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Local communities continue to see increased growth

Alex Doty • Jun 3, 2016 at 2:00 PM

According to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau in May, all of Ottawa County’s townships grew from 2014 to 2015.

The cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg and Spring Lake Village also saw increases.

Spring Lake grew the most of all of the county’s cities and villages from 2014 to 2015, at 1.1 percent. Population grew from 2,452 in 2014 to 2,480 last year.

Village Manager Chris Burns said they’ve seen several new housing developments that have likely contributed to the growth.

“We have had two small condo developments take off (they're both built out now) and one more that's in the works, so I think those have contributed to the population increase within the village,” she said. “We have a senior housing unit that will break ground shortly which has an additional 24 units.”

Burns noted that all of the developments have been in the works since the housing bubble burst nearly a decade ago.

“It's nice to see them resurrected,” she said. “Of course, we love the fact that there are more people living here, as it adds vibrancy and energy to the village.”

All of the developments are within walking distance of area businesses, Burns said, so village officials hope more people equates to more money in the local economy.

“The Realtors that I have talked to have indicated that home inventory within the village is low, and when something comes on the market, it sells very quickly,” she said. “We think that this means people enjoy the level of service the village provides and are willing to pay for those services and conveniences.”

In Grand Haven Township, which saw a 0.9 percent increase — from 16,010 residents in 2014 to 16,162 last year — officials also say they continue to see signs of growth.

“Thus far, in 2016, the township has issued 27 permits for a new single-family dwelling,” Township Planner Stacey Fedewa said. “The bulk of new single-family dwelling permits are located in a new development or previous developments that didn’t build out prior to the recession —Cutter Park, Lakeshore Woods, etc.”

Fedewa noted that township officials don’t foresee new development slowing down anytime soon.

Earlier this year, a report was released that indicated Ottawa County’s population grew by 1.2 percent, or 3,357 residents, from 2014 to 2015. The county was also the fastest growing in Michigan from 2010 to 2015, with 6.1 percent growth.

Ottawa County remains the eighth most-populated county in the state, with 279,955 residents.

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