Frequently Asked Questions
What is a community plan?
A community plan is a public document which contains specific proposals for future land uses and public improvements in a given community. Based off engagement with local residents and community leaders, it provides policies and a long-range physical development guide for elected officials and citizens engaged in community development.
One of our top priorities for the West End Plan is ensuring it will spur equitable investment and action in the community. In order to accomplish this, we are developing the plan so that it can be adopted as an official plan by the City of St. Louis, meaning the recommendations will influence all future development in the area.
Typical elements found in a community plan include:
Public Facilities and Services
Natural and Cultural Resources
The West End Planning team looks toward several examples as best practices, due to their strong community engagement and relevance of recommendations:
Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan (St. Louis, Missouri)
Skinker DeBaliviere Urban Design and Development Plan (St. Louis, Missouri)
Walnut Hills Reinvestment Plan (Cincinnati, Ohio)
The Washington Park Plan (Chicago, Illinois)
Hamtramck Master Plan (Hamtramck, Michigan)
To learn more about community and urban planning, the American Planning Association has a lot of additional information available online.
Will meetings have the opportunity to provide feedback on the planning process?
Yes! Because this is not a traditional neighborhood planning process, we had to spend more time than would be ideal on presentations and working through the approach with neighbors at the kickoff meeting.
For this we do apologize, and recognize that there are concerns. In the future we will have more opportunities to have constructive dialogue during the public meetings.
Who is funding the plan and why?
Funding for the West End Plan is provided through Invest STL, a regional initiative that aligns investment, technical assistance, and community organizations to build healthy neighborhoods that are thriving, resilient, and livable for everyone. Cornerstone Corporation was selected for technical and financial support through Invest STL to lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive community plan – the West End Plan. To learn more about Invest STL, click here.
Who will fund implementation, and do the work of implementation, once the plan is complete?
The West End Plan will recommend strategies that span economic development, racial disparity, public safety, land use issues, social services, environmental concerns, transportation, housing, educational opportunities, community health, parks and open spaces, and much more. Implementing the Plan will require collaboration among residents, local organizations, and regional stakeholders. Some aspects of the Plan, such as recommended land use and zoning, will be implemented by the City of St. Louis’s Planning Commission. To implement other recommendations, such as around safety and housing, we will work with government representatives (such as the City), nonprofit organizations (at the local, regional and national level), local business, residents, developers and others. Cornerstone seeks to establish itself as the organization that will manage implementation of the West End Plan.
What is the scope of the planning process?
Typical elements found in a community plan include: Land Use; Transportation; Urban Design; Public Facilities and Services; Natural and Cultural Resources; Economic Development; and more. During public meetings, we will ask participants to brainstorm strengths, challenges and opportunities in the neighborhood. From there, we will work together to develop goals and strategies related to the community’s priorities. These goals and strategies will be informed by community input and by data gathered from sources like the US Census.
Who will lead the year-long planning effort?
A Steering Committee made up of neighborhood residents will oversee the work of the planning team and ensure the effort progresses in the appropriate direction. The planning team will be made up of Cornerstone Corporation, the selected Planning Partner, and other consultants as identified by the Steering Committee and planning team. Local and regional entities, including nonprofits, foundations, government entities, and businesses, will be key partners and invited to participate in the process. Residents and community stakeholders, ultimately, will be the ones who are represented by this plan, and as such it is a plan by and for them.
How does the plan get adopted by the City of St. Louis as an official neighborhood plan?
Working with local aldermen and the City Planning Department, we will ensure that the Plan format complies with the official requirements for an adopted neighborhood plan. Once the Plan is developed, it will be brought before the City’s Planning Commission and voted on. If passed, the Plan will become an official document and any future development in the area will be guided by the recommendations and visions set forth during this process. You may view all previously adopted neighborhood plans on the City’s website here.
Does the City have a comprehensive plan?
The last comprehensive plan for the City of St. Louis was passed into law in 1947. However, the City does have an updated Strategic Land Use Plan that will help guide our recommendations. More information can be found here.
How will the process be representative of the overall community?
Under the guidance of the Steering Committee, we will work tirelessly to engage a broad and diverse group of residents. Through a variety of community engagement activities, we seek to engage with residents in creative and enjoyable ways so that this process can be a positive and effective experience for everyone involved.