Town and Gown: Planning for Institutions

APA Missouri Chapter


Thursday, October 19, 2017
11 a.m. - noon CDT

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Many communities across the United States have discovered that uncontrolled growth of educational institutions has resulted in housing loss and crowded on-street and off-street parking that leaves residents and local businesses with less parking, an increase in traffic congestion and results in loss of taxable property.  Proper exercise of planning and regulatory powers can promote the general welfare of the community through encouraging compatible land uses, supporting community design that encourages pedestrian circulation, maintains an attractive aesthetic environment and supports the balanced economic viability of business districts and neighborhoods.


The City of Webster Groves is home to a large number of institutions both religious and educational.  Those institutions for decades had been zoned through the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) procedure.  That process was becoming problematic as some institutions were governed by ten to twenty or more CUPs.  Larger campuses of five acres or more were being zoned in the same way as a single church use.  In 2013, the City placed a moratorium on new CUPs for educational and institutional uses while it studied options for new zoning categories.  The first hearing on the code changes was held in December of 2013.  The Plan Commission and City Council each held eight public hearings on the changes to the code.  Final approval by the City Council of the Code Amendments occurred in January of 2015.  The first project to be built, using the new zoning codes for an educational campus, will be open for the new school year in August of 2017.  Learn about the planning process for the approval of these Zoning Code amendments and their success with the opening of the first construction project using the new codes.

Attendees will learn to analyze options for zoning of institutions; review public processes for zoning code amendments; and examine the impacts of code changes on a site development plan process.



Mara Perry, AICP

Invited Speaker

Mara M. Perry, AICP is the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Webster Groves, Missouri. She has worked for over 20 years in planning and urban design within both the public and private sector. She had previously worked for the City of Chesterfield, the City of St ... Read More

Helmut Starr

Invited Speaker

Helmut Starr’s practice is focused primarily on municipal, land use and zoning law, and commercial litigation, with a focus on financial, fiduciary, and probate litigation. He represents governmental entities, including serving as City Attorney for three cities in St. Louis County. He has successfully litigated zoning and other public ... Read More

Contact Info

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