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Frequently Asked Questions
A list of the most frequently asked questions by citizens, design professionals and developers and contractors is provided below.  The list is categorized by subject matter.  Click the + symbol next to the category to view the questions and answers.  If you have any additional questions or require further assistance related to site development plan review, site inspection, urban forestry, erosion control, or commercial zoning, please contact Land Development Customer Service at 704-336-6692 or view Development Services Contact Info
 
PLEASE NOTE:  For inquiries related to building permits and certificates of occupancy, please contact Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA) - see LUESA's Frequently Called Numbers page
  
collapse Category : ABC - Permits/Inspection ‎(2)
How do I get an inspection for my ABC permit?
Applicants must go to the Zoning Counter at the Hal Marshall Building, located at 700 North Street in Charlotte, to start the inspection process required for the zoning approval for the ABC permit.  City of Charlotte Neighborhood & Business Services  provides the inspections for ABC permits.  Inquiries can be directed to 311 (704-336-7600). 
 
 
Where do I apply for an ABC permit?
ABC permits are applied for through the North Carolina ABC Board.  Applicants must go to the Zoning Counter at the Hal Marshall Building, located at 700 North Street in Charlotte, to start the inspection process required for the zoning approval.  City of Charlotte Neighborhood & Business Services  provides the inspections for ABC permits.  Inquiries can be directed to 311 (704-336-7600). 
collapse Category : Bonds ‎(3)
Does my subdivision have an outstanding surety to cover unfinished work?
A list of the City’s active, as well as released, sureties guaranteeing the infrastructure improvements in a subdivision, can be obtained via Accela Citizen Access.  Land Development Bonds can be searched for under the Land Development portion of Citizen Access, and searches can be completed by subdivision name or bond number. 
How do I get my surety released?
Surety release/returns may be requested by completing a Final Inspection/Bond Release Request Form.  Please note, the applicable bond fee must be submitted for sureties greater than 4 (four) years from the original effective date.  The release/return will not be processed until a completed the Final Inspection/Bond Release Request Form and payment is received.  Click here for additional information on surety releases.
Who do I speak with about obtaining a contractor bond?
Contractor bonds are issued through Mecklenburg County.  Click here for additional information from Mecklenburg County. 
collapse Category : Close a Street/Sidewalk/Alley ‎(3)
  I need to temporarily close a street/sidewalk/alley for construction purposes.  How can I do that?
Requests to temporarily close any right-of-way for 30-days or less will require a temporary right-of-way use permit, which can be processed on a case by case basis by contacting Bob Staley, Chief Right-of-Way Inspector at (704) 432-1562 at no cost.  If the request of the closure is for more than 30-days, then a right-of-way lease agreement will need to be obtained and requires a fee calculated by staff based on the value of the adjacent property next to proposed closure.  Please contact Linda Poissant, Engineering Services Supervisor at (704) 336-2562 or Jeff Boenisch, Engineering Assistant at (704) 336-3888 to obtain information and/or assistance with obtaining a right-of-way lease agreement.
Can I close the alley behind my house and use the property?
Alleyways are typically dedicated to the City for acceptance by the original developer whom subdivided the lots and recorded the original subdivision plat at the Register of Deeds Office.  However, the City did not necessarily officially accept these offers of dedications.  This means that the alleyways are basically ingress and egress easements to the City, the public, abutting property owners.  This does not mean that ownership of these areas belong to the abutting owners.  The only time that it does belong to the abutting owners is when their original property deed or survey specifically states/shows that it does.  In most cases it does not and the alleyways are shown on the recorded subdivision plats as being totally separate from the private parcel property lines.  The only way to permanently close any dedicated right-of-way including an alleyway is through the City right of way abandonment process.
Who can I talk to about abandoning a street?
You can contact Linda Poissant, Engineering Services Supervisor at (704) 336-2562 or Jeff Boenisch, Engineering Assistant at (704) 336-3888 of Charlotte Department of Transportation Right-of-Way Management Section for information about the City right of way abandonment process.
collapse Category : Commercial Zoning ‎(2)
 What uses are allowed in my zoning?
To determine what uses are allowed in a particular zoning designation, please contact Ron Jones, City Commercial Zoning Reviewer, at 704-336-5059 or jrjones@charlottenc.gov.
How can I find out information on general setback, parking, buffer, and commercial use questions?
For commercial zoning inquiries regarding setback, parking, buffer and/or use, please contact Ron Jones, City Commercial Zoning Reviewer, at 704-336-5059 or jrjones@charlottenc.gov.
collapse Category : Construction Projects on my Street/Sidewalk/Neighborhood ‎(3)
There are construction people on my street, what are they doing?

If there are City of Charlotte vehicles and equipment, it could be one of several types of City projects.  Information about the various City projects, including project descriptions and contact information,  is available by clicking on the following links:
• Storm Water Projects (culverts in creeks, street gutters, rain related projects);
• Transportation Projects (street widening or repaving projects);
• Engineering and Property Management Projects (neighborhood or sidewalk projects);
• Utilities Projects (water and sewer improvement) projects.

Who is managing this project?

If there are City of Charlotte vehicles and equipment, it could be one of several types of City projects.  Information about the various City projects, including project descriptions and contact information,  is available by clicking on the following links:
• Storm Water Projects (culverts in creeks, street gutters, rain related projects);
• Transportation Projects (street widening or repaving projects);
• Engineering and Property Management Projects (neighborhood or sidewalk projects);
• Utilities Projects (water and sewer improvement) projects.

Why are they digging up my yard?

If there are City of Charlotte vehicles and equipment, it could be one of several types of City projects.  Information about the various City projects, including project descriptions and contact information,  is available by clicking on the following links:
• Storm Water Projects (culverts in creeks, street gutters, rain related projects);
• Transportation Projects (street widening or repaving projects);
• Engineering and Property Management Projects (neighborhood or sidewalk projects);
• Utilities Projects (water and sewer improvement) projects.

collapse Category : Driveways ‎(2)
I want to build or alter a residential driveway.  Do I need a pemit?
Citizen inquiries about residential driveways including adding new driveways to existing City- or State-maintained streets or modifications to existing driveway aprons are handled by CDOT Customer Service.  Please contact Tamara Blue in CDOT Public Services at (704) 336-3894 with related questions.
Will a driveway permit be required for my commercial project?
Commercial projects will typically require at least one driveway entrance to a public street. Additional information regarding the process can be found under the driveway permits section of the Commercial Plan Review Process.
collapse Category : Hold Release (City and County) ‎(4)
How can I get a temporary CO?
City of Charlotte Land Development does not issue temporary COs.  All required work needs to be completed to the applicable City Standards prior to release of any City Engineering or Urban Forestry/Zoning CO holds.
How do I get my City Engineering /Urban Forestry CO holds released?
When construction is completed, a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is issued by Mecklenburg County LUESA to provide official verification that the site is in compliance with current regulations and the approved plans.  The CO is issued by Mecklenburg County once all of the inspectors have released their respective holds.
 For a “City Engineering hold” on a residential property, a city site inspector will inspect the home to ensure that the drainage plan is followed, and the required, sidewalk, and trees are properly installed.  To request a City Engineering hold release on a residential property, complete a sidewalk release request form by clicking here.
For a Commercial Project Certificate of Occupancy (CO) hold release, contact the assigned Construction Inspector and Urban Forester.
For more information, see our Hold Release and CO page.
How do I get my City Engineering/Urban Forestry permit holds released?
City Engineering and Urban Forestry permit holds will be released upon the City’s approval of plans and payment of all plan review and inspection fees.  Plan review status can be obtained via Accela Citizen Access.  
 
If your project required City of Charlotte site approval; the city will need to release the hold on the building permit.  You must contact the City’s Development Services customer service (704-336-6692) with the 6 digit Mecklenburg county project  number so that staff can release the holds.
If you have any questions, please contact Land Development Customer Service at 704-336-6692.
Who is my inspector and how can I contact them?

This VirtualCharlotte GIS map shows Site Inspector, Urban Forester, Erosion Control Inspector and Senior Review Engineer areas and contact information. Zoom in and click on a parcel for info.  Alternatively, view the  Complete LD Staff directory.

collapse Category : Inspections ‎(2)
How do I schedule an electrical, plumbing, roof, building or home inspection?
Mecklenburg County is responsible for electrical, plumbing, building and home inspections.  For additional information or to schedule this type of inspection, please visit the Mecklenburg County website at http://webpermit.mecklenburgcountync.gov/.
What City inspections are required?
As construction progresses, the assigned Construction Inspector, Erosion Control Specialist, and Urban Forestry Specialist will periodically visit the project site to make sure that all requirements of the approved site plan and City regulations are met.  

Residential construction projects require inspections by City Land Development staff.  Prior to final approval, a City site inspector will inspect the home to ensure that the drainage plan is followed, and the required sidewalk and trees are properly installed.

Commerial construction projects also require inspections by City Site Inspectors.  Projects are inspected to ensure compliance with the approved commercial site and grading plans, rezoning conditions, and applicable Land Development Standards and Specifications.
collapse Category : Mud/Erosion/Sediment ‎(1)
Sediment or mud is being deposited on my property coming from my neighbor’s house.   What can I do?  
Report the problem to Land Development/Erosion Control at 704-336-6692 and an inspector will be sent out to evaluate the problem.
collapse Category : PCCO ‎(4)
Does my project trigger PCCO?
Typically projects that propose significant amounts of new or redeveloped Built-upon Area (BUA) will trigger PCCO.  Please consult section 18-143 through 18-145 of the Post-Construction Controls Ordinance for the standards of compliance with the PCCO.  Additional guidance can be found on Stormwater Services’ PCCO website, especially in the PCCO Flowchart.  For additional guidance, please contact the Senior Plan Review Engineer for the area where your particular project is – zoom into the project’s area on this VirtualCharlotte GIS map and click on the parcel to determine the appropriate contact’s phone number and e-mail.
Is my property grandfathered?
Sections 18-105 of the PCCO details Applicability and Jurisdiction of the PCCO as well as Exemptions and will determine if a project can be grandfathered.  For additional guidance, please contact the Senior Plan Review Engineer for the area where your particular project is – zoom into the project’s area on this VirtualCharlotte GIS map and click on the parcel to determine the appropriate contact’s phone number and e-mail.
What is considered “impervious”?
Built-upon area (BUA) means that portion of a property that is covered by impervious or partially impervious surface including, but not limited to, buildings; pavement and gravel areas such as roads, parking lots, and paths; and recreation facilities such as tennis courts (activity fields that have been designed to enhance displacement of runoff, such as compaction and grading or installation of sodded turf, and underground drainage systems for public parks and schools will be considered built-upon area.) "Built-upon area" does not include a wooden slatted deck or the water area of a swimming pool.
Where can I get details about this ordinance?
Visit the Stormwater Services PCCO website for details on PCCO.
collapse Category : Recombining/Subdividing Property ‎(1)
What is the process for subdividing/re-combining property?
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission administers the subdivision process.
collapse Category : Residential Building - Garages/Storage/Additions/Roofs/Electrical/Plumbing/HVAC ‎(4)
How can I obtain a License to do work in Mecklenburg County for any of the above?
A Business License is required to do business in Mecklenburg County. Business licenses are issued by the Business Tax Collections Office (704-336-6315).
How do I post a contractors bond?
Contractor bonds are issued through Mecklenburg County.  Additional information is available from Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement.
I want to build (above).
Residential permitting is handled Mecklenburg County.  The County’s Residential Technical Answer Center (RTAC)  can provide information and answer inquiries regarding residential permitting. 
What is a land use bond and when is a bond needed?
Persons, firms or corporations engaged in construction, installation, maintenance, alteration or repair for which a permit is required, must file a continuous surety or cash bond to guarantee payment of fees and charges as well as indemnify municipalities against loss in the performance of duties for any damage to sewer or water pipes, or streets or sidewalks in the municipality.
 
Anyone doing work within the corporate limits of the City of Charlotte and in Mecklenburg County is required to post a cash/surety bond.  Bond forms can be printed from the County’s web site, picked up at the County’s Revenue Collection counter at 700 North Tryon Street, or faxed if you call 704-336-3801.
collapse Category : Rezoning ‎(3)
I see a yellow rezoning sign up, what is it for?
Information on a particular rezoning case can be obtained from the Planning Commission’s rezoning log for current and approved rezonings.
What is the process for rezoning a piece of property?
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission administers the rezoning process.
Where can I get a copy of the approved rezoning for this property?
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission maintains a log of approved rezonings by year.
collapse Category : Sidewalks ‎(1)
How do I get the sidewalk in front of my house repaired?
The Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) inspects sidewalks and will repair unsafe conditions to sidewalk.  For additional information or to report an unsafe sidewalk, click here
collapse Category : Signs - Permits/Sizes/Violations/Where Did Mine Go ‎(2)
How do I obtain a sign permit?  How do I check on the status of my sign permit application?
A permit is required for all signs in the City of Charlotte.  City of Charlotte Neighborhood and Business Services
issues sign permits.  To apply for a sign permit, visit the Hal Marshall Building at 700 North Tryon Street in Charlotte or call 311.  More information on Charlotte’s sign guidelines is available in the Charlotte Zoning Ordinance.
My sign has been removed, who took it?  How can I get it back?
Contact City of Charlotte Code Enforcement at 311 (704-336-7600).  More information on Charlotte’s sign guidelines is available in the Charlotte Zoning Ordinance.
collapse Category : Sinkholes ‎(1)
There is a sinkhole in my yard/neighborhood, who can come out and investigate?

Contact Storm Water Services to report a sinkhole. 

collapse Category : Stormwater/Drainage ‎(3)
Sediment or mud is being deposited on my property coming from my neighbor’s house.   What can I do? 
Report the problem to Land Development/Erosion Control at 704-336-6692 and an inspector will be sent out to evaluate the problem. 
There is storm water pooling on my street.  What can I do? 
Call 311 (704-336-7600) to report the problem.
There is water flowing from my neighbor’s yard into mine.  What can I do? 
Flowing water or flooding is not an erosion control issue.  This instance becomes an issue between property owners and may be pursued as a civil matter between property owners.  If street water is involved you may call 311 (704-336-7600) and report the incident to the Storm Water Division.
collapse Category : Surveys/Property Lines/Land Records ‎(4)
How can I get my property surveyed?
Only a Professional Land Surveyor, licensed by the North Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, is legally permitted to survey the land in North Carolina.  A directory of Professional Land Surveyors in North Carolina is available from the North Carolina Society of Surveyors, Inc. 
Is there an easement across my property?
This information may be available on your recorded plat, which is filed at the Register of Deeds.  In addition, a Title Search prepared by a Real Estate Attorney and an opinion of title issued can determine if easements exist on a parcel of land.
Where are my property lines?
A copy of the plat showing your property lines may be available at the Register of Deeds.   In addition, this information can be determined by a Professional Land Surveyor after completing an accurate field survey in accordance with North Carolina’s rules, regulations and laws.
Where on my property are the stream buffers/flood zones?
This information may be available on your recorded plat, which is filed at the Register of Deeds.  In addition, this information can be determined by a Professional Land Surveyor after completing an accurate field survey in accordance with North Carolina’s and the federal government’s rules, regulations and laws.
collapse Category : Trees - Dead/Dying/Overhanging/Fallen/Cutting ‎(4)
Do I need a permit to cut my trees?

A permit is required to cut or prune trees on commercial property and single family subdivisions permitted after 3-19-02.  You do not need a permit to cut any tree on personal property.  The one exception is required tree save areas within single family subdivisions that may be in people’s back yard.   This is because most commercial properties and single family subdivisions had to comply with the tree ordinance and removing a tree could cause that parcel to be in violation or non-compliance of the tree ordinance.  The permit is FREE.  Trees that grow between the sidewalk and street are in the City’s Right of Way, and cannot be removed without a permit from Landscape Management.  Sometimes there is no sidewalk, so if you’re not sure call 704-336-4262 to verify ownership.

Limb/Tree is dying/dead, will the City take it down/trim?

The only trees that the city will prune or remove are the trees located within the city right of way.  Landscape Management handles these matters on a case by case basis.  Call 704-336-4262 to have the tree inspected.

There is a construction project adjacent to my property, they are cutting down my trees.  What can I do?

Call the Land Development Office at 704-336-6692 and ask to speak with an urban forester.  However, this may be a legal matter between the owner of the construction project and adjacent owner.

Tree has fallen in my yard/sidewalk/street, who can clean it up?

Landscape Management will remove or clean up any debris that falls into the right of way (street and sidewalk).  Call Landscape Management at 704-336-4262 or 311 (704-336-7600) for assistance.  All trees or debris outside the right of way is the responsibility of the owner.

collapse Category : Water/Sewer - CMUD ‎(2)
Connections?
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (CMU) is responsible for establishing water and sewer connections.
Reviewers?

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (CMU) Donated Projects Team reviews plans and processes projects such as residential subdivisions and business parks that are financed by private funding sources.  The developer hires a professional engineer to design the water distribution and sanitary sewer systems.

collapse Category : What is Going On - Grading/Timbering/Construction/Subdivisions/Roads ‎(3)
Someone is clearing land across/near me, do they have a permit?
City of Charlotte Land Development reviews plans for commercial and subdivision development located within the City of Charlotte.  A grading permit is required if more than one acre of land is disturbed during construction.  To search commercial development projects and permits, click here.
What are they doing?
City of Charlotte Land Development reviews plans for commercial and subdivision development located within the City of Charlotte.  The City’s Engineering and Property Management and Transportation Departments also oversee a variety of neighborhood, bond sidewalk and transportation projects.   To search commercial development projects as well as City projects, click here
What is going to be built there?
City of Charlotte Land Development reviews plans for commercial and subdivision development located within the City of Charlotte.  The City’s Engineering and Property Management and Transportation Departments also oversee a variety of neighborhood, bond sidewalk and transportation projects.   To search commercial development projects as well as City projects, click here

collapse Category : What Triggers a Land Development Review/Do I Need to Submit? ‎(1)
What triggers an LD Review/Do I need to submit plans?
A review by Land Development is necessary for projects which include any of the following:
• Addition of impervious areas for new buildings, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.
• Driveways and streets
• Storm drainage systems, detention, and storm water BMPs
• Tree planting/protection
• Grading of sites involving one acre of land disturbance (grading permit required)

In addition, Urban Forestry/Tree Ordinance and Commercial Zoning reviews are provided by the Land Development Division for following types of projects:
• Building additions over 1000 square feet
• Building additions more than 5% of the existing square footage
• Parking spaces increasing more than 10
• Building façade changes more than 10%
collapse Category : Zoning Verification Letters ‎(1)
How do I obtain a Zoning Verification Letter?
City of Charlotte Neighborhood & Business Services provides zoning verification letters and enforces the City's Zoning Ordinance.