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Peaceful, but where to live?

A survey mailed out the Langley residents last month shows that some city residents have a strong desire for more medical facilities and that they hate parking downtown in the summer as much as they did in 1991.

The survey, which is part of the city’s latest swipe at long-term planning, caught the attention of the more than 130 Langley residents who filled it out. It also started city planning officials on their way toward planning for up to 1,000 new residents in the next 18 years.

Going over the results with the Langley City Council last Wednesday, city planner Jack Lynch said the overall picture the survey paints is of a quiet city where people live for the lifestyle and not so much the conveniences, such as a nearby gas station or hospital.

“It’s generally a quiet and peaceful place except, I guess, if you live up by the middle school,” Lynch said.

While the noises of the school day at Langley Middle School did register on the survey’s complaint measure it, like a few other complaints, were not particularly forceful. Not that the 15-question survey was intended to dredge up complaints. Its focus was on finding out what Langley residents want out of the city over the next two decades.

Lynch said the survey sample, which is a little more than 10 percent of Langley’s population, was concerned about population growth and about preserving the city’s current character and the open fields on Ray Fossek’s farm along Sixth Street.

Councilmember Neil Colburn noted there was a little concern over affordable housing from respondents. Finding places for low- and middle-income people to live will, however, be part of the city’s planning effort.

Councilmember Ray Honerlah said affordable housing will be one of the most difficult goals for the city to achieve.

“It’d be a helluva lot more easy to make sure people had more money,” he quipped.

The city will continue to compile surveys over the next few weeks. The results will be a starting point for planning discussions through September. The city’s planning department is expected to turn out a planning document by the end of the year that parallels Island County’s planning through 2020.

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