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Chancellor's Certificate in Planning & Zoning

The 2018 Chancellor’s Certificate in Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning program has now ended after another successful year. Thanks to all who partcipated. 

We plan to offer the program again in Fall 2019. Please watch this page at the end of summer 2019 for class and registration information.

For the past 15 years, the Fundamentals of 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 in this year.

For your general knowledge, here is the information for the 2018 program. Do note that dates, times, and instructors may be different for the 2019 program. If you have any questions, please contact Frank Johnson at or 314-421-4220.

When: Wednesdays, Oct. 10–Dec. 5, 2018 (no class Oct. 31 and Nov. 21) | 6-9 p.m.
Where: Room 202, J.C. Penney Conference 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

To print a copy of the 2018 brochure, click here.

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, Bi-State Development 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.

Please note, registration is limited and this course generally does fill up, so if you want to attend, don't delay registering.

Also note, hours from this course WILL NOT carry over to next year's program. To receive the chancellor's certificate, you MUST attend the six modules during this year.

Please also note our Cancellation policy


  • Module 1 | Planning and Placemaking: Developing and Maintaining Healthy, Sustainable Communities | Oct. 10

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 | Emily Fultz, city planner, city of Edwardsville

  • Module 2 | Developing a Comprehensive Plan | Oct.  17

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 | Oct. 24

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: Trainers: Matt Brandmeyer, AICP, planning and development administrator, Madison County | Scott Hanson, AICP, senior urban planner, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly

  • No class — Oct. 31 (Halloween night)

  • Module 4 | Zoning| Nov. 7

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. 14

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 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 break, Nov. 21

  •  Module 6| Site Plan Review | Nov. 28

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. 5

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


Cancellation policy

For those who register for the Entire Session, cancellations received five business days prior to the first date of the program will be refunded, less a $25 processing fee.

For those who register for Individual Modules, cancellations received five business days prior to the date of the module that you wish to cancel will be refunded, less a $25 processing fee.

If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute, but we ask that you notify us of this change at

Unless you cancel as per the guidelines noted above, even if you do not attend class, you will be billed for the registration fee once you register.

For those registering for the Entire Session, if payment is not received at least two days before the first class, we reserve the right to cancel your registration.

For those registering for Individual Modules, if payment is not received at least two days before the module date, we reserve the right to cancel your registration.