Creve Coeur in 2030

Creve Coeur 2030
The city of Creve Coeur looks to the future as it implements its Comprehensive Plan for continued development of the community

By Charlotte Beard

With 2018 just beginning, the city of Creve Coeur has its sights set beyond this year and well into the future as it looks to build towards a better tomorrow.

In March 2017 the city of Creve Coeur adopted its Comprehensive Plan, Creve Coeur 2030, which guides the city’s land use policies and serves as an update to the 2002 Comprehensive Plan, and entails many early action items for the city’s community.

Beth Kistner, Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), shared some of the challenges that came with the approximately 18-month period of developing the plan.

“One of the biggest challenges is wanting to make sure we get the public engaged in it,” said Kistner. “A comprehensive plan doesn’t necessarily set off a big rush for community involvement, yet we know that the key to success is to have community members there and providing input along the way. I think we did very well with that and we didn’t see a drop-off of interest. I think we had more people at the last one than we had at the first of several scheduled community engagements. But it still is a challenge to get them involved; it’s a little easier to get the businesses because I think they are a little more tuned-in and understand the issues that they are most interested in.”

The involvement of both the business and general communities was vital to the process

“In the end, I think we [received] good input from both [perspectives]. We were making changes up until the very end based on input we were getting from our businesses and some of our residential neighborhood groups,” Kistner said. I think the implementation side is just a question of going through and tracking what was in the plan and making sure we took a big step with the [zoning ordinances for residential districts]. [Another component was] finding the time for staff to work through and put together a set of proposed changes and getting it worked into the regular planning and zoning calendar for review and approval.”

One initiative of the plan that is intended to keep all stakeholders, including Creve Coeur citizens, engaged is the ongoing outcome reporting and management system to track the progress of each project. Director of Community Development, Jason Jaggi, who also heads the P&Z division, stressed that the system be available on the website via the Comprehensive Plan page. It will list the initiatives based on the recommendations of the plan and be maintained to provide update information on the status of each initiative.

“The real value,” Jaggi said, “is for the community to see how we are implementing the plan based on their input into this plan and what the city is doing to implement the goals and objectives. It’s good for all of the citizens of Creve Coeur as well as a lot of our commissions and the city council to see how we are progressing and implementing our plan.”

An early action item on the plan’s list was adopted June 5, 2017. The adoption of the 39 North plant science and agriculture technology district master plan began with the partnerships of St. Louis County, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Monsanto, the Danforth [Plant Science Center] and others. The project will entail constructing a greenway through the district. It also involves restoring Old Olive Boulevard to be a more pedestrian-friendly corridor to connect different parts of the district. Additionally, plans are underway for the Olive/Lindbergh Interchange to establish better connectivity between areas within the 39 North plant science and agriculture technology district.

Jaggi, who also oversees divisions for building permits and code enforcements, spoke to the development of the storm-water ordinance for lots less than one acre, which was adopted Oct. 30, 2017.

“We have seen instances in the past where particularly in the field of construction [with] redevelopment of existing homes – the tear down and rebuild…these lots are being developed at a tenser fashion. So, the houses are getting bigger, they’re covering more of the lot than the older homes, a lot of the grading is being altered to accommodate new houses and we’ve seen some consequences of [these redevelopments]. So, to address the compatibility issues and make sure we accommodate redevelopment within residential areas on smaller lots, we [need to] do so in a responsible manner. With that we want to look at the storm-water impact for when these properties go under redevelopment and make sure there are no additional problems that are being created as a result.”

The process involves submitting a storm-water management plan, a review, and specific requirements for mitigating any additional storm-water run-off from development of properties.
Some of the other initiatives in the Comprehensive Plan are as follows:
Complete the city’s new police station and enhancement to the Government Center.
The station will be immediately north of the Government Center which is located at 300 N New Ballas Road on the same lot in the vacant space. The city is in the process of obtaining bids for a contractor to begin the project. It is slated to open early 2019. Any plans for the Government Center will not commence until the new police station is completed.
Construction of greenways to improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity and provide enhanced recreational opportunities.
The city is currently looking at the western and eastern ends of town and exploring opportunities to improve the pedestrian experience. The next step is to meet with some of Creve Coeur’s property owners to ensure there is support for the initiatives. Ameren is involved as well due to any concerns involving utilities.
Develop and adopt updates for the city’s zoning ordinance for residential districts.
The initiative for revising regulations for residential development went through P&Z and it was recommended that it be approved for city council review. Those updates are still at the stage of a “work-in-progress.” One of the updates involve how height is measured for “in-field” construction, particularly for tear-downs and rebuilds within established neighborhoods.

Kistner, Chair for P&Z shared, “The process [for the Comprehensive Plan] is a big partnership between the community members, the city staff, and the Planning and Zoning Commission. It’s sort of a long journey that you go on together. When everybody is engaged you end up with the best product possible.”