By Linda Weiner
The Urban Plan Update Committee took a bit of a hiatus but began meeting again in April as a response to priorities set by the new President and Board. As the Chouteau Partners Group has begun meeting with the neighborhood and City with exciting plans to develop some of the last of the sad looking spaces in Lafayette Square, a review of the Urban Plan of 2001 indicates that much of that plan has already been accomplished. The Committee has determined that a smaller project, a Strategic Plan, will replace the Committee’s intention to update the Urban Plan itself. A smaller committee will be updating the Urban Plan internally without the need for a costly consultant.
So, what’s the difference between an Urban Plan and a Strategic Plan? A Strategic Plan is less about zoning, sidewalks and window dimensions and more about neighborhood goals such as livability, diversity, safety, organization and funding. A survey by the Urban Plan Committee, reported previously in the Marquis, began the process of collecting information about the goals and priorities of Lafayette Square residents. This process will hopefully continue with the help of a consultant in the near future. A subset of the Urban Plan Update Committee, headed by Rachel Witt with members from the Business Association (Bethany Budde), the Lafayette Park Conservancy (Tom Dahms) and the Arts Council (John Weston), along with Emily O’Brien, Bill Odell, Houston Smith and Matt Negri, is in the process of drafting a Strategic Plan Request for Proposal which will be administered by the City of St Louis.
We continue to believe that Lafayette Square residents are some of the most creative forward thinkers in the universe, and we want to maximize the stability and cohesiveness of the community moving forward. We believe this project can help ensure that!