Partnership in the News: Planning for transit-oriented development in St. Louis, MO

Transit-oriented development in St. Louis
St. Louis hopes to spur growth around existing transit hubs including MetroLink stations (pictured above). Photo via OneSTL.

Building near transportation hubs can create vibrant new places to live and work while supporting job growth and economic development. St. Louis, MO is working to use this smart growth strategy, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping make their vision a reality.

In 2010 the East-West Gateway Council of Governments was awarded a $4.7 million Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to create OneSTL, a regional plan for sustainable development. The St. Louis Development Corporation, CORTEX and the Missouri Botanical Garden also joined the effort with additional funding for the project.

OneSTL was tasked with outlining a vision and a plan for St. Louis’s future growth. The organization held Community Planning Area meetings to help define priorities and preferences for future development, and to understand in more detail the challenges these projects face. Some communities needed more manufacturing jobs and warehouses while others needed more restaurants, retail and housing. Over 1,200 residents, businesses and community groups were involved in these meetings, public comment periods and community workshops. Ultimately the meetings generated over 60 reports which would inform the new plan.

The resulting Sustainable Development Plan is designed to help St. Louis’s transit hubs become destinations for people to live, work and play and not just places people pass through. The plan will use form-based code to gradually make development near transit stations easier and more flexible over the next 20 years.

“Form-based code regulates the physical form of buildings rather than just their use,” a recent article on NextSTL explains. “For a new development at a given site, the code would provide a range of heights, the setback from the street. The code would not include minimum parking requirements, instead allowing developers to build to suit the market. This regulatory scheme will help to foster the types of developments outlined in the plan.”

Communities like St. Louis need the Partnership for Sustainable Communities
An ambitious plan such as OneSTL would not be possible without the help and support of The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration between HUD, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Partnership works with communities to create more housing and transportation choices, and support neighborhoods sustained vibrancy by attracting new business. Since it’s inception the Partnership has allocated more than $400 million in over 200 communities across the country.

Speak out in support of projects like OneSTL: Ask Congress to fund these programs today.

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