatest extent practical” (44%). Minimally visible ground-mounted solar came in fourth among Crosslands residents (32%).
The KCC board also preferred “Improve energy efficiency of existing buildings” (71%), but their second choice was a tie between “Build new carbon neutral buildings to the greatest extent practical” (57%) and “Add more transportation options to reduce vehicle needs” (57%). The staff overwhelmingly endorsed “Improve energy efficiency of existing buildings” (81%). They also liked both kinds of solar installation.
Question #13: “As we plan for the future it is important for us to consider priorities when planning new units. Please choose the most important qualities of Private Units. (Choose up to 2)”
Two-thirds of Kendal residents (67%) selected “Green space beyond my window and doorway.” “How much space I have in my unit” (41%) was tied with “The simplicity and serenity of my unit” (41%) for second place. The choices of Crosslands residents were quite similar: “Green space” led with 77%, followed by “how much space I have” (43%), and “simplicity and serenity” (38%).
In my next blog post, I will cover the remaining closed-ended questions, which involve common spaces, features of residences that shouldn’t be changed, outdoor features, walkways, and the type of new or replacement residences to build.