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A Benzie County Perspective
This summary report includes information from previously released reports. Original reports were prepared by: Fregonese Associates Mead&Hunt Harris Interactive Grand Vision Public Involvement Committee Public Policy Associates, Inc. Information was compiled by the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments for the purposes of this summary in September 2009.
Table of Contents
Introduction Public Participation and Outreach Benzie County Workshop Results Values Survey Data and Comparison with Regional Results Scorecard Results Follow Up Survey The Grand Vision 1 6 12 15 23 31 37
Appendices Appendix A: Grand Vision Coordinating Group Representative Agencies Appendix B: Grand Vision Consultant Team Appendix C: Grand Vision Champions Appendix D: Scorecard Responses 41 42 43 44
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective
The Grand Vision is a citizen-led vision for the future of transportation, land use, economic development, and environmental stewardship in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford Counties. The Grand Vision was created with input from thousands of citizens and was supported by dozens of community partners throughout the region—including private, nonprofit, and public agencies—with financial backing from local, county, state, and federal units of government as well as both private and public organizations This unprecedented collaboration has resulted in a vision for the region’s future that will enhance our sense of place, building the foundation for a strong economy while preserving those parts of our communities that are most important to residents. This report summarizes the process and results of the Grand Vision region-wide, while highlighting Benzie County results in terms of public participation, the Benzie County workshop, values survey data, scorecard results, and follow-up survey data. Benzie County data are shown in a side-by-side comparison with regional data, to demonstrate how Benzie County results play out in the regional Grand Vision. It is hoped that this information will be valuable in any Grand Vision implementation activities that may occur in the County and in other future planning efforts in the community. Data and analysis was excerpted from previously released reports including: Grand Vision Public Involvement Committee 2007-08 Report Values research survey; analysis conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc., November 2008 Scorecard results; analysis by Fregonese Associates, January 2009 Grand Vision 2009 Public Opinion Survey Results; conducted by Public Policy Associates, Inc., March-April 2009 Socio-Economic Report; prepared Mead&Hunt, August 2009 (draft) by
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Copies of the reports are provided as an attachment to this summary and are also available online at www.thegrandvision.org. Please note that a transportation-specific report, Travel Demand Model Methodology, is forthcoming; data was not available at the time this report was completed.
dix A). These members acted with the following mission: “Our mission is to use a transparent and citizen led discussion and process to ensure the development of a community vision, plans for the future, and projects that address land use and transportation challenges facing the region.” The Coordinating Group developed a request for proposals for a study and process that would meet the group’s mission of transparency and public involvement while addressing transportation and land use in a comprehensive plan. Using $1.3 million of the reallocated transportation dollars, the Coordinating Group hired a consultant team led by Mead & Hunt that included Robert Grow and John Fregonese, the nation’s foremost experts in scenario planning and public participation (for consultant bios, see Appendix B). The process was to begin with public planning workshops that would ask citizens to develop different scenarios for the future. Consultants would show how these scenarios would move traffic, develop land, and supply housing; then the public would be asked to choose the scenario that best fits the future of the region. The LUTS Coordinating Group recognized early on that transportation issues in Grand Traverse County were directly and significantly impacted by surrounding counties. In 2007 and 2008, the study was expanded to include Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford Counties. The expansion of the study increased the total cost of the study by $240,000. The added cost was funded by a combination of sources including the Michigan Department of Transportation ($100,000), the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians ($50,000), Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce ($10,000), Northwestern Michigan College ($10,000), Munson
The process leading up to the Grand Vision began with a conflict over a proposed connection of Hartman and Hammond Roads in Grand Traverse County, south of Traverse City. Because of disagreement over the advantages and disadvantages of this connection, the proposal was put on hold to allow the community to study its impacts in more detail. In the spring of 2005, $3.3 million in federal transportation money was reallocated from plans for the bypass and given to the Grand Traverse area for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive, multimodal transportation plan. To ensure that this planning process would be accountable, transparent, representative, and citizen-focused, the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners created and appointed the Land Use & Transportation Coordinating Group (LUTS), now known as the Grand Vision Coordinating Group. This body included a broadly representative group of citizens concerned about transportation and land use issues – including county representatives from Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford Counties; transportation agencies; business leaders; environmental organizations; township, city, and tribal representatives; educational institutions; nonprofits; and the general public (list of representatives included in Appen-
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Healthcare ($10,000), and county contributions totaling $30,000. Benzie County committed $6,000 to the expanded scope of the project.
In September 2007, “LUTS” became “The Grand Vision;” and the citizen input phase of the project began on October 17, 2007, with a scenario planning workshop at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City. The event was widely publicized throughout the region, resulting in high attendance: over 500 participants from all counties in the region worked in groups of 6-10 to create maps showing their vision for land use over the
next 50 years. Subsequent workshops were held throughout the winter and spring of 2008. “Small area” workshops, focusing in-depth on Traverse City, Acme, and Interlochen were held in February 2008; and two regional transportation workshops were held on March 20, 2008. Participation levels for all workshops were high, totaling several hundred participants (see Table 4, “Grand Vision Participation,” page 11). Workshops focusing specifically on Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford Counties were held in each county in May 2008.
Grand Vision Scorecard
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At the scenario planning workshops, consultants presented information on current growth patterns and discussed how our population will change in the coming years. Citizens were provided with a large map and asked to identify transportation changes and future locations of agriculture, open space and different development types using special stickers, or “chips,” that reflected the amount of population growth the region will experience through 2060. Participants worked in groups of 6-10, discussing chip locations in detail along with their values and concerns relative to each land use type; comments were written on the maps and were included in later analyses of the maps. Based on the input received at the workshops, a random-sample survey was designed by Harris Interactive, a national polling firm. This survey questioned participants on their values and concerns. Results were accurate to the county level. Survey results and workshop maps were analyzed to develop four different scenarios that would reflect different public preferences and development patterns. Each scenario included indicators relative to housing units, land consumed, annual driving hours and gas expenses, and cost of lane miles (see Table 1 for scenarios and descriptions). These scenarios were presented in a Grand Vision “scorecard” that asked for input on the four scenarios. The scorecard provided information and graphics on how each scenario would impact the number of housing units, investments in road lane miles, and acres of land consumed. Questions asked participants to choose which scenario they felt did the best job of promoting the values that were identified during the values survey and workshop process; and additional questions asked for input on transportation investments, housing types, and other land use
patterns. The Grand Vision scorecard was printed and distributed throughout the region in early October 2008, and was also made available online at www.thegrandvision.org. A total of 11,603 scorecards were received in a three week time period. Results were reviewed and analyzed to develop the “preferred scenario,” which included elements of all scenarios with a focus on scenario C – otherwise known as the “village-based” scenario. This preferred scenario was presented to the public in February 2009 with a public comment period open through March 2009. After additional public input was received, the scenario was further refined into a preferred scenario that became the Grand Vision. The Grand Vision was further tested in April 2009 through a random-sample survey that asked respondents questions based both on the survey, and on the final Grand Vision.
The Grand Vision
The Grand Vision is a vision of regional growth that is built on public input. While it represents one of the region’s most far-reaching planning efforts and reflects our community’s highest priorities, the Grand Vision has no authority to require change. Making the Grand Vision a reality will require policy changes, new models for development, and innovative new programs—all of which will require cooperation between organizations and across governmental boundaries. In precisely the same spirit of cooperation that created the Grand Vision, implementation of the Grand Vision will depend on the participation and collaboration of local and county governments, citizens, and private, nonprofit, and public organizations. To facilitate this collaboration, Grand Vision stakeholders have endorsed an implementation structure that will invite broad participation and representation through a Grand Vision partnership and working group structure.
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Table 1: Future Growth Scenarios: Descriptions and Measurements
New Housing Units in Walkable Areas
Acres of Farm and Forest Land Consumed
New Homes and Multifamily Units
Annual Hours Spent Driving Per Person
Total Cost of Lane Miles Needed $142 million $2,835
Annual Houshold Gas Expenditure
Annual Tons of CO2 Emissions 1.2 million
6,566 (farmland) 7,460 (forest) 21,041 (single family) 6,049 (multi-family) 18,581 (single family) 212 $86 million
Scenario A: Future growth will follow the existing trend of low-density development in rural areas, with minimal growth in existing cities and villages. Transportation investments will be largely in widened roadways for commuters, and include some multi-use trails, but minimal investments in bus service and walkability. 3,296 (multi-family) 227 4,666 8,244 (farmland) 14,232 (forest)
Scenario B: Future growth will occur in rural areas, but with new homes clustered to maximize open space, and minimal growth in existing cities and villages. Transportation investments will be largely in new or widened roadways for commuters. This scenario includes some investment in walking and bicycling trails but the effectiveness of transit and walkability for commuting is limited by low densities. 4430 2,079 (farmland) 2,469 (forest) 10,100 (multifamily) 15,466 (single family) 1,968 (farmland) 2,173 (forest) 15,466 (single family) 10,100 (multi-family)
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Scenario C: Future growth will occur primarily in the region’s cities and villages, with additional growth in the main cities of Traverse City and Cadillac. Large amounts of rural open space are preserved. This development pattern will require investments in regional bus service, sidewalks, and bike trails in villages and cities, with some investments in new or widened roadways.
Scenario D: Future housing development and job growth will occur primarily in the region’s two main cities, Traverse City and Cadillac. Large amounts of rural open space are preserved. This development pattern will require investment in urban bus circulators, sidewalks, and biking paths in those two main cities. This scenario has limited investment in new or widened roadways.
Public Participation & Outreach
Public input and involvement formed the foundation of the Grand Vision process. To help encourage this involvement, a subcommittee of the Coordinating Group, known as the Public Involvement Committee (PIC), became active in October 2007. The group included consultants, staff, and volunteers throughout the six-county region, and met weekly to develop strategies that would result in maximum participation levels and awareness throughout the region. The committee developed a comprehensive marketing and communications plan that focused on hands-on involvement through a series of large and small events, direct communication, earned media exposure, and targeted communications to youth and seniors. Public events. Numerous presentations were provided to the general public, local service groups, human service collaborative groups, chambers of commerce, local and county governments, and many other organizations. Presentations were provided by a “speaker’s bureau” consisting of consultants and PIC members. Displays and materials. Informational displays including banners, posters, update newsletters, bumper stickers, informational tool kits, PowerPoint presentations, and distribution and collection boxes were made available to all interested citizens; with displays and materials set up at high-traffic community events and locations. Direct mail. Postcards were mailed to every household in each county announcing the scorecard kickoffs and encouraging readers to fill out their scorecard. An additional postcard with a similar message was sent to each American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) member household, allowing the PIC to reinforce the message with an audience that was less likely to use the Internet. Earned media. Regular press releases were issued to update the public on the latest Grand Vision events and progress. Email blasts. “Viral” networking was used to communicate directly with groups and individuals; announcements and updates were frequently emailed to interested parties and passed on to associated individuals, and stories were shared in newsletters and meetings.
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www.thegrandvision.org. A website was developed to store and promote the project, including comprehensive information such as: Reports and maps Opportunities for engagement Update emails generated through an automated mailing list Easy-to-use forums Videos Dynamic calendar of events Social networking links Connection to resources
project, and dedicated to ensuring measurable outcomes that would benefit future generations. These individuals were instrumental in building public support for the project. Youth Outreach. A comprehensive outreach effort was directed towards the region’s youth, through assemblies, classroom presentations, online networking sites, and school scorecard distribution. Every local school program in the region was able to involve their high school students in the scorecard process in October 2008. Senior Outreach. More than 21,700 AARP member households received Grand Vision/ AARP postcards. Scorecard distribution. A scorecard distribution strategy was created to ensure awareness and availability of the scorecard to all audiences in the region.
Paid media. Advertisements were printed in newspapers and aired on television; billboard advertisements were displayed along South Airport Road and U.S 31 in East Bay Township. Champions. Champions are community leaders with the ability to convene key local constituencies—including representatives from businesses, philanthropy, and other community organizations. Champions were committed to an open, citizen-led planning process, willing to speak in support of the
These activities were critical in achieving the Grand Vision’s unprecedented level of public participation. However, because they were not funded by the original contract, a great deal of fundraising was necessary to cover the ex-
Table 2: Benzie County Grand Vision Events
Event Introductory GV Presentation Benzie County GV Workshop Benzie County GV Update Benzie County GV Scorecard Kickoff Benzie County Draft Grand Vision Presentation Description Introduce the Grand Vision and encourage Benzie County participation Visioning Workshop Presentation and discussion on Grand Vision progress and update on coming events Presentation on scorecard to encourage maximum response Discuss draft Grand Vision and obtain input Date November 2007 May 28, 2008 August 26, 2008 October 14, 2008 February 2009 Location Crystal Mountain
Crystal Mountain Mills Community House Benzie Central High School Benzie County Government Building
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penses of communication activities. $160,000 was raised by the PIC from local foundations. Report Card More than 15,700 people participated in some way in the Grand Vision process—more than 8.5% of the region’s population. The participation on a per capita basis exceeds some of the most highly successful public involvement planning efforts ever conducted across the country. Data collected by the PIC shows that youth and senior outreach was particularly effective, with nearly 27% of scorecards completed by individuals age 15-19; and 14% completed by those aged 65 years and older. The Grand Vision outreach and communication efforts were analyzed by the PIC through various demographic surveys and reports in order to determine the level at which various populations participated. The demographic breakdowns of Grand Vision participants are shown in Table 3. The PIC report detailing activities, including the group’s marketing plan and budget, accompanies this report and is also available online at www.thegrandvision.org.
May 2008 at Crystal Mountain. To announce the workshop, postcards were mailed to every county household in the spring of 2008; media releases resulted in extensive news coverage; and viral email blasts reached a wide range of networks and individuals. These efforts helped draw 150 participants to the workshop, resulting in 15 workshop maps and invaluable input on the community’s values and preferences for future growth. Benzie County Scorecard Outreach Scorecards were easily available both in print and online. Postcards were also mailed to every household in October 2008 announcing the scorecard, directing readers to the website, and encouraging them to fill out their scorecard. For those without internet access, a toll free number was provided on the scorecard, allowing readers to call and have a scorecard mailed directly to them. Scorecard kickoffs were held in each county to provide an update and to introduce the scorecard. These events successfully energized the community, provided an opportunity for earned media coverage, and kicked off the three-week scorecard collection period. The Benzie County Scorecard Kickoff was held October 14, 2008. A key element of the scorecard strategy was the need to make scorecards easily available to all individuals throughout the region. Scorecard distribution and collection boxes were set up in high-traffic locations including: Benzie County Government Center Shop-n-Save Glen’s Market—Frankfort Chamber of Commerce—Benzonia Chamber of Commerce—Frankfort Crystal Mountain
Benzie County Participation
To encourage public involvement in each county, the regional PIC engaged stakeholders in each county to identify strategies specific to that county. These county stakeholders worked with the PIC to schedule event dates and locations, distribute scorecards, and plan presentations and events (see Table 2 for events and dates). Public events were held in Benzie County throughout 2007 and 2008, beginning with an introductory meeting in November 2007 to encourage Benzie County participation in the project. The Benzie County workshop was held in
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Lake Ann Grocery Copemish Market East Shore Market Honor Family Market Benzie County Central Schools Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools Benzie County Commission on Aging
Public involvement and scorecard distribution efforts in Benzie County and throughout the region resulted in an enormous scorecard response. 962 scorecards were received from Benzie County, or about 6% of the County’s population; 11,600 responses were received region-wide. These response rates demonstrate a level of awareness and interest in a planning process that is unprecedented in our region.
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Table 3: GRAND VISION SCORECARDS
As of December 3, 2008
# 1209 963 6486 536 1772 755 420 12141 100.0% 18,494 184936 3.5% 0.0% 6.2% 3,048 30,484 16.5% 14.6% 2,112 21,119 11.4% 4.4% 1,657 16,571 9.0% 53.4% 7,765 77654 42.0% 7.9% 1,600 15998 8.7% 10.0% 2,311 23110 12.5% % of all respondents Population Goal (10% of population) % of 6county total
C D E G H I J
COUNTY OF RESIDENCE
15-19 20-24 25-44 45-65 65+ 11668 100.0% 146,713 100.0%
# 3188 552 2263 4067 1598
% of all respondents 27.3% 4.7% 19.4% 34.9% 13.7% 6-county total 12,959 8,868 51,613 46,068 27,205
% of 6county total 8.8% 6.0% 35.2% 31.4% 18.5%
Benzie 950 679 4331 4127 2803 12,890
Grand Traverse 5566 4118 23044 18627 10144 61,499
Kalkaska 1155 835 4734 4060 2278 13,062
Leelanau 1414 741 5106 5980 3669 16,910
Wexford 2377 1526 8555 7135 4278 23,871
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Antrim 1,497 969 5,843 6,139 4,033 18,48 1 TOTAL 10646 674 11320 % of all respondents 94.0% 6.0% 100.0% TOTAL 5142 2625 3604 11371 % of all respondents 45.2% 45.2% 31.7% 122.1%
LENGTH OF RESIDENCE Full-time Part-time TOTAL
RURAL/SUBURBAN/CITY Rural Surburban City TOTAL
Table 4: Grand Vision Participation
As of December 3, 2008 Attendance 27 450 240 144 120 410 320 168 224 150 180 195 205 75 476 504 50 Scenario maps created 0 41 30 18 15 0 0 21 28 16 19 18 20 10 n/a n/a n/a 236 11,603 spring 2009 spring 2009
EVENT Forum posts Opening Workshop Central City Workshop East Arm/Acme workshop Southwest-Interlochen workshop TC West High School Workshop TC Central High School Workshop Transportation workshop - afternoon Transportation workshop - evening Antrim County Workshop Benzie County Workshop Kalkaska County Workshop Leelanau County Workshop Wexford County Workshop Community Values Survey - phone Values survey participants Advanced Strategy Lab TOTAL SCENARIO MAPS TOTAL SCORECARDS Comments on draft Vision Random survey on draft Vision
DATE as of 5/1/08 10/17/2007 1/23/2008 1/24/2008 1/24/2008 3/10/2008 3/10/2008 3/20/2008 3/20/2008 5/27/2008 5/28/2008 5/7/2008 5/8/2008 5/27/2008 June 2008 5/1/2008 6/2/2008
TOTAL PARTICIPANTS* POPULATION PROVIDING INPUT Total information session participants *Includes duplicates 2007-2008
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Benzie County Workshop Results
The Benzie County workshop was held on May 28, 2008 at Crystal Mountain. 180 participants worked in groups of 6-10 to create 19 maps identifying preferred locations of different development types and land uses. These different land uses were shown by stickers or “chips,” with each chip representing 640 acres and a specified number of households (total and per acre). Instructions were provided, including a description and sample photo of each land use type, to help participants in discussions on where to locate different land uses. The types of land uses and their descriptions are as follows: Rural. The Rural Housing development type consists of dispersed lots. Rural housing development provides residents with access to rural areas while remaining within reach of urban amenities. (128 households = 1 household/5 acres) Rural Cluster. The Rural Cluster development type consists of collections of housing in a rural setting. Rural clusters are often used to focus development around an amenity, such as a lake, while retaining larger areas of open space. 128 households = 1 household/5 acres Large Lot. Large Lot subdivisions consist of single-family, detached homes. With up to oneacre lots, this development type is characterized by very large residences without sidewalks. Street connectivity is low and travel to and from destinations is usually by automobile. 640 households = 1 household/I acre Neighborhood. Residential subdivisions are comprised of single-family, detached homes and duplexes. Street networks are typical of postWorld War II suburbs. 1,920 households = 3 household/1 acre
May Workshop Chip Menu
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Agricultural Preservation. Agricultural Preservation chips are used to highlight agricultural areas the community wishes to retain. Open Space. Open space chips are used to highlight open space and environmental areas the community wishes to retain. Workshop map results, including both chip locations and comments, were collected and compiled into a digital format, and analyzed by consultants to identify participant values and con-
cerns. These results were subsequently used in the creation of the values survey and in the development of the four alternative growth scenarios that appeared in the scorecard. Images of all Benzie County Workshop maps are available online at www.thegrandvision.org. Methodology is detailed in the draft Grand Vision Socio-Economic Report (August 2009), prepared by Mead&Hunt.
Map 1: Benzie County Workshop Map—Highest Development Type
Highest Development Type. This map shows all locations of 2 or more “hits” - meaning that at least two maps showed the same chip type in the same location.
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Map 2: Benzie County Workshop Map—Average Number of Households
Map 3: Benzie County Workshop Map—Agricultural Preservation and Open Space
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Average Number of Households. This map shows chip placement by number of households to indicate desired densities in those areas.
Agricultural Preservation + Open space. This map shows agriculture and open space chip placement by number of hits—or number of times they appeared on workshop maps.
A values survey was conducted by Harris Interactive in July 2008, with a goal of assessing the values of those living in the region. The survey was conducted to ensure that regional planning and visioning process of the Grand Vision will protect and promote the things about which the population cares most. 547 interviews were conducted by phone across the region. 76 interviews were conducted in Benzie County, enabling county-level analysis. Data was weighted to match US Census information for age, gender, race/ethnicity, household income and county. The margin of error is +/- 5.6%. Following is an excerpt from the Harris Interactive survey report, with additional charts and information specific to Benzie County. Complete survey results by county accompany this report and are also available online at www.thegrandvision.org. Methodology Harris designed a two-stage research study. The qualitative research stage identified values important to residents. These values were confirmed in quantitative surveys representing the population of the six-county Grand Traverse region. The survey showed that residents in the region have similar values, despite their county of residence, and enjoy a high quality of life from living in a scenic area, having access to nature, surrounded by friends and family, and experiencing little crime. Some of the themes that emerged for the region include (excerpted from the Harris report): Residents of the Grand Traverse Region are more positive about their quality of life than the rest of the country and more optimistic about their futures. Residents in the region are more likely to feel their communities are headed in the right direction than the rest of the country – 52% vs. 39%. They are less likely to believe their children and grandchildren will experience a decrease in quality of life. Differences exist between counties: Overall residents of Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Benzie have a more positive orientation, while Antrim residents lean more negatively. Kalkaska residents say they are headed in the wrong direction presently, but are optimistic it will improve. Wexford residents are ambivalent, with no clear orientation emerging.
A number of issues figure prominently in residents’ minds. The strong positive feelings about local natural beauty/outdoor recreation and friends and family clearly outweigh the concerns over availability of jobs and a somewhat high cost of living. In the eyes of most residents, economic growth and development outweigh the need to protect the environment. While this is common during periods of economic turmoil,
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Quality of Life (QOL): Present, Past and Future 1 = Worst; 10 = Best
7.6 7.5 7.4 7.3 7.2 7.1 7 6.9 Present QOL QOL 5 yrs ago QOL 5 yrs in future Benzie Region
Of the following, what is MOST Important to you?
Quiet neighborhoods Benzie Being close to places like schools, stores or freew ays Adequate roads and transportation infrastructure The w eather or climate Planning for grow th Friendly people or neighbors Outdoor recreation opportunities Rural areas and open space Clean lakes and rivers High quality education system A family-friendly environment High cost of living Low crime Scenic beauty of the region and having access to nature Plenty of jobs or w ork available Having friends or family in the area 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Region
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the level of importance placed on protecting the environment is uncommonly high in the Grand Traverse region compared to sentiments across the rest of the nation. Moreover, momentum over the past few years has been has been towards greater support for both environmental protection. Residents throughout the region express high levels of support for smart growth strategies such as clustering homes on smaller lots, creating walkable communities, building affordable housing, and expanding public transportation. Harris reports that experience in other smart growth research
around the country reveals that the Grand Traverse region demonstrates uncharacteristically high levels of smart growth support for a region that has such a high number of rural residents. Residents place a high priority on regional planning and creating a vision for the region and feel that efforts up to this point have mostly been only “fair” or “poor”. The core value that shapes feelings and choices about life in the Grand Traverse region centers around a feeling of peace of mind. Residents of this region feel a keen
Of the follow ing, w hat is the SECOND m ost im portant to you?
Being close to places like schools, stores or freew ays Adequate roads and transportation infrastructure The w eather or climate Planning for grow th Quiet neighborhoods Friendly people or neighbors Rural areas and open space Outdoor recreation opportunities Clean lakes and rivers High quality education system High cost of living Low crime Having friends or family in the area Plenty of jobs or w ork available A family-friendly environment Scenic beauty of the region and having access to nature 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10%
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sense of peace of mind that emanates primarily from their enjoyment of the scenic beauty and access to the outdoors. In addition, the strong sense of community and family of the region also contributes to their peace of mind. Life in the Grand Traverse Region Quality of Life (QOL) Assessment of Grand Traverse Region When this survey was conducted in July 2008, residents of the Grand Traverse Region were generally more optimistic than the rest of the country. One in two said things in their community are going in the right direction (GT: 52%; US: 39%). When thinking about the more distant future, residents of the Grand Traverse Region also express a more sanguine outlook: they are less likely than Americans nationwide to say that the quality of life for their children and grandchildren would decrease (42% vs. 56%). Perspectives, however, differ by county: a majority of residents in Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse counties have a generally positive outlook; those in Antrim and Kalkaska counties are somewhat more pessimistic, while residents of Wexford County are largely split. There is a “timeless” high quality of live in the Grand Traverse region. Residents of the Grand Traverse region are satisfied with the quality of life today and believe it will improve in the next five years. Other Americans, while also content, do not rate their quality of life as highly. On a ten point scale, with 10 representing the best possible life and 1 representing the worst possible life, residents of the Grand Traverse Region rate their quality of life presently as 7.1, about 1 point higher than other Americans (6.1). Thinking about five years in the future, residents of the Grand Traverse Region believe their quality of
life will climb to 7.5 ahead of the rest of the nation at 6.8. Quality of life differs across the region: Leelanau residents report the highest QOL for the present and the future (8.1; 8.1). Kalkaska residents say they have the lowest QOL in the region presently (6.3), but are most optimistic about its improvement in the future (Present: 6.3; Future: 7.2; Increase: +0.9). Residents of Antrim county noted a decline in overall quality of life, reporting QOL of 7.8 five years ago, 7.1 currently and 6.8 in the future – the sole county to register a negative trend from the present to the future. Factors in Quality of Life Assessment Quality of life is subjective – an issue that is most important to one resident may be trivial to her neighbor. Through qualitative work in the Grand Traverse Region, Harris Interactive identified the key drivers of qualify of life mentioned by area residents. From this list of factors, residents in the quantitative survey were asked which elements have the most significant impact on their quality of life. Overall, residents mention the area's scenic beauty most often (39%), followed by the familyfriendly environment (32%), availability of jobs (32%), the presence of family and friends (31%) and the high cost of living (31%). As each resident could list up to three elements that impact their quality of life, it is often useful to look at which issues were mentioned first. These 'top of mind' issues are more salient in resident's minds than they may appear in the rankings overall. Having friends and family in the area (16%) and the availability of jobs (15%) were mentioned first most often, followed by scenic beauty (11%), the high cost of living (10%) and low crime (10%). The differences in the rank ordering of these issues depending on whether the
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first mention or all mention are tallied indicates that the relative position of the issue is less important – rather these issues together can be viewed as playing an important role in how residents assess their quality of life. Attitudes Toward Growth Economic Development versus Environmental Protection A majority of residents in the Grand Traverse Region prioritize economic growth and development over protecting the environment. Nonetheless, there is evidence of the important role that nature and the environment play in how residents think about the region. Forty-two percent of residents assert protecting the environment is of greater importance – fifteen points higher than Americans nationwide (27%) despite the economic downturn. Opinion on the role of the priority of economic development varies by county. Two-thirds of residents of the Antrim, Kalkaska and Wexford counties say economic development is more important versus less than half of resident of the other counties. In Benzie, Leelanau and Grand Traverse, all of which border the water, residents split nearly evenly as to whether the environment or the economy should take priority. Both of these issues have become more important over the past five years according to residents. Those who prefer protecting the environment are somewhat more likely to believe that it has become more important in the past five years than those supporters of economic growth and development (72% vs. 60%). Most notable, however, is that a majority of both groups indicate that their respective issue has gained in importance, evidence that neither is the dominant priority of the region.
Density of Future Development Greater density in future development enjoys widespread support in the Grand Traverse Region. By a margin of two to one, residents say they would prefer to see future growth occur in existing communities rather than through the creation of new towns in yet undeveloped areas (69% vs. 27%). The margin contracts somewhat when asked about their preference on specific housing design – clustering homes on smaller lots to preserve space (55%) versus using homes on larger lots without neighborhood parks (39%) -- however, a majority still support greater density in housing development. Support for greater density is greater among residents with higher educational attainment. Ninety percent of residents with a post-BA education prefer to see future growth occur in existing communities and nearly three-quarters would select communities that cluster homes to preserve open space (73%). Strategies for Growth There are exceptionally high levels of support for a variety of smart growth strategies. Over four in five residents of the Grand Traverse Region support creating walkable neighborhoods (90%), locating places of residential and employment areas closer together (88%), preserving agricultural and open space (85%; 82%), encouraging more affordable housing (85%) and locating new growth in existing development areas (80%). Support for these growth strategies is relatively consistent across the different counties. Less popular strategies, however, reveal differences in preferences and priorities across the region: While preserving open space generally receives high marks, building homes
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with smaller yards to preserve forest land garners significant support in Leelanau and Benzie counties (78%, 68%), but markedly less support in Wexford and Kalkaska counties (47%, 44%). Overall, highway related strategies are not popular but widening existing freeways earns support from two in three residents of Antrim and Kalkaska residents (63%, 60%). Residents of Wexford county in particular offer little support for this strategy (37%). Locating growth in the Traverse City area is, not surprisingly, more popular in Grand Traverse county (55%). Residents in Kalkaska and Wexford counties offer less support (28%, 34%)
include: The two most important quality of life attributes in Benzie County were “having friends or family in the area” and adequate job opportunities. Benzie County respondents indicated the strongest support for the following two growth strategies: It should be convenient to walk or bike in new developing areas (97% agree) New growth should be directed primarily to existing cities, towns, and villages (91% agree)
Multi-family housing enjoys mixed support as a growth strategy for the Grand Traverse Region. Seventy percent of area residents agree that a range of housing types should be planned and built and three-quarters of residents would encourage mixed-use housing. When asked about building multi-family housing in their community or area, residents are largely split --- fifty-two percent would support its construction, while forty-three percent would oppose. Providing affordable housing options is the main driver behind support for multi-family housing. Nine in ten area residents say that providing an affordable option to young people and seniors would make multi-family housing more acceptable. Multi-story buildings are the least attractive potential aspect of multi-family housing with barely half of residents (54%) saying that it would make such a proposal more acceptable. Benzie County Results Complete survey results, and the accompanying report from Harris Interactive, are attached to this report. Some highlights for Benzie County
The two least popular growth strategies for Benzie County are that “more regional freeways should be built,” with 62% of respondents in disagreement with this statement; and that growth should be located mainly in the Traverse City part of the region, with 47% in disagreement.
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Total Somewhat/Strongly AGREE
More regional freew ays should be built Benzie Region
Most new housing should be separated from jobs and existing centers Grow th should be located mainly in the Traverse City part of the region
Existing regional freew ays should be w idened
Cities and tow ns should build more homes w ith smaller yards or apartments in order to preserve farm and forest lands.
New housing and jobs should be spread out to avoid crow ding.
range of housing types or sizes should be planned for and built
New grow th should be focused along major roads and highw ays.
Regional mass transit should be expanded
Q1210K More mixed use development should be encouraged
New grow th should be directed primarily to existing cities, tow ns and villages. Open space should be preserved even if it means limiting some development opportunities Agriculture should be preserved even if it means limiting some development opportunities The development of more affordable housing should be encouraged
New jobs should be located closer to w here people live
It should be convenient to w alk or bike in new developing areas.
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Total Strongly/Somewhat DISAGREE
It should be convenient to walk or bike in new developing areas. New jobs should be located closer to where people live The development of more affordable housing should be encouraged Agriculture should be preserved even if it means limiting some development opportunities Open space should be preserved even if it means limiting some development opportunities More mixed use development should be encouraged
Regional mass transit should be expanded New growth should be directed primarily to existing cities, towns & villages. New growth should be focused along major roads & highways. A range of housing types or sizes should be planned for & built New housing & jobs should be spread out to avoid crowding. Cities & towns should build more homes w/ smaller yards/ apartments to preserve farm & forest lands. Existing regional freeways should be widened Growth should be located mainly in the Traverse City part of the region Most new housing should be separated from jobs & existing centers More regional freeways should be built
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To determine the public’s preferred growth scenario, Grand Vision consultants developed a “scorecard” that asked for input on the four scenarios. The values survey results and workshop input formed the basis for the scenarios and questions that were presented in the scorecard. The scorecard provided information on how each scenario would affect land use and transportation indicators such as the number of housing units, investments in road lane miles, and acres of land consumed. Questions asked participants to choose which scenario they felt did the best job of promoting the values that were identified during the values survey and workshop process; and questions in the second portion of the scorecard asked for input on transportation investments, housing types, and other land use patterns. Scorecard responses were “self-selected;” that is, similar to an election or public hearing, the responses reflect the opinions of residents who took the time to get involved. An extensive outreach campaign was used to build awareness of the scorecard process and to ensure that scorecards were readily available, both in print and online, to all interested citizens. Approximately 11,603 responses were received region-wide; 962 responses were received from Benzie County residents, representing about 6% of the county’s total population. The scorecards asked respondents to choose a scenario in five questions that were based on accompanying scenario descriptions and graphs. An additional seven questions asked respondents to state how much they agreed with statements regarding transportation and development types. Scorecard results are generally consistent across county boundaries, age, income, and other factors. However, there are some minor differences between regional and county responses to individual questions. This section will review the questions asked in the scorecard and discuss the overall picture along with Benzie County responses. Results by number of responses for each question and by percentage, for each county, are included in Appendix D.
Table 5: Scorecard Responses by County
Responses Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Total Responses 1,209 962 6,447 536 1,771 678 11,603 Population 24,463 17,652 84,952 17,330 22,112 31,994 198,503 Percentage 4.94% 5.45% 7.59% 3.09% 8.01% 2.12% 6%
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In general, Benzie County responses showed slightly less support for urban growth patterns, as represented by Scenario D, than the region as a whole. Likewise, there was more support for the essentially village-based growth patterns represented by Scenario C than region-wide. In the second part of the scorecard, respondents were given a statement and asked to what degree they agreed or disagreed. The questions were all directly related to scenario evaluations described in the scorecard document, which focused on measuring future impacts based on public values, as determined through the Grand Vision values survey. Benzie County responses were closely aligned with regional responses in this portion of the scorecard; with somewhat more support for public transit, in comparison with regional responses.
Responses, by number and percent, are shown for each question by county in Appendix C. Analysis is excerpted from Fregonese and Associates “top line” memo from January 2009. The memo accompanies this report and is also available online at www.thegrandvision.org.
Grand Vision Scorecard Responses
Narrative provided by Fregonese Associates, January 2009 Question #1: I think the scenario that does the best job of preserving the region’s farmland and open space is: [Scenario A, B, C, or D]
Question #1 Benzie County vs. Regional Results
Scenario D resulted in the least amount of rural land converting to urban. Scenario C followed closely. The village focus of Scenario C was partially intended to minimize pressure on agricultural land while also being visible and accessible to residents living and visiting the villages. While they both scored highly, the selection of scenario D as the regional favorite indicated a desire to minimize pressures in rural areas, including housing growth and traffic, as much as possible.
45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
Benzie Total Responses
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Question #2. I think the scenario that does the best job at balancing our needs for mobility with our desires for thriving cities and towns and a cleaner environment is: Scenario C was by far the most popular choice. One of the more significant components of the village based scenario was intra-regional transit service. Many participants in the workshops asked for such an amenity. Scenario D, with the highest concentrations of people involved the highest level of transit service. However, with limited congestion in any scenario, the option to have multiple choices for traveling between villages and towns seemed to prevail. At the same time, it is clear that simply building more roads alone will not be well received.
Question #2 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 70.0% Benzie 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% A B C D Total Responses
Question #3 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 60.0% Benzie 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% A B C D Total Responses
Question #3: I think the scenario that best provides jobs and affordable housing for working families is: The popularity of Scenarios C and D echo concerns—voiced during the Grand Vision’s values research and at the public workshops—about rising home prices rising and the need to see more housing options so that people can afford to remain in the region. Respondents see homes with acreage as too expensive for many residents including working families, young people and senior citizens. Smaller yards and other options such as townhomes and apartments offer the benefit of being more affordable.
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Question #4: I think the scenario that does the best job of enhancing our region’s cities and villages is: Scenario C had by far the largest support. It is clear that people do not want the future to simply be a continuation of the patterns seen today which could result in additional sprawl, loss of the rural lifestyle and potential decay of the towns and villages. There is significant support for the very urban lifestyle exhibited by Scenario D. However, most are looking for change that enhances the many towns and villages of today, rather than significantly transforming just a few areas. The strong villages of Scenario C also resound with participants’ desires for shared prosperity among the counties of the region.
Question #4 Benzie County vs. Regional Results
Benzie 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% A B C D Total Responses
Question #5 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 70.0% Benzie 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% A B C D Total Responses
Question #5: I think the scenario that does the best job depicting a future I support is: Cleary Scenario C received the most support when ranked overall. The focus on town and village life was expected to perform well because it embodies much of what people say they like in the region. Town and village living is easy to imagine for people on all ends of the spectrum, from Traverse City to rural homes along Torch Lake. There was also significant support for the more urban lifestyle portrayed in scenario D. More than one-third of respondents identified themselves as living in rural areas. However, Scenarios A and B which represent the more rural development patterns of the set together received less than 10% of the overall tally for support. People were evidently voicing the opinion of what they want to see, not just what they are used to. The cities, towns and villages of the region are well regarded by people in all living situations.
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Question #6: I think transportation investments should prioritize new and widened roads. The strong disagreement to this statement says three things: 1. Don’t spend too much money on new and widened roads, and 2. Maintain the system we have, and 3. Invest more money on transit, walking a biking. Participants in the public transportation workshops were generally conservative about spending on any new infrastructure, highlighting the need for careful consideration of future investments.
30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
Question #6 Benzie County vs. Regional Results Benzie Total Responses
ag re e
eu tra l
St ro n
Question #7 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 50.0% 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
ag re e
Question #7: I think new transportation investments should include biking and walking facilities even if it means some roads aren’t widened. It is abundantly clear that residents want to see additional spending on bike and walk facilities. The question goes a step further and states specifically that the funding may be at the expense of investment in road widening for capacity. That the answers were this close to unanimous, given the tradeoff, shows significant support for public investments. Such investments will assure safer and more convenient biking and may attract additional people to utilize this mode of transportation.
Benzie Total Responses
eu tra l
St ro n
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St ro n
St ro n
Question #8: I think new transportation investments should include enhanced transit, including in-town buses and regional bus service, even if it means some roads aren’t widened. This section was also engineered to probe deeper into people attitudes about transportation investment. People have the same strong feelings of support for transit as they do for bike and walk amenities. The question purposely limited the transit options to in-town and regional bus service which are both modest investments compared to rail transit.
Question #8 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
ag re e eu tra l gr ee re e Ag Ag St ro n gl y re e
Benzie Total Responses
St ro n
Question #9 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
ag re e eu tra l gr ee re e Ag Ag re e
Question #9: I think increased traffic congestion in our cities and villages would be okay if I could park once and walk to shops, jobs, schools and parks. People generally support the notion of trading slightly more congestion for the benefits of full service towns and villages where they could walk between jobs and shopping. However, the number of people disagreeing, or remaining neutral shows that this style of growth is not for everyone. Additionally, it may hint at the internal conflict between a desire to ‘do the right thing’ and a belief that people will be able to stick to it when the wind is blowing and snow is falling.
Benzie Total Responses
St ro n
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St ro n
Question #10: I would consider living in a neighborhood with smaller yards and some multi-family buildings if it meant that I could walk or ride my bike to shops, jobs, schools and parks. Walking and biking were two things that scored well in the scientific research. They were attached to smaller yards, apartments and condos to intentionally force a tradeoff. However, the results point to a much greater acceptance, and even desire, for multi-family housing than might be expected.
Question #10 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
ag re e eu tra l re e ee Ag Ag r gl y St ro n gr ee
Benzie Total Responses
St ro n
Question #11 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
ag re e eu tra l re e ee gr Ag Ag re e
Benzie Total Responses
St ro n
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St ro n
Question #11: I oppose taller buildings in our cities and villages even if it means that we need to build on farm and forest lands. With this statement participants were asked to reflect on the dramatic changes that might be seen in cities and towns. The scorecard even mentioned 8-story buildings in places such as Traverse City and Cadillac. The overwhelming response hints at two things. First, 6- and 8story buildings do not cause the panic or concern that might have been expected. Coupled with the desire for an improved urban fabric as evidenced by previous questions, one could presume that downtown buildings taller than 10 stories would indeed by embraced by many. Although, the roughly even split between ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘disagree’ suggests that support will wane proportionately as building heights go up. This again reveals that there may be more desire for urban lifestyle in some specific locations than there is region-wide. Second, this response indeed affirms residents desire to retain the farming, forestry and rural lifestyle that is present in the region.
Question #12 Benzie County vs. Regional Results 35.0% Benzie 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% Strongly Disagree Neutral Disagree Agree Strongly Agree Total
Question #12: I think people should be able to have a home on rural acreage even if it increases new public investment in roads, sewers and schools. This statement forces people to link planning with personal decisions and limits to private property rights. Generally, people do not fully link the two. This is the only question in the entire scorecard with such an even divide. Resposes indicate approximately equal support for two different positions in this matter. On one hand, some believe that they should be able to locate ahome on, or even subdivide their rural property no matter what. On the other hand, some feel that they are not willing to support a lifestyle that has cost impacts on the rest of society. Note that many people chose to remain neutral. This could be because linking individual property decisions with public costs and benefits is not intuitive. Alternatively, it could reflect people being truly torn between the notion of the public good and the private good.
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Follow-up Survey Report
To compare the preferences expressed in the Grand Vision scorecard results with the preferences of the general public, a telephone survey was conducted by Northwestern Michigan College in April and May 2009, using a randomdigit-dial sample of residential telephone numbers. The survey tested 10 questions from the scorecard; in some cases, the questions that were tested were exact duplicates of the scorecard questions. In other cases, the statement was paraphrased to make the question more easily understood during a telephone survey. The survey, which resulted in 578 valid responses, was accurate to the county level, with a margin of error for regional results estimated at +/- 5.1%. Following is an excerpt from the executive summary. The full survey report is attached to this document. Key Regional Findings The survey results provide strong confirmation that regional residents at large share the preferences and priorities of scorecard participants. Both survey and scorecard participants were most likely to favor future development vision “C,” with its emphases on growth in the region’s cities and villages; preservation of open space; and investment in trails, public transportation, and roads. Vision “D,” the most compact development option, was also frequently chosen (see Figure 1). Residents of the region expressed strong support for future investments in trails and sidewalks and in public transportation, “even if it means some roads aren’t widened.” More than 75% of participants in both processes supported these choices. Eighty percent of survey participants and 67% of scorecard participants would tolerate more traffic in cities and villages if they could “park once and walk” to their destinations. Many regional residents would also consider a neighborhood “with smaller yards and some apartments and condominiums” if they could walk or ride a bike to work, school, shopping, and amenities. Residents would prefer taller buildings in cities and villages to developing farm and forestlands. Only about one in four participants in either process agreed with the statement, “I oppose taller buildings in our villages and cities even if it means that we need to build on farm and forest lands.” The region is most divided on the issues of new pavement for roads and new residential development in areas lacking supportive infrastructure. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents and 46% of scorecard participants agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” that “building new roads and widening existing roads should be the first priority for transportation spending in the region.” Similarly, 46% of survey respondents and 53% of scorecard participants agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” with the statement, “I think people should be able to
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 31
build new homes in country areas, even if it means we have to spend tax dollars to build roads, sewers and schools.” Most issues explored in the survey show no persistent or sharp differences in opinion on the basis of personal characteristics including age, gender, income, education, own/rent status, employment status, type of home community, or county. For example, support for investment in public transportation and interest in vision “C” was drawn from younger and older respondents, males and females, higher- and lower-income families, residents of all types of communities, and residents of all counties. The lone exception to this pattern was prioritization of investment in new and wider roads, which was sensitive to respondents’ home counties. Survey respondents support their communities’ involvement in the regional Grand Vision process. Respondents were strongly sup-
portive whether they had past direct involvement in the Grand Vision, familiarity without involvement, or no prior familiarity with the process (see Figure 2). More than 90% also agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” that, “to help create a future that I want, I want my local elected officials to participate in the Grand Vision.”
Benzie County Results
Benzie County results reflected regional response patterns in most cases, with slightly more support for some urban development patterns. In particular, Benzie County residents were more likely to disagree with statement #5, which indicated opposition to taller buildings in cities and villages. Complete survey results are available online at www.thegrandvision.org.
Grand Vision Follow-up Survey Responses
Narrative provided by Public Policy Associates, May 2009
Statement #1: "I think future investments in transportation should include trails and sidewalks for biking and walking, even if it means some roads aren't widened." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somewhat") 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Benzie Region 73% 80%
Statement #1 corresponds to question #7 on the Grand Vision scorecard, which asked participants to rank their support of the statement, “I think new transportation investments should include biking and walking facilities, even if it means some roads aren’t widened.” Regional scorecard responses, excluding neutral responses, showed that 84% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with this statement. The PPA survey results were consistent, with approximately 80% of respondents region-wide expressing agreement.
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Statement #2: "I think future investments in transportation should include more public transportation, including in-town buses and regional bus service, even if it means some roads aren’t widened." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somewhat") 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Benzie Region 78% 76%
Statement #2 corresponds to question #8 on the Grand Vision scorecard, which asked participants to rank their support of the statement, “I think new transportation investments should include enhanced transit, including in-town buses and regional bus service, even if it means some roads aren’t widened.” Excluding neutral responses, 80% of regional scorecard participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with this statement. PPA survey results at both the regional and county level were consistent with scorecard responses.
Statement #3 corresponds to question #9 on the Grand Vision scorecard, which asked participants to rank their support of the statement, “I think increased traffic congestion in our cities and villages would be okay if I could park once and walk to shops, jobs, schools, and parks. Regionally, scorecard responses, excluding neutral responses, showed that 67% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with this statement. Support was substantially higher in responses to the PPA survey, with approximately 80% of respondents region-wide expressing agreement and 81% of Benzie County residents supporting the statement.
Statement #3: "I think increased traffic in our villages and cities would be okay if I could park once and walk to shops, jobs, schools and parks." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somewhat") 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Benzie Region 81% 80%
"I think building new roads and widening existing roads should be the first priority for transportation spending in the region." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somewhat") 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Benzie Region 58% 59%
Statement #4 corresponds to question #6 on the Grand Vision scorecard, which asked participants to rank their support of the statement, “I think new transportation investments should prioritize new and widened roads.” Regional scorecard responses, excluding neutral responses, showed that 46% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with this statement.
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Statement #5: Percentages prioritizing maintenance of existing roads over expanding capacity w ith new and w ider roads 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Benzie Region 81% 86%
Statement #5 does not have an exact scorecard parallel. The question asked respondents to choose a priority between repairing and improving existing roads, or expanding capacity with new roads. There was significant support for prioritizing maintenance, on both a regional and county-wide level.
Statement #6 corresponds to question #10 on the Grand Vision scorecard, which asked participants to rank their support of the statement, “I would consider living in a neighborhood with smaller yards and some multi-family buildings if it meant that I could walk or ride my bike to shops, jobs, schools, and parks.” Regional scorecard responses, excluding neutral responses, showed that 64% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with this statement.
"I would consider living in a neighborhood with smaller yards and some apartments or condominiums if I could walk or ride a bike to shops, jobs, schools and parks." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somewhat") 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Benzie Region 61%
Statement #7: "I oppose taller buildings in our villages and cities even if it means that we need to build on farm and forest lands." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somewhat") 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
Statement #7 corresponds to question #11 on the Grand Vision scorecard, which asked participants to rank their support of the statement, “I would oppose taller buildings in our cities and villages even if it means that we need to build on farm and forest lands.” Regional scorecard responses, excluding neutral responses, showed that 21% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with this statement. Benzie County responses to the PPA survey were consistent with scorecard results, and showed significantly less support for this statement than the region as a whole.
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Statement #8: "I think people should be able to build new homes in country areas, even if it means we have to spend tax dollars to build roads, sewers, and schools." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somewhat") 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Benzie Region
Statement #8 corresponds to question #12 on the Grand Vision scorecard, which asked participants to rank their support of the statement, “I think people should be able to have a home on rural acreage even if it increases new public investment in roads, sewer, and schools.” Regional scorecard responses, excluding neutral responses, showed that 55% of participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with this statement.
Statement #9 tested responses to the “vision” of creating a group of unique villages and cities that are active and charming places with a main street and downtown. Support was very high in all counties and demographics for the statement.
Statement #9: "As the region develops in the future, it is important that w e create a group of unique villages and cities that are active and charming places w ith a main street and a dow ntow n." (% Agree "Strongly" or "Somew hat") 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Benzie Region 82% 80%
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"As the region develops in the future, it is important that we protect and preserve the farm land, orchards, forests, water quality, and scenic beauty of the region."
Disagree Somew hat Don't Know 0.6% 0.5% Agree Somew hat 18%
Agree Strongly 81%
Statement #10 tested responses to the vision of protecting and preserving the farm land, orchards, forests, water quality, and scenic beauty of the region. Of the nearly 600 people responding tho the survey, three “disagreed somewhat” and three volunteered the response of “I don’t know.” Given the overwhelming support for this principle, no demographic analysis was pursued.
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The Grand Vision
Through the Grand Vision process, the community identified six issue areas and action statements that together will help move the vision into reality: Create a group of unique villages and cities that are active and charming places with a main street or a downtown. Provide more variety in housing choices to match peoples’ needs and preferences for lower cost, higher efficiency, central location and low-maintenance lifestyle options. Strengthen the local economy with more jobs offering security and a living wage in cities and villages around the region. Train the workforce for Michigan’s new economy with a quality education and opportunities for lifelong learning. Maintain and improve the existing road system and place new investment in public transportation, bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure to provide choices in mobility, support energy conservation and maximize system efficiencies. Protect and preserve the farm land, orchards, forests, open water, and other natural areas and particularly water quality and the scenic beauty of the region. Make decisions today that support sustainable development for the environment, the economy and the community for tomorrow and the next fifty years. these Grand Vision principles into action. Like the creation of the Grand Vision, this effort will be a collaborative, region-wide, bottom-up approach that will require commitment and action from citizens, public agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector. Grand Vision Supporters Individuals throughout the region are invited to publicly support the Grand Vision through a statement of support. Supporters receive regular updates on progress and activities related to the Grand Vision, and also commit to activities such as participating in a working group; working as a volunteer at Grand Vision events and with outreach; advocating for Grand Vision policies and projects; and participating in an annual summit Partnership All organizations, groups, and agencies that support the principles of the Grand Vision are invited to sign a Partnership Agreement. Through the agreement, partners agree that it is in the best interest of the community to: Cooperatively engage in activities that will result in progress toward the goals of the Grand Vision Attend the annual Grand Vision community event to share progress Provide assistance as available to support Grand Vision related activities and events
Community efforts are now beginning to move
Participating organizations receive support from other Grand Vision partners in communicating their mission and activities to the public through marketing avenues including media releases,
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online information, and viral networking. All Grand Vision partners will receive regular updates on progress and activities related to the Grand Vision. Partners will be publicly identified as supporters of the Grand Vision. Working Groups Because many organizations throughout the region are involved in activities that are consistent with the principles of the Grand Vision, a Grand Vision working group structure has been developed to support these organizations and activities. Working groups will function as collaborative councils on specific subject areas and will include diverse regional participation, with members including citizens and representatives from public agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector that are involved in the subject area. Conveners will host initial meetings and provide staff support in terms of meeting agendas and other resources. Growth and Investment Areas: ensure that both public and private investments are made in areas that are suitable for new growth and that will give the region the best return on the dollar for strengthening the economy and designing vibrant communities. Convener: New Designs for Growth/ Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
Transportation: maintain and improve the existing road system, increase public transportation services between cities and villages in the region, and expand infrastructure serving pedestrians and bicyclists both in and out of town. Convener: Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce
Food and Farming: preserve agriculture as a viable economic practice in the region by protecting farmland, enhancing the affordability of farms, and supporting agricultural infrastructure in the region. Convener: Taste the Local Difference and Michigan Land Use Institute
Natural Resources: protect and enhance the region's natural environment, especially the abundant freshwater resources that define the region. Convener: Watershed Center
Energy: create energy options through energy conservation and the development and promotion of alternatives. Convener: SEEDS
Housing: offer a diverse mix of regional housing choices with affordable options that fit in with the small town character of the neighborhoods, villages, and cities as well as rural housing. Convener: Housing Task Force and Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
Communications-Organization-ResourcesEducation (CORE): will serve as a resource to the other working groups providing resource development, identification of strategic alliances and opportunities within working groups, training and education, and communications and outreach through oversight of the communications committee. This group to be made up of one representative from each of the working groups and one representative from each county. Convener: Rotary Charities
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Each of the working groups will conduct open and transparent meetings, and all of their activities will be well documented and described on the Grand Vision website, www.thegrandvision.org. The site currently contains basic information about each of the working groups, and will continue to post meetings, minutes, events, and progress through blogs, articles and videos.
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The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 40
Grand Vision Coordinating Group Representative Organizations
Homebuilders Association Citizen-at-Large, Youth Representative HomeStretch Bay Area Transportation Authority Traverse City Area Public Schools Citizen-at-Large Traverse City Convention and Visitor Bureau Northwestern Michigan College Citizen-at-Large Grand Traverse County Road Commission Traverse Area Association of Realtors Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Acme Township Traverse City Transportation and Land Use Study (TC-TALUS) East Bay Township Michigan Land Use Institute Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Township Association The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails, Inc. Blair Township Michigan Department of Transportation Grand Traverse County Elmwood Township Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council City of Traverse City Citizen-at-Large, Senior Representative Garfield Township Munson Healthcare Antrim County Benzie County Grand Traverse County Kalkaska County Leelanau County Wexford County
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 41
Grand Vision Consultant Team
Robert Grow Strategic Visioning Founding chair emeritus of Envision Utah John A. Fregonese Scenario Planning Principal, Fregonese Associates David L. Kaylor Traffic Video Survey Specialist ATD Northwest Kurt J. Schulte, AICP Traffic Modeling Senior Planner; Kimley-Horn Steven Landau Economic Modeling Director, Strategy Planning at Economic Development Research Group Doug Christensen, PE Project Leader Mead & Hunt Lynn Wilson, AICP Community Planner Mead & Hunt Phil Callighan Marketing Consultant Knorr Marketing Jennifer Hutchinson Marketing & Outreach Leelanau Communications Andrew McFarlane Internet Architect Leelanau Communications
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 42
Grand Vision Champions
Ms. Lois Bahle, Owner, Bahle's Department Store Mr. Matt Case, Director of Support Services, Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors Mr. Keith Charters, Chair, Natural Resources Commission Mr. Glen Chown, Executive Director, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy Mr. Donald Coe, Managing Partner, Black Star Farms Mr. Pete Correia, President/CEO, Traverse City State Bank Ms. Terri Crandall Kimble, Executive Director, Elk Rapids Chamber of Commerce Mr. Michael Hill, Superintendent, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Mr. Gary Holcombe, Owner/Executive, Elmer's Crane & Dozer Mr. Art Jeannot, President/CEO, Honor State Bank Mr. Jeffrey Kimpton, President, Interlochen Center for the Arts Mr. Doug Luciani, President/CEO, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Mr. Jim MacInnes, President/GM, Crystal Mountain Resort Ms. Mary Marois, Traverse City, MI Ms. Beth Milligan, Traverse City Chamber of Commerce Gov. & Mrs. Bill & Helen Milliken, Former Governor Mr. Tim Nelson,President, Northwestern Michigan College Mr. Ed Ness, President, Munson Medical Center Mr. Homer Nye, Pastor, The Presbyterian Church of Traverse City Mr. Jim Olson, Sr. Principal, Olson Bzdok & Howard Mr. Bob Otwell, Executive Director, TART Trails Mr. Ray Pleva, President, Cerise Nutraceuticals Ms. Marsha Smith, Executive Director, Rotary Charities Mr. Rick Stein, Owner/Broker, RE/MAX Bayshore Properties Mr. Bob Sutherland, President, Cherry Republic Mr. Steve Timmer, Senior Director of Marketing, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Mr. Brad Van Dommelen, President, Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau Mr. Hans Voss, Executive Director, Michigan Land Use Institute Ms. Elaine Wood, CEO, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 43
Question 1: I think the scenario that does the best job of preserving the region's farmland and open space is: A Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Total Responses 156 90 584 63 166 66 1125 13.0% 9.5% 9.2% 11.9% 9.6% 10.0% 9.8% 181 42 604 46 103 89 1065 B 15.2% 3.5% 9.5% 8.7% 5.9% 13.4% 9.3% 408 374 2033 193 590 212 3810 C 34.3% 39.6% 31.9% 36.4% 34.0% 31.9% 33.3% 446 438 3159 228 877 298 5446 D 37.4% 46.3% 49.5% 43.0% 50.5% 44.8% 47.6% Total 1191 944 6380 530 1736 665 11446
Question 2: think the scenario that does the best job of balancing our needs for mobility with our desires for thriving cities and towns and a cleaner environment is A Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Total Responses 115 69 380 45 153 47 809 9.7% 7.3% 6.0% 8.5% 8.8% 7.1% 7.1% 152 70 614 56 115 68 1075 B 12.8% 7.4% 9.6% 10.6% 6.6% 10.3% 9.4% 612 544 3263 296 942 326 5983 C 51.5% 57.7% 51.2% 56.2% 54.3% 49.2% 52.3% 310 260 2121 130 524 222 3567 D 26.1% 27.6% 33.3% 24.7% 30.2% 33.5% 31.2% Total 1189 943 6378 527 1734 663 11434
Question 3 - I think the scenario that best provides jobs and affordable housing for working families is: A Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Total Responses 116 79 562 47 144 55 1003 9.8% 8.5% 8.9% 8.9% 8.4% 8.3% 8.8% 161 91 722 61 158 81 1274 B 13.6% 9.8% 11.4% 11.6% 9.2% 12.2% 11.2% 553 475 2857 279 848 301 5313 C 46.7% 51.0% 45.1% 53.0% 49.4% 45.5% 46.8% 353 286 2194 139 567 225 3764 D 29.8% 30.7% 34.6% 26.4% 33.0% 34.0% 33.2% Total 1183 931 6335 526 1717 662 11354
Question 4 - I think the scenario that does the best job of enhancing our region's cities and villages is: A Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Total Responses 110 60 435 49 126 51 831 9.3% 6.4% 6.8% 9.3% 7.3% 7.7% 7.3% 144 72 586 53 127 65 1047 B 12.2% 7.7% 9.2% 10.1% 7.4% 9.8% 9.2% 660 572 3401 312 1044 353 6342 C 55.8% 60.9% 53.5% 59.3% 60.5% 53.2% 55.7% 269 235 1930 112 430 194 3170 D 22.7% 25.0% 30.4% 21.3% 24.9% 29.3% 27.8% Total 1183 939 6352 526 1727 663 11390
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 44
Question 5 - I think the scenario that does the best job of depicting a future I support is: A Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Total Responses 134 71 475 50 149 63 942 11.3% 7.6% 7.5% 9.5% 8.6% 9.5% 7.3% 177 71 658 64 134 64 1168 B 15.0% 7.5% 10.4% 12.2% 7.8% 9.7% 9.2% 592 548 3106 294 961 327 5828 C 50.0% 58.4% 48.9% 55.9% 55.6% 49.3% 55.7% 282 252 2131 119 477 216 3477 D 23.8% 26.8% 33.5% 22.6% 27.6% 32.6% 27.8% Total 1183 939 6352 526 1727 663 11390
Question 6 - I think transportation investments should prioritize new and widened roads Strongly Disagree 142 11.9% 186 19.5% 1061 16.5% 59 11.2% 425 24.4% 93 13.8% 1966 17.1% Disagree 267 266 1608 100 495 142 2878 22.4% 27.9% 25.1% 19.0% 28.4% 21.1% 25.0% Neutral 322 192 1507 144 283 192 2640 27.0% 20.1% 23.5% 27.4% 16.2% 28.5% 23.0% Agree 324 213 1518 150 327 182 2714 27.2% 22.3% 23.7% 28.6% 18.8% 27.0% 23.6% Strongly Agree 136 98 720 72 214 64 1304 11.4% 10.3% 11.2% 13.7% 12.3% 9.5% 11.3% Total 1191 955 6414 525 1744 673 11502
Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Tpta;
Question 7 - I think new transportation investments should include biking and walking facilities, even if it means some roads aren't widened. Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Disagree Antrim 79 6.6% 110 9.1% 187 15.5% 535 44.4% 293 24.3% 1204 Benzie 39 4.1% 92 9.7% 87 9.1% 417 43.8% 318 33.4% 953 Grand Traverse 250 3.9% 550 8.5% 796 12.3% 2568 39.8% 2282 35.4% 6446 Kalkaska 35 6.6% 57 10.7% 79 14.9% 218 41.1% 142 26.7% 531 Leelanau 110 6.3% 150 8.6% 151 8.6% 690 39.3% 653 37.2% 1754 Wexford 33 4.8% 91 13.2% 109 15.9% 277 40.3% 177 25.8% 687 Total 546 4.7% 1050 9.1% 1409 12.2% 4705 40.6% 3865 33.4% 11575
Question 8 - I think new transportation investments should include enhanced transit, including in-town buses and regional bus service, even if it means roads aren't widened. Strongly Disagree 79 6.6% 57 6.0% 349 5.4% 35 6.6% 125 7.1% 35 5.2% 680 5.9% Disagree 119 74 734 60 145 75 1207 9.9% 7.8% 11.4% 11.4% 8.3% 11.1% 10.5% Neutral 274 98 1117 77 154 149 1869 22.8% 10.3% 17.4% 14.6% 8.8% 22.1% 16.2% Agree 445 364 2353 196 670 242 4270 37.0% 38.2% 36.6% 37.2% 38.3% 36.0% 37.0% Strongly Agree 286 359 1879 159 655 172 3510 23.8% 37.7% 29.2% 30.2% 37.4% 25.6% 30.4% Total 1203 952 6432 527 1749 673 11536
Antrim Benzie Grand Traverse Kalkaska Leelanau Wexford Total
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 45
Question 9 - I think increased traffic congestion in our cities and villages would be okay if I could park once and walk to shops, jobs, schools, and parks. Strongly DisDisagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total agree Antrim 94 7.8% 231 19.3% 279 23.3% 415 34.6% 180 15.0% 1199 Benzie 60 6.3% 154 16.2% 197 20.7% 392 41.2% 148 15.6% 951 Grand Traverse 540 8.4% 1197 18.6% 1265 19.7% 2384 37.1% 1043 16.2% 6429 Kalkaska 48 9.2% 126 24.0% 106 20.2% 165 31.5% 79 15.1% 524 Leelanau 117 6.7% 247 14.2% 296 17.0% 773 44.3% 311 17.8% 1744 Wexford 82 12.1% 120 17.8% 132 19.6% 244 36.1% 97 14.4% 675 Total 941 8.2% 2075 18.0% 2275 19.7% 4373 38.0% 1858 16.1% 11522
Question 10 - I would consider living in a neighborhood with smaller yards and some multi-family buildings if it meant that I could walk or ride my bike to shops, jobs, schools and parks. Strongly Disagree Antrim 224 18.7% Benzie 125 13.1% Grand Traverse 794 12.4% Kalkaska 92 17.5% Leelanau 230 13.2% Wexford 144 21.5% Total 1609 14.0% Disagree 209 133 1062 96 201 113 1814 17.5% 14.0% 16.5% 18.2% 11.5% 16.8% 15.7% Neutral 249 142 1065 97 253 114 1920 20.8% 14.9% 16.6% 17.4% 14.5% 17.0% 16.7% Agree 348 343 1977 161 659 191 3679 29.1% 36.0% 30.8% 30.6% 37.7% 28.5% 31.9% Strongly Agree 167 210 1531 81 406 109 2504 14.0% 22.0% 23.8% 15.4% 23.2% 16.2% 21.7% Total 1197 953 6429 527 1749 671 11526
Question 11 - I would oppose taller buildings in our cities and villages even if it means that we need to build on farm and forest lands. Strongly DisDisagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total agree Antrim 349 29.1% 426 35.5% 169 14.1% 156 13.0% 101 8.4% 1201 Benzie 311 32.6% 358 37.5% 124 13.0% 91 9.5% 71 7.4% 955 Grand Traverse 2103 32.7% 2295 35.7% 903 14.0% 659 10.2% 472 7.3% 6432 Kalkaska 178 33.9% 187 35.6% 60 11.4% 64 12.2% 36 6.9% 525 Leelanau 562 32.2% 652 37.4% 166 9.5% 169 9.7% 195 11.2% 1744 Wexford 226 33.7% 222 33.1% 100 14.9% 66 9.8% 57 8.5% 671 Total Re3729 32.3% 4140 35.9% 1522 13.2% 1205 10.5% 932 8.1% 11528 sponses Question 12 – I think people should be able to have a home on rural acreage even if it increases new public investment in roads, sewers and schools. Strongly Disagree Antrim 125 10.5% Benzie 121 12.7% Grand Traverse 748 11.6% Kalkaska 56 10.6% Leelanau 228 13.0% Wexford 79 11.8% Total 1357 11.8% Disagree 168 188 1330 71 417 104 2278 14.1% 19.7% 20.7% 13.4% 23.9% 15.5% 19.8% Neutral 374 269 1953 124 430 198 3348 31.3% 28.1% 30.4% 23.4% 24.6% 29.5% 29.0% Agree 364 260 1661 173 412 183 3053 30.5% 27.2% 25.8% 32.7% 23.6% 27.2% 26.5% Strongly Agree 163 118 742 105 261 108 1497 13.7% 12.3% 11.5% 19.8% 14.9% 16.1% 13.0% Total 1194 956 6434 529 1748 672 11533
The Grand Vision: A Benzie County Perspective Page 46
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