2051 Strategic Plan


by Rafael Him


The purpose of the New Baden Strategic Plan is as a policy document for future growth.  As New Baden begins to grow and its population base shifts locally as well as in the region, development pressures such as the extension of        Metro Link, and expansion of Mid-America Airport nearby, confirm the need for a Strategic Plan. The purpose of the Plan is to establish logical land use and community development policies to guide public and private decision-making in New Baden. The Strategic Plan represents a shared vision of New Baden for the future and identifies strategies to achieve this common vision.

The functions of the New Baden Strategic Plan are:

  • Provide a statement of public policy for guiding and controlling future development.
  • Similarly, provide the New Baden Board with policy guidelines to assist in decision-making
  • Remove as much uncertainty as possible from the development processes within the Village.
  • Create an acceptable balance between growth and urban uses.
  • Establish the framework for coordinated action among the Village of New Baden, neighboring communities, townships, the State of Illinois, and the Federal Government.
  • Provide for continuity in the direction New Baden with future village boards.


The Strategic Plan will result from countless hours of meetings and conversations with many individuals, including township and local government representatives, New Baden trustees and especially the Economic Development Committee of the     Board. The Strategic Plan consists of recommendations stated within this written text and represented on accompanying maps and diagrams. The future land use depicted in the Strategic Plan represents the relationship between significant land use activities within New Baden. The Plan not only considers land use recommendations and their proximity to New Baden but also recommendations and development policies and practices that will be required to implement the Plan.


The Plan consists of a window of about 30 years through 2051. The Plan assumes development will occur at a moderate growth rate throughout the planning period. Accelerated growth will occur in certain locations in conjunction with the designated areas and continued pressure from the western edge of New Baden.


Located on the eastern edge of the St. Louis metropolitan area in Southwestern Illinois, New Baden offers the advantages of rural or small-town living like high quality of life, excellent educational systems, easy access to the urban core and the diverse amenities associated with the big city and the rural/small town environment. A large percentage of New Baden’s population commutes only 30 minutes to the greater metropolitan St., Louis area for employment. In contrast, a sizable portion of the population is employed in the area’s agriculturally related businesses and local industry.

Interstate 64 is easily accessible from New Baden. With a short drive I-55 is nearby. To the northwest and immediate north is I-70 and I-57 is immediately to the east.  New Baden is also served by Illinois 161 and Illinois 160, that provide access to one-third of the County. Plus, New Baden offers easy access to Scott AFB with roughly a 12-minute drive to the Belleville Gate.

Mid-America Airport is just minutes away in St. Clair County. St. Louis Lambert International is just an hour drive and can also be reached by the Metro Link light rail passenger system.


  New Baden is 1.34 square miles with an approximate population of 3,500 residents.  The majority of New Baden is in Clinton County which includes approximately 503.5 square miles or 322,240 areas. The County measures approximately 18 miles north to south and 30 miles east to west. There are 15 townships including Breese, Brookside, Carlyle, Clement, East Fork, Germantown, Irishtown, Lake, Lookingglass, Meridian, St. Rose, Santa Fe, Sugarcreek, Wade, and Wheatfield. There are     15 municipalities including Albers, Aviston, Bartelso, Beckemeyer, Breese, Carlyle, Centralia, Damiansville, Germantown, Hoffman, Huey, Keyesport, New Baden and Trenton.



  • Update the New Baden Zoning Ordinance to reflect current development regulation trends and newly created land
  • Interconnect the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations for ease of interpretation and
  • Simplify the method for making decisions and justifying and documenting them regarding zoning requests.


  • The commercial development of the I-64 corridor is of utmost importance to the economic health of New Baden.
  • The impact of scattered residential subdivisions on the township road system is a concern.
  • The need to encourage development to occur where existing utilities and services   are available, such as adjacent to existing
  • The great potential for recreation development opportunities for the area needs to be facilitated.
  • How can New Baden assist in the creation of additional jobs as a priority for economic development within the region?


 Residential is the largest land use, in terms of impact, in New Baden following agriculture. The predominant housing type in the unincorporated areas is single-family detached housing. Recent trends indicate that both the number and size of the homes are increasing. This trend is paired with a national trend of smaller household size resulting in more land being used to accommodate fewer people.

The increase in the number of smaller households beginning in the 1970’s can be attributed to many factors including fewer children, couples without children, single parent households, empty nesters and persons living alone.

Rapid growth has raised concern about the spread of scattered residential subdivisions, the adequacy of infrastructure, and the future of agriculture.


 Over the past decade, the metropolitan edge of the St. Louis metropolitan area has expanded in an easterly direction across St. Clair and Madison counties. Rapid growth along the I-64 Corridor has reached the established western New Baden communities creating opportunities for development and raised concerns about the spread of scattered subdivisions and the decrease of agriculture in the rural areas. As New Baden continues into the 21st Century, it will experience increased development pressure and the conversion of farmland to suburban and urban growth.

The purpose of the 2051 Plan is to retain New Baden’s historical land use pattern: higher density and compact development in the growth areas of the western communities. Building upon this framework, the 2051 Plan identifies three distinctive strategies for the development of New Baden. 

The Western Growth Areas in the county contains over 50 percent of the County’s residents. Land uses include new residential subdivisions, existing mature residential neighborhoods, traditional downtowns and employment centers, industrial areas, and commercial strip developments. The urban density is made possible by the solid infrastructure of the Western communities which will enable it to continue to develop. The development strategy for this area includes the most challenging and rapidly changing of the three areas. Due to development pressures, it is critical that the municipalities and New Baden cooperatively plan for the growth in this area.

New Baden is rapidly approaching a crossroad due to increasing growth and expanding municipal boundaries. The choice of balanced and managed growth depends on the cooperation of the components within New Baden, where expanding municipal boundaries, extension of public utilities and critical land use decisions will be made.


 New Baden Land Use Plan assumes a moderate growth of approximately 10% over the planning time frame of 10 years. New Baden is in an excellent position within the greater St. Louis metropolitan region. The location of the I-64 Corridor, the extension of the Metro Link light rail system and the development of the joint use facility at Mid-America Airport, all have great potential to enhance the development of New Baden in the   near future.  New Baden has evolved as a desirable location for residential, light industrial, and growing potential for commercial and recreational uses.

The intent of New Baden Land Use Plan is to: 

  • Continue to maintain a strong residential base.
  • Direct major commercial and residential development into areas identified for
  • Provide for the extension of infrastructure in these designated growth areas, in particular expansion of the transportation system.
  • Improve and diversify the economic base of New Baden to provide additional jobs for residents; and
  • Conserve the rich agricultural heritage of New Baden area until growth and development pressures make it necessary to extend utilities.


 The goals, objectives, and policies to implement this Plan are as follows:


Goal – Maintain a sound and diversified economic base for New Baden.

 Objectives and Policies:

 Focus development opportunities along the I-64

  • Encourage commercial recreational development opportunities around New Baden Park.
  • Actively pursue opportunities for the expansion of employment base.
  • Encourage the labor force of New Baden to pursue diversification of skills and educational
  • Enhance the agricultural economic base and roots of New Baden.


Goal – Provide a diversity of housing types for all New Baden residents.

 Objectives and Policies:

 Continue to maintain a strong residential base within New Baden.

  • Encourage the outward growth of existing communities to capitalize on the existing services and utilities we currently
  • Encourage all ranges of housing types including affordability throughout New Baden.


 Goal – Promote the expansion of the commercial base within New Baden.

 Objectives and Policies: 

  • Encourage the growth of retail business and services in and near established
  • Encourage safe and attractive commercial development compatible with the surrounding land uses.
  • Encourage rebirth and rehabilitation of older commercial centers and


 Goal – Promote new and expanded industrial activities in the Growth Areas. 

Objectives and Policies: 

  • Support new industrial parks adjacent to existing rail and major highway
  • Provide new and expanded employment opportunities for New Baden
  • Support redevelopment of older industrial sites and
  • Facilitate the retention and expansion of the existing industry base by  supporting the creation of local and regional industrial development.
  • Promote a safe and healthy work environment for New Baden.


 Goal – Promote the safe and efficient movement of goods, services, and people within and throughout New Baden.

 Objectives and Policies: 

  • Build customer base from Illinois 161 all the way through the village.
  • Provide safe and efficient transportation system for a reasonable price.
  • Prevent disruption of residential neighborhoods with high volumes of through traffic by directing major transportation corridors around existing
  • Restrict curb cuts along major thoroughfares and promote improved access


Goal – Provide the highest quality and service systems.

 Objectives and Policies: 

  • Minimize duplication of services from competing utility
  • Ensure that utility capacity accommodates present as well as future


 Goal – Promote historic preservation within New Baden. 

Objectives and Policies: 

  • Protect and maintain the historic resources that contribute to the character and attractiveness of New Baden and provide a unique sense of identity.
  • Encourage economic development and increased property values through historic preservation.


Goal – Provide the highest quality living environment. 

Objectives and Policies: 

  • Encourage protection of floodplains, wetlands natural drainage systems and watershed level storm water management practices.
  • Encourage the protection, preservation and conservation of groundwater and surface water quality.
  • Encourage the protection, preservation, and conservation of prime soils for agricultural
  • Encourage improved air quality.
  • Encourage open space development for the recreational, aesthetic, and ecological needs of New Baden.


 Goal – Achieve a broad community vision of New Baden.

 Objectives and Policies: 

  • Work with the various jurisdictions within New Baden to achieve consensus and a shared community vision (Government Consolidation).
  • Establish a regular visioning component as part of the ongoing planning process to achieve an understanding of the evolution of the village’s Goals, Objectives, and Attainment of the goals of the 2051 Plan is a long-term process. As New Baden grows and develops, the goals and objectives and policies of its citizens and elected officials may evolve. The Plan should be reviewed periodically, considering the changes in demographics, state or federal policies, major infrastructure improvements, major shifts in the regional employment base or public policy. At that time the Plan should be revised as needed to reflect these changes.


 As New Baden expands and the demand for development of its resources continues, a key issue will be the estimation of future population growth. Such demographic analysis is essential to Strategic Planning, and overall goal is to improve the environment in which people work and live. Population trends determine the need and level of required public services, especially public safety, utilities, schools, and parks. The demographic profile of New Baden focuses on the growth rate and distribution of the population in New Baden.


The number of senior citizens will continue growing, because of their increasing lifespan.      They demand more specialized public services like those provided by recreational, cultural, health and social programs.

A greater number of smaller households will require density developments such as senior apartment complexes and town homes for increasing numbers of senior citizens. These developments should be encouraged to be located within existing communities with the infrastructure to support the needs of the residents.


New Baden is a town with a population of 3,206, located in Clinton County, one of the best places to live in Illinois. It offers residents a rural feel and most residents own their homes. Many families and young professionals live in New Baden and residents tend to be conservative. The public schools in New Baden are highly rated.

National trends indicate that people are inclined to take shorter, more frequent trips closer to home, such as extended weekends. This trend and the modern facilities recently constructed and proposed at Carlyle Lake enhance its image as a major recreational destination and makes new Baden more attractive because of its proximity.


  • Promote all activities that expand recreational opportunities of the park.
  • Encourage growth to occur in designated growth areas that are most appropriate to accommodate development.


As Mayor, I will preserve small town family-friendly community that my children grew up in. New Baden is growing, but sound policies can keep our close-knit culture. I will lead the council to spend wisely and invest in key growth sectors. I will support a balanced budget and sound fiscal policies to help reduce our property taxes and the growing sewer bill.


We must invest in our roads, sidewalks, parks and basic city services that attribute to our quality of life. I support building sidewalks for our children to have safe means to walk and/or bike to school.  I will  encourage business development to help alleviate tax burdens on our New Baden citizens, letting them keep more of their own money so they can invest in their families.


Our local businesses have been hurt by the response to the pandemic. We must look at local regulations and policies that will help grow our local economy and provide jobs for our community. As we grow the commercial tax base, we can lower the tax burden on residential property. The Village of New Baden can become a launching point for business incubation.


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