Subdivision Variance

Wake County’s Unified Development Ordinance offers a variance process for an interested party to receive a hardship variance from subdivision regulations.

Necessary Conclusions

  • Application of the regulation to the subdivision of a particular property would result in extraordinary and unnecessary hardships,
  • Granting a variance from the regulation would be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the UDO and preserves its spirit, and
  • Granting the variance would ensure the public safety and welfare and produce substantial justice.

It is strongly recommended that any person considering seeking a subdivision hardship variance first contact Subdivision Administration staff, who will explain the review process and potential issues.

Variance Process





Staff Review

Once a hearing before the Board of Adjustment has been set, Subdivision Administration staff posts notice of the hearing at the site and sends notice to adjoining property owners. The Planning Director may also decide to publish notice in the local paper.


Board of Adjustment Hearing

In reviewing zoning hardship variances, the Board of Adjustment acts much like a panel of judges. It holds a hearing to allow the staff, applicant, and other interested parties to present competent, substantial, and material factual evidence relating to the required conclusions. It then makes findings of fact supported by the presented evidence. Based on those findings, the Board decides whether or not it can reach each of the required conclusions. It may approve application only after it reaches all of the required conclusions. The Board may approve an application subject to conditions reasonably necessary to allow it to reach the required conclusions.

If the application is denied, the applicant may appeal the denial to Superior Court, provided the appeal is made within 30 days of the Board of Adjustment decision filing.