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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:
     •  Land use
     •  Open space
     •  Historic resources
     •  The environment
     •  Housing
     •  Transportation
     •  Economic development
     •  Government services and facilities
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.
Adopted in 2006, the Unified Development Ordinance (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 The UDO superseded the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.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 and GIS Mapping
The department has added an interactive iMaps application called the Development Tracker, which does that and much more. Once the web page is open, click on the "Search Development Activity" Quick Tool at the top of the page to view development currently being reviewed in the city and county. Zoom to an area of interest by entering an address or intersecting streets into the "Address Search" Quick Tool. Then click on a colored dot or box to access to all of the relevant information regarding the case. The Development Tracker tool also allows access to a listing of development that has been approved within the last 12 months, although these are not shown on the map. 
The iMaps application has recently been upgraded to provide public access to the GIS layers that Planning staff uses, such as zoning, overlays, tiers, future land use, environmental features, streets, utilities, and aerial photography. Moving the mouse over the black bar at the top right corner of the web page will reveal the choice of "Planning Layers" base maps and "More" layers that can be viewed. For assistance with this tool, please contact the Planning Customer Service Center.
The City-County Planning Department is on the ground floor of City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza. For information, call (919) 560-4137 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email.

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