City-County Planning Department

The Durham City-County Planning Department is the planning agency for the City and County of Durham. The Department works with the community to develop long-range and special area plans containing policies to direct growth. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department helps to make Durham a great place to live, work, and play by working to create a strong and diverse economy, and thriving and livable neighborhoods.

Planners develop policies addressing:
  • Economic development
  • Environment
  • Government services and facilities
  • Historic resources
  • Housing
  • Land use
  • Open space
  • Transportation
The Comprehensive Plan is Durham’s statement of how we want to grow and develop. The plan guides where and how private development should occur. It also guides how the City and County should provide public facilities and services to support future growth.

Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)
Adopted in 2006, the UDO lays out the rules for the physical development of property. The UDO designates zoning of properties in Durham, and is crafted to result in a built environment that meets the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The UDO superseded the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.

Development Tracking & GIS Mapping
The Department has an interactive iMaps (GIS) application called the Development Tracker, which does that and much more. This tool opens with the web page and shows colored dots and boxes
on the map for current and recent development proposals in the City and County. Zoom to your area of interest by entering an address or intersecting streets into the "Address & Intersection Search" Quick Tool bar at the top of the map. Then click on a nearby colored dot or box to get the basic information about the case. The Development Tracker tool also shows development activity approved in the last 12 months by using the "Search Cases" tab in the Development Tracker.

The iMaps application also gives you access to the GIS layers that Planning staff uses, such as zoning, overlays, tiers, future land use, environmental features, streets, and aerial photography. Moving the mouse over the black bar at the top right corner of the webpage shows different views, such as the "Planning Layers" base maps and "More" layers. For help with this tool, please email the Planning Customer Service Center.