Langley City residents are generally happy about their quality of life, but a little less happy than they used to be, according to the latest survey.
Results of the 2019 Community Survey by Ipsos of more than 900 residents by phone and online were presented to the Monday, Dec. 9 meeting of council by Catherine Knaus of Ipsos Public Affairs.
Among the findings, most residents like the idea of a performing arts centre and an indoor pool, but they don’t want pay parking and only a slim majority favour cannabis stores.
Overall perceptions of quality of life remained favourable with 95 per cent of residents rating overall quality of life in the City as ‘very good/good,’ about the same as the previous survey in 2016.
But about a third (32 per cent) believe quality of life has ‘worsened.’
Councillor Nathan Pachal commented that there seemed to be a “disconnect,” with the poll showing almost everyone rated quality of life as good or very good, while at the same time showing a substantial number believe it’s worsening.
Knaus said it appeared some respondents had lowered their quality of life assessment from ‘very good’ to just ‘good.’
“They’re still very happy that they’re living here,” Knaus observed
“If we drill a little deeper and look at the ‘very good’ [responses], there has been a decrease.”
Among those saying their quality of life had ‘worsened,’ 40 per cent cited “increased poverty/homelessness” followed by “increased crime/drug activity” (22 per cent).
Conducted every three years, the survey aims to obtain residents’ feedback on municipal programs, services, and other important community issues and overall quality of life.
For the 2019 survey, Ipsos interviewed 500 adult Langley City residents by phone between Sept. 16th and Oct. 16th.
More than 500 people filled out an online survey between Sept. 18th and Oct. 31st, but about 100 were excluded because they were not City residents or otherwise didn’t meet screening criteria.
Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek thanked all of the residents who participated in the survey.
“The insight gained from this research is intended to help guide the City in setting future strategic priorities,” van den Broek commented.
“The Community Survey helps us to create benchmarks for service delivery while providing a voice for our citizens on important community issues and priorities.”
Two-thirds of residents agreed that the City of Langley is a place where residents feel safe and secure, about the same as 2016.
Overall opinion of City services remained high with 93 per cent satisfied with the overall level and quality of services provided by the City of Langley.
Most, 80 per cent, supported funding for a performing arts centre
As well, a majority were in favour of building a wildlife interpretive centre along the Nicomekl River (76 per cent), additional community gardens (74 per cent), additional off-leash dog areas (65 per cent), a new indoor swimming pool (64 per cent), and pocket parks in Downtown Langley (62 per cent).
A slight majority, 56 per cent, felt the City should allow cannabis retail stores, while a substantial minority, 44 per cent, were opposed.
Both sides were said to have “relatively strong opinions” on the issue, with 31 per cent saying they ‘strongly support’ cannabis stores and 35 per cent ‘strongly’ opposed.
About six out of every 10, 62 per cent, would support the City of Langley “providing financial incentives to increase the stock of affordable housing in the city.”
About three-quarters, 72 per cent, liked the idea of switching to toter-style biweekly collection of waste and recyclables (Toters are large, heavy-duty plastic bins with wheels that would be supplied by the City).
Support for making the existing Al Anderson pool an indoor facility only drew 45 per cent support.
Implementing pay parking meters in downtown City of Langley was a non-starter with just 16 per cent support.
So was allowing secondary suites in houses that are not owner-occupied, which mustered just 36 per cent.
Issuing permits in areas with chronic parking shortages was supported by just 41 per cent.
View the full report online.