10 Observations about the Marble Falls Community Survey


Over the last couple of months, Marble Falls residents and stakeholders were given the opportunity to share their opinions about the community and its priorities through the process of updating our Comprehensive Plan.  General questions about quality of life, services, taxes, and more were accompanied by requests to rank specific amenities (existing and proposed) in priority order.  While survey information is still being processed by the consultant and converted into narratives, charts, and graphs, we were given a sneak peek at the raw data.  Here are some of the things I found most interesting.

  1. 91.46% of the respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with Marble Falls as a place to live, and 90.87% were satisfied or very satisfied with Marble Falls as a place to raise a family.  These were the two highest scores among the general satisfaction questions.  The lowest satisfaction score was given to Marble Falls as a place to play; at 75.91%, that’s still not bad at all.
  2. With regard to the City’s performance in specific areas, respondents were most satisfied with maintaining the quality of life (78.21%), followed by encouraging economic growth (70.92%).
  3. Not surprisingly, high marks were given to fire, EMS, courts, and police services—each with between 92 and 97% satisfaction ratings—while respondents were generally dissatisfied with street maintenance and repair and sidewalks.
  4. In terms of parks and recreation, the most important issue identified was developing additional lake-based recreational opportunities and access for the public—kayaking, swimming, public beach, etc.
  5. Lake access and amenities also showed up near the top of the list of economic development issues, along with improving Downtown’s character and sense of place.  Respectively, 75.63% and 79.69% of respondents found these issues to be important or very important.
  6. The Visitor Center is an architectural standout.  83 respondents mentioned the Visitor Center as a good example of the architectural aesthetic that should represent future development.  This was followed by Main Street (23 mentions), The Landing (14 mentions), and Old Oak Square (13 mentions).  Conversely, examples of an undesirable architectural aesthetic included strip centers along 281 (22 mentions), the Visitor Center (17 mentions), City Hall (14 mentions), and the Police Station (10 mentions).
  7. Retail and restaurants dominated the list of desired commercial services.  Tar-Cadem-HEB is the new standard.
  8. The most important overarching issues over the next 5-10 years were identified as traffic flow and safety (88.27%), street repair and replacement (83.88%), and quality development along major thoroughfares (77.15%).  Attracting new commercial development and promoting tourism also ranked high on the list at 74.75% and 73.68%, respectively.
  9. It seems that the only two things respondents would even consider supporting by way of a tax increase would be street repair and traffic flow.  With that said, no proposed project received more than 63% support if tied to an increase in taxes.  The average level of support for all projects potentially funded through tax increases was less than 42%.
  10. Overall, 49.1% of the respondents were aged 55 or older, 59.8% lived in the city limits, and 68.0% had no children living in the house.