Senate Bill 704 — Careful Aim But Narrow Miss

On May 4th the N.C. legislature passed Senate Bill 704 (Session Law 2020-3) to address a broad array of problems created by COVID-19. Bill section 4.31(a) amended the Emergency Management Act to add new section 166A-19-24 to authorize local governments to conduct remote meetings during declarations of emergency. Although the detailed procedural requirements create traps […]

Case Law Update – What Is “Standing” and Who Has It?

“Standing” is suddenly a hot topic in zoning law, with three recent appellate opinions on the subject, one of which was a case of first impression decided by our Supreme Court. SIDEBAR: My colleague Kip Nelson and I have our own standing case in the N.C. Court of Appeals awaiting decision.  Accordingly – and since […]

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 […]

So Sue Me (if You Have Standing)

             Every now and then an appellate court issues an opinion that makes you rise from your chair and whisper “DAA-uhm,” although I was slightly more expressive when I read the recent NC Court of Appeals case Templeton et. al. v. Town of Boone.              Templeton’s procedural history is circuitous, but the Cliff Notes version […]

New Cases – Rodeos, Lumber Yards and Raw Sewage

            As a young attorney I thought appellate decisions that weren’t published were the ones that established no precedent or posed no new facts to which old law could be applied.  Twenty-five years later I’ve realized that some cases aren’t published because the facts and applicable law are so muddled that the court just isn’t […]

Google’s Problems are now in China, not Caldwell County

            One week ago, Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy in the movie “The Blind Side.”  One year ago, Apple Computer announced that its east coast “server farm” would be located in Catawba County in the small town of Maiden. N.C.              Sandra Bullock, Apple Computer, the Town of […]

Case Law Update — Standing and Spot Zoning

Last week the N.C. Court of Appeals issued a new zoning decision in Musi v. Town of Shallotte.  Musi brought to light two problems that have plagued land use jurisprudence for decades and only get worse: 1) the evolution of land use law has taken so many odd twists and turns that on some issues nobody knows how we […]

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