Recommendations from the I-270 367 Corridor study

Recommendations concerning Watersheds
from the I-270/Highway 367 Corridor Study
Adopted by the St. Louis County Council
October 2003

II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
General Policy Recommendations:
Issues of general concern for the entire study area include beautification, code enforcement, community identity and watershed management.… Ensuring that new development and redevelopment efforts do not harm local watersheds is another goal of the study. A cooperative effort among many organizations including the Metropolitan Park and Recreation District, RegionWise and StreamTeach, Inc. is in progress to preserve and enhance the Watkins Creek watershed that lies within the study area.

V. GENERAL POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS2
Four issues of general concern became apparent during the development of I-270/ Highway 367 Corridor Study. They are: beautification, code enforcement, community identity and the Watkins Creek watershed. These subjects affect the general condition of the area and have an effect on land use and development throughout the corridors.

Watkins Creek Watershed3
The I-270/Highway 367 study area includes portions of three watersheds: Coldwater Creek (north section of Highway 367), Maline Creek (southern portion of Highway 367 and eastern portion of I-270), and Watkins Creek (eastern section of I-270 and middle section of Highway 367). Unlike the very large Coldwater Creek and Maline Creek watersheds that cover significant portions of St. Louis County, the Watkins Creek watershed is contained entirely within the vicinity of the study area. Watkins Creek begins just south of Parker Road in the Black Jack area, continuing southeastwardly under Highway 367 and looping south and then north of I-270 before emptying into the Mississippi River. The Watkins Creek watershed includes approximately 4,300 acres, and there is undeveloped land along its course south of I-270 and near the Mississippi River.

A cooperative effort is underway to preserve and enhance the Watkins Creek watershed. The Watkins Creek Task Group includes representatives of the Confluence Greenway, , East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, Hazelwood School District, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Missouri Department of Conservation, RegionWise, St. Louis Earth Day, Soil and Water Conservation District of St. Louis County, Spanish Lake Community Association, StreamTeach, Inc., Trailnet, and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Several recommendations from the task group are included here to assist in preservation of Watkins Creek. These recommendations are included for reference purposes only.

Recommendation 1
New development and redevelopment plans should include a watershed impact
assessment to ensure economic, aesthetic and scientific integration with other area plans (e.g., Confluence Greenway - see Section III D). This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

Preserve Viewsheds
Because Watkins Creek borders the Confluence Greenway, further developments should be designed to benefit from and contribute to its ecological restoration and related economic development. The intersection of I-270 and Riverview Boulevard may become a major entrance to the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area and Confluence Point, as well as a destination for interpretive information about the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and environmental, heritage education and research programs (refer to the Confluence Greenway plan for details).

Create Buffers
Because the study area is largely built out, great care must be taken to set aside buffers along the creek as new development comes into the watershed to prevent increased flooding for the residences and buildings downstream.

Reduce Impervious Surfaces
In commercial site design, the surface area of parking lots should be shrunk incrementally and the space saved should be used to integrate functional landscaping and better stormwater treatment within the parking lot. Design adjustments may include less aggressive site designs in terms of parking and building coverage, limiting excess parking, incrementally reducing parking demand ratios, and using grid pavers for spillover parking areas.

In residential site design, consideration should be given to the following: use of narrower, shorter streets and rights-of-way; application of smaller lots and setbacks and narrow frontages to preserve significant open space; reduction of the amount of site area devoted to residential lawns, spreading stormwater runoff over pervious surfaces; use of open channels rather than curbs and gutters; and protection of stream buffers.

Recommendation 2
Integrate Watershed Impact Information with Communication Plans

In public announcements of development projects, watershed impact information should be included. Studies show that property values increase when residents have knowledge that public actions are taken to protect the environmental amenity in which they are invested.

Recommendation 3
Align Economic Development Plans with the Watershed Development Plan

The Watkins Creek Task Group is supporting the creation and implementation of a comprehensive watershed plan for Watkins Creek. It is beginning this work with a collaboration of organizations that are seeking to engage stakeholders in activities that will contribute to a strong grassroots effort to protect and enhance the watershed.

POLICY GUIDELINES FOR SUBAREAS4
SUBAREA 1: I-270/LILAC AVENUE - AREA IC Southeast Quadrant of I-270/Lilac Avenue

Recommendation
3. Promote open space links along Watkins Creek as a design feature and amenity for possible future connection to other areas. New developments should employ open space design techniques to reduce the amount of impervious surface and improve the performance of storm water treatment practices.