2 Enhance "Sense of Place"

Strengthening and enhancing a "sense of place" in the city is an important consideration in this Plan of Conservation and Development. In an online survey conducted as part of the planning process, respondents indicated that strengthening and enhancing a "sense of place" in certain areas (Thames Street, Five Corners, gateways, etc.) was their highest priority for the future of the city.

And, according to the Economic and Market Trends Analysis prepared for the Town of Groton in 2016, quality of place has become one of the most important aspects of economic development today. Enhancing the quality of place in the city (and the Town) will ultimately help attract new residents, workers, businesses, and investment.

The term "sense of place" refers to locations which exhibit characteristics that make a place special or unique and/or foster a sense of fondness or attraction. Places said to have a strong "sense of place" have a strong identity whereas "placeless" locations are those that have no special relationship to the places in which they are located-they could be anywhere, roadside strip shopping malls, gas stations and convenience stores, fast food chains, and chain stores.

It is a goal of this Plan to establish, maintain, and enhance areas in order to strengthen the overall "sense of place." Using the physical configuration of the city to strengthen the identity of the City of Groton and reinforce the activities occurring in the city has the potential to pay dividends in the long run. Studies have found that strengthening "sense of place" also enhances economic returns, community character, and quality of life.

To enhance "sense of place", the city intends to encourage vibrant, mixed-use nodes with a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere which will be attractive to residents, employees, and visitors. 2-Insert

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Strategies To Strengthen and Enhance Five Corners

 PriorityLeaderPartners
Overall   
1. Continue to encourage establishment of a vibrant mixed-use node in the Five Corners area.7.22PZCEDC Staff
2. Use the "village district" provisions in the Zoning Regulations to establish and enhance the desired village character and scale of the Five Corners area.5.56PZCStaff
3. Continue planning for the Five Corners area in order to promote the desired outcomes.3.33PZCEDC Staff
4. Encourage or require shared parking and ample sidewalks3.89PZCStaff
5. Encourage the concentration of appropriate development around the Five Corners intersection to create a "City Center" which will serve the residents of the city and local employees.6.67PZCCouncil EDC Staff
6. Discourage the establishment of automobile-oriented establishments and/or drive-through type establishments in the Five Corners area.5.56PZCStaff
Private Investment / Development   
7. Continue to promote development which contributes to the overall vision for the Five Corners area as a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use area.6.67PZCCouncil EDC Staff
8. Work with property owners (including Electric Boat) to enhance the Five Corners area.6.11PZCCouncil EDC Staff
Public Investment / Actions   
9. Consider using "tax increment financing" as a way to pay for public investments in the Five Corners area which will spur appropriate private development.5PZCCouncil EDC TOG Staff

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