As with most communities, Morganton has tried to adopt responsible and reasonable development regulatory practices. These practices enable our community to efficiently grow in a way that benefits all. We realize that our ordinance requirements can confuse and sometimes discourage developers. For this reason we have created this site to serve as a developers quick reference guide.

This step-by-step process takes your project from beginning to end - from site design to securing building permits. A telephone directory of important contacts is also included.

To further assist you, the Director of Development & Design Services will serve as your Development Coordinator. The director will be your first point of contact with the City and help answer any questions concerning the review process, regulations and other information related to your project.

The City of Morganton recognizes the importance new development and the impact it makes on our community. We are here to serve you.

Contact: Phillip Lookadoo, Development & Design Director • 828-438-5270, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Step by Step


Step by Step

  1. Meet with City’s Department of Development & Design Services Director who will act as your Development Coordinator to determine applicable development regulations.
  2. Meet with Chief Building Inspector to determine applicable State Building Code regulations and permit procedures. For developments disturbing more than one (1) acre of land, an erosion control permit must be obtained from the NC Dept. of Environmental and Natural Resources (NCDENR) Land Quality Division in Asheville ( before building permits can be issued.
  3. Develop a site plan in accordance with site plan check list. The developer should employ a qualified surveyor, landscape architect, architect, or engineer to develop these plans. Upon request of the developer, the City’s Coordinator will set up a meeting between City officials, the developer, and his site planner to discuss development plans prior to being drawn or submitted.
  4. Submit five (5) complete site plans to Development Coordinator for review. The developer also should submit a site plan to the NC Department of Transportation if a state highway driveway permit is needed.
  5. The Development Coordinator will send a “Notice of Plan Review” to the developer within 10 to 14 days to explain all necessary revisions and provide specific contact personnel. At this time a meeting with City officials can be arranged to discuss the review comments.
  6. Revise and submit an updated site plan to the Development Coordinator that addresses all review comments along with any other requested correspondence.
  7. Once all review items are addressed, the Development Coordinator will issue a “Notice to Proceed.” This letter approves the development plans and allows 90 days for the developer to obtain permits. A registered architect must submit architectural plans to the Chief Building Inspector and the general contractor must obtain a general building permit prior to the end of the 90 day period. If required by state law, the developer should also submit building construction plans and receive approval from to the NC Department of Insurance in Raleigh, NC.
  8. If an Erosion Control Plan is required, from the third step above, the developer should provide the Building Inspector with an approval letter from NCDENR-Land Quality Division.
  9. Contractor should complete an application for building permits. A fee schedule will be provided.
  10. Submit building and sign permit fees, water and sewer tap fees, and curb cut fees to the City of Morganton.
  11. Proceed with construction on an arranged inspection schedule.
  12. Submit as-built drawings immediately following all public water and sewer line installation.
  13. Upon construction completion, apply for a Certificate of Occupancy from the Chief Building Inspector.

Dedicate all public water and sewer lines with their necessary easements.


Site Plan Package


Site Plan Package:  Your site plan package should include:


For the Development & Design Department: (828) 438-5266

 □      Scale drawing of entire property, including  property lines and size of property in square feet or acreage

□      Name, address, and phone number of contact person responsible for plan revisions and information contained on the plan

□      Accurate location of all existing and proposed structures

□      Accurate floor square footage of all proposed  and existing structures and their proposed use.

□      Existing and proposed parking areas

□      Proposed landscaped areas and plant materials

□      Freestanding sign location(s)

□      Flood plain and floodway boundary locations (if applicable)

□      If project is to be built in phases, show phasing boundaries

□      Indicate whether the property is within a designated watershed protection district. If needed show engineered storm water devices. (requires extra review time)

□      Existing and proposed water and sewer lines and tap locations (include profiles for multi-family)

□      Grading plan with existing and proposed storm drainage. Include drainage calculations

□      Location of entrances and drives (proposed and existing)

□      Existing and proposed streets (include profiles for multi-family and commercial streets)


For the Electric Department: (828) 438-5284

□      Location of pad mounted transformers, and  electrical service connections

□      Location of street, parking lot, and security lighting

□      Electric service loads


For the Morganton Department of Public Safety: (828) 432-2692

□      Location of fire hydrants (existing and proposed)

□      Location of fire lanes

□      Proper turning radii of fire fighting equipment at drive entrances and throughout development

□      Security recommendations


For the Public Works Department: (828) 438-5248

□      Location/number of solid waste container pads

□      Proper access and maneuvering space for a front loading waste collection truck


Phone Number Directory


Phone Number Directory

 Here are some phone numbers you may need:


City of Morganton

  • Department of Development & Design Services                                          (828) 438-5260
    • Director: Serves as Development Coordinator
    • Planner: Assists with conceptual design and architectural amenities
    • Chief Building Inspector: Reviews and inspects project for building code compliance
    • City Engineer: Reviews water, sewer, street and storm drainage design. Reviews and inspects utility drawings & installation
    • Project Manager: Provides general information on water and sewer tap requirements


  • Electric Department: (828) 438-5277
    • Reviews electrical plans
    • Electric Service Manager: Reviews electrical loads


  • Public Works: (828) 438-5248
    • Reviews solid waste collection location and design.
    • Reviews curb cut requests


  • Water Resources: (828) 438-5276
    • Reviews water and sewer plans


  • CoMPAS Cable: (828) 438-5353
    • Handles cable television requests


  • Public Safety Department: (828) 432-2692
    • Fire & Crime Prevention Division: Reviews plans for fire code compliance

City Contact


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Staff Directory

305 E. Union St. Ste A100
Morganton, NC 28655 i Google Maps 16x16

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