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Ballwin to launch long-range planning process

By: Jim Erickson

As called for in its 2018 budget, the city of Ballwin is seeking proposals from qualified consulting firms to develop a long-range comprehensive plan.

Andy Hixson, director of development and assistant city administrator, presented background information on the planning process and a project timetable to the city’s aldermen at their Jan. 8 meeting.

The plan’s preparation will involve the community in identifying a desired vision for the city’s future and setting priorities and establishing strategies to achieve them. The plan will be a key policy and action document designed for use by staff, government agencies, economic development entities, elected officials, boards and commissions, developers, property owners and residents as a guide for land use, capital investments and growth management decisions over the next 20 years and beyond, Hixson explained.

The document is not a regulatory ordinance but advice to be used when such ordinances are developed and administered, he emphasized. Although not designed to solve all problems that confront the city, the plan can contribute toward solving those issues, he added.

Four basic steps included in the planning process include establishing long-term goals and short-term objectives to accomplish them, basic research, plan preparation and plan implementation.

A request for proposals has gone out and bids will be opened Feb. 2. Interviews with selected firms will follow and aldermen are scheduled to receive staff’s recommendation Feb. 19.

With the consulting firm selected, the plan should be completed by late this year or early in 2019.

The document will go to the planning and zoning commission for an acceptance vote and then to the board of aldermen for a resolution adopting the plan.

Ballwin has budgeted $135,000 for plan-related expenditures this year. The city’s last comprehensive plan was adopted in 2007.

Alderman Frank Fleming [Ward 3] said he expects changes in technology will enable more people to participate in the process than during the previous plan’s development.


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