Thanksgiving Holiday: Most municipal offices will be closed Nov. 23-24. Yard waste will not be collected this week. Residential trash collection will not be affected. Chapel Hill Transit will not operate on Thursday and will operate on a Saturday schedule on Friday, Nov. 24. Chapel Hill Public Library will be closed. More Information

All residential permit requests can now be completed using the new Online Permitting Services tool.


Do I Need a Residential Building Permit?

 The following residential work requires a permit:

  • Any work exceeding $15,000
  • Any structural work
  • Most foundation and roof work
  • Most electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work
  • Expanding the building envelope or conditioned space

View more details about work requiring a permit


Do I need a zoning review?

Zoning Review and a Site Plan and/or a floor plan is required for the following:

  • Increase in building footprint / additions
  • Increase in impervious surface area
  • Exterior work in or near a Special Protection Area 
  • New Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens or projects that increase conditioned area


Need help?

No problem! Contact Development Services to find answers to your questions.



Application Forms

There are two different ways to apply for a permit. Read below to find the right option for you.

1. Online Permitting Services

Online Permitting provides one online application for all one and two family residential projects. 


2. Download Application Forms

If you choose not to use the Online Permitting Services, you may also download applications forms and submit them in electronic format to Development Services.

  1. Download the Checklist and Residential Zoning-Building Permit. ✔
  2. Download the required Recyclable Materials Form. ✔
  3. Use the table below to determine which review schedule applies to your project and which additional application materials are needed: ▼


Guide Arrow Pointing Right

  Required Specifications Example Projects  Site Plan Checklist  Example Documents 
Regular Review  

Impervious surface (ISA) > 1500 sq. ft.

Land Disturbance (LD) > 5000 sq. ft.

In/near Special Protection Area


New Houses

Large Additions

Large hardscape / grading

Regular Site Checklist

Regular Site Plan Example
Express Review (< 5 days)  

Impervious Surface (ISA) 500 to 1500 sq. ft.

Land Disturbance (LD) 1500 to 5000 sq. ft.

Grading / new foundation


Small Additions

New Accessory Dwellings

New Driveways, Garages

Express Site Plan Checklist

Express Site Plan Example

Express Site Detail Drawing Example

Minor Review (same day)  

Impervious Surface (ISA) <500 sq. ft.

Land Disturbance (LD)<1500 sq. ft.

No grading

Decks, Porches, Patios, Sunrooms.

Finishing unfinished attic / basement.



Related Forms


Related Pages

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