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Adam Lovelady

Associate Professor of Public Law and Government

Adam Lovelady is an Associate Professor of Public Law and Government at the School of Government at UNC–Chapel Hill. His work focuses on land use law and community planning. He teaches, researches, and advises on topics of zoning, land subdivision, transportation, renewable energy, and historic preservation. He joined the School of Government in 2012. 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 colleague David Owens, Lovelady authored a book on the new Chapter 160D, produced a series of explanatory videos, led eight regional workshops across the state, and provided an array of additional resources and training.

Lovelady has 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 has included five forums, ongoing support for community collaborative work, direct technical assistance, and financial support. The project is 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).

Along with his SOG colleague David Owens, he has designed and authored a library of web-based training modules on zoning topics for use by local boards. In addition, he 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 BA in history from Auburn University and a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning as well as 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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