City-County Planning Department


The Durham City-County Planning Department is the planning agency for the City and County of Durham. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department helps to ensure that the city has connected, engaged, and diverse communities by enhancing housing quality and affordability for Durham residents.

For more information, go to Learn More and discover more about Durham City-County Planning and common topics involved with the city planning process.  

Development Services Center

The Development Services Center is a one-stop-shop for Durham City and County development services. The DSC supports the City of Durham's Strategic Plan goal of promoting a strong & diverse economy, and Durham County’s Strategic Plan goals of Environmental Stewardship and Community Prosperity and Safe Community

Click here to go to the Development Services Center

Planning Mapping Applications

Growth Management Engagement Initiative

The Durham City-County Planning Department wants to hear from you about how we should improve the way land use cases are processed. Land use cases include zoning map changes, annexation petitions, and future land use map changes. We have heard from our community that the current processes need to be changed to better serve both community members and applicants.   

The purpose of this engagement initiative is to:

  • Learn from Durham community members and applicants, prioritizing historically marginalized and underrepresented voices 
  • Educate our community on how land use decisions are made and how community members can influence new development being proposed today 
  • Incorporate community voices and experiences into the development process

There are several steps on the path forward to making the land use engagement initiative successful, and we’d like to invite you to be a part of this collaborative journey. 

A screenshot of the Durham Land Use Social Pinpoint mapping application.

Durham Maps

DurhamMaps is Durham's Geographic Information System (GIS) dedicated to providing the community with access to computerized information such as tables, maps, plans and other graphic documents through expert implementation of the principles of geography, cartography and geospatial analysis. City and county departments work side by side to develop applications which include land records information, street centerlines, hydrology, digital aerial photography and more. Click the icon to explore more.

Search the City and County for:


Click here to go to Durham Maps

Historic Preservation

Durham Historic Preservation has been proactively dedicated to the protection and preservation of its historic resources since the 1970s by inventorying historically significant structures in the City and County, designating local historic districts and landmarks, establishing and supporting the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), and nominating properties and districts for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Unified Development Ordinance

Adopted in 2006, the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) lays out the rules for the physical development of property. The UDO designates zoning of properties in Durham, and is crafted to result in a built environment that meets the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The UDO superseded the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.

Please click on the following link to access a searchable and navigable version of the UDO, which indicates the most recent “amended date” and includes a list of adopted text amendments.


The Planning Department provides staff liaisons to nine boards and commissions. Members of these boards and commissions are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and the Durham City Council.

Click here to learn more about the City-County Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission


The Durham City-County Planning Department has gathered additional resources to aid in the development of our community. Click on a topic below to learn more about our department and supplemental planning information: