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Published: 4/21/2010

Whitehouse survey: Keep small-town charm intact

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

At the top of the list of recommendations from Whitehouse residents who participated in a communitywide survey: preserve the village's small-town atmosphere.

Survey results were unveiled last week during two sessions in council chambers. Last June and July, council members went door to door with the survey.

About 30 residents gathered for the initial session, and several said after the presentation by Jordan Daugherty, the village's finance director and acting administrator, that they weren't surprised by the results, particularly the top recommendation to maintain Whitehouse's small-town flavor.

Of the survey's questions, the most significant responses were related to maintaining the small-town atmosphere, he said, and interest was expressed in well planned and controlled growth to make sure the hometown personality is preserved.

Nancy Beeman said she "loves it here," and said others share her passion for the small-town atmosphere. She has lived in the village three years, and based on that number, she's in the majority: results showed 55 percent of respondents have lived in Whitehouse fewer than 10 years.

Such a factor shows how the village is changing as the community becomes a blend of newcomers and residents with long-time ties, Mr. Daugherty said.

That statistic and others revealed during the survey will be considered as officials plan for the village's future.

The survey was conducted to help officials who are creating what is called the Village Vision, an agreed-upon snapshot of the village in 20 to 30 years.

Significant changes have occurred in the village the last 10 years, such as residential and commercial development, and Whitehouse officials were interested in getting residents' feedback.

All 1,600 households were visited, and of those, 688 responded, a 43 percent response rate. Officials had hoped for at least a 20 percent response, said Mr. Daugherty.

The 43 percent was an "incredible rate," testimony to this community and why people come there and want to live there.

Survey highlights include:

•92 percent are registered voters;

•46 percent of the households earn more than $75,000 a year;

•67 percent oppose "big box" stores in their community.



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