Considering the blistering heatwave that has been squatting over our community for the past few days, the old joke is especially appropriate: Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.
The same often is said about Columbia County development: Everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it.
In this case, that's not exactly true. And right now residents have the opportunity to do something about it specifically by talking about it.
Columbia County operates under the guidelines of a comprehensive Growth Management Plan that is approved every 10 years. The plan is supposed to project how growth is handled during policy discussions and zoning changes during that period, and an interim update has to be made halfway through.
The county's planning department, with assistance from the CSRA Regional Commission, is in the midst of that update. The public has a significant role to play in this process by filling out surveys with their views on the county's growth.
The survey, available on the county's Web site (www.columbiacountyga.gov); scroll down and click on "surveys" on the left; the GMP Partial Update survey is at the bottom of the list.
It's a short survey, and those filling it out don't have to list their names. It asks that those taking part simply check off whether they live in the unincorporated county or one of its two cities, whether they are a resident, property owner and/or business owner, and then to write out answers to two questions:
In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing Columbia County in the next five years?
Please provide us with any additional comments you have about the update of the plan.
"We need to make updates to the current plan to fit in with the current direction the county is going in," says Nana Mistry, the county's planning manager. "If there are issues that need resolving or improvements to be made, then we do need to know so we can consider them."
The next public meeting on this process is coming up in two weeks, so county officials hope as many residents as possible will complete these surveys by June 30.
It's a good time to not just talk about growth and development in Columbia County, but to take an opportunity to do something about it, too.
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