Property and zoning research and small business start-up guides 

There are several ways to get help navigating the permit process. Please select one of the DSC's self-help resources or contact staff to request further guidance related to one of our information products or applications. 

  1. Self-help research tools 
  2. Ask a property, zoning, or application question

Knowledge base

The knowledge base is a searchable database of articles about the development process. Topics include frequently asked questions about permitting requirements and development regulations. 

Business Startup Roadmaps

Developed in partnership with Durham’s Office and Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), state agencies, and professional associations, this collection of nine small business guides provides a comprehensive overview of the regulatory process, from registering a business name to grand opening. Additional background is here.

Convenience Store
Food Truck
Salon, Barber, and Nail Salon
Vehicle Sales
Vehicle Services

Outdoor Sales Information

Outdoor sales is a broad category of commercial activities that include garage or yard sales, food trucks, pushcarts, and stands with tables and/or tents. Some outdoor sales are allowed in the public right-of-way, and others on private property. Each of these types of outdoor sales has its own set of rules.
Outdoor Sales Information
Información de Ventas al Aire Libre 

2019 Expanding Housing Choices initiative

In 2019 Durham implemented the Expanding Housing Choices Initiative, a result of many of months of community engagement intended to increase the range of residential housing options and housing affordability in Durham, primarily within urban neighborhoods.
EHC handout
Overview of EHC initiative

Plot Plan generator

A plot plan - also referred to as a plot map - is required with all residential building permits. A plot plan can be produced by a licensed surveyor, or, applicants can choose generate one on their own.
Generate a Plot Plan using Durham Maps
City-County Inspections requirements for plot plans 

Permits and early assistance

Visit this page if you know which permit or approval you need. You can also request formal verification letters and schedule Concept Meetings and Pre-submittal meetings.   

Application fees

Planning Fees
Inspections Fees
Public Works Fees (see Section 14: Development Fees)

Development regulations

Review building, zoning, infrastructure, or other regulations that may apply to a property, activity, or construction type.

Durham maps and current project submittals

Review list of recent development application submttals; browse development activity by map; research area-wide or site-specific property, zoning, and environmental data using GIS.

Records requests

Browse development activity by map, access data sets, or request land development records.