Ballwin is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. A testament to this high quality of life was Ballwin being named multiple times as “One of America’s Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine. The City has also been named as one of the safest cities in America.
The City’s comprehensive plan will be an opportunity to create a shared community vision for the next twenty years that will keep and enhance the quality of life while attracting continued economic investment in the City.
Benefits of a Comprehensive Plan
The Plan Will Manage for Future Change
While the future cannot be predicted, the City can plan and manage for change. The planning team will examine trends in demographics, workforce, mobility, housing, and economic development to best position the City to be resilient in adapting to future changes.
The Plan Will Create a Shared Community Vision
Comprehensive plans are an opportunity to develop consensus on a community vision and community priorities that will help shape growth in the community for the next 20 years. The planning team will utilize traditional and online engagement techniques to engage the community in creating a shared vision for Ballwin. The planning team will engage residents in multiple ways to ensure that they are included in the planning process.
Evaluating Potential Growth for Ballwin
As Ballwin is essentially built-out, future growth will come in the form of annexation or redevelopment. The comprehensive plan is an opportunity to evaluate potential annexation options. The planning team will evaluate three possible annexation scenarios during the comprehensive plan process. Changes to population, community services, and financial impacts will be evaluated to determine advantages and disadvantages of each annexation scenario. Evaluating the annexation options does not commit the City to pursue annexation, but the comprehensive plan evaluation will allow the City to make an informed decision in the future.
Annexation is a multi-step process in St. Louis County. There is a six-year cycle in St. Louis County divided between a “Map Plan” phase and a “Proposal” phase. For the current cycle, municipalities may submit maps of potential boundary changes by July 1, 2018. A “Map Plan” reserves the right to pursue annexation during the “Proposal” phase. The “Proposal” phase is between April 15, 2019, through July 1, 2022. Submitting a “Map Plan” does not commit Ballwin to submit a proposal, nor does the “Map Plan” commit Ballwin to submit a proposal for the entire area shown in the submitted “Map Plan.” For example, in 2012 Ballwin submitted a “Map Plan” showing a boundary adjustment for potential annexation south of the City. However, Ballwin did not submit an annexation proposal. Any annexation proposal must be approved by the St. Louis County Boundary Commission and by voters in both Ballwin and the area subject to the proposal.
The planning process began in Spring 2018 and will last approximately 12 months. A resident steering committee will help guide the process. There will be numerous opportunities for resident input including three open houses, surveys, small group meetings, a website, and social media.
The planning process includes an assessment of existing resources and issues, projections of future conditions and needs, and consideration of collective goals and objectives. The plan will cover topics such as economy and jobs, housing, demographics, transportation, land use, utilities, and community facilities and services.
In addition to extensive community engagement, the final comprehensive plan will also go through a formal adoption process including a public review period, approval by the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Aldermen.
Common Questions and Answers
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A comprehensive plan is a strategic guide for the community to follow as it considers decisions, both large and small, over the next 20 years in relation to future land use decision-making and the physical development of the City. A comprehensive plan translates a community’s values into specific actions and becomes a blueprint for the future. Other municipal documents and initiatives are closely integrated with the comprehensive plan.
Who is leading the Comprehensive Plan?
The City has appointed a Steering Committee to help guide the process. The Steering Committee has representatives from the Board of Aldermen, Planning and Zoning Commission, and residents from across the City. The planning team is led by the i5Group, along with Community and Economic Development Solutions and T2 Traffic & Transportation. The final plan will be available for public review and comment and will be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Aldermen prior to adoption.
How long will the process last?
The planning process will last approximately 12 months. The planning process started in Spring 2018 and will finish in Spring 2019.
How can I be involved in the process?
Great question! Public involvement is a very important part of this process. There will be multiple open houses for the public to attend starting in 2018. An online community survey will take place in Spring 2018. In addition, the planning team will be meeting with numerous community stakeholders and organizations. Visit www.BallwinsBlueprint.com to stay up to date and sign up for the City’s email list. You can share your thoughts and comments via social media with the hashtag #BallwinsBlueprint.
Why is the City evaluating annexation options?
The comprehensive plan is a great opportunity to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various annexation options. As Ballwin is essentially built-out, future growth will come in the form of annexation or redevelopment. The City grew significantly through annexation during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The planning team will evaluate three possible annexation scenarios during the comprehensive plan process. Evaluating the annexation options does not commit the City to pursue annexation, but the evaluation during the comprehensive plan will allow the City to make an informed decision in the future.
Does studying annexation options commit the City to pursuing annexation?
No. The City will submit a “Map Plan” of potential boundary changes to the St. Louis County Boundary Commission by July 1, 2018, as part of the Boundary Commission’s regular six-year planning cycle. However, the “Map Plan” does not commit the City to submitting a proposal for annexation. For example, in 2012 Ballwin submitted a “Map Plan” showing a potential boundary adjustment for areas south of the City. However, Ballwin did not submit a proposal for annexation.
What is the most important thing I can do to help?
The most important thing you can do to help is by providing your input and comments throughout the process. You can also help spread the word about the planning process to your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.
How will the Comprehensive Plan be implemented?
The comprehensive plan is a strategic document. A comprehensive plan is not a zoning ordinance, subdivision regulation, a budget, or other regulatory document. It is meant to be the basis for the preparation of those documents. It lays out a vision for the future growth and development of the community, what the community will be like and look like in the future. At the vision and policy level, it will serve as a blueprint for community decision making. It addresses how the City will grow.
How do I learn more about the Comprehensive Plan or review materials?
Visit www.BallwinsBlueprint.com to stay up to date on the plan. The website will include updates about the process, schedule, and materials to download as they become available. You can also contact Director of Development / Assistant City Administrator, Andy Hixson, at 636-227-2243.