In Richard Harmon's opinion, Columbia County is an ideal location for retirees to relocate.
The county Development Services director wants to see if others agree by offering a survey on the county's Web site. It is aimed particularly at people nearing retirement age and military members at Fort Gordon.
"Those folks typically don't bring crime with them," Harmon said. "They don't bring children, which impacts the school system. But they do bring tax dollars and expendable income."
Participants will be asked 18 questions, ranging from importance of amenities to home style and size.
A multifamily housing report completed in 2010 prompted Development Services staff to further gauge the climate regarding retirement-type communities, Harmon said. Results from the survey will become part of that study.
"I think the key to this is the survey," he said. "We want to see if we need to go in some direction we haven't even thought of."
There are a handful of developments in the county that target an older demographic. The county's relatively close proximity to the coast, mountains and major cities, coupled with a lower cost of living, make it attractive, Harmon said. In addition, retail and medical sectors continue to grow.
"We have an abundance of medical (facilities) ... along Belair Road, and we've got more coming," he said.
A possible outcome, he said, would be to create a zoning code specific to retirement development.
The survey will remain online for 30 days, or longer depending on the response. To participate, visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.