​The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), a groundbreaking ordinance, consolidates all regulations that govern development in Wake County into one user-friendly document. The UDO includes tables, charts and other graphics that make its provisions more accessible.

About the Unified Development Ordinance

The UDO is a living document that will evolve and grow with the needs and desires of Wake County and its citizenry in response to changing community goals and objectives, newly emerging development trends and technologies, and changes to state and federal regulations. The effective date of the adopted Wake County Unified Development Ordinance is April 17, 2006.


Effective July 2, 2012 – New Stormwater Rules for New Development in the Falls and Jordan Lake Basins

Both Falls Lake and Jordan Lake are considered polluted due to excessive nutrient inputs, and stormwater runoff is one of the major sources. As a result, both lakes have been designated as Nutrient Sensitive Waters (NSW) by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ). The Falls Lake and Jordan Lake rules passed by the State require local governments to adopt stormwater standards for new development. The State’s Falls Lake rules became effective January 15, 2011, and the Jordan Lake rules became effective August 11, 2009. Local governments must implement the New Development Rule for Falls Lake by July 12, 2012, and by August 10, 2012, for Jordan Lake. Wake County is addressing the two programs in one set of regulations within its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), Section 9-21 State Nutrient Management Strategy Rules. The Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the amendment to the UDO on July 2, 2012.