Thank you for your interest in the Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning noncredit Chancellor’s Certificate program.     

Entering its 20th year in 2023, 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 participating in six of the seven modules in this year.

Here are the details about this year's program:

When: Thursday, Oct. 19–Dec. 14, 2023 (no class week of Thanksgiving) | 6-9 p.m.
Where: In Person, UMSL campus, Social Sciences and Business Building (SSB), Room 133 (building and room update)

Download a PDF brochure of the program.  

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


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 UMSL Public Policy Administration, 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.

Scholarships:  The Public Policy Administration (PPA) Program at the University of Missouri, St. Louis (UMSL) is providing two full scholarships for this program. In order to qualify, at least 50% of census tracts in the jurisdiction the applicant represents must be designated as low/mod income. To apply please email your name, position, and jurisdiction that you represent to with the subject: UMSL P&Z Scholarship. Application must be received no later than Thursday, October 5, 2023.

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.

Cancellation policy

Registration Information:

Click below to register for the Entire Course or to register for individual modules click on the module number under Module Descriptions.  To register by phone call (314) 516-8419.  Please note, registration is limited, so don't delay registering.

Entire Course | October 19 to December 14| Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning

Module Descriptions:

Module 1  | Planning and Placemaking: Developing and Maintaing Healthy, Sustainable Communities | Oct. 19 (rescheduled for Dec. 14)
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.

Instructor: Matt Wetli, AICP, Principal, Development Strategies

Panelists: Miriam Keller, AICP, City Planning Executive for General Planning & Design, City of St. Louis | Paul Hubbman, Sr. Manager of Corridor and Long-Range Planning, East-West Gateway | Carlos Trejo, AICP, Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Olivette | Jennifer Allen, Co-Directior, St. Louis Art Place Initiative

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.

Instructors: Jess Henry, AICP, Project Manager, Rise STL | Scott Hanson, AICP, Senior Urban Planner, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly | Jonathan Roper, AICP, City Planning Executive for Neighborhood Planning, City of St. Louis

Module 3 | Zoning | Nov. 2
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. Other topics include best practices when writing zoning codes, code regulation of commercial and residential development, legal limitations to sign regulations, and governmental roles and responsibilities in zoning.

Instructor: Paul Langdon, AICP, Vice President of Development, Covington Realty Partners

Module 4
| Site Plan Review | Nov. 9
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, environment and visual appearance. Examples of site plans, preliminary plats and record plats will be provided and discussed.

Instructors: Charles Senzee, Planning Manager, City of Wentzville | John boyer, Assistant Director of Community Development, City of St. Charles

Module 5
| Ethics and Effective Public Hearings | Nov. 16
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.

Instructors: Jason Jaggi, AICP, Director of Community Development, City of Creve Coeur | Michael Zeek, AICP, Director of Community Development, City of Maryland Heights


No Class — Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 23

Module 6  | Legalities of Planning and Zoning | Nov. 30
Learn about legal aspects of government planning and zoning. Gain practical insight on:  adoption and use of planning and zoning tools (building/development, subdivision and zoning), statutory and constitiution limitations on land use authority, ethical considerations for those making regulatory decisions, and the procedures involved in zoning decisions, hearngs and appeals. 

Instructors: Dan Vogel, Founding Shareholder, Cunningham, Vogel & Rost, PC | Tayleur Blaylock, Associate Attorney, Cunningham, Vogel & Rost, PC

Module 7  | Implementing a Comprehensive Plan | Dec. 7
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.

Instructors: Stephen Ibendahl, AICP, Principal, i5 Group | David Bookless, AICP, City of Arnold, Director of Community Development

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

Questions about the program can be emailed to Anna Chott at, please include Attn P&Z Course in subject line.   If you have questions about registration please call (314) 516-8419.  

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.