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Community profiling

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:04 PM

During a joint meeting earlier this month, the two municipalities' parks and recreation committees unanimously supported the venture.

If the Township Board and Village Council agree, each municipality would kick in up to $3,000 to hire an outside firm to collect the demographic data that would provide a comprehensive picture of the area's strengths and deficiencies. Examples include median incomes, population, and the number of tennis courts and soccer fields.

Township Community Development Director Lukas Hill, who also serves as the village's zoning administrator, spearheaded the idea for the community profile. If it gets final approval, he said the project would likely be completed by early summer.

“It's a nice place to start, as far was working together and seeing where we stand from a community standpoint in terms of land use, transportation and environmental features,” he said. “It gives us an idea what direction we're headed. You get big bang for your buck in doing one profile.”

Hill said the document could lead to a collaboration on a parks and recreation master plan, which the township is due to update this year. The village must update its parks and rec plan no later than 2014.

“The independent consultant will say, 'Here are your assets and your opportunities,'” Hill said. “It will give us a hint on what we need to do from a planning perspective to keep our community thriving.”

Village Manager Chris Burns said she's excited about collaborating on a document that typically serves as the first chapter to master plans.

“By sharing in the development of the profile, we not only save our taxpayers money but we end up with a cohesive document that can serve numerous purposes,” she said. “It just makes sense to do it together and get a bit of a bigger picture.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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