Fee Schedule: Building and Development Services

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Permit Fee Notes

  • The following schedule of permit fees is applicable to the Chapel Hill zoning jurisdiction.
  • Building permit fees are based on the cost of construction unless otherwise indicated and are collected after permit approval for issuance and PRIOR to any work beginning.
  • For all building permits, the General Contractor of record is responsible for paying all permit fees.
  • All fees shall be paid in order to receive a Certificate of Occupancy and final power.
  • Permit fees are broken down into 2 categories:  Residential and Commercial. Residential means 1 & 2 Family projects like single family homes, duplexes, townhomes. Commercial means all other projects not considered Residential.
  • Cost of new construction projects will be evaluated against the most current ICC Valuation Table
  • Fees for all Town projects are waived

Building Valuation Data Table
(For the current Building Valuation Data table, see www.iccsafe.org)

For Use in Determining Minimum Total Valuation for Building Permit Fee Calculations 

  • The BVD table provides the “average” construction costs per square foot, which can be used in determining permit fees for a jurisdiction. Permit fee schedules are addressed in Section 109.2 of the most current International Building Code (IBC) whereas Section 109.3 addresses building permit valuations. The permit fees can be established by using the BVD table and a Permit Fee Multiplier, which is based on the total construction value within the jurisdiction for the past year. The Square Foot Construction Cost table presents factors that reflect relative value of one construction classification/occupancy group to another so that more expensive construction is assessed greater permit fees than less expensive construction. 
  • The BVD is not intended to apply to alterations or repairs to existing buildings. Because the scope of alterations or repairs to an existing building varies so greatly, the Square Foot Construction Costs Table does not reflect accurate values for that purpose. However, the Square Foot Construction Costs Table can be used to determine the cost of an addition that is basically a stand-alone building which happens to be attached to an existing building. In the case of such additions, the only alterations to the existing building would involve the attachment of the addition to the existing building and the openings between the addition and the existing building.
  • Determination of Total Valuation. For purposes of determining fees, total valuation shall be either the actual contract price or an applicable amount based on the total square footage of the structure to be built, multiplied by the square foot cost data prescribed on the attached Building Valuation Data Table which is a part of this fee schedule, whichever is greater.


Publicly Assisted Housing Units

  • The Town agrees to waive certain development-related fees related only for the affordable units for projects that provide permanently affordable homeownership opportunities or provide rental housing that remains affordable for at least 20 years.  Affordable is defined as being sold or rented to households earning less than 120% of the Area Median Income as determined and approved by the Town. In this case, otherwise applicable Town application fees, building permit fees, plan review fees, inspection fees, and such other development fees and costs which would otherwise be due shall be waived for the affordable dwelling units identified in the application. To qualify for the waiver for rental development, applicants and Town staff must agree on how affordability will be maintained for a 20-year period and an agreement may be required. 
  • If application fees are paid for a proposed development that subsequently converts existing approved market rate units to affordable dwelling units in the development plan, a pro rata refund of any such fees that have already been paid shall be provided to the applicant upon approval of the development to reflect the conversion to affordable units. The refunded amount will be determined by the percentage of the affordable units within the development.  In addition, any existing development that receives approval to construct new affordable units may have the fees waived for the new affordable units.  This refund or waiver does not apply to any market rate units, or to any fees associated with water, wastewater, or stormwater.
  • Fees are also waived for service projects by non-profits, for a non-profit organization. 

Re-Inspection Fees

  • All additional inspections made necessary due to failure to comply with applicable code requirements, when projects are not ready for inspection, when recurring deficiencies exist and/or when requested inspections are not cancelled on time, shall be hereby designated as "re-inspections" and carry a re-inspection fee. Every permit for residential projects will carry a re-inspection fee of $60. Every permit for commercial projects will be assessed a fee of $100 for each additional inspection resulting from a failure. Note: Any disputes must be received within 3 business days of the rejection for waiver consideration. Re-inspection fees are not considered permit fees and are not eligible for blanket waivers.


  • Sub-permits are ineligible for refunds.
  • Active building permits issued for one and two family dwellings may receive refunds of the permit cost (minus the non-refundable administrative review fee) after permit issuance provided no inspections have occurred and all original paperwork is returned to the Building Division.
  • The minimum charge for processing one and two family permit refunds is $75.00.
  • Active building permits for all projects other than one and two family dwellings may receive refunds of the permit cost (minus the non-refundable administrative review fee and any plan review fees) after permit issuance provided no inspections have occurred and all original paperwork is returned to the Building Division.
  • The minimum charge for processing other than one and two family permit refunds is $100.00.
  • No refunds will be issued beyond six months from the date of permit issuance for any permit or if inspections have been completed.
  • Fees for Additional Services are required to be paid upfront & before services are rendered and are non-refundable after.
  • BDS staff do not accept nor waive any fees.

Development Services Fees - Zoning and Planning

Penalty Fees

  • After-The-Fact Work (without permits) - When any work on a building or service system commences before FIRST obtaining the required permit(s), a Stop Work Order will be issued and all associated permit fees for the work will be DOUBLED, due prior to permit issuance.
  • Violation Penalty -  Penalty fees assessed for violations of local ordinances and state codes are per the applicable section of code or ordinance.                 

Orange County School Impact Fees

  • Orange County School Impact Fees are no longer assessed effective June 20, 2017 due to repeal of statutory authorization.

Orange County Recyclable Materials Fee

  •  As of July 1, 2008, an 8% Orange County recyclable materials fee shall be charged on all permits issued in Orange County. The 8% will be based on total permit fees.


Administrative Review Fee
This is an upfront non-refundable, non-transferable fee, due at the time of submission for each building permit application received. This fee is based upon the project's construction cost. It is applicable for all building permits and is applied towards final permit fees balance.

Construction Cost Fee
Up to $20,000 $50
$20,001 - $50,000 $100
$50,001 - $500,000 $500
In excess of $500,001



Commercial Plan Review Fees

Up to 4,000 square feet $100
4,000 - 15,000 square feet $185
15,001 - 40,000 square feet $590
In excess of 40,001 square feet $1,420
Resubmission Review Fee, charged at 1 hour minimum (on initial permit review, permit fees cover the first re-review) Additional $100 per hour


Building Fees

Construction Cost Fee
$100 - $5,000 $55
$5,001 - $20,000 $100
$20,001 - $50,000 $10 per $1,000
$50,001 - $500,000 Base fee of $500 plus $4.50/$1,000 over $50,001
In excess of $500,001 Base fee of $2,500 plus $3.50/$1,000 over $500,001


Miscellaneous Building Fees

 Type of work Fee
Signs $50 per sign plus trade fees
Mobile Homes $250 including trade fees
Construction Trailers $150 including trade fees
Insulation (per dwelling unit OR proposed # of inspections) $60 (per dwelling unit OR proposed # of inspections)
Permit Reactivation (See current policy & guidance from NCDOI for details)  
  Residential $75 
  Commercial $100


Electrical Fees

 Type of work residential commercial

Single Panel (regardless of size)

This fee will cover the addition, alteration, or changes to any new or existing single panel and its components

$115 $200
Read in / Read out (per inspection) $100 $110


Mechanical Fees

Type of work residential commercial
All interconnected appliances, equipment or connections (each); ductwork, etc (minimum charge) $35 $135
Heat Pump / Gas Pack / Gas Piping $70 $135
Geothermal (each system) $70 $135
Hood System (per system) $100 $100
Commercial appliances (each - boilers, chillers, exhaust fans, heat towers, VAV boxes, condensers, ductwork, etc) N/A $100



Type of work residential commercial
Per Fixture (in excess of five fixtures) $10 $15

Minimum Charge*

$50 $75
Sewer / Water Connection / Irrigation System $50 $55
Grease Trap / Oil Interceptor N/A $65
Piping (whole house/structure piping)*




*For multiple dwelling units, this fee is charged per dwelling unit



Additional Services - Fees are collected Prior to project progression and are non-refundable and non-transferable after service is delivered

type of work / service residential  commercial
Change of Contractor / Info (applies each time a contractor or information is changed after permit application submission) $110 $110 
Business Occupancy (applies to new or relocation of any occupancy type related to a commercial business except child / daycare)


Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (applies to each TCO issued per permit with a 30 day maximum time period) - Issuance is at the discretion of Dept leadership. Projects not eligible for TCO when there are outstanding life safety, trade inspections or other issues. Handled on case-by-case basis.


Occupancy Reposting (new or existing without active building permits)


Day Care Facilities Inspection (applies to any child-care facility) $285 $285 
Food Truck/Trailer Vendor - Code Administration Fee N/A $200/year 
Semi-Annual Electrical School Re-Inspections (one hour increments only, due at time of inspection request)


Demolition Permit (per structure only, each requiring a separate permit) Interior demolition fees will be based on Cost of Construction. $150 $150 
Antenna / Tower / Utility / Cellular / Solar (includes fees for all work related to Building, Electrical, and Plan Review)


Stocking Permit $100 $100 
Sidewalk Dining (New) N/A $100 
Sidewalk Dining Annual review and permit renewal / update to existing approval N/A $50 
Homeowner's Recovery Fund (State mandated fee for all 1-2 family residential permits with an associated licensed General Contractor) $10 N/A 
Temporary Power (per unit) $100 $100 
ABC Inspection


ORIAS (After-hour / Weekend Service Request - upfront payment for minimum of 2 hours per request) $85 $85/hour 
Permit Conferences Series with Staff - Large Projects Only N/A $6,000 
Records Research request, charged at 1 hour minimum $60/hour + copy fees for hard copies
Copy fees As set by Council
Walkthrough Inspection*** $60 per inspection/trade

***This inspection applies to permitted work only and can only be done when initiated or approved by Town Supervisory or Management Staff. Fee applies to each trade inspection.



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