Cell Towers, Elections, Land Lines and Crystal Balls

            Swing state voters in 2012 – including the good people of North Carolina – got a taste of what it’s like to live in Iowa and New Hampshire every four years, and for most folks in my generation it wasn’t fun.  You see, folks my age still use land lines to make phone calls […]

Postcard Florence — The Anatomy of a Great City

When it comes to the amoebic growth and prosaic functionality of the urban civitas, I am, to put it bluntly, a nerd.  I was last in Florence in 1982, the same week Italy won the World Cup in a sport I could barely play and certainly didn’t follow, but it didn’t stop me from climbing […]

Regulating Billboards at the Tipping Point

            As a general proposition, I support billboards.  As a general proposition.  Billboards help ME when I need to find an interstate exit with my favorite fast food and a bathroom.  Billboards help me find hotels when traveling long distances. Yes, sometimes the blue signs with 6 different hotel or restaurant logos work just fine, […]

Land Use, Jules Verne and Marty McFly

             In the final scene of the movie Back to the Future III, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) stands on the train tracks as Doc Brown and his wife Clara arrive on a locomotive from 1884 fitted with folding wings and an engine from an unknown but distant future.  As they prepare to return to […]

A Primer on Power

            In my last post I commented that House Bills 652 and 687 assume all powers exercised by local governments are clear and precise, noting the mischief created because “implied powers” are neither clear nor precise. One reader has asked me to define “implied powers.”  Let’s return to Civics 101.             Power flows in two […]

Speaking of Solar Farms, Landfills and New Zoning Codes . . .

             2,000 years ago all roads, it was said, led to Rome.  Today, all roads – or at least all major societal trends – lead, eventually, to changes in local zoning codes.  Like when we adopted entirely new zoning codes to adjust to being an automobile dependent society.  Like when communities adopted regulations controlling placements of […]

Darwin, Chimps and the Next New Subdivision

            Five years ago I was a guest lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill.  My anthro-laden topic was “territoriality” in the land use context.  This past month, researchers in Uganda’s Kibale National Park published a paper stating “Tom Terrell was right.”  Well . . . not in those specific terms, but close enough for me to exclaim […]

Computerizing Local Government . . . and Democracy

            Technology’s increasing control over our lives became absurdly comical last year when, for the first time in 52 years, I became obsessed with the length of my thumb nails, the only “tools” I had for pressing the keys on my new blackberry.              But a day doesn’t pass when I’m not experiencing another new […]

(Finally) Giving Names to the Laws that Matter

            Cities and counties operate within a confusing matrix of state and federal statutes and regulations.  But when it comes to laws affecting land, another set of “immutable” laws comes into play.              You can call them the laws of “that’s-just-the-way-it-is” or the laws of nature.  But since I’m the one who has codified them, […]

Chasing a Nation’s Rise and Fall on a Bicycle

            From the earliest years of the 1900s to World War II, American cities spent increasing percentages of their annual budgets accommodating automobiles on street systems designed for horses, carriages and pedestrians.             When the war was over, our infatuation with cars and cheap gas led us to build more and more highways to connect […]

About Our Firm

Fox Rothschild LLP is a national law firm with 900 attorneys practicing in 27 offices coast to coast. We’ve been serving clients for more than a century, and we’ve been climbing the ranks of the nation’s largest firms for many years, according to both The Am Law 100 and The National Law Journal.
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