Planning and development services update

Updated December 22, 2020
View the City’s latest COVID-19 information

Resources for application submittal and fee payment

  1. DPlans
  2. External LDO portal
  3. Inspections fee schedules
  4. Small Project Plan Review
  5. Online application guide / application submittal portal
  6. Fee schedule and payment portal 
  7. Development Regulations
  8. Application and case review portal (for employees)
  9. Schedule Concept Meeting or Multi-departmental Pre-submittal Meeting 
  10. Schedule Pre-submittal Meeting for Land Use, Historic Preservation or Policy

Walk-in Services, Feasibility Questions, and Meetings

The Development Services Center lobby is closed until further notice due to COVID-19, and customer service, development review, and inspections services have are available remotely. If a service cannot be fulfilled remotely, an in-person option may be arranged in advance with strict adherence to social distancing standards and use of a face covering.

Concept Meetings and Pre-submittal Meetings is are now scheduled online and held virtually via Zoom.

Phone and Email Contact

Inspections customer service 

Phone: 919-560-1200
Email: permittechnicians [at]

Planning customer service

Phone: 919-560-4137
Email: dscticket [at]

Development Application Online Submittal and Payment

  • Application submittals (new applications and re-reviews) and payments are now fully electronic, either through the existing DPlans and LDO system for Inspections, or through the DSC web site. See links at top of page. 
  • Please do not send any items via the mail. Most staff are teleworking and are not available on site to process paper applications or checks. Delivering items via mail will slow application processing time. Mailed items will not be returned and customers will be asked to cancel any checks and direct payment online.

Development Review Process and Timelines

Timelines for Administrative Approvals 

Application Type 

Business Days for Review 

Minor Certificate of Appropriateness 

10 (5)  

Plat - Preliminary (All types)  

20 (15)  

Plat - Final   


Plat - Exempt  (Planning only)  

Other Minor Development 

Plat - Exempt  (Multi-departmental)  


Right-of-Way Withdrawal   


Site Plan - Level 1 (All Reviews)  


Site Plan - Level 2   

20 (15)  

Site Plan - Level 3   

20 (15)  

Site Plan - Level 4  

Initial review  



20 (15)  

Site Plan - Major   


Street Closing or Renaming  


Issuance of Approvals and Permits

  • Regarding plat reviews, please note the Durham County Tax Administration Office is closed due to COVID-19, but appointments with a plat review officer can be made by calling 919-257-0114.
  • Mylars and items requiring hand signature can be dropped off in a secure storage box near the Mangum Street entrance of City Hall. Contact the case review planner for information.

Inspections and Sign-offs


  • Planning enforcement and site compliance activities continues as usual, with strict social distancing practiced by staff. Staff reserves the right to refuse to inspect a location or facility where these standards are not adhered to.
  • Site Compliance Inspection fees are now required for Planning inspections.


  • Inspections in occupied buildings and HVAC replacements in occupied homes will not be conducted due to social distancing requirements. Third party inspections will be considered with prior approval, and the external LDO system is available again for inspections scheduling.
  • Construction industry partners are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing at all times at job sites. An entrance to the project must be provided that does not involve travel through occupied spaces.  The inspector conducting the inspection must feel safe in order to complete the inspection.  If you are unable to provide the entrance listed above or the inspector does not feel safe, third party inspections can be approved on a very limited basis with Departmental Chief’s approval only.  The definition of a third party inspection is a stamped letter from the engineer stating they have completed the inspection onsite and deemed all aspects of the inspection meet the 2018 NCMC or 2018 NCFGC. These rules are only in effect during the COVID-19 crisis.

Public Works

The Engineering Inspections web page includes a range of updates on remote and field-based services offered during COVID-19 via the Engineering Inspections Request Form.