In terms of future growth in Columbia County, residents are most concerned about traffic and maintaining quality, according to a recent survey.
Results from a growth-related survey were released Thursday during a public meeting to discuss a partial update to the county's comprehensive plan, which is required by state law every five years.
Of the 100 surveys returned to the CSRA Regional Commission, respondents identified as priorities the need to effectively manage growth and promote smart and quality growth in the county.
CSRA Regional Commission Senior Planner Justin Crighton said creating "growth corridors" to link nodes and redeveloping areas in decline, such as the Martinez area, would address those concerns.
The county's current growth management plan designates commercial growth in specific nodes to minimize urban sprawl. Each node is assigned a different tier level depending on its size.
"The problem is that before this policy was instituted, there was some development in between the nodes," Crighton said. "The current land use policy doesn't accurately reflect the situation on the ground."
Growth corridors would allow for mixed-use development between nodes based on the intensity of land use, Crighton said.
"We want a planned unit development concept along those nodes," he said. "Overall, it's a more efficient use of land."
County Planning Commission Chairwoman Jean Garniewicz said a major problem faced by planning and zoning board members is the roads between each node.
"Instead of having strip malls, have these interconnecting areas and have mixed-use developments in it," she said. "That may be the answer to some of the problems along Washington Road with some of these little pockets."
About 10 participants, consisting mostly of county officials and planning staff, were given a second survey to be used for the short-term work program.
The survey will soon be available on the county's Web site, www.columbiacountyga.gov.
A third public meeting will be held before the short-term work program is reviewed by the local and state agencies. The partial update could be finalized by early next year.
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