LRPC Survey Update: What Makes Oakmont Attractive

Jim Brewer

Whether they are longtime residents or brand new to Oakmont, it’s the beautiful Valley of the Moon and a close proximity to family and friends that probably drew them here.  But whether Oakmont is succeeding in its mission to be considered “premier” depends a lot on how that goal is interpreted. 

At the request of the Board of Directors, the Long Range Planning Committee was asked to get an understanding of the qualities and attributes that define Oakmont and whether those attributes were correctly reflected in the Oakmont mission statement.

In July, a subcommittee conducted 26 interviews with people considered to be community leaders and compared that with 93 new residents who filled out a questionnaire for the OVA. Age ranges were fairly balanced but there were more women respondents than men. 

Still, the results in both studies were remarkably similar. 

OAKMONT’S ATTRACTIONS

“The three most important reasons for deciding to move to Oakmont were: the natural beauty of the location, the wide variety of activities and opportunities to meet socially, and the proximity to family members,” said subcommittee member Marlena Cannon in a report to the LRPC. “Other factors were listed as important were safety, association amenities and weather.”

LRPC  member George McKinney, reporting on the new resident results, said location, family and activities also topped the list, and, again, safety stood out as a major reason for moving to Oakmont. 

“In both groups, quite a number of people had family near here, had family that had lived here, had friends who lived here, or were from Sonoma County,  so they knew Oakmont before deciding to come here,” McKinney said.

The subcommittee also determined that the responses showed that the word “premier,” as it is used in the mission statement, “has wide interpretation and is fluid, reflecting individual people’s experiences and wants rather than specific meaning as it relates to Oakmont.”

The mission statement says “Our primary purpose is to provide OVA members with athletic, recreational and club facilities to enhance the quality and enjoyment of their Oakmont residence, and to have Oakmont perceived as a premier active adult retirement community in comparison with other similar retirement locations, thereby contributing to the well-being of the residents and to the preservation of property values.”

The LRPC also felt that a new community-wide survey, is not something that should be undertaken now, but could be conducted if the committee or the Board of Directors require answers to specific questions. The previous survey was done in 2014.

“The subcommittee believes that the data collected from the interviews will adequately inform the LRPC, and ultimately the board, as it starts making long-term and short-term strategic decisions,” Cannon said in her report.