POCD 2019: Section 7

7.  Implementation

7.0 Implementation

 

Implementation of the strategies and recommendations of the Plan of Conservation and Development is the main purpose of the planning process.   Implementation of a Plan typically occurs in two main phases:

  • some of the recommendations can and should be given high priority since they are critical to the implementation of the Plan;
  • other recommendations will be implemented over time because they may require additional study, coordination with or implementation by others, or involve the commitment of significant financial resources.

 

The Planning and Zoning Commission has the primary responsibility of promoting the implementation of the Plan’s recommendations.  The Commission can also implement some of the recommendations of the Plan of Conservation and Development through amendments to the Zoning Regulations, Zoning Map, Subdivision Regulations, application reviews, and other means.  Other recommendations may require cooperation with and action by other local boards and commissions such as the City Council, Conservation Commission, and similar agencies.

However, if the Plan is to be realized, it must serve as a guide to all residents, businesses, developers, applicants, owners, agencies, and individuals interested in the orderly conservation and development of the City of Groton.

7.1  Implementation Tools / Strategies

 

Implementation Tables

The policy chapters of the POCD contain implementation tables which identify leaders and partners responsible for implementing POCD recommendations.

The implementation tables outline two types of recommendations – policies and tasks.  Policies tend to be continuing activities that may never be fully implemented.  Policies are difficult to monitor in terms of implementation and do not lend themselves to target completion dates.

On the other hand, tasks are activities which can be clearly defined and can be monitored in terms of implementation.  Tasks (colored red in the implementation tables) lend themselves to priorities in terms of implementation.

 

Application Reviews

Using the Plan of Conservation and Development as a basis for decisions by the Planning and Zoning Commission will help accomplish the goals and objectives of the POCD.  Zoning map changes, text changes, and special permits should be measured and evaluated in terms of the Plan and its various elements.

 

Operating Budget / Capital Budget

The annual budget is the blueprint for spending in the City and it is an effective way to assist with implementation of POCD recommendations.  The Planning and Zoning Commission should consider ways to complement the work done each year by the Mayor and City Council in establishing budget priorities.

Capital budgeting is used to coordinate the sequencing and financing of major public improvements and other long-term capital investments in a community.  Since Section 8-24 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires that municipal improvements (as defined in the statute) be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a report before any local action is taken, the Commission should strive to guide spending on capital projects also reflects the priorities and recommendations of the Plan.

 

Strategies To Implement The POCD

  Priority Leader Partners
1.       Use the implementation tables in the policy chapters of the POCD to guide implementation of POCD recommendations. 6.11 PZC Council
Staff
2.       Use the POCD as a basis for PZC decisions on zoning map changes, text changes, and special permits. 4.44 PZC Staff
3.       Use the POCD as guide for preparing and implementing the annual operating budget. 2.78 Council Mayor
Staff
4.       Use the POCD as guide for preparing and implementing the capital budget. 2.22 Council Mayor
Staff
5.       Use the POCD as a guide when conducting a CGS Section 8-24 review of “municipal improvements.” 4.44 PZC Council
Staff
Click here for the Responsibility Legend

Inter-Municipal Cooperation

In the future, there may be greater desire to share service delivery in order to realize cost savings.

The “Shared Services Opportunity Study” prepared by SECCOG in conjunction with the municipalities in the region my provide some guidance on how this could be undertaken.

7.2  Priorities For POCD Strategies

 

There are a number of recommendations in the POCD and it is understood that it will be challenging to implement them all within a 10-year timeframe.  However, all the recommendations are important and can make the City of Groton a better place.

In order to provide some guidance, the members Planning and Zoning Commission decided to individually and anonymously prioritize the recommendations in the POCD.  Each person gave a priority rating of 1 (highest priority) to 4 (lowest priority).  These responses were then collated and the average ratings were converted to a 10-point scale with 10 being the highest rated strategy.

The highest rated strategies are presented below and on the facing page.  Based on the results of this exercise, the Planning and Zoning Commission felt that the POCD would be a success if it could accomplish as many of the “top rated” items as possible.

 

Highest Rated Individual Recommendations (8 to 10 points)

Section Chapter Recommendation Priority
5.3 Maintain Community Assets 1. Continue to protect coastal resources. 10.00
3.1 Encourage / Promote Economic Development 1. Continue to promote and support economic development by …. 9.44
2.3 Enhance “Sense of Place” 1. Use place-making strategies as a way to project a memorable image of the City to others and help attract new residents, businesses, customers, and visitors. 9.44
3.2 Encourage / Promote Economic Development 2. Continue to promote the “Thames River Heritage Park” concept and inclusion of the City attractions (Thames Street and Fort Griswold). 8.89
5.4 Maintain Community Assets 1. Continue to encourage the preservation and protection of scenic resources. 8.33
3.1 Encourage / Promote Economic Development 2. Continue to work with major employers, the Town, the region, and other agencies in coordinated economic development efforts. 8.33
5.7 Maintain Community Assets 1. Continue to maintain adequate public water service for domestic, industrial, and fire-fighting needs. 8.33
5.7 Maintain Community Assets 1. Continue programs and efforts to protect and improve water quality in the City. 8.33
5.1 Maintain Community Assets 1. Continue to maintain and improve the integrity of residential neighborhoods in order to preserve and enhance the overall quality of life for residents. 8.33

 

Ratings of Strategies

For comparison purposes, the average rating of strategies was computed.  While this allows a comparison between strategies, is not particularly meaningful since some higher-rated strategies may be masked by a greater number of lower-rated strategies.

 Section  Chapter  Strategy Average Priority
3.1 Encourage / Promote Economic Development Continue To Promote Economic Development 8.89
3.2 Encourage / Promote Economic Development Promote Tourism 8.06
5.1 Maintain Community Assets Maintain And Enhance Residential Areas 6.25
2.1 Enhance “Sense Of Place” Strengthen and Enhance Thames Street 6.21
5.6 Maintain Community Assets Maintain An Efficient Transportation System 5.87
4.2 Capitalize On Opportunities Diversify Our Housing Portfolio 5.74
2.2 Enhance “Sense Of Place” Strengthen and Enhance Five Corners 5.56
2.3 Enhance “Sense Of Place” Improve Place-Making 5.50
5.4 Maintain Community Assets Enhance Community Character 4.88
5.3 Maintain Community Assets Manage Activities In Coastal Areas 4.61
5.7 Maintain Community Assets Manage Utility Services 4.56
6.2 Address Community Issues Address Community Facility Issues 4.44
5.5 Maintain Community Assets Protect Natural Resources 4.38
5.2 Maintain Community Assets Preserve Open Space 4.37
4.1 Capitalize On Opportunities Enhance Pedestrian / Bicycle Transportation 4.26
7.1 Implementation Implementation 4.00
6.1 Address Community Issues Prepare For Climate Change And Sea Level Rise 3.52
6.3 Address Community Issues Promote Sustainability / Resiliency 2.67

7.3  Future Land Use Plan

 

As the Plan is implemented, the map on a following page illustrates the location and intensity of future land uses that are desired.  Since this map illustrates the stated goals, policies, objectives, and recommendations of each of the Plan sections when combined together, it is called the Future Land Use Plan for the City of Groton.

 

Future Land Use Plan

The Future Land Use Plan presented on the facing page contains the following categories:

Village Centers Community focal points and pedestrian-friendly village-type areas
Business / Industrial Areas Areas used or intended for development of business and/or industrial uses
Residential Areas Areas used or intended for low, moderate, or higher density residential uses
Community / Institutional Existing or desired uses which will help meet community needs
Open Space / Trails Areas with existing or desirable open space and pathways and trails
Natural Resources Areas where natural resource protection is a priority of the Plan

Click below map to enlarge.

Consistency With State and Regional Plans

In accordance with Section 8-23 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Future Land Use Plan has been evaluated for consistency with the State Conservation and Development Policies Plan (2019-2023) and the SECCOG Regional Plan of Conservation and Development (2017).

As part of this review, the Future Land Use Plan was found to be generally consistent with the Locational Guide Map in the State Plan and the Future Land Use Map in the Regional Plan of Conservation and Development.

Consistency With Growth Principles

In accordance with Section 8-23 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Plan of Conservation and Development has been evaluated for consistency with statewide growth management principles.

Principle Findings
1.      Redevelop and revitalize regional centers and areas of mixed-land uses with existing or planned physical infrastructure.

CONSISTENT

The City of Groton has historically been designated as a “regional center” in prior State Plans.  This POCD recommends a number of strategies to redevelop and revitalize parts of the City and create mixed-use areas where physical infrastructure (water and sewer service) exists.
2.      Expand housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs.

CONSISTENT

The City of Groton has a diverse housing stock and offers a variety of housing choices.  In addition, the Plan promotes strategies to help address the housing needs of an aging population and for housing options that are more affordable.
3.      Concentrate development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse.

CONSISTENT

The POCD recommends pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development in “centers” (nodes) and along transportation corridors where bus service is available.

 

4.      Conserve and restore the natural environment, cultural and historical resources, and traditional rural lands.

CONSISTENT

The POCD contains specific strategies to:

  • protect natural resources,
  • preserve open space,
  • protect historic and scenic resources, and
  • address climate change and sea level rise.
5.      Protect environmental assets critical to public health and safety.

CONSISTENT

The POCD also contains recommendations to protect water quality (both surface and ground), preserve floodplain areas, minimize runoff, and other similar strategies.
6.      Integrate planning across all levels of government to address issues on a local, regional, and statewide basis.

CONSISTENT

The POCD has been used, and will be used, to coordinate efforts with:

  • adjacent communities,
  • regional organizations, and
  • state agencies.

Groton