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Matthew  A. Nichols

Matthew A. Nichols


T (910) 815-7132
F (910) 815-7223

Matt Nichols focuses his practice in the area of land use, development and real estate related litigation.  Matt represents clients in hearings and other proceedings before municipal and county boards on a wide variety of land use, permitting and real estate development matters, including:

  • General and conditional district rezonings
  • Special- and conditional-use permits
  • Ordinance text amendments
  • Subdivision review, plat and site plan approvals
  • Code enforcement and code interpretation appeals
  • Variances
  • Historic District Certificates of Appropriateness and appeals
  • Nonconformities and Vested Rights
  • Litigation and appeals regarding adverse or contested land use decisions

Matt also assists clients with NCDEQ-DCM (CAMA) and floodplain management matters related to coastal/water-dependent permitting and regulations, including docks and piers, community boating facilities, marinas, dry-stack boat storage facilities, and related riparian and littoral issues.

Matt has significant real estate transactional experience, both commercial and residential, and assists clients with contract negotiations, leasing, covenants, condominium matters, easements, title and boundary disputes, access issues, and closings.

Matt is a former law clerk to The Honorable William Norton Mason, United States Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.


Representative Work

  • Jamestown Pender, L.P. v. North Carolina Dep't of Transp., No. COA15-925, --- N.C. App. ---, --- S.E.2d ---, 2016 WL 6440497 (N.C. Ct. App. Nov. 1, 2016)
  • Six at 109, LLC v. Town of Holden Beach, --- N.C. App. ---, 767 S.E.2d 400 (2014)
  • In re Foreclosure of Deed of Trust of Rosemeier, 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 1201 (2014)
  • Branch Banking & Trust Co. v. Keesee, 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 1112 (2014)
  • Busik v. North Carolina Coastal Res. Comm'n, 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 1149, 753 S.E.2d 326 (2013), disc. review denied, 367 N.C. 502, 757 S.E.2d 900 (2014)
  • R.D. Furr Constr., Inc. v. Porter's Neck Country Club, Inc., 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 302 (2013)
  • Carolina Marina & Yacht Club, LLC v. New Hanover County Bd. of Comm'rs, 207 N.C. App. 250, 699 S.E.2d 646, (2010), disc. review denied, 365 N.C. 89, 706 S.E.2d 253 (2011)
  • Bailey & Associates, Inc. v. Wilmington Bd. of Adjustment, 202 N.C. App. 177, 689 S.E.2d 576 (2010)
  • Four Seasons Mgmt. Servs. Inc. v. Town of Wrightsville Beach, 205 N.C. App. 65, 695 S.E.2d 456 (2010)
  • Canady v. North Carolina Coastal Res. Comm'n, 2010 N.C. App. LEXIS 1462 (2010)
  • Ink Pen Retreat Corp. v. Hunter Heath Trust, 2008 N.C. App. LEXIS 351 (2008).
  • Ward v. North Carolina Dep’t of Env’t & Nat. Res., 2007 N.C. ENV LEXIS 10 (2007).
  • Pawlik v. Fortunati, 2007 N.C. App. LEXIS 1127 (2007).
  • Ward v. New Hanover County, 175 N.C. App. 671, 625 S.E.2d 598, disc. review denied, 360 N.C. 582, 636 S.E.2d 200 (2006).
  • Bowen v. Parker, 2006 N.C. App. LEXIS 1068 (2006).
  • Beau Rivage Homeowners Assoc. v. Billy Earl, LLC, 163 N.C. App. 325, 593 S.E.2d (2004).
  • Beau Rivage Homeowners Assoc. v. New Hanover County, 2004 N.C. App. LEXIS 2153 (2004).
  • Dobo v. City of Wilmington, 149 N.C. App. 701, 562 S.E.2d 108 (2002), reversed, 356 N.C. 656, 576 S.E.2d 324 (2003).
  • Peal v. North Carolina Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co., 212 F. Supp. 2d 508 (E.D.N.C. 2002).

* Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future legal representation.

Thought Leadership

Published Works

  • "Victor v. Nebraska: The Reasonable Doubt Dilemma," 79 N.C. L. Rev. 1709 (1995), listed in The National Law Journal’s “Worth Reading” column


  • Co-presenter, “Developing and Presenting a Land Use Case”, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, Festival of Legal Learning, 2009.
  • Member, One Wilmington
  • Citizen of the Year, 2009-2010, Wilmington Elks Lodge
  • Former Member, Town of Wrightsville Beach Planning Board
  • Former Member, Finance Council, St. Mark Catholic Church
  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., with Honors, 1996
  • University of Kentucky, B.A., with High Distinction, Departmental Honors in English, 1993
  • North Carolina, 1996
  • New York, 1998
  • Council Member, North Carolina State Bar Association, Zoning Planning & Land Use Section (2015 – present)
Academic Honors
  • Note Editor, North Carolina Law Review
  • O.J. & Ruby M. Wilson Scholarship, University of Kentucky
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Kentucky

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