The Planning Department is responsible for planning for future development and growth within the town and its extraterritorial jurisdiction, enforcing land development regulations, issuing permits, overseeing projects, providing staff support to town advisory boards, assigning addresses, creating and maintaining geographic information system (GIS) zoning and development databases and representing the town on regional planning committees.
Building permits are issued and inspections performed by the Orange County Building Inspections Division. Businesses moving into buildings that are not newly built should contact the Fire Marshal's Office first. All commercial spaces must have a fire safety inspection, which also will determine if additional permits are needed. The following permits are issued by the town Planning Department:
- Zoning Compliance Permit — required for additions and new construction, most signs, changes of use and home occupations within the town and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. Some temporary signs do not require a permit (such as yard sale, political, real estate and window signs), but regulations still apply on the number, size, location and longevity.
- Certificate of Appropriateness — required for site changes or changes to the exterior of structures located in the Historic District Overlay Zone.
- Special Event Permit — required for certain events on public or private property.
Plans and regulations
The Planning Department is responsible for enforcing land development ordinances enacted by the Board of Commissioners. Below are links to additional information on specific ordinances.
The Planning Department enforces the nuisance provisions in Chapter 11 of the Hillsborough Code of Ordinances, which includes issues such as noxious growth, junk vehicles and solid waste concerns. The Planning Department also enforces the Minimum Housing Code, which includes minimum standards for the condition of dwellings. See the code enforcement page on this website for additional information.
Advisory board support
Five of the town's appointed advisory boards are supported by Planning Department staff:
- Planning Board — enforces land development ordinances and plans for future development and growth.
- Board of Adjustment — rules on cases based on the Zoning Ordinance.
- Historic District Commission — rules on cases based on the Historic District Design Guidelines.
- Tourism Board — drives economic development by promoting travel, tourism and visitor services; preserving and enhancing the town's historic built and natural environment; and sponsoring programs and activities.
- Tourism Development Authority — promotes travel, tourism and conventions; sponsors tourism-related events; and finances tourism-related capital projects.
Additional information for developers can be found in the plans and regulations section above.
Addresses are assigned, verified and corrected by the Planning Department. Orange County's address database contains records maintained by the town. Additional information is available from the county Geographic Information Systems Division.
Addresses should be displayed with numerals at least 3 inches high on a contrasting background and should be clearly visible from the street day and night.
101 E. Orange St., Hillsborough, NC 27278
Economic Development Planner
919-732-1270, ext. 84
Planning Director/Assistant Town Manager
919-732-1270, ext. 86
Administrative Support Specialist
919-732-1270, ext. 73
919-732-1270, ext. 85
919-732-1270, ext. 87