What Planners Want Their Lawyers to Know

APA North Carolina Chapter


Wednesday, September 27, 2017
11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. EDT

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

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Lawyers and planners approach planning problems in different ways, sometimes with conflicting results. This lecture and discussion session will focus on helping lawyers and planners communicate with and understand each other better, and reach solutions that both disciplines can agree on.  

Lawyers and planners receive different training, have different work experiences, and frequently, different expectations in their jobs.  Lawyers sometimes assume an understanding of legal principles that planners do not have, and planners sometimes assume that lawyers share planners' knowledge of planning methods and techniques.  They approach the same situation or problem in different ways, sometimes leading to conflicting results.  Too often, this leads to frustration, delay, or even abandonment of planning initiatives.   

The purpose of this session is to help planners understand some of the basic principles that guide lawyers' thinking on land use matters, and that may be perceived as limiting what planners can do.  More importantly, the purpose of the session is to help planners educate their lawyers as to what objectives they are trying to achieve,and to encourage flexibility in implementation of those objectives.  In essence, the purpose of the session is to get lawyers and planners to speak and understand the same language.

The session will be interactive, using hypothetical situations and group discussions to illustrate important principles and concepts.  At the end of the session, participants will have a better understanding of the lawyer's role in the planning process, a better understanding of the information that attorneys need in order to do their job, and a better understanding of how to work with attorneys to get the results that their common employers/clients want.  


Robert Oast, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Bob Oast is an attorney licensed to practice in North Carolina. He is also a member of AICP. Bob received his law and planning degrees from the University of North Carolina (JD and MRP 1982). He was the assistant city attorney in Wilmington (1988-95), and was the city attorney for ... Read More

Contact Info

Benjamin Howell, bhowell@townofmorrisville.org