Melissa L. Vancrum

Quick Contact

Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, P.C.
5250 W. 116th Place, Suite 400
Leawood, Kansas 66211
Phone: (913) 387-1600
Fax: (913) 928-6739
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Bar Admissions:



  • University of Kansas School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Kansas, Master Urban Planning
  • University of Kansas, B.S. Business Administration


Melissa focuses her practice on land use, entitlements and zoning for clients including individuals, businesses and political subdivisions.  She counsels clients on a wide variety of planning, zoning and regulatory issues including entitlements, economic incentives, permitting, real estate development, environmental issues, administrative hearings and regulatory compliance.  Melissa has broad experience in state and local renewable energy permitting requirements and regulation and permitting of controversial uses.

Melissa draws on a decade of business experience and a Master of Urban Planning degree to help clients navigate government channels to reach resolution of the issues they face.  Prior to joining the firm in 2017, she practiced land use, real estate and environmental law in the highly regulated San Francisco Bay Area for over five years counseling individuals, businesses and political subdivisions on the area’s complex land use and environmental regulations.

Areas of Practice

  • Real Estate
  • Zoning, Land Use and Incentives
  • Environmental & Natural Resources
  • Energy Law

Activities and Membership

  • Leawood Economic Development Council, Executive Committee Member, 2018-2019
  • Harvester’s Food From the Bar, Steering Committee Member, 2018-2019
  • City of Overland Park Sign Committee, Member, 2018
  • Housing Action Coalition, Regulatory Committee Member, 2013-2017


  • Copy Editor, Kansas Law Review
  • Honors Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • CALI Award Winner (top grade); Lawyering (legal research and writing); Local Government Law; Environmental Law Seminar

Representative Experience

  • Represented clients in front of local governing bodies including city council, planning commission and board of appeals in obtaining conditional use permits, variances and defeating discretionary review requests for client residential, commercial and renewable energy projects
  • Drafted revisions to legislation to accommodate client goals, grandfather uses
  • Assisted in creation of airspace condominium and drafting of complex declarations and other governing documents to govern multi-use commercial building
  • Advised large hospital system on removal of encumbrances on all parcels for a full city block being demolished and redeveloped for a medical complex
  • Represented neighbors in opposition to proposed four story addition to an office tower adjacent to their residential condominium buildings – obtained a continuance of hearings for entitlements and negotiated a settlement agreement
  • Represented medical marijuana industry clients in obtaining permits, coordinating with community associations, amending legislation and fulfilling regulatory requirements related to medicinal cannabis dispensaries and grow facilities
  • Defended Clean Water Act citizen’s suit case under state implementation plan of storm water management through settlement and compliance with Consent Decree
  • Coordinated with client, environmental professionals and neighboring land owners on remediation of contaminated site including negotiation of access agreements, agency approval to close wells, reporting to state and regional authorities
  • Advised trucking clients on response to EPA enforcement audits of compliance with the California Air Resource Board’s Truck and Bus Regulation under the Clean Air Act

Publications and Presentations

  • Environmental and Land Use Law Update”, Presenter, American Planning Association, Bi-State Conference, 2018
  • “EPA Enforcement Actions Reflect Shifting Priorities,” co-author,, February 2016
  • “The ABCs of ADUs,” co-author, SF Apartment Magazine, November 2016