4. 4 Township newsletter/mail survey



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4.4 Township newsletter/mail survey



In multiple choice questions, residents and businesspeople agree that the most important issues are related to transportation and infrastructure. However, in the essay question, there was a far greater emphasis on aesthetics, land use and community character. Residents and businesspeople hold similar views on transportation and utility-related issues, but their opinions differ greatly on many other issues, especially nursery and agricultural preservation, land use, and desired businesses.
Question 1: Where do you live?
About three-quarters of all survey respondents (76.4%) live in Madison Township. About one-sixth (16.6%) live in Madison Village. Those living elsewhere in Lake County make up 4% of all respondents. About 1.5% of survey responses are from Ashtabula County residents, and 1% from Geauga County residents.


Table 4-1: US 20 survey – residence

Residence

Number

%

Residence

Number

%

Madison Township

594

76.4%

Harpersfield Township (Ashtabula)

5

0.6%

Madison Village

129

16.6%

Thompson Township (Geauga)

6

0.7%

Perry Township (Lake)

11

1.4%

Lake County - elsewhere

8

1.0%

Perry Village (Lake)

3

0.3%

Ashtabula County - elsewhere

5

0.6%

North Perry Village (Lake)

4

0.5%

Geauga County – elsewhere

2

0.2%

Leroy Township (Lake)

6

0.7%

Somewhere else

2

0.2%

Geneva Township (Ashtabula)

2

0.2%

Total

777





Question 2: Do you own or manage a property along US 20 in Madison Township?
The survey asks if the respondent owns property along US 20, and if so whether it is residential, commercial, agricultural or vacant. 671 respondents, or about 86%, do not own or manage property along the US 20 corridor.
39 respondents (5%) own or manage residential property along US 20. All but one lives in Madison Township. 55 respondents (7%) own or manage commercial property along US 20, of which 44% live outside of Madison Township. Five respondents (0.6%), all living in the township, own or manage agricultural property along US 20.


Table 4-2: US 20 survey – own or manage property along US 20

Ownership

All received surveys

Township residents

Non-township residents

Number

%

Number

% of category

Number

% of category

Do not own or manage property

671

86.3%

515

76.8%

156

23.2%

Own/manage commercial property

55

7.0%

31

56.4%

24

43.6%

Own/manage residential property

39

5.0%

38

97.4%

1

2.6%

No answer

6

0.7%

4

66.6%

2

33.4%

Own or manage agricultural property

5

0.6%

5

100.0%

0

0.0%

Own or manage vacant property

1

0.1%

1

100.0%

0

0.0%

Total owning or managing property

100

12.8%

75

75.0%

25

25.0%


Question 3: Do you own or manage a business along US 20 in Madison Township?
The survey asks if the respondent owned or managed a business, and if so what type of business it is; retail, nursery/agriculture, vehicle-related, construction and contracting, professional, or another type of service. 73 respondents, or about 9%, indicate that they owned or managed a business along US 20. Those living outside of the township accounted for 42.5% of business owners or managers. Only 7% of the respondents who are Madison Township residents indicate they owned or managed a business, compared to about 31% of non-township residents.

All respondents that indicated owning or managing a nursery live in the township. Those owning or managing professional and vehicle-related businesses are less likely to live in the township. Those owning or managing a retail or construction-related business are more likely to live in the township.




Table 4-3: US 20 survey – own or manage a business along US 20

Ownership

All received surveys

Township residents

Non-township residents

Number

%

Number

% of category

Number

% of category

Do not own or manage business

693

89.2%

543

78.4%

150

21.6%

Own or manage business - retail

23

3.0%

15

65.2%

8

34.8%

Own or manage business – other service

22

2.8%

11

50.0%

11

50.0%

Own or manage business – professional

12

1.5%

5

41.7%

7

58.3%

No answer

11

1.4%

9

81.8%

2

18.2%

Own or manage business – nursery/agriculture

7

0.9%

7

100.0%

0

0.0%

Own or manage business – vehicle-related

6

0.7%

2

33.4%

4

66.6%

Own or manage business – construction

3

0.3%

2

66.6%

1

33.4%

Total owning or managing a business

73

9.4%

42

57.5%

31

42.5%


Question 4: The following are issues that the project may address. Which do you think are the most important?
The survey asks respondents to score 24 issues that the plan may address, from 1 (not important) to 5 (most important). No issues received a total median score under 2.8; and all are judged important to some extent.
Transportation and infrastructure-related issues – traffic, access management, road pavement condition, and sewer and water service – received the highest scores. The standard deviation for transportation and infrastructure-related issues is lower than for other issues, meaning a greater number of responses are close to the median score, and that there is more agreement among respondents.


Table 4-4: US 20 survey – most important issues

Issue

Score (1=not important to 5-most important)

All received surveys

Residential /

non-business owners/managers

Business owners/managers

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Traffic and circulation [1]

4.49

0.82

4.50

0.80

4.44

0.99

Access management (driving, turning lanes) [2]

4.36

0.85

4.36

0.84

4.37

0.95

Water availability [12]

4.18

1.01

4.18

1.00

4.19

1.08

Sewer capacity [11]

4.15

1.03

4.15

1.02

4.19

1.10

Pavement condition [3]

4.14

0.90

4.15

0.89

3.99

0.97

Environment [20]

4.12

1.02

4.15

1.01

3.88

1.08

Retail center site planning and layout [9]

4.00

1.08

4.02

1.07

3.83

1.16

Existing business vitality and preservation [23]

3.99

1.06

3.99

1.04

4.00

1.23

Nursery and agricultural preservation [21]

3.85

1.24

3.92

1.20

3.33

1.45

Sense of place / unique community identity [19]

3.84

1.18

3.87

1.16

3.58

1.36

Open space conservation and preservation [24]

3.84

1.23

3.89

1.20

3.42

1.32

Commercial/retail use diversity and quality [14]

3.81

1.10

3.81

1.10

3.81

1.14

Lighting [22]

3.79

1.03

3.80

1.03

3.73

1.08

Commercial architecture quality [13]

3.75

1.10

3.76

1.10

3.67

1.08

Noise and pollution [18]

3.56

1.22

3.56

1.22

3.53

1.22

Big box retail development [17]

3.55

1.39

3.55

1.39

3.55

1.41

Vacant commercial space [16]

3.52

1.26

3.53

1.25

3.39

1.38

Sidewalks and paths [4]

3.39

1.24

3.44

1.23

2.97

1.31

Strip development [15]

3.38

1.29

3.38

1.30

3.38

1.27

Landscaping and trees along the road [8]

3.34

1.22

3.36

1.22

3.13

1.20

Overhead utility lines [10]

3.31

1.22

3.30

1.22

3.40

1.26

Business sign size/height/placement/design [6]

3.16

1.21

3.12

1.20

3.45

1.21

Landscaping and trees on private property [7]

3.01

1.31

3.03

1.31

2.85

1.31

Bicycle lanes and paths [5]

2.86

1.36

2.93

1.35

2.30

1.34

The number after the issue type is the order that it appeared on the survey.

Ironically, issues related to non-motor vehicle related transportation – sidewalks and bicycle accommodations – rank far lower in importance, but are still not seen as unimportant.


The largest standard deviation from residents is for big box retail development, followed by bicycle accommodations, landscaping and strip commercial development. Among businesspeople, the largest standard deviation is for nursery and agricultural preservation, followed by big box retail and vacant commercial space. A high standard deviation means there is more spread among the scores, and thus less agreement about the importance of the issue among respondents.
Both businesspeople and residents agree on the importance of transportation and infrastructure-related issues. Businesspeople scored fifteen issues as less important than did residents, with the largest differences in nursery and agricultural preservation (-0.59 points), open space conservation and preservation (-0.47 points), sense of place and unique community identity (-0.29 points), environmental concerns (-0.27 points), sidewalks and pedestrian accommodations (-0.47 points), and bicycle accommodations (-0.63 points).




Question 5: What types of uses do you want to see along US 20?
Question 5 asks respondents to score the desirability of 27 different types of land uses and businesses, from -2 (strongly oppose) to +2 (strongly support).
The most desired uses and business types are those that are in short supply along the corridor; sit down restaurants, entertainment, medium and small scale retail, grocery stores, and professional offices. The desire for mid-end sit-down restaurants and retail uses is a frequent topic at corridor planning meetings. Multi-family housing, vehicle-related uses such as car repair and sales, semi-industrial uses such as contractor yards and equipment rental, and low-end uses including mobile home sales, mobile home parks and fast food restaurants scored as undesirable uses.
The largest standard deviation, from both business owners and managers and others, is for big box retail development.


Table 4-5: US 20 survey – desired uses

Business type or land use

Score (-2 strongly oppose to +2 strongly support)

All received surveys

Residential /

non-business owners/managers

Business owners/managers

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Sit-down restaurants [7]

1.20

1.11

1.23

1.07

1.00

1.39

Nurseries [27]

0.70

1.27

0.77

1.23

0.08

1.42

Entertainment (movie theaters, etc.) [10]

0.78

1.28

0.76

1.28

1.00

1.21

Medium-scale retail and commercial [3]

0.73

1.23

0.72

1.24

0.84

1.21

Small-scale retail and commercial [4]

0.73

1.10

0.70

1.10

0.99

1.03

Grocery stores [5]

0.70

1.22

0.69

1.22

0.73

1.26

Professional and medical offices [12]

0.66

1.08

0.64

1.07

0.84

1.17

Banks [13]

0.43

1.10

0.41

1.10

0.61

1.09

Large big box stores [1]

0.39

1.60

0.39

1.59

0.33

1.70

Medium big box stores [2]

0.41

1.43

0.38

1.43

0.60

1.39

Information technology [14]

0.36

1.01

0.33

0.99

0.59

1.10

Light industry [15]

0.29

1.28

0.25

1.27

0.60

1.28

Single family houses [23]

0.17

1.34

0.18

1.34

0.05

1.39

Gas stations [16]

0.17

1.15

0.13

1.16

0.47

1.02

Personal services [9]

0.13

1.07

0.09

1.08

0.43

0.99

Convenience stores [6]

0.00

1.22

-0.03

1.22

0.28

1.20

Hotels and motels [11]

0.01

1.35

-0.05

1.34

0.54

1.37

Auto parts stores [21]

-0.09

1.11

-0.11

1.11

0.11

1.08

Fast food restaurants [8]

-0.10

1.26

-0.12

1.25

0.04

1.35

Vehicle and engine repair and service [18]

-0.19

1.17

-0.22

1.16

0.06

1.22

Townhouses [24]

-0.28

1.29

-0.29

1.28

-0.17

1.31

Auto, truck and RV sales [19]

-0.52

1.17

-0.56

1.15

-0.16

1.27

Heavy equipment sales and rental [17]

-0.64

1.15

-0.69

1.14

-0.21

1.21

Contractor yards [22]

-0.68

1.11

-0.71

1.09

-0.38

1.23

Apartment complexes [25]

-0.71

1.21

-0.73

1.20

-0.49

1.33

Mobile home sales [20]

-0.85

1.10

-0.88

1.08

-0.60

1.23

Mobile home parks [26]

-1.19

1.11

-1.21

1.09

-1.00

1.24

The number after the use or business type is the order that it appeared on the survey.

Business owners and managers scored the desirability of various uses quite differently than other respondents. Nowhere is this more evident than the desirability of nurseries. Nurseries scored as the second most desirable use (0.77) by residential respondents. In the image preference survey, scenes of nurseries scored among the most favorable images. Business owners and managers are far less attached to nurseries than residents; they scored as the 11th least desirable use (0.08), between auto parts stores and vehicle and engine repair.


Business owners and managers scored low-end uses much higher than residential respondents. Vehicle and engine repair, fast food restaurants, auto parts stores and convenience stores received positive scores by businesspeople, but negative scores by residential respondents. Opposition to auto sales, heavy equipment sales and rental, contractor yards and mobile home sales is much stronger among residential respondents than business owners and managers. Business owners and managers are far more supportive of personal services, gas stations and light industry than residential respondents.
Hotels and motels were scored highly by businesspeople (11th most desirable, 0.54), but low by others (17th most desirable, -0.05). There are no nationally branded hotels or motels along the US 20 corridor. Some 1950-era motels have been converted to efficiency apartments or offices, while a few others are still in business.



Question 6: What development pattern would you like to see along US 20?
Question 6 asks respondents to score the desirability of three development patterns – a random mixture like that of US 20 today, a continuous retail and commercial strip, and clustering of retail and commercial uses near intersections – from -2 (strongly oppose) to +2 (strongly support).
The most desired pattern is commercial clusters at major street intersections, with residential and agricultural uses between them. A random mix of retail, commercial, vehicle-related, residential, agricultural and industrial uses scored second. Respondents were generally opposed to strip development, with retail uses stretching from Townline Road to County Line Road.


Table 4-6: US 20 survey – desired development pattern

Development pattern

Score (-2 strongly oppose to +2 strongly support)

All received surveys

Residential /

non-business owners/managers

Business owners/managers

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Commercial/retail clustered at major street intersections, residential and nursery/agriculture between clusters [3]

0.48

1.42

0.51

1.43

0.19

1.37

Random mix of retail, commercial, vehicle-related uses, residential, agricultural, and light industrial (similar to today) [2]

0.38

1.28

0.37

1.27

0.50

1.37

Commercial/retail strip; all commercial uses from one end of the township to the other [1]

-0.54

1.53

-0.60

1.51

-0.09

1.65

The number after the development pattern is the order that it appeared on the survey.

Business owners and managers have a much different opinion about a desired development pattern than residential respondents. Business owners overwhelmingly prefer the current random development pattern of the corridor to development clustered at intersections, and offer less opposition to strip development than residential respondents.





Question 7: If commercial development takes place along US 20, what form do you prefer?
Question 7 asks respondents to score the desirability of four different forms of commercial development – how buildings, parking areas and landscaping are arranged on a site – from -2 (strongly oppose) to +2 (strongly support).
Village-like retail development, with a pedestrian-oriented environment, buildings and sidewalk in the front, and parking aside or behind a building, received the most support, followed by a “lifestyle center” configuration where buildings front on an internal “main street” and parking surrounds the development. Hybrid development, with some parking in front of the building, and some in the back, also received support.
There is mild opposition to auto-oriented shopping centers, where a large parking lot fronts the street, and buildings are pushed to the back of the site. Almost all retail and commercial development along the US 20 corridor today takes the form of auto-oriented centers, where parking is the dominant feature of the site.


Table 4-7: US 20 survey – desired commercial development form

Commercial development form

Score (-2 strongly oppose to +2 strongly support)

All received surveys

Residential /

non-business owners/managers

Business owners/managers

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Median score

Standard deviation

Village-like retail – pedestrian-oriented, buildings and sidewalk in the front, parking in the back or on the side (Madison Village, Chagrin Falls, downtown Willoughby) [2]

0.60

1.34

0.65

1.32

0.16

1.41

Lifestyle center – buildings centered on an internal “main street” (not US 20), with parking nearby (Legacy Village) [4]

0.31

1.42

0.34

1.42

0.07

1.42

Hybrid – some parking in the front, some on the sides, but not just a large parking lot in front (central Mentor) [3]

0.23

1.31

0.21

1.31

0.43

1.28

Auto-oriented shopping center – large parking lot in the front, row of buildings in the back (typical plaza or big box store) [1]

-0.13

1.54

-0.16

1.55

0.13

1.46

The number after the development form is the order that it appeared on the survey.

As with question 6, business owners and managers have a much different view about desired development form than residential respondents. Business owners and managers are much less supportive of village-like retail and lifestyle center-type development than residential respondents. Business owners and managers as a group consider auto-oriented shopping centers – unfavorably seen among residential respondents -- as preferable to lifestyle center-type development.



Question 8: Anything else you would like to add?

The last question just asked “Anything else you would like to add?” This is a “written essay” question that allowed respondents to offer additional comments and ideas that would not be possible with the previous multiple-choice questions. About 70 common themes are reflected in the written comments. (Actual comments are included in the appendix.)


While transportation is judged a high priority in the dot survey and multiple choice questions of the mail survey, there is less weight given to transportation-related issues in question 8. Dominant themes are general traffic issues along US 20 and the need for better access management. Many responses are very specific about access management issues; the lack of access between properties, the number of driveways, and a need for rearage roads.


Table 4-8: US 20 survey comment themes - transportation

Theme

Occurrences

Access management - support: currently bad, limit or remove driveways, adopt regulations

36

Bicycles - oppose: do not add bicycle paths and lanes, limit bicycle friendliness, bikes unsafe

2

Bicycles - support: provide bicycle paths and lanes, improve bike friendliness

7

Lighting: add or improve lighting on US 20 and/or other roads

5

OH 2-Lakeland Freeway: extend through town

6

Pedestrians - support: improve or add sidewalks and paths, improve pedestrian connectivity in shopping centers

12

Public transit: add routes, improve service frequency

1

Speed limits: decrease

4

Speed limits: increase

1

Traffic - general: traffic bad, widen US 20, concern about increasing traffic

41

Traffic lights: general issues; improve synchronization; add, remove or relocate signals

15

Truck traffic: reduce heavy truck traffic on US 20

3

Turning lane: center turning lane needed, dedicated side turning lanes needed

15

As with transportation, there is far less weight given to utility-related issues in question 8 than in the dot survey or multiple choice questions of the mail survey. Those that responded generally support improved sewer service, and want to see utility line undergrounding.




Table 4-8: US 20 survey comment themes - utilities

Theme

Occurrences

Sewer - support: add or improve sewer lines in the US 20 area

8

Sewer - oppose: don’t add sewer lines in the US 20 area

2

Utility lines: utility lines ugly, bury/underground overhead utility lines

4

The most common themes in responses addressing aesthetic issues are that the corridor is now unattractive, and that architectural design regulations and improved landscaping are needed. Poor property and building maintenance along the corridor is also a common theme.




Table 4-10: US 20 survey comment themes – built environment and aesthetics

Theme

Occurrences

Architectural design - support: need regulations, want architectural consistency/quality, no more ugly buildings

29

Architectural design - oppose: don’t be picky, who cares as long as it adds to the tax base

2

Landscaping - support: not enough landscaping, need more landscaping/buffers, need landscaping regulations

26

Landscaping - oppose: trees get in the way, don’t worry about it

1

Property maintenance: poor property maintenance, need better enforcement, clean up trash/vehicles

20

Corridor appearance ugly/unattractive: corridor ugly, tacky, looks like Vine Street

20

The bulk of responses to question 7 discuss businesses, mainly retail; wanted stores, support or opposition to big box retail, and other desired outlets to spend a hard-earned paycheck. Comments supportive of big box retail stores (Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.) outnumber those opposing it by about two to one. Those expressing support for more retail in general outnumber those that oppose it by seven to one. Respondents express a desire for entertainment options and quality sit-down restaurants, and their displeasure at the large number of low-end businesses such as used car lots, fast food restaurants and food delivery. A desire for a crafts supply store such as Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics is a frequent theme.




Table 4-11: US 20 survey comment themes – business and commerce

Theme

Occurrences

Arts and crafts store - support: want crafts/notions store, named desired chain

9

Banks - oppose: too many banks, don’t want more banks

2

Banks - support: named desired bank

1

Bars and taverns - oppose: too many bars, biker bar atmosphere

4

Big box retail - oppose: don’t want Wal-Mart or other big box retailers, don’t support business practices

29

Big box retail - support: want or support big box retail, want specific big box retailers

53

Casino – support: want casino gambling in Madison

2

Entertainment - support: want movie theater, need teen center

35

Jobs and employment: low wage: need jobs for children, senior citizens, want retail jobs

3

Jobs and employment: mid-to-high wage: need industry, need jobs that pay a livable wage, tired of commuting

20

Lifestyle center – support: want or prefer Legacy Village-like, Crocker Park-like development

23

Local owned retail – oppose: local stores charge too much, hope they shut down

1

Local owned retail - support: want local owned retail, support or protect small locally owned stores

11

Lodging - oppose: don’t want hotels or motels

2

Lodging - support: need hotel, motel, bed and breakfast inn

3

Low end commercial - oppose: too many dollar stores, payday loans; don’t want dollar stores or similar businesses

6

Restaurants: fast food - oppose: too many fast food restaurants, too many pizza/carryout places, don’t want more

10

Restaurants: fast food - support: named desired fast food chains

2

Restaurants: sit down - oppose: don’t want more restaurants of any kind

1

Restaurants: sit down - support: want sit down restaurants/buffets, “need a nice place to eat,” named restaurants

34

Retail in general - oppose: existing retail adequate, don’t want more stores

10

Retail in general - support: want more retail, named stores, “tired of driving to Mentor to shop”

70

Vehicle dealers - oppose: too many used car lots, get rid of car lots, car lots tacky/ugly, “why so many?”

20

Vehicle repair – oppose: too many auto repair shops

1

Vehicle repair – support: need more quality auto repair options

1

Some respondents express concern that increased retail development will not bring high-paying jobs to Madison Township, where they are in short supply. Some express the need for balanced development, including light manufacturing – though not necessarily on US 20.


“We don’t want to become another Mentor” is a very common theme. A desire to preserve agricultural uses and rural or small town character is also mentioned often. Some emphasize the need for better planning and zoning enforcement, and stricter zoning overall. Many are concerned about vacant retail space, often mentioning the departure of Tops and the empty building it once occupied.
Despite the desire by many to maintain a semi-rural character, a general pro-growth sentiment outnumbers no-growth and slow growth viewpoints by about two to one.


Table 4-12: US 20 survey comment themes – general land use and development

Theme

Occurrences

Agriculture/open space/nursery preservation – oppose: too many nurseries, build on farm/nursery land

7

Agriculture/open space/nursery preservation – support: keep nurseries, acquire open space

32

Community character – don’t let Madison/US 20 become like Mentor/Mentor Avenue

43

Community character – preserve rural character: preserve rural, exurban or small town character or environment

38

Growth in general – oppose: no sprawl, grow only slowly, don’t want externalities of growth

10

Growth in general – support: growth is inevitable, let Madison grow, need growth for tax base, no longer the 1940s

22

Historic preservation – support

1

Housing – oppose: don’t want school crowding, don’t want apartments/townhouses, don’t want low/mod income

9

Housing – support: need place for children/seniors to live, need more diverse housing options

4

Industry – oppose: US 20 inappropriate for industry, move industry off of US 20

3

Joint economic development district (JEDD) – oppose

1

Joint economic development district (JEDD) – support

2

Mobile homes – oppose: no more mobile homes, get rid of mobile home parks

3

Planning and zoning – oppose: landowners should do anything they want, let marketplace decide, “get off my land”

6

Planning and zoning – support: need better zoning enforcement, support planning, support plan implementation

22

Stormwater control / drainage: need better/improved stormwater management, consider drainage in development

2

Strip development - don’t let US 20 turn into Vine Street

6

Strip development in general – oppose: concentrate development in one area, don’t scatter development

9

Vacant buildings/dilapidated: tear down dilapidated and abandoned buildings

10

Vacant buildings/retail: don’t allow building until vacancies are filled, too many vacancies, references to Tops

30

Tree preservation, wildlife protection and noise pollution are concerns of several respondents. While the natural environment is ranked among the top issues to address in the plan by respondents, it was not a common theme in question 8.




Table 4-13: US 20 survey comment themes – natural environment

Theme

Occurrences

Tree preservation – support: preserve existing trees, stop clearcutting with development

4

Environmental concerns in general – support: protect wildlife, protect natural environment

4

Noise pollution control – oppose: control noise from traffic, businesses, nuisances

3

Many comments deal with issues that do not relate to the US 20 corridor, such as taxes in general, politics, residential trash collection, and so on. Although such comments are insightful and appreciated, they are not related to this plan, and such themes have not been tallied.






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