Licensing issues delay plans for Raleigh's Moore Square
Posted August 6, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — In April 2011, more than a year after winning Raleigh’s Moore Square Redesign Contest, Christopher Counts received a surprising piece of news from the North Carolina Board of Landscape Architecture – because neither he nor his firm was licensed in the state, he was to immediately cease and desist any and all work on the project.
The initial legal issues with the question over licensing have since been cleared up, but now a second complaint is delaying work on the Moore Square redesign. The team working on the project is now waiting for a ruling from the NCBLA so they can get back to work.
Although North Carolina statutes prohibit any individual or firm without the requisite licensure from practicing their services in the state, the language does not explicitly state whether a license is required for the earliest, master-planning stages of a project, which is what Counts had been hired to create.
Both Counts and the city — as confirmed by Chief Planning and Development Director Mitchell Silver — had interpreted the law to mean that a licensed landscape architect is required only for the construction document phase. That’s the final point of the design process before drawings are approved for construction.