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Chatham Seeks Input on Revisions to Subdivision Regulations & Zoning Ordinance

Post Date:01/22/2018 3:20 PM

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners announces a public hearing on several pending changes to the county’s Subdivision Regulations and Zoning Ordinance. The most important changes stem from recent NC General Assembly action that affects local government planning and zoning requirements.

The public hearing will be part of the 6 PM session of the Board of Commissioners on February 19, 2018 in the Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro.

The state-mandated changes covered by the public hearing are:

  • Place limitations on the percentage increase the county can require for a financial guarantee to cover the completion of subdivision improvements. Local governments typically include additional funds for financial guarantees to cover the cost of inflations since the guarantees are held for several years.
  • Require the county to extend financial guarantees at the request of the developer.
  • Prohibit the county from requiring a financial guarantee to cover maintenance of new roads in subdivisions prior to acceptance by the NC Department of Transportation. NCDOT will not accept roads for maintenance until their residency requirements are met, which can sometimes take several years during which the road can deteriorate due to traffic associated with new home construction. 
  • Increase the threshold for requiring environmental impact assessments from two acres of disturbed area to ten acres.
  • Require that riparian buffer areas count towards the minimum required lot area for new subdivision lots. Presently, the riparian buffer areas are deducted from the useable area for a lot because those areas cannot be used for new construction.
  • Establish a new minor subdivision classification termed “expedited review”, which restricts certain standards that apply to other minor subdivisions.
  • Modify the definition of agritourism to clarify and expand the types of activities that are included under the exemption for bona fide farm activities.

Other changes proposed by Planning Department staff are primarily technical corrections and clarifications, such as developing new forms to clarify requirements of the subdivision regulations and revising definitions to ensure consistency between regulations.

To view all the pending changes, visit and select 2018 Cases at the top of the page. If you have questions about the proposed changes, contact Planning Director Jason Sullivan, 919-542-8233 or email him at

To provide comment at the public hearing, people can sign up in advance to speak or provide written comments online at Or you can sign up onsite prior to the start of the meeting. Contact Lindsay Ray at or 919-542-8200 if you have questions about public comments.

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