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Union County, North Carolina

Zoning

Zoning

How can I obtain a Home Occupation Permit?

Many types of businesses, jobs and professions are allowed to be conducted from a home in a residential zoning classification as long as they comply with the UDO’s “Home Occupation” regulations .

The home occupation regulations recognize two types of home-based businesses: rural and suburban. Rural home occupations are allowed only on RA-zoned parcels with a minimum area of 100,000 square feet (2.29 acres or more). Suburban home occupations are allowed to be conducted from a residential dwelling unit in any zoning districts that allows residential dwellings. The rules for rural home occupations are more permissive than those that apply to suburban home occupations, but both allow for many types of work to be conducted from the home. You can apply for a permit by either going online and completing a Suburban Home Occupation or Rural Home Occupation Permit, by downloading a form and submitting it at our office, or by completing a form at our office. The cost of the zoning portion of the permit is $40. Depending upon your type of home occupation there may be other fees. Contact our office for more information. Many types of businesses, jobs and professions are allowed to be conducted from a home in a residential zoning classification as long as they comply with the UDO’s "Home Occupation” regulations.

How do I report a violation?

The zoning administrator is responsible for enforcement of the county’s development ordinance and investigating possible zoning and development violations. Contact the planning office if you need to report a possible violation. See the contact information at the bottom of this page. For violations related to building permits please contact Building Code Enforcement at 704-283-3549.

How do I find the zoning of my property?

If your property is located in unincorporated Union County, you can find out the zoning by calling or visiting the county planning office or viewing the “County Zoning Map” on the GIS/Mapping Services page of the county’s GIS/Maps website. If your property is within a city, you will need to obtain zoning information from that city. Links to city webpages about development are listed under the dropdown option titled "How does zoning work?" on the Planning, Building & Development homepage.

How is a home occupation defined?

Per the Union County Development Ordinance document:

Description: Home occupations are jobs or professions conducted wholly or partly from a residential dwelling.

Exemptions: Nonresidential uses that are expressly allowed in conjunction with residential uses (e.g., bed and breakfast uses and some form of day care) are not subject to home occupation regulations.

Allowed Uses: The home occupation regulations of this section establish performance standards for home occupations rather than limiting allowed uses to a specific list. Uses that comply with the regulations of this section are allowed as of right unless otherwise expressly stated.

Types of Home Occupations: Two types of home occupations are regulated under this section: (i) suburban home occupations and (ii) rural home occupations.

  • Suburban home occupations are those that comply with all regulations of §35.040-E; rural home occupations are those that cannot comply with all applicable suburban home occupation regulations but that do comply with all regulations of§35.040-F.
  • The difference in regulations recognizes that work from home activities that are customary and compatible in large-lot rural settings are often very different from those that are customary and compatible in smaller lot suburban settings.

Suburban Home Occupations

Home occupations that comply with all of the regulations of this subsection are permitted in conjunction with any allowed principal residential use.

Rural Home Occupations

Home occupations that do not comply with all of the suburban home occupation regulations of §35.040-E but that do comply with all of the regulations of this subsection are permitted in conjunction with any allowed principal residential use on RA-zoned lot of at least 100,000 square feet in area.

How do I find out if my property is located in unincorporated Union County or in a city?

It is very important to determine whether your property is located in unincorporated Union County or in one of the many cities in the county, such as Monroe, Indian Trail, or Stallings. Each jurisdiction has different rules for building, developing property and opening a business. To find out whether your property is located in the county or a city you should call or stop by the Union County Planning Office or view your property using the online GIS(GoMaps) on the GIS/Mapping Services page of the county’s website.

Is my property located in an area that is prone to flooding?

Every few years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares maps of areas susceptible to flooding. The latest version of Union County’s flood zone maps can be viewed by stopping by the planning office or viewing the 2014 FEMA Zones map on the County’s GIS/Maps webpage. The regulations that apply to land within designated flood-prone areas can be found in Article 65 of the Union County Development Guide.

What uses are allowed on my property (or the property across the road)?

To determine the uses allowed on property, first find out the zoning of the property (see above). Then refer to Article 25 of the Development Ordinance, where you will find a table showing the county zoning districts and the uses allowed in each.

How do I report a violation of the development ordinance?

The zoning administrator is responsible for enforcement of the county’s development ordinance and investigating possible violations. Contact the planning office if you need to report a possible violation. Pursuant to Section 95.030A, upon receipt of a written complaint, the administrator must investigate the complaint and determine whether a violation exists.

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Contact Information

James King
Zoning Administrator, Planning
500 N. Main St., Ste 70
Monroe, NC 28112

Email: James.King@unioncountync.gov
Phone: 704-283-3605
Fax: 704-292-2582

Planning and Zoning Staff

Brian Matthews
Executive Director, Growth Management
704-292-2597

Richard Black
Division Director, Planning
704-292-2580

Bjorn Hansen
Senior Transportation Planner
704-283-3690

Lee Jenson
Senior Planner
704-283-3564

James King
Zoning Administrator
704-283-3605

Pam Rivers
Administrative Assistant
704-283-3565