Residents often ask why a certain type of service is or isn't going into the commercial areas of our neighborhood. Neither the Master Association nor Douglas County can mandate which services eventually go in. The land owners have rights to develop the land, and the private market will decide what types of businesses locate here. The fact is that the stores and services we see are a result of developers’ own market research. And in the end, as individual consumers, we always have the right to vote with our wallets.
However, the Master Association can, and does, encourage developers to consider the needs and wants of residents. In that spirit, a survey was devised last year that was completed by almost 600 residents.
The Commercial Development and Land Use survey gave CPN residents a chance to offer input and feedback, while providing business owners with some free market research.
So, what did residents say they want in the neighborhood?
The survey revealed that CPN residents are not homogeneous. One person’s dream is another’s disaster. “Blockbuster would be great,” said one respondent. “Anything but Blockbuster!!” said another. (Thirty-three percent of respondents replied favorably to a video rental store.) And while many residents (43%) responded that they want an ice cream store, the Village Creamery did not survive and closed just last year.
The top vote-getters were “public” services: a Post Office (52%), a Library (50%), and a Recreation Center (45%). Restaurants received the highest scores for “commercial” services (48%). CPN currently has 12 eating establishments, and the survey showed interest in additional variety. Mexican and casual–dining received the most positive comments.
Although commercial child care appeals to a smaller group, (23%), it drew some of the more impassioned comments. ‘WE DESPERATELY NEED THIS” said one. “It’s too late for us to use, but CPN needs one,” said another.
Other services with some interest from residents included a garden center, small hardware store, private health club, and bicycle shop. Among new ideas, residents came up with a church, a cinema, a phone center, an art museum, and a cigar store.
What don’t we want? ”No big box stores!” was the rallying cry of many residents who, in reality, probably don’t need to worry about a Home Depot coming to CPN. Our area is not the preferred market for those types of stores, which require more traffic than exists here. But a few residents voted for stores such as a Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Least desired among respondents is “more of the same.” For gas stations, nail salons, and banks, “we have enough already” was the most common complaint.
At the bottom of the list were dry cleaners with a 3% favorable response, convenience stores, which received 2%, and liquor stores, which garnered 1%. “No more liquor stores. Please, I beg you,” wrote one respondent.
Another section of the survey gave residents a chance to discuss land use, particularly for the parcel at the corner of Monarch and CP Parkway. Many are sensitive to the idea of bringing traffic that deeply into the neighborhood. Others are concerned about the proximity to Timber Trail Elementary.
The most requested choices for that location were a recreation center, a park, off-leash area, a parking area for the sled hill, or any other type of open space. However, none of these uses would give the land-owners the profits they expect from that location.
If some type of buildings were to be built on this land, what would people prefer? The next most preferred use for the Monarch/Parkway parcel was a church, followed by commercial child care. Retail or business services also received some votes, as well as many “Anything but retail,” comments. Interestingly, whenever meetings have been held about this parcel, residents vocally supported town-homes as well as assisted living/senior living facilities. But when it came time to taking the actual survey, residents gave these types of facilities low scores.
Thanks to all those who answered the call and filled out the survey. The CPN Master Association will continue to share the information with the developers whose decisions will so greatly impact our neighborhood.