Sudden Valley 2020 Community Survey

Survey Says…

The preliminary results of the 2020 Sudden Valley Community Survey are here!

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to give us your input on the community we all call home.  We had a great response rate from the community – with over 5,200 write-in responses to the survey’s open-ended questions.

The Final 2020 Survey Results Report will be presented to the Board and Community in January. The Final Results Report will include all survey question results for both the online survey and mailed random sampling, all write-in responses, and the LRPC’s methodology and analysis.  The LRPC will also be hosting a Town Hall event in early 2021 to share the Final Survey Results Report and gather further input from the Sudden Valley membership.

Almost 80% of all respondents view Sudden Valley as an above average or better place to live.

The LRPC would also like to thank the Communications Committee Chair Joshua Bowens, for his efforts designing the graphics for the mailed 2020 Community Survey, as well as providing consistency to all promotional materials, including the Preliminary Results Infographic. The Committee is also very grateful for the assistance provided by the Communications Committee and other community members who took time out of their days to shake signs on the side of the road and posts to social media to help raise awareness of the survey.

The Committee would like to thank the SVCA Board, SVCA’s Technology Administrator Jon Kaer, and the SVCA Administrative staff for all their support and assistance with the survey.

The Community Survey is just the LRPC’s first outreach effort to gather input from the community. Community participation is key to clearly establishing the Community’s values, needs, and objectives that will guide the comprehensive Community Plan. Your Voice Matters!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated!

2020 Survey FAQs

Why did I receive the mailed survey?

To ensure the final survey results are balanced to reflect the opinions of the overall Sudden Valley membership, it was determined the LRPC would utilize a random sampling frame of all billable units/ lots within the Sudden Valley Community Association (SVCA) boundaries, excluding any properties with titles held by SVCA, Whatcom County, LWWSD, banks/lenders, and additional title-holding corporations with no direct Sudden Valley community involvement. The General Manager suggested sample size be broken down by Division, with all Divisions being sampled. Multiple lot owners were only allowed to have one opportunity to be part of the random sampling. For the purposes of the mailed survey, all out of Country members were removed. *However, all SVCA members and residents are invited to complete the online survey. The final random sampling was every 3rd lot in each SVCA Division.

What if I received a paper questionnaire in the mail and I have already completed the online survey?

While you can disregard the paper questionnaire if you have completed the online survey, we encourage anyone receiving the paper questionnaire to complete the survey and return it to the SVCA in the postage-paid return envelope by Sept 28th.

Will I skew the survey results if I complete the online survey and the mailed survey?

No. The online and mailed responses will be reported separately. However, as a randomly sampled SVCA owner, you play a key role in the success of the 2020 Sudden Valley Community Survey. By returning the mailed questionnaire, you are helping to confirm the validity of the survey responses.

I need an accommodation in order to participate in the survey. Can you help me?

Yes. Please contact the or call SVCA Admin at 360-734-6430 .

Why is the LRPC administering this survey instead of the SVCA Board?

The SVCA Long-range Planning Committee is a standing committee mandated by the SVCA Board of Directors and the SVCA membership to perform the following:

                The Committee shall continually maintain a comprehensive, relevant and vital Sudden Valley Community Plan, covering the next three (3), five (5), and ten (10)years, including a formal assessment of community membership needs, with annual updates, and a major review at least every three (3) years.

                (ii) The Sudden Valley Community Plan shall focus on Association community development, services, parks and recreation, infrastructure, facilities, and increasing non-dues revenue. The Plan shall also provide recommendations for the creation or elimination of specific policies essential to achieving the goals of the Plan.

                (i) The Committee shall provide written and oral reports to the Board periodically throughout the year. At least once annually, the Committee shall provide to the Board the Sudden Valley Community Plan as described above.

                (ii) When new Boards are elected, no later than the second meeting of that Board, leadership from the Committee will present the current three (3), five (5) and ten (10) year Plans to the new Board.

                (iii) It is the responsibility of the Board to ensure the Sudden Valley Community Plan is utilized in annual departmental budget development as well as in development of the annual budget proposed for approval by the members.


                The Committee shall coordinate with the Communication Committee to communicate with the community as needed.

                (ii) The Committee shall coordinate with the Finance Committee to maintain awareness of financial issues and to assist in budget planning processes as necessary to ensure strategic goals are met.

Why does the survey only focus on a few facilities?

The LRPC had to balance inclusion with survey length. It simply isn’t feasible to survey the community in-depth regarding all SVCA facilities. While there will inevitably be some changes to future survey questions, the goal of this year’s Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) was to create a questionnaire that will be replicated annually, and act as tool to assess the Sudden Valley memberships’ needs. The Capital Planning questions reflect currently proposed Capital Projects and issues that have potential to impact dues and assessments, requiring a vote of the membership. These exploratory questions will aid the LRPC and Board with the budgeting and planning process.

How long will it take to complete the Survey?

The questionnaire takes approximately 20 minutes. That’s 20 minutes that can impact the future of Sudden Valley for years to come.

Why are we being asked to rate the Board and General Manager’s performance?

Tracking the Association’s performance on a regular basis is crucial to a successful planning process. By tracking and comparing these measures annually, the Association is able to determine how well its meeting residents’ needs.

It’s difficult to separate the actions of the board as a whole from the actions of individual board members.

This Board performance questions are asking the respondent’s impression of “the Board”. There is an additional open-ended question if the respondent wants to comment in more detail.

I don’t understand if the emergency preparedness questions are about what is being done by staff or what is being done by the emergency preparedness committee.

These questions are measuring a respondent’s perception of Safety within Sudden Valley. The results to this question will determine if the issues need to be addressed differently. We feel that would be the appropriate time to distinguish responsibilities.

The Capital planning questions don’t say how you will implement the options proposed.

The LRPC feels there is no reason to spend time and money exploring “What if…?” scenarios while we are still determining members’ interest in pursuing the options listed.

Why was golf singled out?

It wasn’t. The Golf Course questions are intended to move our Community beyond the anecdotal. The Golf Course response options were chosen because they are the options we have heard repeated by members for several years. The LRPC is seeking to determine if anecdotal evidence is indicative of the memberships’ true desire.

Please keep in mind, the Community Survey is just one part of the comprehensive planning process. Our LRPC is endeavoring to create a consistent and impartial planning framework that encourages resident participation and a planning process that offers assurance to all residents that it cannot be directed by a rogue Board or management.

I feel like previous survey results have been ignored or weren’t valid due to low participation. Why should I think this survey will be any different?

The new Sudden Valley Comprehensive Planning framework will provide guidelines similar to those followed by Whatcom County. Ultimately, these guidelines will be incorporated into the entire SVCA Organizational Structure. This will not only create consistency and continuity in the SVCA planning process, but membership, volunteers, and staff can begin to trust the planning process will deliver a result based on Community input, SVCA’s financial statements, applicable laws, and the recommendations of management and other relevant experts.