Formal Letter of Interpretation

The purpose of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the City of Durham and Durham County. With numerous individuals from varying disciplines reviewing and drafting the ordinance, we aspire to have every aspect of the ordinance well defined and simplified for the public. On occasion, uncertainty does exist due to lack of clarity in the ordinance. When this occurs, a formal request can be made to the director to clarify ordinance requirements and how they should be applied. It is then the director of the appropriate department, or designee, role to authorize an interpretation(s) concerning the content of the UDO.

According to UDO, in making these interpretations, all provisions shall be:

  1. Considered as minimum requirements;
  2. Liberally construed in favor of the governing body;
  3. Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any powers granted under State statutes; and
  4. Require application of the more stringent provisions wherever the provisions of this ordinance appear to impose conflicting provisions that cannot otherwise be reconciled

Additional information about a Formal Letter of Interpretation can be found in the Durham Unified Development Ordinance - Sec. 3.1.

Request for Letter of Interpretation

To submit a request for interpretation by the director, or appointed designee, a formal letter, in PDF format, of the request must be submitted to the Development Services Center via the application portal listed below.

Payment Portal