Columbia County planning staffers want to know if area residents would like to see an outlet mall inside county limits.
A new survey that can be found on the county's Web site through Jan. 31 will gauge public interest in an outlet mall within the county.
Residents are asked several questions, including whether they shop at outlet malls and whether they would visit a similar establishment in Columbia County.
"We'd like to use the information to supply to developers so that they can maybe think more seriously about this," said county Planning Manager Nayna Mistry.
The survey was prompted by responses to a 2010 retail survey in which many participants indicated that an outlet mall would be a good addition in the county, Mistry said.
"We thought we'd develop that idea a little bit more and do another survey specifically for the outlet mall to get more information about that," she said.
In addition to Columbia County residents, Mistry said she hopes to get people from outside the county to participate in the survey. Many shoppers, she added, will travel two to three hours to visit an outlet mall.
As for a location, Mistry and Development Services Director Richard Harmon said that such developments are best situated on a main thoroughfare, such as Interstate 20
"The obvious place is the Gateway," Harmon said, referring to the area of I-20 at Horizon South Parkway near Grovetown. "That takes it out of reach, out of mind, out of sight for people who don't want to see a lot of asphalt."
Results of the survey, as well as an outlet mall analysis likely will be released next month during a planning commission meeting.
To participate in the survey, visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.
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