​Where necessary to implement current County policy or reflect changing County policy, the Board of Commissioners may, after review by the Planning Board, amend zoning district boundaries. When major policy changes are to be implemented, the County itself will initiate a broad-based rezoning that may affect a large number of parcels (e.g., the application of water supply watershed protection zoning classifications in 1984, 1988 and 1993). The County also considers rezonings in reaction to an individual property owner's petition to have the zoning classification applicable to his or her property changed – usually to a zoning classification that authorizes a different type or intensity of development than allowed by the property's current zoning.

View the Rezoning Petition Database

Review Process

It is strongly recommended that any person seeking the rezoning of their property first contact Planning staff, who will explain the review process and potential issues and provide the necessary forms and checklists.  
Guidelines for Traffic Impact Analysis (Section 15-12 of the UDO) 
Review of rezoning proposals occurs in accord with defined review cycles that accommodate comprehensive review by County staff and outside agencies (including adjacent municipalities), preparation of a staff report and recommendation, review and a recommendation by the Planning Board and a hearing, review and decision by the Board of Commissioners.

Initiation: Rezoning proposals may be initiated by the Planning Director or through a directive to the Planning Director from the Board of Commissioners (adopted in response to a request from one or more Commissioners, or from the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment). They may also be initiated by an owner of property in Wake County through submittal of a rezoning petition to the Planning staff, in accord with defined review cycles. Proposals to rezone land to a conditional use district may be initiated only by the owner(s) of the land. After preparing a petition, the petitioner must submit it to Planning staff by one of the prescribed submittal deadlines. A complete application must be delivered to the Planning office (Wake County Office Building, 336 Fayetteville St., Suite 101, downtown Raleigh) by 2 p.m. on the date of the submittal deadline (appointments are encouraged). Planning staff will review the application for full compliance with all submittal requirements. If it does not fully comply, they will inform the applicant of submittal deficiencies and allow him/her until 5 p.m. that day to correct the deficiencies and avoid deferral of the application's review to a later review cycle.

 Staff Review: After a petition is accepted as complete, Planning staff  then distributes the petition/proposal to staff of County and outside agencies involved in development review (Development Review Staff, or DRS), who review it for consistency with the Land Use Plan and in relation to other public interest issues. At the same time, Planning staff post notice of the petition/proposal at the site and mail the owners of properties adjoining the site notice of the proposed rezoning and the upcoming Planning Board meeting at which it is expected to be reviewed.

Planning staff notifies the petitioner of the Development Review Staff findings and municipal concerns, if appropriate (e.g., with proposed conditional use zoning), invite him/her to revise the application to address them.

Planning staff prepare a staff report containing staff findings and recommending approval or denial of the petition/proposal, then submit the petition/proposal and staff report to the Planning Board.

Planning Board Review: The Planning Board hears presentations of the staff report, comments from the petitioner and comments from other interested parties. It then discusses the petition/proposal and decides to recommend its approval or denial.

 After hearing comments and the Board's discussion, the petitioner may ask the Board's permission to revise the petition to address those comments. If the Board grants that request, the review process starts over (albeit accelerated) with submittal of the revised petition to the Planning staff.
 Board of Commissioners Review: Planning staff mail owners of properties adjoining the site notice of the upcoming Board of Commissioners meeting at which a public hearing on the petition/proposal is scheduled and cause such notice to be published in a local newspaper of general circulation in the area of the site. They then submit the staff report and the recommendations of the Planning staff and the Planning Board to the Board of Commissioners for consideration at the public hearing.

The Commissioners hear presentations of the staff report, comments from the petitioner, comments from other interested parties and the recommendations of the staff and Planning Board. They close the hearing, then discuss the petition/proposal and decide to approve or deny it. The Commissioners may continue the hearing if they deem it necessary to hear further comments or additional information. Except with petitions for conditional use zoning, the Commissioners may approve a rezoning to a more restrictive district than that proposed.

After hearing comments and the Board's discussion, the petitioner may ask the Board's permission to revise the petition to address those comments. If the Board grants that request, the review process starts over  with submittal of the revised petition to Planning staff.

If the petition/proposal is approved, Planning staff revises the County Zoning Map and the rezoned land is subject to the regulations applicable in the new zoning district(s).
If a rezoning petition is denied, Planning staff may not accept a new petition proposing the same or similar rezoning for a 1-year period (unless the Commissioners first waive this limitation).

 Rezoning Fees 

​Modify a Zoning district ​$1,000
Modify a previously approved rezoning ​$1,000

 A Traffic Impact Analysis may be required; if so, additional fees may be required. Traffic Impact Analysis Guidelines (section 15-12 of the UDO)

For further information about rezoning land, or about pending rezoning requests and proposals, contact Wake County Planning, PO Box 550, Raleigh, NC 27602-0550, 919-856-6221; FAX: 919-856-5824.