Star Democrat, August 9, 2023
Filed: NATALIE JONES firstname.lastname@example.org
Respondents Describe Easton as peaceful and welcoming
EASTON — Young adults in the Easton area want to see more housing options and entertainment, according to results from a town comprehensive plan survey. The survey results, presented by Easton Economic Development Corporation interns Zach Spofford and Dre Brown at the Easton Town Council’s meeting Monday, were gathered to get a pulse on what younger adults want to see in the town. The data collected will help with the town’s comprehensive plan rewrite.
Spofford is a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland. Brown is a ninth grader at St. Michaels Middle High School. Both worked to collect survey results.
Seventy-nine individuals, split nearly evenly between male and female respondents, participated in the interns’ survey through an in-person interview or online questionnaire. Just over half of survey respondents live within the Town of Easton, with others living in Talbot County, St. Michaels, Denton and Cambridge. The bulk of survey takers were between 20 and 40 years old, Spofford said. About 73% of those surveyed were white, 19% were Black and 3.6% were Asian and Hispanic.
Five words — peaceful, welcoming, community, family and home — were the most common words survey takers used in describing Easton, Brown said.
As part of the survey, the interns asked young adults which parks and facilities their households utilized most often. The YMCA, Idlewild Park and Rails to Trails were close to the top.
Survey takers said the main issues the town is facing include overdevelopment, affordable housing, recreational activities and traffic, Spofford said. About 29% of young adults said they wanted to change Easton’s entertainment, and roughly 24% said they wanted to see more housing options. About 13% of survey takers said they wanted to see affordability within the town.
As for improvements, survey takers said they wanted more recreational activities, like mini golf, an arcade, batting cages, a driving range, marina improvements and a skate park. More entertainment options, like live music, standup comedy and film festivals, were suggested. In terms of shopping and dining, young adults said they wanted more high-end retail and a grocery store within walking distance of downtown Easton, Spofford said. Bars for younger people, a steakhouse, fast casual restaurants and waterfront dining were on the list.
Survey takers also said they would like to see bike lanes, a dog park and a remodel of Easton High School.
Ward 4 Councilman the Rev. Elmer Davis Jr. asked the interns what they would like to see in a dream world. Spofford said he’d love bringing a Topgolf to Easton, but didn’t think there were enough people in the area for it. A recent graduate of Easton High School, he said he’d also like to see improvements there.
Brown said he would like to see affordable housing. “…because a lot of people, they just can’t afford rent of housing in general, and I just think it’s a really big struggle right now,” he said, also mentioning inflation as prohibitive to housing. “I just want to see more people be able to live here and experience the same joy as living in the Town of Easton, or just in Talbot County in general.