The week before Christmas 2020, I received word from the N.C. Supreme Court that it had denied discretionary review in a case out of Western North Carolina that my client had won in the N.C. Court of Appeals in 2018. We had prevailed at the trial court level in 2017 and before the county’s board
Mr. 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:email@example.com.
Where do Solar Farms Belong?
I was intrigued to learn that Cleveland County, N.C. is considering a zoning ordinance amendment to make solar farms allowable only in light and heavy industrial districts.
It appears the ordinance amendment is being considered because solar farms – like practically all land use change proposals – bring out neighbors who do not want change. …
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…
Returning to “Normal” Public Hearings – Doing it Right
This past Thursday I appeared before the Asheboro City Council in a quasi-judicial hearing for a conditional use permit. The city’s new template for safe hearings is worth other governments’ consideration.
No more than 10 people were allowed in chambers at one time. Only the mayor and four council members – enough for a quorum…
Moving to Virtual Public Hearings — Lessons Learned
Kudos to the City of Greensboro for boldly keeping land use development projects moving through the approval pipeline despite local and State stay-at-home orders.
Last week, while sitting in my living room, I “appeared” before the Greensboro Zoning Commission on behalf of a developer of a 193-acre industrial project. The following night I “appeared” before…
Coronavirus and the Hospitalization of Participatory Government
In younger days I traveled through African game lands in Uganda and explored an Amazon tributary in Bolivia. Both times I was confronted with the ironic fact that it’s easier to protect yourself against the large, loud, dangerous things you can see than the small things you cannot.
If you’re going to be sidelined or…
“Words Matter” in Zoning Ordinance Interpretation
This month the Court of Appeals published an opinion (Appalachian Materials v. Watauga County) that provides clear step-by-step instructions for interpreting a zoning ordinance. Is this opinion, following on the heels of Henion v. Watauga County boring? Not at all.
It involves local political intrigue, a meddling “environmental” group, and friendly judicial jousting. …
A New Must-Read Case on Quasi-Judicial Proceedings
Last week the N.C. Court of Appeals published yet another opinion (PHG v. City of Asheville) that (1) further defines the template for deciding quasi-judicial zoning applications and (2) curtails the all-too-frequent seduction of board members to slip into legislative shoes while wearing a (quasi) judicial robe.
Full disclosure: I argued PHG to…
A New Game Changer Zoning Case
I published this post last January but my law partners – who won the case – asked me to take it down. Why? Because the other parties asked the N.C. Supreme Court to review the decision and one of the bases for higher review is a case’s significance.
And since I had described this decision…
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…