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Lake Saint Louis to develop comprehensive plan

For the next year or so, the city of Lake Saint Louis will work to develop a blueprint for what it wants to be and how to address economic, transportation and growth issues that are knocking at its door.

The city has hired a consulting group, i5Group, to develop an overall comprehensive plan for the city. The city’s Board of Aldermen approved contract with the firm at their June 20 meeting.

The base price is of the plan $102,000, with additional costs anticipated throughout the course of the 15-month process to develop the plan. The final plan is due to the city in September 2017.

Developing plans is nothing new for local governments but this one is unique for Lake Saint Louis. It will serve as a guide and backdrop for future decisions made with the city government on a myriad of issues.

Up until now, the city hasn’t had this kind of plan, adopting its zoning ordinance as its comprehensive plan, said City Administrator Paul Markworth.

“This is something frankly we should have done years ago,” Markworth said.

Markworth said the city may not have had the money in the past to develop a comprehensive plan. The city’s financial position is solid, he said.

“Now were able to do it, and we will have a lot of good work come out of it,” he said.

The plan provides a basis for informed decision making by city officials. i5Group will gather input and information, evaluate the city’s existing facilities, and look at trends in growth, demographics, housing, land use and economic development.

i5Group representatives are expected to meet with local government officials and business officials, hold open houses for the public and develop a social media presence. The result will be a document that the city’s Board of Aldermen will review and consider for adoption.

Markworth said the document will look at “everything – parks and recreation to land development, to transportation, jobs and economic activity.”

The plan also would come at a time when the city is beginning to face questions about a number of issues in areas such as housing and new residential development. Markworth said the city has already begun discussing what kind of housing density it wants in some largely undeveloped areas of the city, such as the area near the Meadows at Lake Saint Louis shopping center.

“How dense do we want to see development or do we want to see low-density development,” Markworth said. “These are all issues related to this.”

The process also calls for the i5Group to convene focus groups with homeowner associations, developers, business officials and others. Also planned are online surveys, the development of a website and four open houses to discuss aspects of the plan and the draft plan.

The group will also gather data and provide assessments on housing, demographics, transportation, land use development, parks and recreation, storm water, utilities and community facilities and services. A market and economic analysis looking at potential development is also part of the plan.

The plan’s development will also involve a nine-person steering committee that will include the mayor, an alderman, a city planning and zoning commission representative and six residents. The committee is expected to meet every two months.  The committee is expected to be in place for a first meeting, scheduled for July 21.

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