Zoning/Enforcement FAQ

Where can I find the development regulations for Cabarrus County?

The Cabarrus County Development Ordinance is available online. The ordinance applies to all properties in unincorporated Cabarrus County. If your property is in one of the municipalities your regulations come from there. The same applies to the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) for one of the municipalities. You will need to visit those website for applicable development regulations.

How can I find the zoning designation for my property?

GIS allows you to search property records by:

  • owner name
  • address
  • parcel identification number (PIN)

Basic information shows in the Property Data display. Scroll all the way to the bottom for jurisdiction and zoning information. The site also has various digital data displays. Access the data by clicking “Explore Data” at the top of the screen. Then use the radio button to toggle the data on and off.

Am I required to have a plot plan or diagram of my residential property to submit for zoning permitting?

Yes. A plot plan or diagram of your property with proposed improvements gets submitted. This visual shows the applicable standards for property development are achievable. All items get reviewed based on the plot plan and any other information submitted. These items includes:

  • setbacks
  • impervious area
  • required waterbody buffers
  • watershed standards
  • floodplain development standards


How are property setbacks determined?

Setbacks get determined from the existing or proposed road right-of-way for the property. Existing road right-of-ways are available on the GIS Site. You can measure them using the measuring tool. Proposed right-of-ways get identified in the Cabarrus Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization CTP Index. Be sure to check both these resources when designing your site. The right-of-way area typically extends beyond the paved area for existing roads. The edge of the pavement is rarely the edge of the right-of-way.

Is Cabarrus Health Alliance approval required before a zoning permit gets issued?

Yes. New systems require CHA approval before zoning permits getting issued. CHA also makes site visits to check the location of existing systems. This is to ensure proposed development projects will not impact existing systems. We check to make sure existing system capacity supports the proposed development project. Proposed projects include:
  • pools
  • structure additions
  • accessory buildings
  • accessory dwelling units new construction

See the Septic System Site Evaluation tool for additional information.

Are there impervious limits on site development?

Yes. The Development Ordinance establishes maximum impervious standards. These standards use the zoning designation as a basis. In some cases, the location of the property is the basis. See Chapter 5 for additional information. If located in the regulated watershed area, additional development standard apply. These standards exist related to the impervious area in Chapter 4.

Are there height restrictions on my property?

Yes. The Development Ordinance establishes maximum height standards related to the property's zoning designation. See Chapter 5 for additional information.

Do I need a permit to build or to place a shed, carport, garage or gazebo on my property?

Yes. Zoning permits confirm the proposed structures and site meet the applicable development standards. See Chapter 5 and Chapter 7 for additional information related to accessory structures. Sometimes the size of the structure dictates the need for a building permit.

Do I need a permit to install a pool on my property?

Yes. Zoning permits confirm the structures meet the applicable setback and development standards. See Chapter 5 and Chapter 7 for additional information related to pools.

Can I build an accessory dwelling unit on my property?

Maybe. The Ordinance includes allowances for accessory dwelling units. Constructing the unit accessory to an existing primary structure can be valid. This arrangement is only allowed upon meeting certain development standards. See Chapter 7 for additional information.

Do I need a permit from zoning to install a fence on my property?

No. A permit is not required. There are height restrictions for fences depending on property placement. See Chapter 6 for additional information.

What constitutes a zoning violation?

Zoning affects every structure and land use throughout Cabarrus County. “No structure shall be erected, reconstructed, moved or structurally altered. Nor shall any structure or land be used except in compliance with this ordinance. This includes both the general and any other applicable regulations of the ordinance.” Use of a property where the ordinance prohibits such use is a violation. It is also a violation when proper approvals have not been secured from the County.

I received a Notice of Violation (NOV) in the mail. What does that mean?

Notice of Violation (NOV) means an ordinance violation was documented on your property. The NOV typically outlines steps for achieving compliance. It also includes contact information for the staff member processing the NOV. If you have questions about the NOV or how to achieve compliance, contact the named staff member.

Can I make a zoning complaint anonymously?

Yes. Call complaints in to 704-920-2141.

Does Zoning staff enforce private covenants and deed restrictions. These are also known as CCRs or HOA restrictions on properties?

No. Zoning staff only enforce the Development Ordinance. The Board of Commissioners adopted this ordinance.

Can I operate a small business from my home?

Maybe. The zoning designation of the property determines home occupation permit eligibility. Home occupation permit liability is also governed by outlined development standards. Cabarrus County offers two different types of Home Occupation Permits: 

  • General
  • Rural

See Chapter 7 of the Development Ordinance for information related to home occupations.

What department do I call to report a tall grass complaint?

Cabarrus is a rural county. For this reason, it does not have a tall grass ordinance or tall grass regulations.

Can I live in a Recreational Vehicle (RV) in Cabarrus County?

No. RVs are intended and constructed as temporary housing. Temporary occupancy of RVs is only permitted in designated areas. These areas include campground facilities or manufactured home parks with approved RV spaces.

Are junk vehicles allowed in Cabarrus County?

No. Junk vehicles are not permitted in any zoning district. Junk vehicles are only allowed as part of a properly permitted business. Junk vehicles must be part of the business.