Robert W. Oast, Jr. (Bob)

Bob is an attorney and a certified planner with over 35 years experience, primarily in local government and land use law. He was the City Attorney for Asheville for over 17 years, retiring in 2013. He also worked as City Attorney in Greenville, NC, and as Assistant City Attorney in Wilmington, NC. From 2013-2016, Bob was an associate professor of practice in City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University, where he taught law in the master’s degree program; he remains on the adjunct faculty. He regularly makes presentations on land use issues at professional and academic conferences.


  • Represented and advised North Carolina local governments and private clients on a wide variety of local government issues, including land use regulation, development permitting, open meetings and public records, and constitutional matters.
  • Drafted or reviewed numerous sections of city codes and ordinances including development permits, zoning ordinances, and conditional uses.
  • Drafted and implemented several public/private development agreements, representing local governments and private clients.
  • Advised North Carolina local governments in connection with several major public financing matters, including revenue bonds, certificates of participation, and installment purchase contracts
  • Numerous appearances in state and federal courts, and before local, state, and federal boards and agencies


University of North Carolina (J.D., 1982)
Master of Regional Planning (Economic and Community Development, 1982)
Bachelor of Arts (English Literature, 1978)


North Carolina (1982)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina



Bob grew up in Asheville and attended local schools.  In addition to being City Attorney, Bob has been involved with the local and regional community in several ways:

  • Lawyer on the Line (Legal Aid of NC telephone legal assistance)
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)
  • National Association of Parliamentarians
  • American Bar Association (Past Chair, Economic Development)
  • NC Bar Association (Past Chair, Zoning Planning and Land Use Section)
  • American Planning Association (NC Chapter-Sustainability Committee)
  • NC Municipal Attorneys Association (Past President)
  • Academic Advisory Council for Signage, Research and Education
  • Member, City of Asheville Development Customers Advisory Group (DCAG)


Best Lawyers in America® (2018 – 2024)

North Carolina Bar Association Grainger Barrett Award, Government and Public Sector Section (2021)

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