Development Application Forms, Early Assistance, and Verification Letters
A complete application form is one step of a six-step application submittal process. The application process is all digital and paper-free. Please do not deliver materials via mail as these items will not be processed or returned. Use the blue button immediately below to launch the application guide after completing an application form and reviewing the submittal checklist. For Building Permits and Inspections application submittal, payment, and questions visit the Inspections site.
- Early Assistance
- Planning (A-Z)
- Minor Development (A-Z)
- Engineering/Stormwater/Right of Way
- Enhanced Plan Review
- Other work groups
Project feasibility services allow customers to verify property and zoning conditions and receive a high-level summary of applicable development regulations prior to initiating a formal application.
The above page includes access to the following.
- Affordable Housing Bonus
- Expanding Housing choices initiative.
- Business start-up guides.
- Outdoor sales FAQ.
- Plot Plan (plot map) generator.
- Fee schedules for Planning, Inspections, and Public Works.
- Searchable set of frequently asked questions.
- Zoning, subdivision, and environmental regulations within the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
- NC State Building Code and Reference Guide for Development (engineering; stormwater; transportation).
- List of current development application submittals.
- Guidance for using Durham Maps to research property and zoning information and browse current development activity by map.
- Instructions for browsing or requesting land development records.
- Instructions for contacting DSC with general property, zoning, or application questions by email, phone, or in person.
These are optional, paid information products intended to verify current zoning and property conditions. Staff will provide a letter confirming the following information:
- Verification of zoning district and current land use;
- Confirmation that Certificates of Occupancy were received for construction; and/or
- Identify any pending or prior zoning code enforcement cases.
Concept Meetings and Multi-departmental Pre-submittal Meetings
Concept Meetings and Pre-submittal meetings are intended to help applicants understand the development process and identify regulations with significant bearing on the proposed project. In some instances these meetings are a required step within the application process. Follow the link above to learn more about the different types of meetings offered, and how to schedule a slot and transmit materials.
2.1. Process Overview
- Annexation Pre-Submittal Meeting Form
- Voluntary Annexation Petition (PDF)
- Utility Extension Agreement Application (PDF)
- Authorization Form – Site Plan/ Annexation/ and Zoning Review (Corporate) (PDF)
- Authorization Form – Site Plan/ Annexation/ and Zoning Review (LLC) (PDF)
2.3. Additional information
3. Comprehensive Plan Amendment
3.2. Additional Information
- Comprehensive Plan Amendment Application Information
- Future Land Use and Zoning Compatibility
- Approval of a Neighborhood Meeting Letter and Location
4. Historic District Development
- Registration for Certificate of Appropriateness Pre-submittal Conference
- Minor Certificate of Appropriateness Application
- Major, and Master Certificate of Appropriateness Application
4.2. Additional Information
- Certificate of Appropriateness Application Instructions
- Work Requiring a Certificate of Appropriateness
- Historic Preservation Commission Web Page
5. Historic Landmark Designation
- Historic Landmark Application
- Historic Landmark Pre-Application
- Historic Landmark Pre-Submittal Request
6. Neighborhood Protection Overlay
6.1. Process Overview
- Neighborhood Protection Overlay Application
- Neighborhood Protection Overlay Petition Form
- Neighborhood Protection Overlay Pre-Submittal Meeting Request Form
6.3. Additional Information
7. Riparian Buffer Determinations
- Cape Fear and Neuse Riparian Buffer Mitigation Application
- Cape Fear Riparian Buffer - No Practical Alternative Application
- Cape Fear Riparian Buffer Variance Application
8. Site Plans and Plats
Site plan submittals are accepted at the Development Services Center between 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday, and will be reviewed for completeness within one business day. See submittal checklists below. Submittal packages not consistent with checklists will not be accepted for review.
- Site Plan and Plat Resubmittal Cover Sheet
A cover sheet is required for all resubmittals.
8.4. Level 1 Site Plan
A site plan requiring only Planning Department review
8.5. Level 2 and Level 3 Site Plans
A site plan with:
• A maximum of 500 square feet (sq. ft.) of new impervious surfaces added;
• No changes in stormwater management;
• No more than 200 sq. ft. of new building area; and
• Less than 12,000 sq. ft. of land disturbance
8.6. Level 4, Major Site Plan, and Preliminary Plats
A site plan that does not meet the definitions of a Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, or Major Site Plan)
- Level 4 Site Plan - Major Site Plan - Preliminary Plat Application and Submittal Checklist
- Affordable Housing Bonus Rules and Procedures
8.7. Site Plan and Plat Amendments
8.8. Final Plats, Exempt Plats, and Right-of-Way Withdrawal
For Street Closings see #11 below.
8.9. Additional Information
- Site Plan and Plat Standard Notes
- City Stormwater Submittal Requirements
- County Stormwater Submittal Requirements
- Interactive Buffer Model (MS Excel download)
9. Site Compliance
- Outdoor Lighting Certification
- Site Compliance Checklist
- Landscape Extension Request Form
- Request for Planning Inspection Sign-Off (Form)
10. Special Use Permits, Variances, and Appeals
- Schedule Board of Adjustment Pre-Submittal Meeting
- Minor and Major Special Use Application
- Transportation Special Use Permit Application
- Variance Application
- Appeal of Administrative Decision or Zoning Boundary Application
10.2. Additional Information
- Board of Adjustment Deadline Calendar (PDF)
- Board of Adjustment Process Overview
- Board of Adjustment Web Page
- Authorization Form - Site Plan and Board of Adjustment
10.3. Reasonable Accommodation Request
11. Street Closing
For Right-of-Way Withdrawal, see #8.8 above.
12. Street Renaming
13. Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Text Amendment
14. Watershed Determination
15. Zoning Map Change
- Zoning Map Change Application
- Reasonable Public Interest Instructions
- Pre-Submittal Registration Form
- Development Plan as a Site Plan Pre-Submittal Registration Form
15.2. Owner / Neighbor Forms
Minor Development Review includes minor planning approvals (e.g. signs; home occupations; temporary uses) and minor building permits (e.g. home improvements; pools; accessory structures). These quick turn-around items are processed by directly by DSC staff.
1. Architectural Review
2. Due Diligence Verification Letters (formerly Zoning / Business Verification)
3. Electrical Reconnection Request
4. Home Occupation Permit
- Signage Permit Application and Checklist (PDF)
- Common Signage Plan Application, Checklist, and Worksheet (PDF)
6. Street Vendor Registration
7. Temporary Use Permits
8. Wireless Communication Facility (WCF) Plans
- Wireless Communication Facility Application and Checklist (PDF)
- Small Cell Wireless Permit Application (PDF)
9. Outdoor Seating Permits
- Outdoor Seating Permit Application (PDF)
- Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit Application (PDF)
- Outdoor Seating Permit Sworn Statement - No Charges (PDF)
- Outdoor Seating Permit Sworn Statement - With Charges (PDF)
2. Additional Information
- Small Floodplain Submittal Checklist
- Medium Floodplain Submittal Checklist
- Large Floodplain Submittal Checklist
- Floodplain Building Permit Submittal Checklist
- Floodplain As-built Submittal Checklist
- Floodplain Impact Plan Checklist
- Floodplain Impact Narrative Checklist
- Engineer Certification Letter Checklist
- No-Impact Checklist
- CLOMR Checklist
- Flood-Related Hazard Calculations
- Floodplain Cover Sheet Notes
- Floodplain Cost Estimate Spreadsheet
- Floodplain Cost Estimate Checklist
- Flood Risk Information System (FRIS)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
3. Small Cell Wireless Permit Guidance, Code 3 and Specifications
3.1 Forms, Applications, and Requirements
- Small Cell Wireless Application Form
- Construction Standards, Specifications & Standard Details (PDF)
- Electrical Permit Application (PDF)
- Electrical Permit Requirements (PDF)
- Closure Permit (PDF)
- Pole Updates (PDF)
3.2 Additional Resources
Enhanced Plan Review
Enhanced plan review is an optional, fee-based service available through the City-County Inspections department for multi-family and commercial construction projects. During this face to face meeting the owner’s design/construction team meets with Inspections staff from all trades to review construction drawings and work collectively to ensure drawings comply with building code. By bringing all parties together in a single review session, the Enhanced Review service can reduce the number of re-reviews needed and shorten the approval timeline.
Below is an overview of the process, see more details here.
Enhanced Review Meetings
- An Enhanced Review meeting can be scheduled seven business days after the Building Permit is deemed complete.
- The fee for an Enhanced Review meeting is $600 and must be paid prior to scheduling.
- Regular meeting days are Tuesdays and Thursdays, in one hour increments.
- Morning meetings are held at 8:30am, 9:30am, and 10:30am, and afternoon meetings are held at 1:00pm, 2:00pm, and 3:00pm.
- Meetings may run over an hour if needed, provided that the next time block is available.
- The fee beyond one hour is $150 per 15-minute increment.
- Meetings can be scheduled on Wednesdays and Fridays by request, depending on availability.
- There are two options for scheduling an enhanced review session as summarized below.
Scheduling Option 1: Request Enhanced Plan Review Upon Initial Submittal
- When uploading the Building Permit Application to Dplans, enter “Enhanced Review Request” in the description section.
- Once the application is deemed complete, staff will contact the applicant to discuss scheduling options.
- The meeting schedule is confirmed once the $600 fee is paid. After the fee is paid, plans review staff will complete the first round of review within two business day (in advance of the enhanced review meeting).
- Keep in mind that the Enhanced Review does not include any departments outside of Inspections.
- The applicant will be able to respond as review notes are posted.
Scheduling Option 2: Apply for an Enhanced Review permit after the first round of reviews.
- Once an application has completed the first round of reviews, the applicant may request to move that application from regular review to enhanced review.
- Contact Scott McCorkle, Enhanced Review Administrative Assistant, to request an Enhanced Review meeting (firstname.lastname@example.org | 919-227-0782). Scott or a member of his team will work with the applicant to identify the earliest available dates and times for an enhanced review meeting.
- Once the applicant has selected the date and time for the meeting and paid $600 scheduling fee, we will change the application status to Enhanced Review.