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RMOW launching 10th annual Community Life Survey

Residents, second homeowners will give their input via phone or web poll

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The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) wants your say in its 10th annual Community Life Survey, which launches next week.

The phone survey will poll local residents and second homeowners on municipal operations and services as well as general aspects of community life. Conducted through random calls, the phone survey runs the week of Jan. 17th and will end when 300 full-time residents and 200 part-time residents have been interviewed.

For the first time, the RMOW will interview 200 seasonal residents in-person at select locations throughout the resort. A web survey is also slated for a future date.

"This is a very important survey for us," noted Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. "The results from the survey are taken into account in planning our budget, in our work plans and (help us identify) the areas we need to focus on."

Specifically, the RMOW said the 2017 survey would also be used for tracking serving performance for the municipality's Corporate Plan, as well as measuring progress towards the priorities highlighted in the Whistler2020 Community Comprehensive Sustainability Plan.

Last year's survey showed residents continue to be happy with Whistler as a place to live, with 94 per cent of permanent residents saying they were either very or somewhat satisfied, and 98 per cent of second homeowners reporting the same.

A sticking point for many in the 2016 survey was parking, with only 61 per cent of respondents reporting they were very or somewhat satisfied with parking options in the resort.

Unsurprisingly, housing remained a concern, with 46 per cent of permanent residents calling it the most important issue facing the community — a 21-per-cent jump over the 2015 survey.

Last year, for the first time, the municipality used a computerized survey of four jurisdictions in the region — West Vancouver, the District and City of North Vancouver and New Westminster — as benchmarks for Whistler. In every measurable category, Whistler respondents were more satisfied than their Lower Mainland counterparts.

The numbers were also up when looking at municipal services; there was a 19.5-per-cent increase in satisfaction with the municipal hall building and land development services, while the RMOW's customer service counter saw a 7.5-per-cent rise in satisfaction.

The survey is being carried out by Toronto-based Forum Research Inc., which conducted the 2015 Community Life poll.

Survey results are expected to come before council sometime in the spring. Visit whistler.ca/survey for more.

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