The results are in.
A phone and online survey of approximately 400 Colwood residents conducted through January and early February has been completed and presented to council. While there were a number of issues to keep an eye on, the survey’s findings showed a positive view on the work being done by Colwood staff and council.
“The Citizen Satisfaction Survey confirmed what we have always thought,” said Coun. Gordie Logan. “That Colwood residents believe that they have a high quality of life, that Colwood is a great place to live, and the city provides excellent customer service.”
The 2016 citizen survey showed 54 per cent of Colwood residents said what they loved about Colwood most was it’s “peaceful, relaxed lifestyle close to nature and the ocean.”
When asked to rate the City on a scale out of 10 on particular subjects, response scores averaged 7.5 for “a high quality of life,” 7.6 for “a great place to raise a family,” and 7.4 for “a great place to retire.”
Although, Logan did acknowledge there were challenges to overcome.
“(The study) also highlighted areas that are top of mind for Colwood residents. Development and planning, transportation and traffic, and the sewer system are seen to be the City’s biggest challenges,” he said. “While a diverse housing stock and safe routes to school are identified as areas to improve upon, fire services, snow and ice removal and the City’s parks and trails were (also) tops in the minds of residents.”
Of those surveyed, 28 per cent noted the top issues in the municipality as development and planning, with 22 per cent noting transportation and traffic, and 20 per cent noting the sewer system.
A Colwood resident since 1971, Melanie Davis said she was less impressed with some of Colwood’s work, and hoped to see improvements starting with increased communication.
“They need to talk to the people first before they start doing some of these things,” Davis said. “People that live in (some developed areas in Colwood) didn’t know that trees would be cut down before they got home.”
While she doesn’t live in those areas, Davis also pointed to the large retaining walls as “the worst thing she has ever seen,” and a potential safety hazard, with concerns about their strength in the face of natural disasters.
While new rules regulating the height of such walls are in the works, she wondered why they weren’t there before.
She also pointed to partially developed areas now sitting incomplete and “ugly,” wondering aloud how developers could leave areas like that in disrepair.
“A prime example is the (Capital) City Centre development, what a mess that is… I think it’s unprofessional… They need to screen developers (more),” Davis said.
She also pointed to the potential costs of sewage as a major concern, and said Colwood may not even need sewage.
“I just think we live on a natural gravel bed in Colwood and we don’t need sewage (systems)… I don’t think we should be forced into something we don’t need,” she said.
“I can see them having it in Victoria and Esquimalt but we don’t really need it out here.”
Overall she hoped for more from a council she said wasn’t living up to their mandate.
Logan on the other hand was satisfied with the results, but promised to continue to work hard and improve all facets of life in his community.
“Council and staff embrace these results and are truly thankful for the honest opinions given. It’s clear that Colwood residents love their city,” he said. “(However) we are set to work our collective butts off to make Colwood even better.”