About Us


The Planning and Inspections Department is divided into seven divisions which have the following fields of expertise:

  • Comprehensive Planning - Coordinates long-range land use planning, including the administration and maintenance of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Future Land Use Map.  Guides future growth and land use patterns in a balanced manner and with consideration to environmental, social equity, and economic factors.
  • Current Planning and Zoning – Administers the zoning and subdivision regulations in the County's Unified Development Ordinance.  This includes processing subdivision plats, zoning compliance permits, home occupation permits, special use permits, and rezoning applications.
  • Engineering - Oversees the operation and maintenance of Lake Orange; Monitors Eno River water flows, and initiates water use restrictions as needed; collaborates with other jurisdictions toward public water and sewer projects; and facilities economic development infrastructure design.
  • Erosion Control – Reviews, approves, inspects, administers and enforces Federal, State and County Erosion and Sedimentation Control requirements throughout the County (including Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Mebane and Hillsborough).  It also regulates stream buffers and development activity within the 100-year floodplain throughout Orange County’s Planning Jurisdiction.
  • GIS - Provides GIS mapping services to the Planning Department and other County departments; collects and analyzes census data and other data for various planning projects.
  • Inspections - The building inspections division receives, processes and issues construction permits. This division verifies compliance with the mandated NC State Building Code by conducting inspections during construction of building, structures, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Special Projects & GIS - Primary staff administering the Schools Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (SAPFO), the Orange County - Chapel Hill - Carrboro Joint Planning Agreement, various small area plans, the Planning Board, and agenda coordination and administration.  
  • Stormwater Management - Reviews, approves, inspects, administers and enforces Federal, State and County Stormwater Management requirements for public and private development activity within Orange County’s Planning Jurisdiction.  It ensures the proper water quantity and quality requirements are met.