2011-2012 APR Retrospective Survey

 APR Retrospective Survey

The first stage of the process occurred in March-April 2011 and involved an online survey with paper copies available by request. The survey served as an announcement for the beginning of the Retrospective and provided a means to obtain initial feedback about recent experiences with the APR process and general planning efforts. The survey was distributed to APR stakeholders who were identified as task force members, nominators, county staff, and other interested community participants.

The full set of results is located here.

Observations from the 2011-2012 Area Plans Review Retrospective (APR) Survey

The following observations are based on 128 completed surveys out of 296 total visits to the website.  The 83 partially completed surveys were not counted towards the observations.

Characterization of Respondents:

  • The highest response rate of the completed surveys was from interested community members (26%) or task force members (21%).  Note: the number of participant types is not equal.  For example, there are fewer elected or appointed office and staff involved in the process than task force members. 
  • Participants involved in the Mount Vernon District (39%) had the highest response rate, while Braddock District had the fewest (2%).  Note: the respondents were allowed to select up to three supervisor districts in which they participated.  Response rates may be related to the number of nominations in the district or the level of survey advertising.  For example, 33 items were reviewed in the Mt. Vernon District, while no items were reviewed in the Braddock district in the most recent South County process.     
  • Most respondents considered themselves active participants in land use process outside of the APR process (69%) and have participated in past cycles before the 2008-2009 North County and the 2009-2010 South County cycle (55%).

Highlights of APR Successes:

  • Accessibility of information on the DPZ website was beneficial to the majority of respondents, as the website was accessed frequently or somewhat frequently (54%- Question (Q) 5).  The majority of respondents (76%) also felt that the clickable map and postings of schedules and staff reports online improved their access to information (Q7).
  • Additional outreach methods, such as television programs and adjacent property notification letters seemed to improve the process for a high number of respondents (43%), but additional outreach should be done as 33% of responses were not aware of these methods (Q4).
  • Providing additional detail about the nominations and their impacts earlier in the process was beneficial to the majority of the respondents: for example, impact analyses available at task force meetings and in the preliminary staff reports (61%-Q10), more details on nominations form (65%- Q15), and clarification deadlines (57%- Q1)
  • The majority of the respondents preferred a regularly scheduled review process (Q24)
  • APR is seen as an opportunity for anyone to participate in land use process  (Q9, 12, 14)

Highlights of APR Challenges:

  • Moderate success was achieved with the screening of nominations.  An almost equal number of respondents said that the nominations were screened successfully and unsuccessfully (25%-28%, Q8).
  • Equal numbers of responses were received about whether or not changes to nominations mid-process should be allowed (41%- 40%- Q16).
  • Thoroughness of analyses and conclusions of special studies somewhat preferred over APR (29% to 22%- Q25).
  • Timeliness of out of turn Plan amendment format somewhat favored over APR.  (31% to 26%- Q26).
  • Review of nominations at a parcel-level was less preferred over distinct area level  (40%- Q23) or in identified study area (42%- Q27).
  • APR does not allow time for meaningful dialogue, debate, discussion about nominations (Q9)
  • More community education and engagement about planning should occur earlier in the process (Q6, 20).
  • More consultation with nominators should occur when nominations are formed, so that fewer changes need to be made during review.
  • Dissatisfaction expressed with anyone being able to submit a nomination and that the property owner does not need to give consent.




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