City Attorney Bob Oast will retire, teach at Ohio State

Full announcement from the city of Asheville:

ASHEVILLE – Tuesday night, City Attorney Bob Oast announced to Asheville City Council his plans to retire in July of 2013. Mr. Oast entered public service in 1983 and has worked for the last 25 years exclusively within local governments in North Carolina. He has served as Asheville’s city attorney for 16 years.

His retirement marks a 30-year career as an attorney in public service and opens a door into another. Mr. Oast has accepted an offer as Associate Professor of Planning Practice in the City and Regional Planning Section of the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

“I’ve enjoyed my time working for the city. I grew up here and it’s been rewarding to serve Asheville during a time when the city has experience such significant growth,” said Oast. “I’m looking forward to this next chapter and the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with professionals entering the field. I’ve always had an interest in teaching and this is a great time in my life to make the change.”

Mr. Oast has served as the City of Asheville’s attorney since 1996 and has worked with many different Councils, including four different mayors — Russ Martin, Leni Sitnick, Charles Worley and Terry Bellamy. He has been integrally involved in a number of important public/private partnership projects such as the reopening of the Grove Arcade, Pack Square Park and the parking deck at 51 Biltmore Ave.

“Bob helped make major changes to the UDO that ushered in the type of growth and development that allowed the city to weather the downturn in the economy better than most municipalities our size. He has built strong relationships with the UNC School of Government and the NC League of Municipalities, both of which see him as a strong resource for both legal and planning matters,” said Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy. “Bob will be greatly missed. He has always provided consistent and solid legal advice. I know he will enjoy his next stage of life as a professor.”

Mr. Oast holds both a law degree and a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has a long history of involvement in professional organizations and is a past chair of the Zoning, Planning and Land Use Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He is the current president of the North Carolina Municipal Attorneys Association.

“We are all so pleased the Mr. Oast has agreed to come to the City and Regional Planning Section here in the Knowlton School of Architecture,” said City and Regional Planning Section Head Rachel Kleit. “ As clinical faculty, he will be able to share his broad and deep experience in both law and planning. He brings critical strengths to our undergraduate and graduate planning curricula.”


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