On Monday, May 16, the City Council approved a contract that will allow the development of a new Comprehensive Plan for the City of St. Charles. The Comprehensive Plan is the City’s official Land Use and Development Policy Guide. The plan is intended to be referenced when annexing property, changing zoning, reviewing development and redevelopment projects, and identifying public infrastructure improvements.
The City’s current Comprehensive Plan was drafted in 1990 and last significantly updated in 1996. Since that time, 7 seats on the City Council have turned over, a new Director of Community Development has been hired, and the community has changed from “high growth” to “maintenance/redevelopment.” More importantly, the nature and type of development activity has changed immensely.
There are many good reasons for updating the plan, including:
- Set a 20-year vision consistent with current policies and programs
- Involving the community to build consensus and give the document greater relevance
- Considering development projects in a broader context of the city and region
- Opportunity to strategize and set priorities with due consideration to changing trends, community needs and economic conditions
- Be proactive in terms of development vision and not be put in a reactionary mode
- Predictability for residents, businesses, and the development community on long-range development objectives
- Production of graphic representations of development forms to use as communication tools
- Provide direction for more recent planning initiatives (Housing Commission and Historic Preservation)
The process to update the plan will include community input, detailed staff analysis, and recommendations from an outside consultant. The entire process is expected to take approximately 18 months.
The document will provide guidance to all about the City’s vision for the future. The more controversial development petitions that the City has reviewed in the past few years, including the water park on Kirk Road, Grand Prairie, the Oliver-Hoffman property, Super Wal-Mart, Delnor Woods, and Towne Centre all have a common thread—all could have been administered more effectively with a current comprehensive plan.
The timing for this project is right. Development activity is low, allowing time to plan for the future. In addition, staff resources are available to administer the process and the budget can accommodate the project.
In the months ahead, extensive public outreach will be conducted. Public meetings will be held. Verbal and written comments will be encouraged. Web-based input will be sought. I encourage all to participate to ensure that your ideas regarding the future of St. Charles is included.
The next step in the process is the formation of a Comprehensive Plan Task Force that will include 7 members of the community. The task force will provide guidance and support in the development of the new Comprehensive Plan for the City of St. Charles. Those members will be appointed at the City Council on June 6.
For further information, please contact Russell Colby in the Community Development Department at 630-762-6925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.