Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Survey asks Norfolk residents to rank importance of light rail, flood protection, affordable housing

The City's "red zone", identified as a high-density area with lost of assets not easily removed or replicated (Courtesy of peakdemocracy.com)
The City’s “red zone,’ identified as a high-density area with lost of assets not easily removed or replicated. (Courtesy of peakdemocracy.com)

NORFOLK – Light rail, affordable housing, flood protection – those are some of the topics the city wants residents to prioritize in its online survey.

Earlier this year, Norfolk collected data from residents that identified key areas of the city in terms of economic, cultural, and potential value. The city is now using that feedback and the survey results to establish a long-term strategy called “Vision 2100.”

“We make decisions today that will affect us for the next 30, 40 50 and 100 years,” Principal Planner Jeremy Sharp said in a December community meeting about Vision 2100, which will be a new chapter in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

The survey gets residents to think like planners. It breaks down the city into high-density, low-density and park-space areas. Each area has six to eight topics, and residents are asked to rank them in importance. For example, the city’s easternmost area is considered to be high-density, with many assets that aren’t easily removed or replicated.

The topics that survey participants can rank for that area include affordable housing, flood protection, additional dense development and light rail linkages. Topics for a more central area of the city with lower density development include living shorelines, potential beach erosion and water quality.

The highest-rated issues from the first 18 responses to the survey include:

  • Economic/educational draw for new people (easternmost section; high-density area with significant risk)
  • Living shorelines/sustainable adaptation to flood risk (mid-section of city; lower-density area with risk)
  • Light rail/improved transit (mid/western portion of city; open for revitalization or transformation with lower risk)
  • Strong safe neighborhood (westernmost section of city; low-density area with low risk )

The survey will close around the end of next week.

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