Lake Heritage Survey Results Are Here!

Lake Heritage Survey Results Are Here! | March 16, 2016

 Compiled by the Strategic Planning Committee:

Sylvan Hershey – Chair | Len Ferrara | Rick Franzese | Mike Hanson | Betsy Meyer |
Eric Meyer | Dave Moore | Fred Schenker | Jay Schmitt | Tim Woodward


Lake Heritage 2015 Member Survey Summary Results


For the first time in the history of Lake Heritage a survey was taken to measure the community’s thinking on a broad range of topics.  The survey also asked residents to rank the importance of the main topics.  All 855 residents were mailed surveys.  Two Hundred and eighty members returned the survey.  This is considered a great response rate and statistically gives a very accurate measure of resident input.  Before this survey, the community’s thinking was guess work. The purpose of the survey is to transition from guessing to making informed decisions.  The survey responses and comments provided are summarized in the following report.  The analysis of this data will take a while for the various committees to digest.  Further reports will be issued as actions or recommendations are forthcoming from the committees.

Your review of the summary report and interpretive graphs requires a bit of effort. However, if you want to know what the community thinks and wants collectively, it’s a worthwhile read.  It is the Strategic Planning Committee’s goal to translate this data into a tool to help direct the community toward the future the membership envisions.

Ranking the Most Important Focus Area

Members were asked to rank the importance of each of the seven focus areas covered in the survey.  They were given a scale from 1 being most important to 7 being least important.  In the chart below, focus areas ranked most important and second most important (1 or 2) were combined and are shown in the columns.  Looking at the chart, you see that most respondents ranked Finances as the most important focus area for our neighborhood with Lake Quality and Safety and Security following closely behind.  Maintaining property was given the 4th highest importance ranking, followed by Sense of Community.   Rules and Regulations and Improving Community Facilities tied for the least important area on which the community should focus new efforts.

Evaluating Each Focus Area

In addition to ranking the focus areas, members were asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with specific statements in each area.  Room was provided for specific comments as well.

The results of the feedback and comments received for each focus area are summarized in graphic form below starting with the area ranked most important.  Respondents were asked to rate each statement with one of five choices: Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree.  For the charts below showing the statement results, Strongly Agree and Agree responses are combined and labeled “Agree” and Disagree and Strongly Disagree are combined and labeled “Disagree”.  These results, including all comments received, will be shared in detail with the board committees responsible for each area.  These committees will recommend action to be taken in their areas.  Information on the outcomes of these meetings will be published in the newsletter and on our website.  Stay tuned.

Managing Financial Resources Effectively


This chart shows that for 3 of the 4 statements surveyed in this area the majority of respondents are satisfied with the way financial resources are currently managed.  The fourth statement read “I feel our POA should have a rainy day fund equal to 50% of the annual operating budget.”  In retrospect we realize that this statement was not phrased well.  We do not know if a negative answer means the respondent thinks there should be no rainy day fund, or if there should be one of a smaller, or larger, size.  Fortunately there were a number of comments written about the rainy day fund that provide some input.  Most comments supported the need for a rainy day fund but expressed uncertainty over the amount. And while the majority of residents feel financial communications are clear and dues are predictable, the feedback indicates we have more work to do in this area before we are satisfied.

There were 57 comments written regarding the financial focus area.  Of these comments, 16 stated that dues were too high or increasing too much, 11 comments were concerning how the dues are spent.  Eight comments were received with suggestions on the Rainy Day fund.


Maintaining the Lake Quality, Appearance and Amenities


Of the 5 statements surveyed about lake quality, appearance and amenities, the majority of respondents agreed only that amenities were well maintained.  Less than 50% of respondents agreed regarding the 4 other areas; namely water quality, proactive efforts in lake health, effective stormwater practices and dam and spillway maintenance.  The area receiving the most negative scores was lake water quality with nearly 50 % disagreeing that the water quality is high.  As many of you know there is a lot of activity going on to improve these four areas.   The new aeration project and treatment protocol is already underway to address water quality.  There have been newsletter articles and well-publicized evening meetings to inform the community on what is happening with the dam/spillway project and also what members can do to enhance stormwater practices.  Stay tuned for additional information on these projects.

Of the 50 recorded comments pertaining to lake quality and management, the majority (18) concerned the poor water quality.  Five comments were concerned with stormwater management.  Four comments addressed concerns with the dam, and three respondents wrote to encourage members to participate more actively to maintain the health of the lake.  All this data will be shared with the Lake and Dam Committee.


Managing Safety and Security

This chart shows that the respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the individual members of the Association have personal responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of the Association.  The survey also indicated a relative comfort with the monitoring of the Safety and Security rules and regulations and the roadways being respectively shared with positive responses of 55% and 65%, respectively.  While 60% of the respondents felt that the registration process at the entry gate is working well for both residents, guests and service providers, the survey indicated a desire for newer technology to be incorporated into the process.  It should be noted that 30% of respondents disagree that the registration process at the entry gate is working well and nearly 30% disagree that the roads are shared respectfully.  This dissatisfaction is reflected in the comments summarized below.

There were 88 comments written in regarding general Safety and Security matters.  The two main areas of comments were the performance of the Security staff (41 comments) and the entrance gate process and the use of technology (21 comments).  Most of the comments on the security staff indicated a strong desire for improvement in friendliness and effectiveness.

In addition, there were another 70 comments specific to roadways. Of these comments, 19 were related to inadequate speed enforcement.  Another 10 commented that speed enforcement is excessive.   Eleven of the comments were related to opening an entrance at the north end of the lake, 10 comments were related to installing sidewalks or a roadside walking path, and 10 comments were made regarding sharing the road.  This valuable input will be shared in detail with the appropriate board committees during upcoming meetings.



Maintaining Private and Community Property

A significant majority of respondents agreed that both private and community properties are well-maintained within Lake Heritage.  However, many of the 10% to 15% of respondents who disagreed with this felt strongly enough to write in comments about unsightly issues of concern to them.  Nineteen comments were received on unsightly properties, 5 comments on stormwater drainage issues and two each on burying utility cable and on car/boat storage issues on individual properties.  These results will be discussed with the beautification and maintenance committees.


Promoting a Sense of Community

The above chart reflects responses to the five survey statements about “promoting a sense of community”.  In all five statement areas, residents selected either a strongly agree or agree choice at a positive rate of 60% or better.

The three (3) highest scoring statements found over 80% of our community members feeling very positive about our staff and their friendliness  and neighborly attitudes; that there existed sufficient opportunities to become actively involved in Association committees, clubs and Board matters; and frequent opportunities to volunteer to be a part of initiatives that would improve our community amenities.

As for the other two statements, even though scoring above a 60% approval rating, one suggests room for improved communication from the Association to our residents and the other for having community members better utilizing common properties and amenities in a safer and more congenial manner.

The charts below reflect the 101 comments that respondents wrote in for this focus area. Because of the large number of comments for this focus area, we broke these comments into two areas:  1.Sense of Community (42 comments) and 2. Staff, Board, and Residents (59 comments.)

For the graph showing comments listed as “Sense of Community” the highest number of similar comments in a specific identified area requested that we begin to use (at a higher rate) Facebook postings, email blasts, our LHPOA website, and newsletters to better keep our residents informed, in a more timely fashion, of the happenings in Lake Heritage.

Three other areas of concern, each having five comments, were; meeting times not appropriate for working people, asking that we do not print names of delinquent members in the newsletter, and suggestions for newsletter monthly articles. It was nice to see the effort of our webmaster recognized with two “good website” comments.

In the “Staff, Board, & Residents” comment section, 16 residents expressed a concern that some staff members were not friendly. This number is in line with the 10% of respondents who rated this statement as disagree. The second highest area of concern fell into the category of “Our Board members do not seem open to input and are not good listeners when it comes to comments/suggestions made at monthly Board meetings”.  The remaining comments fell into five other categories with seven (7) or less responses.


Implementing and Maintaining LHPOA Rules and Regulations


This chart shows that the majority of residents agree that the LH rules and regulations are appropriate and effective.  The majority of respondents were also aware of the LH Appeals process.  On the “Are Administered Consistently and Fairly” statement, 42% agreed while 30% disagreed.  There were a number of comments written-in to further clarify points on this statement and those are summarized in the chart below.

There were 23 comments written in regarding the LH Rules and Regulations focus area.  Of these, six stated that there were too many rules or there is unfair enforcement of the rules.  There were four comments stating the rules need to be updated and four comments having to do with dogs barking or clean-up after dogs.  There were three comments asking for increased rule enforcement.


Improving Community Facilities and Amenities


For the focus area “Improving Community Facilities and Amenities”, the majority of respondents agreed that the community facilities are well maintained, that they are regularly monitored for community need and that there is sufficient fundraising to support new amenity projects.  The response to the statement “Input on amenities is solicited” indicates that there is room for improvement in this area.

There were 34 comments written for this focus area.  The comment most frequently submitted, 11 times, concerned pool rules or operation.  The next largest comment area with eight comments, was suggestions for new amenities.  Improvements to recreation areas and playgrounds and suggested modifications for access to the tennis courts or clubhouse each received 5 comments.