The City of Boulder and Boulder County updated the Comprehensive Plan for the Boulder Valley in 2016 and 2017. Among other opportunities for community input, a statistically-valid random sample survey was administered to gather input from residents of the community in 2015. Additionally, a series of 6 focus groups were conducted as a follow-up to the survey, to probe in more detail some of the topics and issues raised in the survey results. RRC Associates was responsible for the online survey and focus groups, with a detailed final written report and several presentations to the City Council and Planning Board on the results.
The surveys and focus groups addressed a variety of topic areas that are important focus areas for the BVCP update, including community values, livability and growth management, design, neighborhoods, and related issues.
A total of 6,000 survey invitations were mailed to a random sample of Boulder Valley households in September 2015, including households located in the City of Boulder and in unincorporated Area II and III. All households in the Boulder Valley were intended to be included in the sample frame, regardless of voter registration status, housing tenure, or other characteristics.
The survey questions were grouped by topic area, including familiarity with the Plan, community values, community livability and growth management, neighborhoods, height of buildings, additional comments/suggestions regarding the Plan, and respondent demographics. In several sections of the survey, respondents were given the opportunity to provide open-ended comments about survey topics. The open-ended questions were frequently asked as a follow-up to a closed-ended question, intended to elicit more detailed input related to the issue at hand, while other open-ended questions were stand-alone questions.
RRC Associates was selected to administer a second survey in the fall of 2016, which focused more directly on specific feedback to possible land use changes and potential options to include more housing, including in existing single family neighborhoods and also in retail and light industrial areas of Boulder. The second survey also gathered feedback on neighborhood improvements, development benefits, height of buildings, and other important topics.