Township seeks student input in downtown development survey

Anya Zentmeyer

Allendale Township administrators are asking Grand Valley State University students to participate in an online survey they are conducting in cooperation with the township’s Downtown Development Authority.

Jerry Alkema, Allendale Township supervisor, said any student input they glean from the survey will be important as the township moves forward with public policy.

“Surveys give direction and feedback to what residents are looking for,” Alkema said. “Before we make public policy, we would like as much input at possible.”

Last December, Allendale Township Planning Commission released the results of a 10-question rezoning survey that reported 38 percent of the more than 300 respondents said the most pressing issue facing the township was the impact of GVSU.

Forty-seven point seven percent of those respondents, who were asked to check off their three greatest concerns in regards to GVSU’s impact on the area, reported that their greatest concern was with students not being a part of the Allendale Township community, 38 percent with the interaction between local businesses and college students, 36.8 percent with the location of student housing and 29.9 expressed concern that there was too much student housing.

Among a handful of other GVSU-related questions asked on last years’ rezoning survey, 71.7 percent – or 236 out of 329 total respondents – categorized “engaging GVSU as a community member” as an important issue, while 28.3 percent said it was not as important as others.

The current survey, 44 questions long, focuses more on specific questions about respondents shopping habits, restaurant preference and frequency of visits, transportation and recreation activities, along with a few others.

Answers to the survey are strictly confidential, Alkema said, and do not ask responders to provide a name, address, email or any other specific information for the person or residence responding.

“Your input will help with the planning process and efforts to enhance, preserve or expand activities and opportunities in Allendale,” he said.

The results to survey will be available to the public by the end of next month.

To fill out the questionnaire, visit or go to to view this story online for a direct link.
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