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Zoning Information

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*NOTE-Not all applications are available for online submission. Click on link above to review Planning Applications available for submission.


Chatham County regulates land uses in the zoned areas of the County located outside the planning jurisdictions of Pittsboro, Siler City, Goldston and Cary through the Zoning Ordinance.      

Click Here for a Zoning Jursidiction Map  
Zoning data can now be accessed from the County gis website at under the Planning/Zoning/Flood folder

The zoned areas of the County are divided into Zoning Districts, as specified in Section Four of the Zoning Ordinance.  For each Zoning District, the Zoning Ordinance specifies permitted land uses and contains regulations controlling the intensity and design of new development.  The Zoning Ordinance also includes landscaping, lighting, parking and signage standards for development.  Any new construction or change of use in the zoned area of the County is required to obtain approval prior to work.  The different types of approval are detailed below.  All Building Permits issued by the Central Permitting Department include a Zoning verification section that is completed prior to permit issuance.  

Helpful Brochure
When Do I Need a Permit?
¿Cuando Necesito un Permiso?

Zoning Districts

 R5 Residential District  NB Neighborhood Business District    
 R2 Residential District  CB Community Business District
 R1 Residential District  RB Regional Business District
 O&I Office & Institutional District      IL Light Industrial District
 B1 General Business District  IH Heavy Industrial District
                                                          See the Zoning Ordinance for District Requirements and Uses


Prior to submitting a development application, it is recommended that an applicant attend a Pre-Application meeting.  Pre-application meetings provide an opportunity for applicants to meet informally with permitting staff to discuss the County's permitting processes for opening a new business, expanding a current business or other land development (i.e. major subdivision, Conditional Use Permit).  Meetings are not required, but are offered in an effort to make the permitting process as seamless as possible and provide feedback on preliminary proposals prior to document and application submittal.  The meetings are held on Wednesday afternoons. 
For more information or to schedule a meeting, contact Janie Phelps at (919) 542-8221 or

Pre-Application Meeting Information Form (Word) (PDF)

Administrative Review 

  1. Home Occupations    
  2. Temporary or permanent signage for an event, business or residential development.        

Board of Commissioners Review 

  1. Conditional Zoning District Rezoning
  2. General Use Zoning District Rezoning
  3. Zoning Text Amendments
  4. Conditional Use Permits 

Board of Adjustment Review

  1. Variance
  2. Appeal

Zoning Applications, Checklists and Guidelines are also available on the Zoning Applications & Materials page. 

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