Pitkin County earns good report card | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County earns good report card

PITKIN COUNTY Pitkin County received high marks in a 2007 community survey as the majority of residents agreed the county is going in the right direction.Using the same methodology as a 2004 community poll, Linda Venturoni of Venturoni Surveys & Research Inc. questioned county homeowners, business owners and registered voters on everything from why they live here to what their most pressing concerns are.Recreational opportunities and scenic beauty topped reasons for living in the county, and increased development and the lack of affordable housing topped concerns, according to Venturoni, who presented the results to county commissioners at a work session Tuesday.To read the full survey, visit http://www.surveyco.org/Pitkin.html (officials stressed the importance of capitalizing the P in Pitkin). Data can be cross-referenced among age groups and locations on the website.Some 870 people responded to mail and online queries in October and November 2007 a 20.8 percent participation Venturoni said made for a good margin of error.Were getting that younger generation back, said Commissioner Patti Clapper. Babyboomers and retirees still top county demographics, but the survey results showed an increase in young couples and young families in Pitkin County.The majority of respondents, however, had been in Pitkin County for more than 20 years.Summer beat out winter, said a surprised Commissioner Dorothea Farris, who noted survey respondents listed summer activities ahead of skiing in terms of importance.The top demographic for salary fell in the $50,000 to $75,000 bracket, and respondents agreed by majority that taxes in Pitkin County are just right.Survey respondents asked for less growth than at present across the board.And while sense of community ranked low, at just over 50 percent, Venturoni said the survey response was overall on the positive side.Were lucky to have a community aligned in its values, said County Manager Hilary Smith, noting that responses from voters, homeowners and business owners were generally in line.Commissioner Farris called the survey results positive, noting that half the people thinking youre doing half-way right is pretty good. Commissioner Michael Owsley noted the results were consistent with other surveys, and Commissioner Jack Hatfield said the survey simply supports county values and the actions of county commissioner in recent years.Hatfield expressed concern over affordable housing, however, saying there was a big gap between county needs and actual performance.That really sticks out, Hatfield said.cagar@aspentimes.com

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