Preservation of the natural environment at the top of the priorities of respondents to the Palm Coast Citizen Survey

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Palm Coast has many strengths – its restaurants, shops, tennis and golf facilities, community center, and town hall – but the most popular among people who responded to the 2020 Palm Coast Citizen Survey was one that was not built by human hands: the natural habitat.

When asked what they considered to be the city’s main asset, the majority of respondents (28.31%) chose “natural habitat”, followed by “good looks” and “leisure opportunities”.

When a question asked respondents to rank their economic development priorities, the selection “preserving the natural environment” came at the top of the list.

“Quality jobs” and “talent in the workforce” were selected by the fewest respondents, less than 2% each. (See more selections in the image below.)

The importance of the city’s scenic natural spaces was a priority for residents even in questions that did not directly concern the environment: when a question asked respondents to rank their economic development priorities, selecting ‘preserve the natural environment ”topped the list, followed by workforce development, business resilience, 5G fiber network service, innovation district and various housing options.

Image of Palm Coast City Staff Presentation

When asked what types of recreational facilities or activities they would like to see, the largest proportion of respondents chose “nature center”, then, in descending order, “cultural arts”, “sports / recreation of nature”. outdoors (disc golf, pickleball, golf, croquet, etc.) ”,“ a multi-purpose community center with recreational facilities (indoor gym) ”,“ teenage activities / after-school programs ”and“ technological wine programs “.

Asked how often they visit the city’s parks and trails and which ones they use, residents said they use Waterfront Park the most, followed by Holland Park and Linear Park.

One question asked about the impact of COVID-19, asking residents if it had affected their jobs. A total of 134 (4.5%) of the 2,970 people surveyed said they had lost their jobs and 70 retired because of the virus, while 282 had to work remotely.

This concerned City Councilor Ed Danko, who asked how representative the sample was.

“I am concerned about the 134 of the 2,900 who report losing their jobs,” Danko said during a presentation on the investigation at a city council workshop on March 9. “Hopefully that doesn’t reflect the whole city.… When you do the math, it’s a little worrying.”

City Councilor Nick Klufas pointed out that the Citizen Survey, which is created by city staff, is not statistically representative, unlike the National Community Survey of the International City & County Management Association, which ballast. The two surveys are administered to residents of Palm Coast on a work-study basis.

“We can extrapolate numbers like that, but let’s be careful,” Klufas said, “because as you say, this universe doesn’t actually represent a representative sample. These are just individuals we could get to answer.”

Survey respondents were disproportionately homeowners and retirees.

Asked about development priorities, the majority of respondents selected the development of the Town Center Innovation District as the most necessary. This selection, however, was followed by people who chose ‘not sure’ and then by selections for industrial development in designated areas, commercial development off Matanzas Woods Parkway, residential and commercial development along US 1, and “other”.

Regarding growth and development priorities, respondents selected “providing adequate employment opportunities”, “protecting natural resources” and “protecting the character of small towns” as their top three priorities.

The overwhelming majority of respondents said they preferred to communicate with municipal staff the old-fashioned way, by phone. This option has been followed, in descending order, by email, in person, by SMS, Palm Coast Connect and by regular mail.

Palm Coast in 2020 received its most positive ratings since 2015 in several parameters, including general appearance, overall quality of life, overall economic health, sense of security, and the likelihood of respondents staying in Palm Coast in the future. over the next five years.


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