The vision statement in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), adopted by the village council in 2013, says:
Vision: Preservation of Flat Rock as a small, quiet historic village situated in a wooded scenic landscape blending quality residential homes and open spaces.
This underscores the Flat Rock village council’s commitment to the village’s historic past and to its cultural landscape. But how were the CLUP goals with their specific action items determined, and are they reflective of what residents want or need, especially on transportation issues?
The Village of Flat Rock was incorporated in 1995. In 2004 and in 2010, the village conducted surveys of residents to gather information on what residents might want to see in the village. The formats of the two surveys were very different as was the information looked for and the amount of feedback received.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the Village of Flat Rock had a population of 2,565. As of June 1, 2004, 708 residents had responded to the survey questionnaire (approximately 28% of village residents). Based on a formula from SurveyMonkey, that number of responses is a respectable sample size, giving the survey a 95% confidence level with a 4% +/- margin of error.
What does the 2004 survey show?
For the question, Thinking about the pace of growth in Flat Rock, which of the following statements comes closest to your opinion?, most respondents said that growth was about right (49%) or too fast (40%). Only 1% said that growth was too slow.
Another question asked, In what location, if any, do you have difficulty walking? While the survey does not show how many answers were received for this question, it notes that responses listed: the post office; Little River Road & Route 25 (now NC 225); Wrinkled Egg; Highland Lake Road; Kenmure to Dean’s (now Village Cafe & Pub); Claremont; West Blue Ridge; post office to Carl Sandburg; The Book Exchange (now HFR Cultural Center); the Singleton Centre (now Flat Rock Square); and the Flat Rock Playhouse/Carl Sandburg. Most of these locations are in the center of the village and over the past ten years sidewalks have been installed.
Respondents were split 50/50 on the question, Do you think Flat Rock needs more sidewalks, trails and other pedestrian paths? In the following question, Which issues concern you most about US 25 and/or any other major roads through the Village?, the number one response was Preservation of visual quality (58%) with Speeding as second (51%).
On the question of Would you favor bicycle lanes within Flat Rock?, 52% said No and 48% said Yes.
So the 2004 survey shows Flat Rock residents were split evenly on whether to develop more sidewalks and trails, and were No on adding bike lanes in the village.
Now in 2018, the village has sidewalks along Greenville Highway in the center of the village, along West Blue Ridge to Bonclarken, and along Little River Road to Carl Sandburg, which seems to cover most of the areas mentioned on the returned surveys (although there is no indication of how many respondents answered that question).
* “Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.” – from The Adventure of the Copper Beeches by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle