Citizen Survey Results

Work on the Comprehensive Plan update began with a scientific survey of County residents in an effort to understand their thoughts on County services, facilities, and growth and quality of life. The results served as a key source of input for the Comprehensive Plan update and helped in the development of goals, strategies and actions to implement the community’s vision.

A citizen survey has been conducted prior to each Comprehensive Plan update since 2001 with the same or similar questions. It has provided valuable insight into citizen opinions on a variety of planning and County issues over the past 18 years.

In January 2019, the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research (CSR) was selected to conduct a scientific survey. CSR proposed a change in the method from a telephone survey (conducted in previous years) to a paper survey due to achieving better response rates using this method in other recent surveys.

In April 2019, CSR mailed the surveys to 3,000 randomly selected residents with responses open through May 2019. 1060 residents completed surveys for a response rate of 35.3%. The full results of the survey are available online. Dr. Thomas Guterbock of CSR made a presentation to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors at their joint work session on July 23, 2019. You can watch that presentation at the embedded video below.

Satisfaction and Importance of Services
One component of the survey results is an assessment of the importance citizens assigned to certain services, as well as their rating of their satisfaction with these services.

  • The satisfaction gap is the difference between importance and satisfaction; where importance is high and satisfaction is low, the gap is greatest. For example, 97.5% of survey respondents considered the roads and highways in James City County important, whereas 73.2% were satisfied with the roads and highways. The difference between importance and satisfaction was 24.3% which is the satisfaction gap.
  • The greatest gaps in satisfaction of services are shown below:
    • Affordable housing (33%)
    • Roads & highways (24%)
    • Attracting jobs & businesses (20%)
    • Preserving rural character (16%)
    • Protecting environment (15%)

Another way to show the relationship between satisfaction and importance of services can be seen in the graphic . The percent of residents satisfied with the services are in the rows and the percent of residents that find the services important are in the columns. The boxes in the lower left have a satisfaction gap.

satisfaction gap

Development, Land Use and Growth

Another component of the survey results is an assortment of citizen opinions on development, land use and growth. CSR asked respondents their opinions on the amount of development appropriate for James City County by type, amount of development, opinion about development, importance of proximity, rate of growth and measures to manage growth (pages 21-26 of the survey report).

Citizen Survey Results

Jamestown High School SOTF Picture