City-County Planning Department
ABOUT DURHAM CITY-COUNTY PLANNING
The Durham City-County Planning Department is the professional planning agency for the City and County of Durham. The Department helps plan and direct Durham’s vision for growth that supports a high quality of life, a robust economy, and a sustainable, inclusive, equitable, and accessible Durham for generations to come. We work with the community and other agencies looking for solutions to today’s land-use and community planning challenges. The Department also takes the lead in reviewing development proposals and enforcing adopted ordinances and plans.
For more information, go to Learn More and discover more about Durham City-County Planning and common topics involved with the planning process.
The Durham Planning Department offers a variety of services to help manage land use throughout the City of Durham and Durham County. Below you will find resources to better understand various Rules and Regulations regarding ordinances and enforcement, information about Zoning and Property Information, how Approval Processes and Inspections are conducted, and to apply for a Development Application or Permit. Our resources are designed to introduce important common topics in local planning and assist the community with navigating application and approval processes.
HOW TO CONTACT US:
- General planning and zoning questions and information, [email protected] or call 919-560-4137.
- Historic properties and requirements, please email our Preservation staff at [email protected]
- To Report a zoning violation, please email our Planning Department customer service team at [email protected]
- Schedule a site compliance or sign inspection, please visit this site: Planning Inspection Request
- Development in a regulated floodplain, please email [email protected]
- Temporary closures of a street or sidewalk, please email [email protected]
NOTICE OF REVIEW TIMELINES
Due to the current and upcoming vacancies, within our organization, Durham Development Services has temporarily revised review timelines for several approval processes. Please see the 2023 Development Review Timelines (PDF) for more information.
Special Projects and Important Resources
A Text Amendment is a proposed change or revision to existing rules or regulations. In Durham, the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is a tool that regulates what development looks, feels, and sounds like in the City and County. The purpose of the UDO is to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of all Durham City and County residents. The UDO was adopted in 2006, and since then, has needed some periodic updates or improvements, called Text Amendments.
Text amendments to the UDO can be initiated by a resident or other entities through an application to the Planning Department. Text amendments can also be initiated by the Planning Department, City or County Managers, the Planning Commission, the Board of Adjustment, or one or both of the governing bodies.
Public Records Request
As required by state law, Planning staff will help customers obtain public records related to land development, building inspections, and zoning enforcement. In addition, interested parties can also browse recent development activity, sign up for announcements, and receive notifications when development activity is occurring.
Boards and Commissions
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:
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.
Role of Planning in Shaping Durham's Future
Are you curious about how our city continues to grow and develop while preserving its unique character? If so, look no further! In this CityLife episode, host Beverly Thompson talks with Sara Young, Director of the City-County Planning Department and Austin Amandolia, Chair of the Planning Commission about the role of these entities and how they are working to guide the growth and development of Durham.