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Adam Lovelady

Professor of Public Law and Government

Adam Lovelady is an expert on land use law and community planning.

As a faculty member at the School of Government, he teaches, researches, and advises on local development regulations including planning, zoning, subdivision, and related topics. Lovelady also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill. Lovelady was named Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Term Professor for Teaching Excellence for 2019–2021, and he was named Coates Distinguished Term Assistant Professor for 2015–2017. 

His publications include Chapter 160D: A New Land Use Law for North Carolina (2019), Quasi-Judicial Handbook: A Guide for Boards Making Development Regulation Decisions (2017), and Land Subdivision Regulation in North Carolina (2015). He has authored a variety of land use law bulletins, law review articles, and special reports. Additionally, he regularly posts to the School’s local government law blog, Coates Canons. His 2014 report, “Planning and Zoning for Solar in North Carolina,” received the Margaret Taylor Writing Award in 2015.

When the North Carolina legislature adopted a comprehensive update to the state’s land use laws in 2019, Lovelady led efforts to train and equip local governments and private practitioners for the change. Along with colleagues, Lovelady authored a book on the new Chapter 160D; produced a series of explanatory videos; led eight regional workshops and four remote workshops; hosted monthly remote office hours; and authored a series of guidance documents. 

Lovelady served as co-faculty lead for the School of Government’s interdisciplinary Opioid Response Project from 2018-2020. Through this collaborative effort, the School partnered with ten community teams across North Carolina to support local efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. The Opioid Response Project included five forums, ongoing support for community collaborative work, direct technical assistance, and financial support. The project was supported by nearly $500,000 in grant funds from Blue Cross NC. 

In 2016 Lovelady established and coordinated the Solutions Forum, a collaborative workshop bringing together local government officials from multiple jurisdictions and multiple departments to address a common challenge. Following the Forum, Lovelady published Reshaping Suburban Spaces: Lessons from North Carolina Cities (2016). 

Lovelady is an experienced trainer for local boards making development decisions. In addition to countless board workshops across North Carolina, Lovelady and colleagues designed and authored a library of web-based training modules on zoning topics for use by local boards. Lovelady has served as a trainer for the National Alliance for Preservation Commissions, teaching local preservation commissions around the country. 

Before coming to the School, Lovelady practiced law with McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, VA, where he focused on land use regulation, environmental law, and sustainable development. Prior to that, he taught second grade in Atlanta as part of Teach for America and worked in historic preservation in Asheville and Shelby, NC.

Lovelady earned a bachelor's degree from Auburn University, a master’s degree in urban and environmental planning, and a JD from the University of Virginia.

Fields of Expertise
City and County Planning
Historic Districts
Land Use Regulation
Subdivision Regulation
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