Robert W. Oast, Jr. (Bob)

Bob is an attorney and a certified planner with over 30 years experience in local government and land use. 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 has also served as adjunct faculty at East Carolina University and Western Carolina University, and regularly makes presentations on land use issues at professional and academic conferences.

Client Successes

  • Represented and advised Asheville and other NC municipalities 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 in Asheville and elsewhere, including development permits, zoning ordinances, and conditional uses.
  • Drafted and implemented several public/private development agreements, including Aloft Hotel and Grove Arcade in Asheville, and the federal courthouse for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Greenville
  • Advised the cities of Asheville and Greenville 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

Community Involvement

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)
  • NC Municipal Attorneys Association (Past President)
  • Academic Advisory Council for Signage, Research and Education


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


University of North Carolina (J.D., 1982)

Master of Regional Planning (Economic and Community Development, 1982)

Bachelor of Arts (English Literature, 1978)