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Chancellor's Certificate in Planning & Zoning

The 2017 Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning Chancellor's Certificate program has now ended after another successful year.

We plan to offer the program again in 2018. It most likely will take place in the fall, from October to December. Check back in mid to late summer 2018 for registration information.

Having just completed its 14th year in 2017, the Planning and Zoning Chancellor’s Certificate has educated hundreds of members of the St. Louis planning community. Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning is taught by a team of senior practitioners, who have extensive knowledge and experience in local government planning in Missouri, Illinois and across the nation. Course modules cover planning practices, processes and topics that are crucial for local government success. 

Course modules cover planning practices, processes and topics that are crucial for local government success. The Certificate consists of seven modules that include lecture and discussion. You will earn a noncredit UMSL Chancellor’s Certificate in Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning by completing six of the seven modules.

For general information about what the program offers, you can find information for the 2017 program below. Please note that the dates and/or instructors for the 2018 program may be changed. If you have any questions, please contact Frank Johnson at or 314-421-4220.

When: Thursdays, Oct. 12–Dec. 7, 2017 (no class Oct. 19 and Nov. 23) | 6-9 p.m.
Where: Room 202, J.C. Penney Conference Center, UMSL north campus (Module 3 on Nov. 2 takes place in Century Room C of the Millennium Student Center - UMSL north campus)

This program is designed for:

  • Municipal and county planning and zoning commissioners
  • Elected officials including mayors and city council members
  • Municipal staff interested in planning and zoning
  • Citizens seeking to become involved in local planning and decision-making processes

Registration Fee

  • $75 per individual module
  • $400 if you register for all seven modules

Instructors: Planning & Zoning course instructors are professional, practicing planners in the St. Louis region and members of the American Planning Association–St. Louis Metropolitan Section as well as the national and state APA.

Partnership: Offered by the Local Government Partnership (UMSL Public Policy Administration, Center for Ethics in Public Life, and East-West Gateway Council of Governments) and the American Planning Association–St. Louis Metropolitan Section. 

Course Modules: These modules cover the fundamentals of planning and zoning and critical components in the work of the planning and zoning commission. You may register for the full course (seven modules) or take individual modules of your choice.

Click here to check the registration list, and to put yourself on the wait list. Available individual modules are $75 each.

Please note, registration is limited, so if you want to attend, don't delay registering for the available modules. 


  • Module 1 | Planning and Placemaking: Developing and Maintaining Healthy, Sustainable Communities | Oct. 12

Why is good planning important to the future of the St. Louis region? This session will illustrate the impact of planning and zoning decisions made at the municipal and county levels on developing and maintaining healthy, sustainable communities. It will demonstrate the importance of creating a sense of place and will explore the history of planning and emerging planning trends. Following the presentation from the trainer, there will be a Q&A panel featuring planners with diverse perspectives on the profession.

Trainer: Matt Wetli, AICP, principal, Development Strategies

Panelists: Justin Carney, AICP, director, Department of Planning, St. Louis County | Paul Wojciechowski, AICP, principal, Alta Planning | Ada Hood, director, Planning and Community Development Department, City of Ellisville


  • Module 2 | Developing a Comprehensive Plan | Oct.  26

Learn about the major components of the comprehensive plan including the requirements of state statutes and local ordinances. Understand the comprehensive planning process, the steps for developing a comprehensive plan, the commission’s responsibilities, and how they vary from city to city. Learn about the inclusion of historic and other types of special districts.

Trainer: Hilary Perkins, AICP, GISP, planner, City of Maryland Heights


  • Module 3 | Implementing a Comprehensive Plan | Nov. 2 | (Module 3 takes place in Century Room C of the Millennium Student Center on the UMSL north campus)

Discover how a municipality, village or county can use a comprehensive plan as a tool to manage and guide land use in the community, and how the plan is implemented with zoning and other ordinances to create the community that was envisioned in development of the plan.

Trainer: Jason Jaggi, AICP, director of community development, city of Creve Coeur


  • Module 4 | Zoning| Nov. 9 

Review the basics of zoning structure, format and process. Learn about updating and drafting effective and unified zoning codes, the plan/code relationship and administering exceptions. Topics include code regulation of commercial and residential development, protecting the environment, and governmental roles in zoning.

Trainer: Paul Langdon, AICP, vice president of development, Covington Realty Partners


  • Module 5 | Legalities of Planning and Zoning| Nov. 16

Learn about legal aspects of planning and zoning. Gain insight on adoption and use of planning and zoning tools, the scope of and limitations on municipal regulatory authority, and the procedures involved in zoning reviews, appeals and public hearings.

Trainer: Dan Vogel, founding shareholder, Cunningham, Vogel & Rost, PC


  • No Class — Thanksgiving Week, Nov. 23


  • Module 6| Site Plan Review | Nov. 30

Understand the implications of different site plan/preliminary plat choices and the variables that have an impact on development. Plan review can bring maximum benefit to a community's transportation, engineering, economics, environmental and visual appearance. Examples of site plans, preliminary plats and record plats will be provided and discussed.

Trainers: Dan Lang, director of economic development, City of Wentzville | Charles Senzee, senior planner, City of Wentzville


  • Module 7 | Ethics and Effective Public Hearings| Dec. 7

Address ethical considerations in the duties of commissioners, elected officials and staff, including conflicts of interest and responsibility to the community and petitioners. Learn about the appropriate role and conduct of commissioners, staff and attorneys in maintaining objectivity and decorum in public hearings and meetings. Discuss fact-finding and conflict resolution.

Trainer: Ted Shekell, AICP, director of planning, zoning and building, City of O’Fallon, IL