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Survey Results
1.      Respondent Demographics

Gender

89.5% of residents responded to this question.  A small number specified that they were responding as a couple.  Below is a breakdown of respondents by gender:

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Age
Residents were asked to identify which of the following four age categories they belonged to: Under 25; 25 – 45; 45 – 65; Over 65.  With 97% of residents responding to this question, the age distribution breakdown was as follows:

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Household Size

Residents were asked to identify the size of their household.  97% of the respondents answered this question; most residents live in either a two- or four-person household.

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Number of Years in Croton
Residents were asked how long they have lived in Croton.  To facilitate analysis, year categories were created of five-year increments.  Of the 97% who responded, most (21%) have lived in Croton for less than five years, followed by 15% of respondents who have lived in the Village between five and ten years.

File3.bmpKey:
1 = 0 – 4.9                       9 = 40 – 44.9
2 = 5 – 9.9                     10 = 45 – 49.9
3 = 10 – 14.9                   11 = 50 – 54.9
4 = 15 – 19.9                   12 = 55 – 59.9
5 = 20 – 24.9                   13 = 60 – 64.9
6 = 25 – 29.9                   14 = 65 – 69.9
7 = 30 – 34.9                   15 = 70 – 75
8 = 35 – 39.9

2.      Resident Preferences

Residents were asked to identify what three characteristics of Croton they like the best and the least and to identify the reasons they like or dislike their part of the Village.  Village character and open space amenities were cited most frequently as positive aspects of Croton, while sidewalks appears very frequently as a negative aspect on both a Village-wide and neighborhood level.

Croton Characteristics: What Do You Like Best About Croton?  
950 out of 956 respondents (99% response rate) answered this question.  Of the 12 choices offered, including a write-in option, the characteristics most frequently selected were:

Rank    Characteristic  Frequency       Percent (%)     
1       Small town character    659     69.4    
2       Hudson/Croton riverfronts       650     68.4    
3       Parks & open space      376     39.6    

The 274-person difference between the second and third ranked choices shows that village character and the riverfronts were overall more important than the category of Parks & Open Space.  A close fourth to Parks & Open Space was Regional Rail and Road Access, selected by 373 (39%) of the respondents.  

The remaining responses to this question are summarized below:  
  
Rank    Characteristic  Frequency       Percent (%)     
4       Regional rail & road access     373     39.3    
5       Residents' volunteerism & participation 192     20.2    
6       Artistic community      131     13.8    
7       Diverse population      127     13.4    
8       Greenery/Tree City USA  111     11.7    
9       Water quality   105     11.1    
10      Proximity to employment centers 67      7.1     
11      Other   60      6.3     
12      Cultural opportunities  17      1.8     

Sixty respondents (6.3%) opted to write in a characteristic.  Written responses were categorized as follows: accessibility/regional location; community facilities; environment/open space; housing; small town character; socioeconomic issues; village services; and visual appearance.  

Accessibility/regional location, especially proximity to New York City, small town character, and community facilities were those write-in categories most frequently commented on.  
Croton Characteristics: What Do You Like Least About Croton

941 out of the 956 respondents answered this question (98%).  The characteristics most frequently selected are listed below.  No clear majority was visible between the top two responses.  

Rank    Characteristic  Frequency       Percent 
1       Sidewalk condition/lack of sidewalks    363     38.6    
2       Rate/pattern of new development 341     36.2    
3       Appearance of commercial areas  310     32.2    

Below is a summary of the remaining choices.

Rank    Characteristic  Frequency       Percent 
4       Housing opportunities/rising costs      293     31.1    
5       Quality of commercial uses and centers  286     30.4    
6       Other   285     30.3    
7       Lack of recreational facilities for kids        209     22.2    
8       Speeding traffic        205     21.8    
9       Older sewer and water systems   145     15.4    
10      Inadequate car parking  105     11.2    
11      Traffic congestion      83      8.8     

30%, or 283, of the respondents opted to write in their own responses.  Write-in responses were grouped into the following categories: commercial amenities; community facilities; environment/open space; financial; government; housing/zoning; population diversity; rate/pattern of development; Indian Point; riverfront development; socioeconomic issues; tax rate; transportation/parking; village character; village services; visual appearance.

The write-in issue cited most frequently by residents was the high Village tax rate, followed by commercial amenities and issues relating to environment and open space. Residents complained of a lack of commercial diversity and amenities, noise from the train and highways and the deer population.

Village Neighborhood: Strengths and Weaknesses
Respondents were asked whether they liked or disliked their part of the Village and why.  938 residents responded (98%).  A large majority of those who responded to this question (95% or 888 respondents) stated that they liked their part of the Village; only 5% said that they did not (47 respondents).  

The responses to this question were categorized by respondents’ neighborhoods to facilitate analysis of this question.  

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Key:
1 = Harmon                      5 = Route 129 Area
2 = Mount Airy/Trails           6 = North Riverside Area
3 = Upper Village                       7 = North Highland/Riverlanding
4 = North End                   8 = Half Moon Bay

The 769 “yes” survey responses (the number of respondents who answered “yes” to whether they like their part of the Village) were then analyzed for the reasons for that response.  Across all eight neighborhoods, the most frequently selected strengths were the attractiveness of the neighborhood and the proximity to open space and/or the waterfront.  Convenience factors, such as proximity to schools or work, were often noted as well.   

The three most frequently selected reasons are listed below by neighborhood.  The number in parentheses reflects the number of respondents from that neighborhood.  

Harmon (302):  Attractive Area (67%); Close to Schools (52%); Near Community Facilities (45%)

Mount Airy/Trails (118): Attractive Area (85%); Rural Area (64%); Close to Open Space/Riverfront (37%)

Upper Village (165): Attractive Area (55%); Close to Open Space/Riverfront (49%); Near Community Facilities (47%)

North End (101): Attractive Area (78%); Close to Open Space/Riverfront (49%); Convenient to Work (26%)

Route 129 Area (24): Attractive Area (75%); Close to Open Space/Riverfront (58%); Rural Area (42%)

North Riverside Area (28): Close to Open Space/Riverfront (71%); Attractive Area (50%); Close to Family & Friends/Affordable Area tied (32%)

North Highland Riverlanding (11): Attractive Area (91%); Close to Schools/Close to Open Space & Riverfront tied (46%); Rural Area (36%)

Half Moon Bay (20): Close to Open Space/Riverfront (90%); Attractive Area (85%); Convenient to Work (50%)

Of the 47 residents who answered that they do not like their part of the Village,  the majority (18 residents) came from Harmon; this breakdown reflects the overall geographic distribution of respondents (38% from Harmon).  In Harmon, complaints included:
 crowding of houses and lack of open space
lack of housing maintenance and code enforcement
noise
too many cars
lack of sidewalks

From the Upper Village, the twelve (12) complaints focused primarily on speeding traffic and congestion, noise level, congestion and lack of shopping alternatives.   Mount Airy and North End both cited speeding traffic and noise.  Mount Airy also addressed poor road conditions and no local shopping; North End residents cited diesel engines and the lack of a local park.  

3.      Village Voice: Residents’ Ideas

The survey included a section where residents were asked to provide their ideas on Croton’s character and future development.  Over 500 written responses were received which addressed a wide range of issues.  While responses were too numerous to include in this report, a summary of responses by topic is provided below.   

Accessibility
Recommendations focused on safe and easy access to riverfronts and free access to recreation facilities.

Commercial Development and Diversity
Many residents addressed this issue, focusing on the need to improve the diversity and quality of retail and commercial opportunities to better accommodate residents and allow for more local shopping.  Some residents specified a lack of quality supermarkets, local greengrocers, bakeries and bookstores. Big-box and chain stores and other large complexes were viewed as undesirable.  At the same time, some residents also suggested using expanded commercial development to broaden the tax base and reduce the tax burden on residents.

Community Facilities
Recommendations ranged from additional recreational (swimming, tennis, playgrounds) and youth and senior facilities to improved parks and designated dog parks.  The need for improved maintenance at Duck Pond and Senasqua Parks was cited several times.  The importance of educational facilities and the possibility of an arts and cultural center were raised as well.

Environment
Respondents emphasized preservation, including maintaining open space, minimizing tree cutting, and protecting the rivers and riverfronts.  Residents also cited noise problems with the railroad station and highways.

Housing
A variety of recommendations were offered.  The majority of recommendations focused on the need for affordable housing, especially for seniors.

Infrastructure
Recommendations ranged from the need for sidewalks to improving lighting and access to recreational facilities, but most focused on the need for repaired and expanded networks of sidewalks and pedestrian linkages.

Development Patterns and Village Character
As with commercial development and environment, comments centered on preservation, maintaining the small-town and historic character of the Village and preventing overdevelopment, both along the river and throughout the Village.  Residents stressed the need for maintaining the quiet, quaint rural nature of the town.  On related comments about socioeconomic conditions, respondents cited concern over the cost of living and the impact on population diversity in the Village.

Local Government: Taxes and Spending and Code Enforcement
Overall, recommendations focused on the need for responsible fiscal planning, concerns about taxes and overspending as well as the need for more community input into local decision-making.  Residents expressed concerns that Village codes were not being properly enforced, resulting in more noise and parking than is permitted.  Taxes were viewed as too high and burdensome to residents.

Transportation
Transportation comments ranged from traffic mitigation during rush hour, to improving parking options at the train station, including providing parking discounts to Croton residents, to alleviating speeding along all roads and reducing noise from highways and the train station.

Village Services
Respondents praised the highway department but stressed the need to improve Village appearance through steps such as increasing the frequency of garbage collection.

Village Appearance
Residents recommended improving the appearance of Village gateways, such as the train station, increasing landscaping and general maintenance of Village properties, providing better signage, improving the appearance of both commercial areas and private homes.  Comments on this topic tended recommendations such as “the Village needs a makeover” or “a facelift.”

Waterfront Development
Comments related to the waterfront focused on accessibility for residents, but ranged from emphasizing passive recreation to the suggestions of recreation, events, restaurants and retail that will bring residents to the waterfront.  One residents recommended light industrial or commercial to shift the burden of real estate taxes.

Zoning
Zoning recommendations focused on limiting housing starts, restricting the construction of large homes on small lots, enforcing existing codes and preventing the conversion of single family homes to multifamily ones.