Planning & Inspections -
Frequently Asked Questions


Old Courthouse
130 Gillespie Street, 1st & 2nd Floors, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Phone: 910-678-7600 · Fax: 910-678-7631
Director: Nancy Roy, AICP

Planning in Cumberland County...

    What is Land Use Planning?
    The way a community and its local government can achieve cost effective, and quality development of the land, while upholding the constitutional rights of its citizens health, safety, morals and general welfare.
    How does Cumberland County plan land use?
    Cumberland County's mechanism for planning is the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board. The governments of Cumberland County, Falcon, Godwin, Linden, Spring Lake, Stedman, and Wade appoint representatives to serve on the Planning Board, which makes recommendations to the governmental bodies regarding future planning in Cumberland County. The Board currently has eight members served by a multidisciplined staff, which operates out of the Old Court House (Planning Department) in Downtown Fayetteville.
    How does the Cumberland County Planning Department fit in?
    The Planning Department is divided into seven sections that serve Cumberland County and the participating municipalities: Administration, Comprehensive Planning, Community Assistance, Graphic Services, Land Use Codes, Street Addressing (E911) & Naming, and Transportation

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Central Permitting

    What hours are you open?
    8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays.
    Is a burning permit required? Where do I obtain a burning permit?
    Burning of yard debris is permitted only within areas of Cumberland County where public pick-up is not provided. A permit is required and may be obtained by calling the NC Forestry Service at 437-2620 or online at www.dfr.state.nc.us/
    How long is a building permit valid?
    Work must be initiated within 6 months of issuance and not stopped for longer than one day.
    Does a contractor have to be license to do work at my home?
    That depends on the work being done. Since various regulations apply, check with our office, the appropriate inspector, or contact the NC State Licensing Boards.
    How do I get a fire inspection to renew my day care license?
    Fire permit applications and inspection fees are submitted in our office and forwarded to the Fire Inspector.
    Is Health Department approval required if my structure is connected to a septic tank and I am adding a room addition? Where do I go?
    Health Dept. approval is required when additions or changes are made to the property that may impact the septic system. This includes new buildings, additions, manufactured homes, swimming pools, etc. The Health Dept. application may be submitted in our office.

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Code Enforcement

    Can I operate a business from my home?
    Yes, with limitations. A home occupation business does have restrictions. Contact a Zoning Inspector at 321-6650 or 321-6643 for more information.
    When do I need to acquire a building permit?
    Building permits are required to construct, alter, repair, or make additions to any building.
    Are there any restrictions on the number of dogs I can have at my residence?
    Yes, depending on what zoning classification your home is located in. You cannot have more than three "adult" (five months old or more) dogs on your property.
    Is a permit required for fences or swimming pools?
    Yes. A zoning permit is required for both.

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Comprehensive Planning

    How will a Land Use Plan affect my property?
    A Land Use Plan will not affect the current use or zoning of your property, but will serve as a general guide for the Planning Board and Elected Officials in making decisions affecting growth and development.
    Will the completion of a Land Use Plan or Area Study result in my property being annexed into a Municipality or my property taxes increasing?
    No. Annexation Studies are initiated and prepared by municipalities; Cumberland County Property taxes do not increase as a result of a Land Use Plan or Area Study.
    Why is there no development on the east side of the Cape Fear River?
    A large percentage of that land does not support septic tanks. Growth is dependent upon the availability of water, sewer, utilities and transportation facilities. Development will occur in the eastern portion of the County upon completion of the Outer Loop and as market forces dictate.
    Are there any long-range plans that affect my property?
    The Cumberland County 2010 Land Use Plan and other Area Plans can be accessed on the County Web Site.

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Community Planning

    Where can I find Census information?
    The official source for population, housing, economic and geographic data is:
    http://factfinder.census.gov
    http://census.state.nc.us is the address for the North Carolina State Data Center. Both sites are excellent sources for various types of demographic information.

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Graphic Services

    Is the County Zoning map on the Internet?
    No, however, the County Web Site is updated often, so you should check the site periodically. You may purchase a CD Rom or go to the following web site: http://152.31.99.30/midiscovery/
    How current are zoning maps?
    Zoning maps are updated after each monthly Governing Board meeting.
    What needs to be signed by the Plat Review Officer?
    All Final Plats and attachment maps must be signed before recording at the Register of Deeds office. There are some exceptions so we suggest checking with the Review Officer.
    Can I get Topographic maps?
    Yes. You can purchase hard copies or a CD Rom.

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Inspections

    Do I need a permit to put a storage building on my property?
    Yes. A building/zoning permit is required. A septic tank re-inspection permit may also be required.
    Do I need construction plans to build my own house?
    Yes. A set of construction plans, including truss drawings, must be submitted with your application.
    If I hire someone to replace my heat pump, will it be inspected?
    Licensed contractors are required to obtain a permit and to request an inspection when the work is completed.

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Land Use Codes

    How can I rezone my property and what will it cost?
    Pick up an application and fee schedule in Room 103 of the Historic Courthouse.
    What is the rezoning process and how long does it take?
    Once the application has been turned in, it will be heard at a public meeting by the Planning Board. They will make a recommendation to the governing body. The governing body will also hold a public hearing and will make a final decision on the rezoning. The total process takes approximately 90 days.
    What is a Group Development?
    It is when two or more principal structures, commercial or residential, are located on the same parcel of land.
    Why do I need to submit 15 copies for a subdivision review and how long does it take to be reviewed?
    We provide copies to various agencies for their comments. It takes 10 working days for the staff to review any plan that does not have to go before the Planning Board.

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Street Addressing and Naming

    Who comes up with the street name?
    The developer or property owner(s).
    What is the process to get a name approved?
    The submitted name is checked first for duplication and then submitted to various agencies for approval.
    How large are the numbers on my house supposed to be?
    No less than 4" in height.
    Why did my address change?
    Due to correcting address Block Ranges in the city and Cumberland County for E-911 Service.
    What do the numbers on the street sign represent?
    Upper right corner, Block Range. Upper left corner, SR Number (Secondary State Maintained Road.)

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Transportation Planning

    How do I know if there is road construction planned for my street or the surrounding area?
    You or your real estate agent can contact the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) regarding the Transportation Plan and the current Transportation Improvement Program.
    Who should I contact in order to determine if a road project will impact my property or require me to sell my home?
    First contact the Fayetteville Area MPO to determine if the road construction/improvement is a municipal or state project. Then contact the appropriate agency: the Right-of-Way office of the NC Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) or the municipal engineering office.
    What type of Air Quality problems does this area have?
    The main Air Quality problem in this area is ozone. This area is currently slightly above the EPA required average. This could lead to more restrictive standards for incoming industry and would be very prohibitive to growth.
    Why should I care about Air Quality?
    Inhaling polluted air has been associated with many health problems such as asthma and lung problems. Poor air can also hurt the economy.
    How can I make a difference?
    Everyone can make a difference in our Air Quality. Car-pool or take public transportation. Practice trip chaining. For more information on Air Quality and how you can make a difference, please visit www.fampo.org/airquality.htm


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