Residents provide views about community in survey

Highlands Ranch Community Association will review results

Posted 1/8/19

More than nine in 10 residents rated Highlands Ranch as an excellent or good place to raise children in a recent survey. Three-quarters of all respondents are in favor of sports, fitness and aquatic …

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Residents provide views about community in survey

Highlands Ranch Community Association will review results

Posted

More than nine in 10 residents rated Highlands Ranch as an excellent or good place to raise children in a recent survey.

Three-quarters of all respondents are in favor of sports, fitness and aquatic programs offered by the Highlands Ranch Community Association.

Roughly seven in 10 respondents agree that the pool at Southridge Recreation Center could use a remodel or expansion.

About eight in 10 respondents have done a favor for a neighbor over the course of a year.

Nearly one-third of respondents oppose assessment increases to fund improvements to HRCA's recreation centers.

Those are some of the results from HRCA's 2018 Community Survey, conducted once every four to five years to gauge residents' views of Highlands Ranch and make changes where needed. The HRCA contracts with National Research Center Inc. out of Boulder for the survey, which costs about $20,000, according to Jamie Noebel, HRCA's director of community relations.

Last fall, the survey was sent at random to 3,000 homes that pay HRCA assessment fees. The response rate was 32 percent, with 946 completed surveys, according to a report of the survey published on HRCA's website. Most respondents were between the ages of 25 and 74.

The survey's 79 questions were on topics ranging from the quality of life in Highlands Ranch to HRCA membership to funding.

Every home in Highlands Ranch sits within a mile of one of HRCA's four recreation centers. Throughout the year the facilities host a variety of recreational programs and family-friendly events, including wine tastings, concerts, dance performances, holiday celebrations and more. Southridge Recreation Center hosts monthly luncheons for seniors. Northridge Recreation Center had a facelift last year and is now home to a hot yoga studio.

Results from the 2018 Community Survey were in line with years past, said Noebel. Though she expects tweaks within the HRCA in the upcoming year, she doesn't foresee any major changes.

“It was a very positive survey for us as an organization,” Noebel said. “The lifestyle that people in Highlands Ranch have — they love it.”

This isn't the first time the community has received positive recognition in recent months. In December, Money Magazine named Highlands Ranch the best place to live in Colorado.

Survey results reflect the values of residents.

The majority of respondents, 87 percent, support keeping trails in the Backcountry Wilderness Area private to HRCA members. And at least nine in 10 respondents support the conservation of land and wildlife in the Backcountry. The 8,200-acre area borders the southern edge of Highlands Ranch and is home to 20 miles of natural surface trails, vegetation, elk, deer, black bears, mountain lions, turkey and other wildlife.

The HRCA Race Series for runners and mountain bikers, along with private swim lessons and drop-in fitness classes, were the highest-rated recreation programs. Roughly eight in 10 respondents laud the cleanliness of the rec centers' studios and equipment, and about six in 10 ranked the cost of fitness classes as “good.” A drop-in class is $9 for members.

The majority of respondents were not in favor of increasing recreational assessment fees to fund improvements to HRCA's facilities.

The survey also revealed that several residents aren't aware of HRCA's scope of programs.

Of the 12 percent of respondents who have a household member with special needs, 30 percent to 50 percent had never heard of camps and classes — including a Legos camp, tennis team, dance and yoga — offered by HRCA's Therapeutic Recreation program.

"The HRCA Therapeutic Recreation Program offers year-round, community-based recreation programs for those with special needs," said Summer Aden, the department's coordinator. "We serve all ages and ability levels through privates and group programming."

HRCA's program managers will review the results of the survey to see if and where changes are needed. A project on the radar in the upcoming years is a renovation to Eastridge Recreation Center, Noebel said.

“There will be a lot of tweaks we will make based on individual programs and services. There is not a program that we are going to cut or add,” Noebel said. “I think overall people are very satisfied with what we do as an organization for the community.”

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