Per NC General Statute 160A-417, all non-residential work including, but not limited to, the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, movement to another site, removal, or demolition of any building or structure requires a Building Permit, except the work noted below in the sub permit section.
All signs visible from the public right-of-way require an approved sign permit, except those exempted in LUMO 5.14.3
Examples of signs exempt from regulation include the following:
Property identification including street address, names of occupants, or signs guiding traffic and parking
Temporary real estate, construction, political, yard sale, public event, or grand opening signs
Changeable or moveable signs (i.e. sandwich boards). Only allowed in certain zoning districts
Generally, these exempt signs may not display any advertising and may not be illuminated. See LUMO 5.14.3 for additional information and regulations regarding sign size, placement, and number.
Note: These requirements are per section 5.14 of the Town of Chapel Hill Land Use Management Ordinance
Per Appendix H of the 2018 NC State Building Code, the following signs are exempt from the requirements to obtain a permit before erection. These signs may still need Planning approval before installation.
Non-illuminated wall signs.
Signs erected by transportation authorities.
Projecting signs not exceeding 6 square feet.
The changing of moveable parts of an approved sign that is designed for changes, or the repainting or reposition of display matter shall not be deemed an alteration.
All Non-residential work, that includes new land disturbance (i.e. exterior site work, clearing, grading, land disturbance, removal of vegetation, addition, new building), requires a Zoning Compliance Permit. Depending on the current permit approval statues the following types of work may be approved administratively by Town Staff:
Addition of 15 percent, or less, of previously existing floor area, or 2,500 square feet of floor area, whichever is greater
Addition of 15 percent, or less, of previously existing parking spaces, or 10 parking spaces, whichever is greater
An increase of 15 percent, or less, of land clearing, or 10,000 square feet of new land clearing, whichever is greater
Changes in use1 provided that either
The new use is in the same group (same use intensity)
The new use is in less intense group (i.e. C to B or A; B to A)
All work that exceeds these thresholds requires an approved Development Project Application before a Zoning Compliance Permit can be issued. Examples include:
Addition or new development of more than 2,500 square feet of floor area/10,000 square feet of land disturbance - Site Plan Review
Change in use1 to a more intense use group (i.e. A to B or C; B to C) - Site Plan Review
Addition or new development of more than 20,000 square feet of floor area/40,000 square feet of land disturbance - Special Use Permit
Planned Developments - Special Use Permit
Note: These requirements are per section 4.7 and 4.9 of the Town of Chapel Hill Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO)