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, I call

             A recent N.C. Court of Appeals case (Northwest Property Group, LLC v. Town of Carrboro, filed 22 December 2009) provides an interesting glimpse into the insane world of conditional use zoning and its multiple attendant rules.

 The facts

             The December 2009 decision is but one more stop in a journey that started when

Earlier this week the North Carolina Court of Appeals decided two companion cases with the same name, each arising from the same development in Polk County. McMillan et. al. v. Town of Tryon was filed after the town approved the Tryon County Club’s petition to rezone property from a “P-1 open space zone” to “R-4

Two days ago the Board of Supervisors in Virginia’s Orange County approved a Wal-Mart.  Whether the 55-acre tract was within or just near the Wilderness Battlefield where up to 30,000 Union and Confederate troops were killed or wounded, was a key issue placed before the board.  According to news reports, several historic preservationist groups had

This month we are witnessing a phenomenon of intensity unparalleled in my lifetime – Congressional August recess “town hall meetings” where citizens are turning out in droves to shout their congressional representatives down, to call elected official unsavory names from microphones, and to compare our nation’s leaders to Hitler and Attila the Hun.

             Last week

Two days ago the General Assembly modified NCGS 153A-343 (counties) and 160A-384 (municipalities) to require that third party rezonings (rezoning applications made by someone other than the property owner) cannot proceed until the owner has received notice by certified mail.

 Commentary: This bill was filed by Senator Tony Rand, a friend and one of my