Wake County regulates land development within those areas of the County located outside the planning jurisdictions of its 12 municipalities. It does so through its Unified Development Ordinance, under the guidance provided by the Wake County Land Use Plan. For each zoning district, the UDO specifies permitted land uses and contains regulations controlling the intensity and design of new development. (Article 4-11, Wake County Unified Development Ordinance)
Administrative (Actions) Approvals
1. Land Uses of existing parcels of land in Wake County involve the relatively minor administrative procedure of obtaining a Land Use Permit from the County's Planning, Development and Inspections (PDI) Division. These include such uses as Residential Care Homes, ABC Permits and Residential Daycares. Access a Land Use Permit Application
2. Offices/Occupations proposed within the home
involve the relatively minor administrative procedure of obtaining a Home Occupation Permit from the County's PDI Division. Home Occupation Permit Application
3. Most development of existing parcels of land in Wake County involves the relatively minor administrative procedure of obtaining a zoning/building permit from the County's PDI Division.
*Creation of new parcels as sites for development involves subdivisions.
4. Most commercial signage in Wake County involves the relatively simple administrative procedure of obtaining a zoning/building permit from the County's PDI Division.
Commercial Permit Application (for signs)
Board (Actions) Approvals
1. Development of certain land uses may first require a Special Use Permit
approved by the Board of Adjustment after finding that the evidence and testimony presented at a formal hearing demonstrate compliance with a set of general criteria.
2. The UDO also establishes similar formal, trial-like procedures whereby the Board of Adjustment can hear and decide appeals from staff decisions.
3. The UDO also establishes similar formal, trial-like procedures whereby the Board of Adjustment can hear and grant hardship variances from UDO regulations.
4. Where necessary to implement current County policy or reflect changing County policy, the Board of Commissioners may, after review by the Planning Board, change the UDO itself, either by amending the text of the Ordinance, or by amending its map (rezoning) of zoning district boundaries.