Countywide Planning & Policy

The Department of Planning is responsible for implementing and participating in a wide variety of planning and policy initiatives throughout St. Louis County and the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Efforts include creation of the St. Louis County Strategic Plan; analysis of boundary changes in St. Louis County, including annexations; development of specialized plans and policies, such as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, the Consolidated Plan and the Meramec Greenway Plan; and partnerships with area agencies on regional planning initiatives, such as the Regional Sustainability Plan led by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

Throughout all of these initiatives, the goal of the Department is to develop and promote plans and policies that ensure a high quality of life for those who live and work in and visit St. Louis County.

Strategic Plan

The 1979 St. Louis County Charter authorizes the County Council to provide for a plan to set policy and guide the County’s development.  Further, the Charter states that every five years “The planning commission shall from time to time review the county plan in order to assure that it conforms to the existing goals and policies of the County.”  Since 1980, a number of these plans have been reviewed by the Planning Commission and adopted by the County Council, including the General Plans of 1980 and 1985 and the Strategic Plans of 1990, 2000, and 2008. 

In 2012, County planners began the process to update the 2008 Strategic Plan. With the results of the 2010 decennial census offering new data, and the effects of the Great Recession still reverberating, the update of the strategic plan afforded the opportunity to evaluate trends and the future direction of St. Louis County. The 2013 Strategic Plan Update, Imagining Tomorrow for St. Louis County, is intentionally data driven, augmented with considerable spatial analysis using GIS software, and grounded in public policy research.  The plan intends to create a new narrative for St. Louis County as it matures and looks ahead to the next chapter of its growth and development.

Imagining Tomorrow Brochure

Click here to visit the webpage dedicated to the 2013 Strategic Plan Update.  There you will be able to view the draft document and other presentations, reports and materials created during the 18-month planning process.

Historical Documents:

    2008 Update to the Strategic Plan

    2000-2004 Strategic Plan

Boundary Changes & Annexations

The St. Louis County Planning Department monitors boundary changes in St. Louis County, such as annexations, transfers of jurisdictions, and boundary adjustments, and prepares analytical reports on their impacts on residents and property owners. The Department also regularly attends Boundary Commission meetings and public hearings and represents St. Louis County Government’s interests before the Boundary Commission. 

In St. Louis County, annexation procedures are governed by Missouri state law (RSMo 72.400-421) and are under the auspices of the Boundary Commission. The Boundary Commission is an independent body with eleven appointed members, all of whom must reside in St. Louis County. The Boundary Commission operates under a five-year “planning cycle” according to Missouri law. The next five-year cycle is January 1, 2012 until April 1, 2017.

Specialized Plans & Policies

St. Louis HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan Update 2010 

The St. Louis County Planning Department’s Office of Community Development is charged with coordinating housing and community development related activities in St. Louis County by administering federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  In order to receive and disburse the funds, the Office of Community Development must annually prepare an update to the Consolidated Plan.

Meramec Greenway Plan
The Meramec Greenway Concept Plan, adopted by the County Council in December 2003, summarizes three decades of efforts to restore the Meramec River as a scenic and recreational asset.  The plan sets forth the goals of the public-private partnership that is developing parks and trails in and interconnected greenway.  For more information on implementation of the plan, visit Great Rivers Greenway’s Meramec Greenway page here.  

Regional Planning Initiatives

The St. Louis Regional Sustainability Plan 

This project is sponsored by East-West Gateway Council of Governments

On October 14, 2010, East-West Gateway Council of Governments learned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would award the St. Louis region with $4.6 million to conduct regional sustainable communities planning over a three-year period. The grant was part of the federal government’s new emphasis on integrated planning, where transportation, housing and environmental issues are linked to create more sustainable and economically vibrant communities.

St. Louis County was one of 11 regional partners that worked with East-West Gateway to carry out this three-year program. In addition to sitting on the project steering committee and staffing the various technical planning committees, the St. Louis County Department of Planning conducted a countywide affordable rental housing assessment as part of the regional planning effort. 


Department of Planning
St. Louis County Government
41 S. Central Avenue, 5th Floor
Clayton, Missouri 63105

Phone   314-615-2520
Fax 314-615-3729   
[email protected]