Searching for a Taller Glass of Water

“Water, water everywhere . . . .”  Except Cleveland County, that is.  And Cleveland’s attempt to increase its water supply is an ongoing effort (and battle) that I’ve been watching out of the corner of my eye for a few years. It’s not that I’m interested in Cleveland County.  It’s that Cleveland’s troubles are played […]

Is it Really the Zoning? Or Do You Just Not Like “Those People”?

            As a quarter-century veteran of land use battles in every corner of this state there’s little I haven’t heard.  But this much I know. What people think is often not reflected in what they say at the public podium.               And being a veteran Southerner in my mid-fifties, I have decently honed skills in […]

Case Law Update – Does a Distant City Have Standing to Allege County Engaged in “Contract Zoning”?

            Last week the N.C. Court of Appeals issued an opinion that ends a long-fought battle between two eastern North Carolina governments, a battle that has pre-occupied the media, the public, and elected officials for 2½ years. The case is Morgan, et. al. v. Nash County.              Full and complete disclosure: I was privileged to […]

Harry Potter and the Zoning Board

             In case you haven’t seen the news articles, Harry Potter series author, J.K. Rowling, had to get permission from the Edinburgh City Council to construct a couple of tree houses for her children amidst a deluge of protests from neighbors.  I’ve enjoyed several articles on this guerre du jour because it illustrates how a […]

Case Law Update – “What Ifs” Are Not Evidence

              A recent unpublished Court of Appeals opinion – which I think should have been published – illustrates a common evidentiary issue in quasi-judicial proceedings and discusses a not-so-common procedural issue related to appeals from local zoning boards.  It’s the latter, procedural issue for which publication might have been merited.                  Sidebar: Court of […]

Moving to the Nuisance . . . and then Complaining

             If your knowledge of land use theory comes from a textbook you might think zoning is about the right and logical use of land.  But if your knowledge comes from life in the zoning battle trenches where bullets fly fast and shrapnel wounds are common, you know that zoning decisions often have more to […]

Board of Adjustment 33 Hour Marathon

             After six nights and 33 hours of testimony and deliberation, the Harnett County Board of Adjustment reached a decision this week regarding a Conditional Use Permit for a regional landfill.  It was a marathon.  I know, because I was there.              Was it a record?  I don’t know.  My previous marathon was a 5 […]

Wind Turbines, Nimbyism, Fish and Chips

             I love it when I’m right.  I admit that I don’t bat 1.000, but good hits are nice.  In today’s NY Times Roger Cohen (Britain Goes Nimby) writes that 82% of Brits favor wind power, yet in every community in England where turbines are proposed the citizens have fought them with the proverbial teeth […]

Walmart (Part II) – Fighting a War to Win a Battle(field)

            If you listen to some opponents, you’d think Sherman’s army was scorching sacred Southern soil again, only this time marching under the Walmart standard. And today, January 25th, five days after Robert E. Lee’s birthday, Walmart meets its challengers in court, defending the Orange County (Virginia) Board of Supervisor’s decision to approve a Walmart […]

Earth, Wind and Fire . . . and Google

            In the next few paragraphs I will logically connect information giant Google with land use issues, environmental sustainability, the70s R&B group Earth, Wind and Fire and M. Night Shyamalan’s summer flick The Last Air Bender.  Ready?             If you read yesterday’s NY Times article Offshore Wind Power Line Wins Praise and Backing, you have […]

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