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Planning Department Overview

Planning Department Overview

Planning consists of two sections; Planning and Zoning and Stormwater. For more detailed information concerning these sections please use the left side panel to select the appropriate section. Below is a list of related questions and answers.

What does the Planning Department do?

The Planning Department is responsible for administering the policies of the Board of County Commissioners regarding long-range planning (future direction of growth and facilities) and current planning (standards for growth as embodied in development ordinances).

The Planning Department focuses on:

  • Implementation of the Union County Comprehensive Plan
  • Through the update of the Union County Development Ordinance and development of a countywide thoroughfare plan
  • Monitoring federal, state, regional and other local laws that impact land use/development and transportation planning
  • Continuing efficient day-to-day services through subdivision/site plan review, rezoning processing, and general inquiries of land use and transportation plans
  • Administrative land use processes for towns that accept County ordinances

How do I obtain a building permit?

To begin this process, three considerations must be addressed. These considerations are water and sewer, zoning and applicable codes.

Water and sewer may be regulated by Union County Public Works, Environmental Health or a combination of the two agencies.

Adherence to the NC Building Code is mandated by the Building Code Enforcement Division.

To secure a residential building permit you must submit a completed building permit application. Forms are available online via the link below or in our office. Along with this application you must either have an accessibility letter from Public Works of Sewer and/or Water (this letter may be required to come from the appropriate planning jurisdiction),or a septic permit or septic waiver from Environmental Health,. You will also need zoning approval (parcels under the jurisdiction of the County will be handled in our office), lien agent and workers comp information (if the job is over $30,000).

Cost of a residential permit is based upon square footage, (heated and/or unheated). Please reference the fee schedule.

How does zoning work?

The Zoning Administrator is responsible for the enforcement and administration of the Union County Development Ordinance which governs the use of property, setbacks from property lines, violations of the ordinance and floodplain for unincorporated Union County. The Zoning Administrator is also part of the commercial plan review of buildings being constructed within the County's jurisdiction.

Union County’s zoning jurisdiction does not include the following cities, towns and villages:

For more information about zoning in those jurisdictions please contact them directly. You can find their contact information in the Development Guide.

How do I subdivide, develop or rezone my property?

Each development activity has a specific process to follow. View the Development Guide for a synopsis of the various development processes.


Union County Planning

500 N. Main St., Ste 70
Monroe, NC 28112

Phone: 704-283-3565
Fax: 704-292-2582

Email Planning and Zoning

Planning and Zoning Staff

Lee Jenson
Planning Director

Bjorn Hansen
Senior Planner / Long Range Planning

James King
Senior Planner / Current Planning

Janet Wolfe

Matthew Rea

Keith O'Herrin
Urban Forester

Charles Holt
Code Compliance Officer

Amy Griffin 
Administrative Assistant