The past three days I’ve attended the annual meeting of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAPA) that met at the Greensboro Marriott adjacent to my law office.  Approximately 500 attendees from across the state attended seminars and discussed such topics as new legislation, urban infill, alternative methods for financing public improvements through the development process and transportation planning.

The first evening of the conference my law firm hosted a minority networking reception.

NCAPA meetings always have strong attendance, but this year’s conference was heavily attended for one reason only. Planners with AICP certification need several hours of professional credits related to continuing education.  Yet, in this year’s economic downtown, more and more local governments cut travel expenses and continuing education out of their budgets.

Planners, in a good economy when development is hot, are generally overworked and under paid.  Many of this year’s attendees had to dip into their own pockets in order to attend to get their credits.  Without this requirement, many of them would have sat out of this year’s conference.

I’ve been a speaker at three previous NCAPA meetings and attended this year because it was so close and because my practice footprint takes me across the state and into many of these planners’ jurisdictions. I consider them my professional colleagues and friends.  Although I scooted back and forth between my office and the sessions I wanted to attend, it was a great conference with great fellowship.

It was great to see Kaye Graybeal and Ron Satterfield of Wilmington with whom I recently negotiated a huge development agreement on behalf of Newland Communities; Leslie Bell, Director of Planning in Brunswick County, who described his office’s shift from planning to enforcement of bonds after numerous developers left or filed for bankruptcy; Glenn Simmons, a planner in Winston-Salem whose candor and professionalism I’ve always appreciated; Jack Kiser, long-time planning director in Gastonia, whose office I recently worked with in rewriting a cell tower ordinance; Sherry Ashley, a planner in Statesville who was helpful to all sides and maintained her cool 18 months ago when I represented a company in a long-fought battle for approval of an asphalt plant; and several civil and transpoprtation engineers I’ve worked with on everything from shopping centers to landfills to rock quarries.

This year’s president, who did an outstanding job, was Rodger Lentz.  Rodger and I met when he was a planner in in Cabarrus County and I was representing APAC on a matter related to its plant near the Concord Airport.  Rodger has moved up and now is in Wilson, N.C.

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Tom Terrell

Terrell_TomMr. Terrell is widely regarded as one of North Carolina’s leading land use attorneys, representing both private and governmental entities in matters related to real estate development. His practice “footprint” covers the state from the mountain counties to the coast and occasionally includes…

Terrell_TomMr. Terrell is widely regarded as one of North Carolina’s leading land use attorneys, representing both private and governmental entities in matters related to real estate development. His practice “footprint” covers the state from the mountain counties to the coast and occasionally includes parts of Virginia and South Carolina. His many clients are involved in commercial and residential real estate, solid waste hauling and disposal, telecommunications, quarries/asphalt and miscellaneous litigation related to permit denials, vested rights and rezonings.

He has published numerous articles and speaks regularly to legal, governmental and business groups on a variety of issues related to land use and zoning.

Mr. Terrell has served as a leader in numerous civic and legal endeavors, including Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the N.C. State Health Plan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Winston-Salem State University, and service on the Board of Directors of the UNC-CH General Alumni Association, Board of Directors of the High Point Chamber of Commerce, Board of Visitors of Guilford College and Board of Center Associates of the Center for Creative Leadership, and as a founding member of the N.C. Bar Association Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section.

More information can be found at https://www.foxrothschild.com/thomas-e-terrell-jr/.

Mr. Terrell can be contacted at mailto:tterrell@foxrothschild.com.