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2011 Updates

November 14, 2011
Prior to East-West Gateway’s annual meeting last week, several key players in the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development effort participating in a panel discussion during one of two morning sessions.  Maggie Hales, Deputy Director at East-West Gateway, delivered a presentation describing the overall framework for the plan and touched on several updates, including recommendations for Community Planning Areas and the hiring of several key consultants to tackle big elements of the RPSD including the transit-oriented development study, housing assessment, and public engagement strategy.  Ms. Hales’ presentation was followed by a demonstration of our new keypad polling devices using survey questions from the region-wide telephone survey currently underway.  Audience members were able to learn how their answers compared to others in the room and across the region.  Following that demonstration, Jim Kirchherr from KETC moderated a panel of stakeholders including Christine Chadwick (FOCUS St. Louis), Megan Riechmann (Southwestern Illinous Resource Conservation & Development), Jessica Mefford-Miller (Metro), Debra Moore (St. Clair County), and Mayor Kevin Hutchinson (City of Columbia, IL).  Each panelist shared their unique perspective on the regional planning effort and described how they envision using the plan once its done. 

Building a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development
Potential Community Planning Areas Map

October 26, 2011
FOCUS St. Louis, the lead public engagement agency for the RPSD, is pleased to announce the hiring of Public Agenda, one of the premier public engagement firms in the country. Founded in 1975, Public Agenda is well known for its ability to understand public opinion about complex issues, to get people from all backgrounds discussing problems and learning from one another, and to engage communities to come up with innovative solutions to community problems.

Eight proposals were received, and a selection team comprised of FOCUS St. Louis staff, East West Gateway staff, and members of the Public Engagement Committee selected Public Agenda as the most uniquely qualified firm to help design, establish, implement and monitor a meaningful public engagement program that will ensure the widest selection of citizen voices are heard. The RPSD Public Engagement Committee will work closely with Public Agenda to craft a comprehensive public engagement strategy for our planning process. For more information, please contact Mark Fogal at or (314) 622-1250.

October 18, 2011
This past summer the St. Louis County Office of Community Development was charged with requesting proposals for a housing assessment of existing rental housing in St. Louis with a specific focus on properties which will soon be released of affordability obligations. The goal of this assessment is to negotiate extended periods of affordability to retain decent affordable housing in the St. Louis area at a time when its needed most. Several qualified responses were received and a selection committee comprised of St. Louis County and East-West Gateway staff selected the top ranking response which was from Development Strategies, Inc. Development Strategies is a St. Louis based real estate consulting firm with experience nationwide. The selection was based on their relevant experience, their existing affordable housing database, and the cost effectiveness of their proposal. St. Louis County is currently in the process of contract negotiations with Development Strategies with an anticipated start date later this year.

October 3, 2011
East-West Gateway has created a regular newsletter that will keep you informed about the progress of the Regional Sustainable Communities Planning Grant in the St. Louis Region. The first issue was published on September 23rd. The next issue is planned for October 7th. If you'd like to receive future issues directly, please contact Jennifer Howland at and she will add you to her e-mail distribution list.


September 16, 2011
The Community Planning Area (CPA) applications were sent out on Friday, September 9th to those individuals who were identified as most appropriate to facilitate getting the application completed. These individuals either nominated the CPA or are prime stakeholders within the boundary of the CPA. Below are links to 1) a SAMPLE application with a thorough explanation of the CPA process, 2) a list of nominated CPAs, and 3) a map that shows general CPA boundaries. Please note that boundaries may change as applicants refine their partnerships and communities determine whether to participate. Applications are due on October 7th.

Sample CPA Application
Final List of Nominated CPAs

September 2, 2011
The deadline to nominate a Community Planning Area (CPA) has passed. Our HUD-approved work plan stated that East-West Gateway staff were to develop the list of potential CPAs, but based on feedback from several people, we decided to open the process up to the RPSD Steering Committee members and any other interested community stakeholders to submit a nomination. As a result, we now have an even stronger group of potential CPAs that reflects not only research and data from East-West Gateway staff but also the interests of community stakeholders.

The next step is to invite the communities within each nominated CPA to formally apply to become a CPA. This is a critical step because some communities don't yet know that they have been nominated. The application will likely be in the form of a letter of support, signed by local stakeholders, that answers specific questions outlined in the application materials. The purpose of the application is to gauge willingness to participate in the planning process, identify challenges and goals, describe any existing planning efforts or partnerships, and determine which CPAs will be most representative of the varying communities within the St. Louis region.

The goal is to send out the applications to the nominated CPAs by September 9th and give the applicants about one month to gather the necessary information for their application. Next, an evaluation team will review the applications and develop a recommendation to the RPSD Steering Committee. Their recommendation will then be considered by the RPSD Steering Committee and then finally by the East-West Gateway Board of Directors. Final approval is expected in January 2012.

August 30, 2011
The June and July meetings of the RPSD Steering Committee were professionally facilitated by Vector Communications, a local public engagement and communications firm. The June meeting centered around a discussion about what aspects of sustainability the project should focus on, as well as the identification of values that should guide the RPSD planning process. The July meeting centered around a discussion about how the RPSD planning effort can advance social equity and inclusion within the St. Louis region.

Report Summary

August 22, 2011
Deadline for CPA nominations extended to August 26th

Nominations for potential Community Planning Areas (CPAs) will be accepted through August 26, 2011. CPAs will be delineated on the basis of such characteristics as job clusters, transportation corridors, housing affordability, land use development patterns, readiness, and existing plans. Benefits of being a CPA include public engagement assistance to identify priorities of residents, creation of two alternative development scenarios for the CPA, and assistance with identifying steps to implement each CPA's preferred development scenario. Please consider contacting a member of the RPSD Steering Committee for more information or to solicit feedback/support for your proposed CPA. Once all nominations are received, an evaluation team will review the nominations and applications will be solicited during the month of September. Final approval of the CPAs by the East-West Gateway Board of Directors is tentatively scheduled for their meeting in January. For more information, please contact Jennifer Howland at 314-421-4220 (MO) or 618-274-2750 (IL)  or e-mail her at

August 15, 2011
East-West Gateway and the Consortium Partners are pleased to announce that Aaron Young was promoted this week from GIS Planner in the Research Department to Sustainability Planner in the Community Planning Department. Aaron brings over 11 years of planning experience to the RPSD team. He will be assisting with all aspects of the creation of the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development. His experience particularly in the private sector be a great asset as we move forward with this huge planning effort. Welcome to the team, Aaron!

August 5, 2011
Nominations for potential Community Planning Areas (CPAs) will be accepted through August 19, 2011. CPAs will be delineated on the basis of such characteristics as job clusters, transportation corridors, housing affordability, land use development patterns, readiness, and existing plans. Benefits of being a CPA include public engagement assistance to identify priorities of residents, creation of two alternative development scenarios for the CPA, and assistance with identifying steps to implement each CPA's preferred development scenario. For more information, please contact Jennifer Howland at 314-421-4220 or

July 21, 2011
The next Steering Committee meeting will be held on July 26th from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum. The Committee will participate in a facilitated discussion centered on the importance of equity and inclusion. They will identify strategies to help us achieve an equitable and inclusive planning process and how to advance social equity and inclusion in our region 

June 30, 2011
The Technical Planning Committee met for the first time on Tuesday, June 28th at East-West Gateway. The Technical Planning Committee chair is Sarah Coffin, Associate Professor at St. Louis University and member of the Applied Research Collaborative, one of our Consortium Partners. Each committee member selected a subcommittee to focus their energy on: Housing, Transit Oriented Development, Environmental Best Practices, Scenario Planning, and Data Portal Development. The subcommittees will meet separately over the next several months, while the full Technical Planning Committee will reconvene on September 27th at 9:00 a.m. (location TBD). For more information about this committee, please contact Sarah Coffin at   

June 24, 2011
We have made quite a lot of progress lately!  All sub-agreements with our Consortium Partners have been signed, which means that each Partner is officially on board and can begin to submit for reimbursements for grant-related work done since February 15th. 

We held our second Steering Committee meeting on June 21st at the Regional Arts Commission.  Committee members participated in a facilitated "World Cafe" discussion about what sustainability and sustainable development mean to them.  It was a meaningful way for everyone to get to know each other better and start to build an understanding of each member's views.  The next Steering Committee meeting, scheduled for July 26th, will focus on building awareness about the importance of equity and inclusion as we move forward. 

We were very fortunate to be visited by three HUD representatives this week: Salin Geevarghese and Joshua Geyer from the Washington, D.C. office and Laurie Bedlington from our regional office in Kansas City.  They sat in on our Steering Committee meeting, met with several Consortium Partners, and toured parts of our region.  We look forward to a repeat visit in the future, as there is much more to see and talk about!       

June 14, 2011
In FY 2011, HUD will award two (2) bonus points to applicants that are working with communities that have received Preferred Sustainability Status under the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program and/or the Challenge Grant Program.  East-West Gateway has been designated as having Preferred Sustainability Status as a result of being awarded a $4.7 million regional planning grant.

To be eligible to receive bonus points, an applicant must be located within the eight (8) county St. Louis region and obtain Certification of Consistency from East-West Gateway, the designated point of contact.  Click below to view and print the Certification for Consistency form and the application procedures.  Both files are in pdf format.

Instructions on how to request certification
Certification for Consistency form

May 13, 2011
The first official meeting of the Steering Committee will be held on Friday, May 20th from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at East-West Gateway.  At this meeting, the group will be given an overview of the project, learn about what has been accomplished to date, and discuss proposed bylaws for the Steering Committee. 

May 5, 2011
The Work Plan has been approved by HUD! Royce Bauer and Staci Alvarez are working tirelessly to get answers from HUD regarding several other issues.  They will keep the Partners informed as information becomes available.

The four committees were announced on April 29th and May 2nd.  The first meeting of the Steering Committee will take place on May 20th or May 26th, depending on the availability of the committee members.  Draft bylaws will be sent out to the Steering Committee for consideration in preparation for their first meeting.   Sub-committees will convene for the first time after the Steering Committee meets (dates TBD). 

April 27, 2011
East-West Gateway and the Consortium Partners are excited to have a new member on the HUD grant team. Emily Fultz started this week as the Sustainability Planner. In this newly created position, Emily will be assisting with all aspects of the creation of the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development.  Most recently, Emily was the Economic Development & Planning Manager for the City of Belleville, IL. She brings a fresh perspective and strong research skills to the job and has hit the ground running. Welcome Emily!

March 15, 2011
On March 10th the Consortium Partners held a meeting at EWG offices. The main agenda items were to discuss HUD requirements, the make up of the steering committee and the delineation of the CPAs. The minutes document the discussion of the Partners. The meeting provided an opportunity for Partners to discuss the scope of work, work plan and timeline that are required by HUD. EWG will be in touch with each Partner in the next week to discuss their scope of work in detail. Additionally, Partners have provided over 90 names as recommendations for people to serve on the Steering Committee. These individuals (and others who may still be nominated) will be sent applications that a nominating committee will review. Once the steering committee is formed, a workshop will be held for the Committee to further detail the work plan for moving forward on a path to the successful creation and implementation of a plan for sustainable development for the St. Louis region.

March 11, 2011
East-West Gateway and the St. Louis Region Consortium Partners are excited to have a new member to the HUD grant team. Jennifer Howland started this week as the Sustainability Planning Manager. In this newly created position Jennifer will be responsible for overseeing the coordination and development of the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development for the St. Louis region.

Most recently, Jennifer was the Senior City Planner for the City of O'Fallon, IL and is President of the APA St. Louis Chapter. Prior to that she served as a planner with Jefferson County and a research assistant at EWG. She brings much energy and professionalism to the job and has already dug in and begun advancing our work on the RPSD. Welcome Jennifer!

February 14, 2011
East-West Gateway has finalized the cooperative agreement with HUD and the Sustainable Development Planning grant will officially be effective tomorrow, February 15th! EWG will work with the Consortium partners to execute sub-agreements as soon as possible and begin work on the 3-year planning process. Consortium partners are asked to send David any revisions to their one-page summary of work as well as nominations for the steering committee before February 18. Partners are encouraged to attend the Affordable Housing Conference on March 3-4 - one of several "kick-off' events for the sustainable planning initiative.

January 24, 2011
Representatives from the 11 Consortium Partners had a productive meeting on Friday, January 14, 2011, including an update on negotiations with HUD. HUD released a Sustainable Communities 2010 Grantees Update Volume 1, #1 on January 12, 2011, the first issue of a newsletter the office will provide to update grantees with the latest progress in the office and the field. The update indicates the office hopes to have agreements signed within 3-4 weeks. HUD also provided a list of Regional Grant Core Priorities the Partnership which it anticipates will be consistently reflected in every region working on a sustainable plan. Trailnet agreed to piggy back the RPSD Kickoff Conference on their Livable St. Louis Network workshop scheduled for June 3rd on BJC campus. 

Complete meeting minutes.

January 11, 2011
EWG is currently awaiting the final Terms and Conditions from HUD, with the anticipation they will be received in the next week. The terms will be part of the contract between EWG, the lead and administrative agency, and HUD. Once EWG has reached agreement with HUD and the Terms and Conditions are signed, EWG will have 120 days to negotiate scopes of work and agreements with the ten other Consortium Partners who are sub-awardees. In order to expedite the process, EWG has begun working on the agreements with the sub-awardees and anticipates being able to have all agreements in place soon after the Terms and Conditions are signed with HUD.

January 3, 2011
Be sure to check back weekly for the latest update and news on the program.

Consortium partners will meet on January 14th for a brief meeting to discuss contract negotiations with HUD, partners’ roles and next steps. It is anticipated that negotiations with HUD will be finalized within the next couple of weeks.


For more information or questions, contact us at


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East-West Gateway Council of Governments
One Memorial Dr., Ste 1600
St. Louis, MO  63102
phone:  (314) 421-4220 or (618) 274-2750
    fax: (314) 231-6120

last update: Wednesday, February 13, 2013