The Department of Planning is responsible for implementing and participating in a wide variety of planning and policy initiatives throughout St. Louis County and the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Efforts include creation of the St. Louis County Strategic Plan; analysis of boundary changes in St. Louis County, including annexations; development of specialized plans and policies, such as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, the Consolidated Plan and the Meramec Greenway Plan; and partnerships with area agencies on regional planning initiatives, such as the Regional Sustainability Plan led by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.
Throughout all of these initiatives, the goal of the Department is to develop and promote plans and policies that ensure a high quality of life for those who live and work in and visit St. Louis County.
The 1979 St. Louis County Charter authorizes the County Council to provide for a plan to set policy and guide the County’s development. The plan is reviewed at least every five years to assure that it conforms to the existing goals and policies of the County. Since 1980, the County Council has approved a number of such plans, ranging from the General Plans of 1980 and 1985 to the Strategic Plans of 1990 and 2000.
The most recent countywide plan is the 2008 Update to the Strategic Plan, an outcome-based policy document that aligns St. Louis County’s organization and budget structure with its mission, priorities and objectives around three key focus areas: 1) St. Louis County’s Role in the Region; 2) Services to Unincorporated Areas; and 3) Reinvestment in Older Communities.
The next update of the County plan is proposed to occur in 2012 when data from the 2010 decennial census becomes available. With the availability of new census data, and more in-depth analysis of the current housing and economic crisis, the Planning Department expects to take a fresh approach to analyzing and presenting the trends and issues impacting St. Louis County.
2008 Update to the Strategic Plan
2000-2004 Strategic Plan
The St. Louis County Planning Department monitors boundary changes in St. Louis County, such as annexations, transfers of jurisdictions, and boundary adjustments, and prepares analytical reports on their impacts on residents and property owners. The Department also regularly attends Boundary Commission meetings and public hearings and represents St. Louis County Government’s interests before the Boundary Commission.
In St. Louis County, annexation procedures are governed by Missouri state law (RSMo 72.400-421) and are under the auspices of the Boundary Commission. The Boundary Commission is an independent body with eleven appointed members, all of whom must reside in St. Louis County. The Boundary Commission operates under a five-year “planning cycle” according to Missouri law. The next five-year cycle is January 1, 2012 until April 1, 2017.
St. Louis County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (Green & Growing)
In 2009, St. Louis County was awarded $8.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy through its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The initial portion of those funds went towards development of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, which ultimately became St. Louis County’s Green and Growing initiative. Click on the above link for information on the projects being funded with the EECBG funds, as well as St. Louis County’s overall energy blueprint.
St. Louis HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan Update 2010
The St. Louis County Planning Department’s Office of Community Development is charged with coordinating housing and community development related activities in St. Louis County by administering federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In order to receive and disburse the funds, the Office of Community Development must annually prepare an update to the Consolidated Plan.
Meramec Greenway Plan
The Meramec Greenway Concept Plan, adopted by the County Council in December 2003, summarizes three decades of efforts to restore the Meramec River as a scenic and recreational asset. The plan sets forth the goals of the public-private partnership that is developing parks and trails in and interconnected greenway. For more information on implementation of the plan, visit Great Rivers Greenway’s Meramec Greenway page here.
The St. Louis Regional Sustainability Plan
This project is sponsored by East-West Gateway Council of Governments
On October 14, 2010, East-West Gateway Council of Governments learned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would award the St. Louis region with $4.6 million to conduct regional sustainable communities planning over the next three years. The grant is part of the federal government’s new emphasis on integrated planning, where transportation, housing and environmental issues are linked to create more sustainable and economically vibrant communities.
St. Louis County is one of 11 regional partners working with East-West Gateway to carry out this three-year program. In addition to sitting on the project steering committee and staffing the various technical planning committees, the St. Louis County Department of Planning will be conducting a countywide affordable rental housing assessment as part of the regional planning effort. More information on the plan will be available in 2011.