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Old October 19th, 2010, 03:12 AM   #1
urbanjim
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Proposal for St Louis County consolidation

It's kind of exasperating to realize that St Louis County, Missouri contains more municipalities than any other county in the Midwest (other than Cook County, IL.) Many of these burgs have just a few hundred residents, which hardly justifies their separate existance.
My plan is to carefully consolidate most of these 91 municipalities into larger, more cohesive areas-- 24 cities to be exact. These new cities will have the size and tax base to be self-sustaining, so they won't need to rely on neighboring cities for basic services like many do now.
A few, such as Wildwood, are already sufficient in size and are left unchanged.
In addition, six new cities are formed from mostly unincorporated areas. These are basically Census Designated Places that already have names and distinct identities, so the logical next step is to incorporate them, In the process, a few tiny free-standing municipalities are swallowed up by these cities.
In all ,there are 30 new cities which contain over 90% of the population of St Louis County. Here's the list of cities in order of new population:

1. Florissant (currently 51,387) annexes Black Jack and unincorporated areas to the north and southeast. Florissant continues to be the largest municipality in the county. New population: est. 75,000
2. Chesterfield ( 46,635) annexes Clarkson Valley, for a new population of 49,310
3. University City (36,847) annexes Olivette, Hanley Hills, Vinita Park and Vinita Terrace. New population: 48,485
4. Ballwin (30,264) annexes Ellisville, Winchester, and some unincorporated areas to the south. New population: est. 45,000
5. Webster Groves (23,230) annexes Rock Hill, Glendale, Shrewsbury and Marlborough. New population: 42,485
6. Clayton (12,825). A city (boasting an impressive skyline) that serves as a county seat for about a million people ought to be a decent size. So Clayton annexes Richmond Heights, Brentwood and Maplewood, for a new population of 39,348.
7. Kirkwood (26,936) annexes Des Peres (sorry Des Peres) and Warson Woods for a new population of 37,511.
8. Creve Coeur (16,500) annexes Town & Country, Westwood, Country Life Acres, Crystal Lake Park, and unincorporated areas to the north. New population: est. 37,000
9. Overland (16,838) annexes St John, Woodson Terrace, Breckenridge Hills, Charlack, Edmundson, Sycamore Hills, and unincorporated West Overland. New population: est. 36,250
10. Oakville (35,309). This Census Designated Place (CDP) incorporates as a city of 35,309.
11. Wildwood (34,831). No change.
12. Jennings (15,469). This is one case where a lot of those itty-bitty villages finally disappear. Jennings annexes Pine Lawn, Northwoods, Hillsdale, Wellston, Flordell Hills, Country Club Hills, Glen Echo Park, Velda City, Velda Village Hills, Uplands Park and Beverly Hills. New population: 34,500.
13. Ferguson (22,406) annexes Dellwood and Calverton Park for a new population of 28,983.
14. Bridgeton (15,086) annexes St Ann (now those two will get along!) and unincorporated Earth City. New population: 28,693.
15. Mehlville (28,219). This CDP incorporates as a city of 28,219.
16. Manchester (19,161) annexes Valley Park, Twin Oaks, and some unincorporated areas to the east. New population: est. 28,000
17. Bellefontaine Neighbors (11,271) annexes Moline Acres, Riverview, unincorporated Glasgow Village, and unincorporated Castle Point. And it shortens its name to simply “Bellefontaine”. New population: 26,872.
18. Concord and Sappington, both CDP’s, merge and incorporate, then annex Green Park. The name of the new city is "Concord Park". New population: 26,642.
19. Maryland Heights (26,339) remains essentially the same-- except that it annexes Champ, the absolute smallest municipality in St Louis County. New population: 26,351.
20. Hazelwood (25,523). No change.
21. Affton (20,535). This CDP incorporates and annexes tiny Wilbur Park, Lakeshire, St George, and Mackenzie. New population: 23,810.
22. Spanish Lake (21,337). This CDP incorporates as a city of 21,337.
23. Berkeley (10,063) annexes Bel-Ridge, unincorporated Carsonville, and what’s left of Kinloch. New population: 18,441.
24. Lemay (16,854), a CDP, incorporates and annexes Bella Villa. New population: 17,541.
25. Normandy (5,153). Here’s another chance to gobble up some small burgs. Normandy annexes Cool Valley, Bel-Nor, Bellerive, Greendale, Pasadena Park, Pasadena Hills, Norwood Court, Pagedale, and a few unincorporated areas nearby. New population: est. 16,000.
26. Crestwood (11,863) annexes Oakland and Grantwood Village for a new population of 14,286.
27. Ladue (8,645) annexes Frontenac and Huntleigh to form a new city of 12,451.
28. Fenton (4,285) annexes unincorporated areas west for a new population estimated at 12,000.
29. Sunset Hills (8,267) annexes unincorporated areas to the south. New population: est. 10,500.
30. Eureka (7,786) annexes the small portion of Pacific that lies in St Louis County, as well as unincorporated areas south. New population: est. 10,000.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 03:33 AM   #2
IraGlacialis
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For a moment there, I thought you were talking about about a way to return St. Louis to the county.
...
*cue laugh track*

But yeah, whenever I go up to St. Louis, it boggles my mind how many "towns" you could drive through in one setting, with little-to-no interruption between them.
How did such a fiasco occur?
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Old October 19th, 2010, 05:46 AM   #3
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Not a bad idea! There's a movement in Erie County NY to reduce the number of towns and villages to reduce the enormous overlap in government services and costs as well as to promote better planning for suburban Buffalo. (there's also a drive to consolidate the city and the county but that's as difficult to pull of as any such consolidation would be for St. Louis)
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Old October 19th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #4
Jennifat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanjim View Post
It's kind of exasperating to realize that St Louis County, Missouri contains more municipalities than any other county in the Midwest (other than Cook County, IL.)
Hennepin County in Minnesota (Minneapolis is the county seat) contains 48 municipalities:

* Bloomington
* Brooklyn Center
* Brooklyn Park
* Champlin
* Chanhassen
* Corcoran
* Crystal
* Dayton
* Deephaven
* Eden Prairie
* Edina
* Excelsior
* Golden Valley
* Greenfield
* Greenwood
* Hanover
* Hopkins
* Independence
* Long Lake
* Loretto
* Maple Grove
* Maple Plain
* Medicine Lake
* Medina
* Minneapolis
* Minnetonka
* Minnetonka Beach
* Minnetrista
* Mound
* New Hope
* Orono
* Osseo
* Plymouth
* Richfield
* Robbinsdale
* Rockford
* Rogers
* Shorewood
* Spring Park
* St. Anthony Village
* St. Bonifacius
* St. Louis Park
* Tonka Bay
* Wayzata
* Woodland
* Hassan Township
* Fort Snelling
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Old October 19th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #5
STLgasm
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Wishful thinking, urbanjim! It won't happen in a million years!
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Old October 21st, 2010, 03:59 AM   #6
urbanjim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IraGlacialis View Post
For a moment there, I thought you were talking about about a way to return St. Louis to the county.
...
*cue laugh track*

But yeah, whenever I go up to St. Louis, it boggles my mind how many "towns" you could drive through in one setting, with little-to-no interruption between them.
How did such a fiasco occur?
Many of us would like to see the city of St Louis give up its independent status and re-enter St Louis County. If it did, the St Louis Co. would contain 1.35 million people, making it the third most populous county in the Midwest, after Cook (IL) and Wayne (MI).
Others would prefer a city-county unified government, but that is a far less likely scenario. But if such a merger ever did come to pass, St Louis would become the 7th or 8th largest city in the nation (depending on the current population of San Antonio).

How did St Louis County end up with 91 municipalities? Municipal incorporation is a means of self-government. The residents of many communities in St Louis County simply wanted to make their own rules. So they voted to incorporate-- which also makes it more difficult to be annexed by a neighboring municipality.
One of the later cities in St Louis County to incorporate was Wildwood, located in the far west portion of the county. Residents there decided they would prefer to govern themselves, and at the same time, control growth of their exurban, wooded community. This message, from the city of Wildwood's website, says it all:
"Area residents who wished to provide a blueprint for their own destiny, set by those who were most affected by local government decisions, created the City of Wildwood. Officially incorporated on September 1, 1995, the city is now home to more than 32,000 residents."
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Old October 28th, 2010, 01:54 AM   #7
Chadoh25
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I read or heard somewhere that in Cuyahoga Country, we have as many municipalities as we do counties in the State of Ohio, which is 88 BTW. There is even a town on the westside, right off of 71 which is like 4 or 5 blocks! Crazy!
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Old October 30th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #8
urbanjim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadoh25 View Post
I read or heard somewhere that in Cuyahoga Country, we have as many municipalities as we do counties in the State of Ohio, which is 88 BTW. There is even a town on the westside, right off of 71 which is like 4 or 5 blocks! Crazy!
I found 69 Cities in Cuyahoga County:

Bay Village
Beachwood
Bedford
Bedford Heights
Bennetts Corner
Bentleyville
Berea
Bratenahl
Brecksville
Broadview Heights
Brook Park
Brooklyn
Brooklyn Heights
Chagrin Falls
Cleveland
Cleveland Heights
Collinwood
Cuyahoga Heights
East Cleveland
Euclid
Fairview Park
Garfield Heights
Gates Mills
Glenville
Glenwillow
Highland Heights
Highland Hills
Hunting Valley
Independence
Jaite
Kamms Corner
Lakewood
Linndale
Lyndhurst
Maple Heights
Mayfield
Mayfield Heights
Middleburg Heights
Moreland Hills
Newburgh Heights
Noble
North Olmsted
North Randall
North Royalton
Oakwood
Olmsted Falls
Orange
Parma
Parma Heights
Pepper Pike
Richmond Heights
River Edge
Rocky River
Seven Hills
Shaker Heights
Short Line Junction
Solon
South Brooklyn
South Euclid
Strongsville
University Heights
Valley View
Walton Hills
Warrensville Heights
West Dover
West View
Westlake
Willow
Woodmere


I'd say it's a good candidate for consolidation, too.

But 91 is just an excessive number of municipalities for St Louis County to contain. And worse, 21 of those 91 are little villages of less than 1000 people each!
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Old October 30th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #9
Chadoh25
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Thanks for looking it up. And I agree, both are excessive. And yeah, why we have towns with under 1000 people or villages that are like 4 sq blocks is beyond silly. Although after living in Cleveland, I can promise you, we wont see much in the way of consolidation in Cuyahoga anytime soon. I remember we talked about this in one of my classes at CSU and the suburbanites in class were totolly opposed and the urban folks were afraid Cleveland would revert to white control. I don't agree with either view but that's what was said.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 08:38 PM   #10
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Hah, Cook has 150+ municipalities. I never knew how many, thanks for urging me to look it up.

EDIT: 118 municipalities that are completely within Cook...154 that are within and/or intersect with Cook.

Last edited by Northsider; November 10th, 2010 at 08:49 PM.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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Baltimore County has 60 incorporated communities including the county seat Towson.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 02:34 AM   #12
urbanjim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsider View Post
Hah, Cook has 150+ municipalities. I never knew how many, thanks for urging me to look it up.

EDIT: 118 municipalities that are completely within Cook...154 that are within and/or intersect with Cook.
If ever there was a "poster child" for a county in dire need of consolidation, it's Cook. And St Louis County is runner-up.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanjim View Post
If ever there was a "poster child" for a county in dire need of consolidation, it's Cook.
Why?
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Old November 13th, 2010, 03:16 AM   #14
urbanjim
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Because that much fragmentation is no benefit to the region.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanjim View Post
Because that much fragmentation is no benefit to the region.
What would consolidating do? How would that benefit? Honestly, I've never thought about it...
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Old November 14th, 2010, 11:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Northsider View Post
What would consolidating do? How would that benefit? Honestly, I've never thought about it...
Economies of scale. No need for so many local gov'ts and police, fire, etc.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 02:27 AM   #17
urbanjim
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In the St Louis area, we have suburbs competing with other suburbs over the same projects. For example, a Wal Mart store in the suburb of St Ann is moving about a mile away to neighboring Bridgeton. St. Ann stands to lose a big chunk of sales tax revenue, while Bridgeton will gain. The two cities are at odds with one another over this. How sad! It is only an issue because the area is not unified.
Now, if you go back to my original post, you'll see that I suggested that Bridgeton and St Ann combine to become one city of 28,693 people. And I added "now those two will get along!" This is exactly why. If the St Louis region wasn't so blasted fragmented, a simple move of a retail store down the street within the same community wouldn't be a problem.
I think this applies to other cities that have countless suburbs as well.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:08 PM   #18
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I also have a proposal that will more than likely go nowhere, but why not? I say that the City of St Louis should reincorperate with St Louis county and in the process absorb a lot of the smaller surrounding communities. 38 in total and five in part. The city of St Louis would then extend Northward to I-270, westward to I-170, South to Airport Road, West around the farthest runway of Lambert Airport back to approx. US-67 to I-70, back east to I-170, South to Delmar Blvd, east to Skinker blvd south to I-64 (this area would remain Clayton so that county functions would still be performed here). Then along I-64 we'd run West to Hanley Rd, South to Murdoch Ave and finally East to the Des Peres River. This would eliminate approx. 38 communities reduce 5 others, spur further consolidation in the county, give the city more easily recognizable borders, and increase the population to over 500,000 people.

The eliminated communities would be: Maplewood, University City, Vinita Park and Terrace, Hanley Hills, Pagedale, Wellston, Hillsdale, Greendale, Bel-Nor, Bel-Ridge, Bellerive, Carsonville, Velda Village Hills and Velda City, Beverly Hills, Upland Park, Glen Echo Park, Pasadena Park and Hills, Pine Lawn, Northwoods, Flordell Hills, Country Club Hills, Jennings, Norwood Courts, Lucas & Hunt Village, Cool Valley, Normandy, Kinloch, Burke City, Calverton Park, Ferguson, Dellwood, Moline Acres, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Glasgow Village, and Riverview.

Parts of Richmond Heights would be split between St Louis and Clayton. Also the part of Florissant south of I-270 will go to St Louis. Either all or part of Berkeley would be ceded to St Louis in order to make Lambert Airport a contiguous part of the city. Also parts of St John and Overland would go to the city. Like I said before, I'm sure this will go nowhere, just an idea.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #19
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I think people might be inclined to go along with such a thing if they could keep their own seperate school districts.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanjim View Post
Many of us would like to see the city of St Louis give up its independent status and re-enter St Louis County. If it did, the St Louis Co. would contain 1.35 million people, making it the third most populous county in the Midwest, after Cook (IL) and Wayne (MI).
Others would prefer a city-county unified government, but that is a far less likely scenario. But if such a merger ever did come to pass, St Louis would become the 7th or 8th largest city in the nation (depending on the current population of San Antonio).

How did St Louis County end up with 91 municipalities? Municipal incorporation is a means of self-government. The residents of many communities in St Louis County simply wanted to make their own rules. So they voted to incorporate-- which also makes it more difficult to be annexed by a neighboring municipality.
One of the later cities in St Louis County to incorporate was Wildwood, located in the far west portion of the county. Residents there decided they would prefer to govern themselves, and at the same time, control growth of their exurban, wooded community. This message, from the city of Wildwood's website, says it all:
"Area residents who wished to provide a blueprint for their own destiny, set by those who were most affected by local government decisions, created the City of Wildwood. Officially incorporated on September 1, 1995, the city is now home to more than 32,000 residents."
Regions with growing populations, along with he tax revenues that come with growth can afford to have a large number of seperate localities.

Those places that aren't haven't seen a lot of growth can't.

St. Louis County probably falls in that second category.

Won't be easy. No mystery as to why anyplace will have practical problems trying to consolidate.

Those dozens of reduntant mayors, councilors, bureacrats, & others who'd end up on the unemployment lines.
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