Sequim survey says in-city residents like quality of life

Households want staff to prioritize regulating development more

According to a recent survey, city households are generally satisfied living in the City of Sequim.

Of 506 city households, 80% opined in a Citizen Customer Satisfaction Survey that they are satisfied/very satisfied with the overall quality of life in Sequim, said Jason Morado, vice-president of community research with ETC Institute.

In December, city staff mailed about 4,500 surveys to City of Sequim households to gather information on satisfaction levels with city services and to better set the city’s priorities.

Barbara Hanna, Sequim’s communications and marketing director, said at the March 11 city council meeting that it was the first time the city has done a full scale community survey since 2011. ETC Institute led that survey as well.

The 2023 survey cost about $19,000, staff previously said.

At the March 11 meeting, Morado shared some “high level” results with a more comprehensive report to follow that will include results from households outside of city limits, he said.

Staff report the online survey required a home address to submit the form to better sort results.

City manager Matt Huish said the city’s senior management team will receive training on the survey’s software in the coming weeks to access comprehensive data, and that the information should be available for residents.

He previously said the survey will help staff better budget and prioritize action plans based on citizen input.

“The timing couldn’t have been more perfect going into an 18-month process (to update the city’s Comprehensive Plan),” Huish said on March 11.

“The information is really interesting and a pulse on our community,” Hanna said in response to a councilor question.

Residents’ input

Morado covered a wide-range of preferences in a presentation provided to the city council, discussing residents’ thoughts on what they like, what concerns them and what needs to be improved.

Overall, he said Sequim’s city services rated higher than the national U.S. average in 41 of 52 areas.

Of the highest rated services, 87% of households were satisfied/very satisfied with city parks, trails and open space.

Other services generally rated above 70% for maintenance, customer service, and solid waste.

For public safety, households like how quickly police respond (71% satisfied) and ongoing efforts to ensure the community is prepared for emergencies (60%).

They also like how city staff keep streets and public spaces clean (80%), mow/trim city areas (78%) and maintain city streets (76%).

Morado said the only city service with more dissatisfied residents (32%) than satisfied (27%, with 41% neutral) was for staff’s efforts to regulate development.

In questions about the planning department, households wrote that they were 40% satisfied with code/ordinances enforcement. For enforcing sign regulations, only 34% of households were satisfied compared to 42% and 45% regionally and nationally.

They also sought more enforcement of mowing/trimming of grass and weeds on private property (20% satisfied), and litter and debris cleanup on private property (17% satisfied).


Overall, 57% of city respondents felt the city is headed in the right direction, compared to 15% saying it’s going the wrong direction.

In regards to the quality of life, Morado said 89% are satisfied with Sequim’s “community livability” while 86% said it’s a good place to retire, and 85% said it’s safe.

About 61% said it’s a good place to raise children, while 57% say they receive good value received for their tax dollars/fees, compared to 36% and 33% regionally and nationally.

Sequim’s residents rate it lower than average as a good place to work (47% satisfied compared to 56% in the Northwest and 57% in the U.S.).

According to the survey, households’ top priorities for the next two years include: regulating development, maintaining streets/sidewalks and right of way, bettering the flow of traffic, and maintaining local police protection.

Morado said homelessness is a concern across the country, and in Sequim 59% of households felt it’s a moderate problem, and that 51% are unsure if the city is doing enough to address it.

For more on the survey, watch Morado’s presentation here: