Zoning and land use laws enacted by the state and federal governments, counties, and municipalities significantly affect the acquisition, sale, development, and use of real property. In response to the recent significant growth in the population of eastern North Carolina and the resulting increase in real estate development, government agencies and governing bodies have enacted more comprehensive zoning and land use rules and regulations governing development, sometimes with the intent to restrict or prohibit development. Because these rules and regulations often are complex and involve technical issues and special procedures, Ward and Smith, P.A. has organized the Zoning and Land Use Planning Practice Group.
Attorneys within the Zoning and Land Use Planning Practice Group also appear before planning boards, boards of adjustment, city councils, county commissioners, historic preservation commissions, and other regulatory bodies to represent clients with respect to issues pending before such bodies, such as the subdivision of property, zoning and rezoning matters, special use permits, conditional use permits, variances, appeals of the interpretation of zoning ordinances, certificates of appropriateness, development approvals, and development agreements.
To best serve our clients' needs, the attorneys in the Zoning and Land Use Planning Practice Group work closely with attorneys in our other practice groups, including Construction, Environmental, Government Relations, Litigation, and Real Estate, thus providing a team approach to client representation. Our attorneys also work with engineers, land planners, and other professionals to assist clients in zoning and land use planning matters.
The attorneys composing the Zoning and Land Use Planning Practice Group have significant experience in this area of the law. All are members of the Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. One practice group attorney assisted in the creation of that section and now serves on its council. Two of the practice group's attorneys also are members of the North Carolina Bar Association Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources Law Section, and one member belongs to the New Bern Home Builders Association.