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APA-CMS Program: The Legal Scope of Design Review "How Far Can You Go?" (CM | 2.5, 1.5 LAW

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

This joint program between the APA-IL Chicago Metro Section and the Municipal Design Review Network (MDRN) will focus on the legal foundations for design review as an extension of a community’s police power. If asked “Why does the City have the right to tell me what color brick to use?”, planners need to be able to answer knowledgeably. Planners must also be aware of how far design review can go, recognize the important of design standards in your codes, and provide strong guidance to commissioners and City leaders during design review discussions.

The event’s key speaker is land use attorney Hart Passman from Holland & Knight. Over his twelve years in private practice, Mr. Passman has worked through dozens of complex zoning approval processes in communities with strong cultures of design and architectural review. He’ll share background on its legal framework, as well as lessons he’s learned on limits and best practices in design review. Additionally, John R. Hedrick will contribute from his career working in law with municipalities, boards, and development organizations, including his role in founding the Municipal Design Review Network (MDRN).



DATE: Thursday, March 15, 2018 TIME: 9:00-11:30 AM CST PLACE: DePaul University, 243 S. Wabash Drive, 9th Floor (CDM 924)

CM: 2.5 CM Credits Approved, including 1.5 CM Law credits

For program questions, please email:, or please contact MDRN at


Hart Passman is a partner at the law firm of Holland & Knight in Chicago. He practices in the area of land use and local government, representing both municipalities and private sector clients. Mr. Passman serves as the village attorney for the village of Kenilworth and actively represents several of H & K’s other Illinois local government clients. Mr. Passman's municipal practice runs the gamut of legal issues facing local governments with experience in drafting and negotiating zoning approvals and agreements for zoning variations, special use permits, planned unit developments, annexation agreements and development agreements. Mr. Passman received his B.A. in political science and political economy from Washington University in St. Louis, and received his J.D. from Northwestern University.

John R. Hedrick, JD, an attorney and consultant, is a Senior Advisor for DePaul’s Chaddick Institute, was founder of the Municipal Design Review Network (MDRN), and authored the publication “Community Appearance Regulation” regarding design review practices. His legal work focused on boards, associations and businesses, and founded Scenic Illinois, which supports public participation in planning and design issues. He was a member of various Glenview planning related commissions, Chairing the design review board for many years, and is currently leading the business development organization

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