Due to a high volume of requests, there will be a temporary moratorium on detailed residential building plan review effective August 15, 2019. This does not affect zoning review or approval nor does it waive the requirements for permits. Permits are still required per NCGS 160A-417. See memo for additional information.  

 

Do I need a Residential Permit?

A residential permit is required for any of the following:

  • Constructing, altering, repairing, moving, or demolishing any building or structure;
    • Includes but not limited to renovations, remodels, structural work, foundation repairs, expanding the building envelope or conditioned space
  • Installing, extending, altering, or repairing any heating or cooling system;
  • Installing electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment;
  • Installing, extending, or repairing any plumbing system

Permit requirements can be found in North Carolina General Statute 160A-417. You can also view our Residential Work Requiring a Permit page for additional details.

 If you need help determining if a permit is required, contact us! You can send an email that includes the property address, details for the proposed work, and the total cost to permits@townofchapelhill.org.

Single Family/Two-Family Residential Permit Application Worksheet

View Residential Zoning-Building application and requirements checklist

 

Do I need a Zoning Permit?

 If any of the conditions listed below are part of a residential permit application, zoning approval is required:

Zoning Fee Exempt            
  • Impervious surface (ISA) less than 500sqft
  • Land disturbance (LD) less than 1,500sqft
  • No grading              
Examples: Decks, porches, patios,sunrooms, finished attics or basements
 Minor Zoning             
  •  ISA from 500sqft to 1,500sqft
  • LD of 1,500sqft to 5,000sqft
  • Grading or new foundation
  • In or near a Special Protection Area (NCD, RCD, HD, Jordan Buffer)
 Examples: Small additions, new accessory dwelling units, new driveways, garages
 Regular Zoning
  •  ISA greater than 1,500sqft
  • LD greater than 5,000sqft
  • In or near a Special Protection Area (NCD, RCD, HD, Jordan Buffer)
 Examples: New houses, large additions, large hardscape/grading, pools
 Zoning Review Checklist (Summative)
Zoning Review Checklist (Explanatory)

 

If any of the conditions below are part of a Residential Building Permit application, a Zoning Compliance Permit is required. Please discuss with Planning staff in Building & Development Services if you are unsure.

  • 500 s.f. or more of impervious surface;
  • 1,500 s.f. or more of land disturbance;
  • Grading or filling;
  • 5 feet or less from the Resource Conservation District or Jordan Riparian Buffer boundaries;
  • Encroachment into the 100-year floodplain;
  • Encroachment into steep slopes per LUMO Section 5.3.2 (400 s.f. or greater of slopes 15% or greateR);
  • Inside the Historic District; or
  • Adding an accessory dwelling unit.

 

Applying for a Permit

You may submit an application by email to permits@townofchapelhill.org or through the online permitting system if you have registered for an account. Please review the residential permit application checklist for details on all of the required documents for your submittal.

Zoning Review

Time frames

Fee Exempt

Same day

Minor

Up to 5 business days

Regular

5 business days

 

Building Review

Time frames

Applications that don’t require plan review (trade work such as change-outs or generator installations, etc.)

2 business days

The time may increase if there is a zoning element but you will be notified

Submittal

1 business day

Plan Review

5 business days

Approval for Issuance

5 business days

 

Need help?

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

 

 


 Related Forms

 

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