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Planning Department Ordinances

  • Adult Entertainment Ordinance
    The Adult Entertainment Ordinance regulates adult establishments, including bookstore and entertainment businesses in the areas of Buncombe County not regulated by a municipality. The ordinance sets annual licensing requirements for both businesses and entertainers and specifies prohibited acts and behaviors. Licensing fees are currently set a $1,000 per year.
  • Street Addressing
    In accordance with county policy and to enable a better emergency response, the addressing office will provide a street address for new construction, for previously existing structures which have not had a physical street address assigned, and for the naming of new roads and private drives.
  • Manufactured / Manufactured Home Parks
    Buncombe County has an ordinance that sets standards for Manufactured Home Parks. A Manufactured Home Park Permit is required for all new parks and expansions of existing parks. The Manufactured Home Park Permit Application should be submitted to the Planning Department for review before work is begun in the park. After all work is completed, a final inspection for compliance with the ordinance standards is required before the permit is issued.
  • Off Premise Sign Ordinance
    The Off Premise Sign Ordinance sets standards and restrictions for off-premise signs erected in the areas of Buncombe County not regulated by a municipality. The ordinance establishes criteria for size, height, setbacks, and spacing of signs, and provides permitted requirements. The ordinance amortizes all signs not conforming with height and size requirements.
  • Telecommunications Tower Ordinance
    The Telecommunication Tower Ordinance sets standards for the permitting and construction of telecommunication towers in the areas of Buncombe County not regulated by a municipality. Tower height and site design standards are specified, and a 30 day notification of adjoining property is required. Ham radios and AM radio antennas are exempt from the ordinance.
  • Water Supply Watershed Protection
    The Buncombe County Water Supply Watershed Protection Ordinance was adopted to protect the quality of the drinking water supply by managing the development that takes place in the watersheds. The ordinance regulates all WS-1 water supply watersheds and the Ivy watershed, which is classified as a WS-2 watershed. Lot size restrictions and development standards are required.
  • Stormwater Ordinance
    The Buncombe County Stormwater Ordinance is a post development stormwater management regulation. It requires developers to determine how much their activity will affect stormwater runoff for the 1 Year 24 Hour storm. Permanent measures are required so adjacent properties and watercourses have a level of protection against increases in runoff and water pollution. These management plans are designed by licensed Professional Engineers or Professional Landscape Architects and reviewed by the county. Restrictions are placed on development properties to ensure that land use remains consistent with the designed stormwater system. The county ordinance has been given delegated authority by the NC Division of Water Quality to administer the NPDES Phase II rules.
  • Land Development & Subdivision Ordinance
    The Land Development and Subdivision Ordinance regulates subdivision of land and private road construction standards in the areas of Buncombe County not regulated by a municipality. Minor subdivisions, of 3 to 10 lots, are approved by the Planning Department. Major subdivisions, over 10 lots, are approved by the Planning Board. Ten categories of exemptions to the ordinance exist.
  • Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance
    Buncombe County joined the National Flood Insurance Program in 1980 and began regulating development within the 100-year floodplain as a federal requirement of participation in this program. New structures, additions or changes to existing structures, grading, filling, or any other manmade changes within the 100-year floodplain require flood development permits. Certain subdivisions of land also require the review and approval of the Flood Damage Ordinance Administrator. The effective floodplain maps are dated April 3, 2012, and are available online through Buncombe County's GIS website.
  • Zoning Ordinance
    The County-wide Zoning Ordinance was enacted May 1, 2007, and regulates land use throughout Buncombe County.  Within each Zoning District, certain uses are permitted, conditional, or not allowed.  Any uses that are listed as conditional a particular Zoning District require a Conditional Use Permit from the Board of Adjustment prior to construction or change in use.  There are building setback and minimum lot size requirements in all zoning districts with the exception of the Open Use District.  Individual deed restrictions such as subdivision covenants or other such agreements between property owners that address land use are not enforced by the Zoning Ordinance, however legally property owners must follow whichever rules are more stringent.
  • Erosion & Sedimentation Control
    The County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Office regulates certain land disturbing activity to control accelerated Erosion and Sedimentation in order to prevent the pollution of water and other damage to lakes, water courses, and other public and private property by sedimentation, and establish procedures through which these purposes can be fulfilled.

For more information contact the Erosion Control Office at 250-4848.

Solid Waste Ordinances

  • Junkyard Control Ordinance
    The Junkyard Control Ordinance regulates all commercial businesses owning or storing junked vehicles. Standards are established for the number of junked or inoperable vehicles a business may keep. Junkyards existing when the ordinance was adopted must meet buffering standards, and any new junkyard must meet standards for acreage, road frontage, and setbacks as well.
  • Solid Waste Ordinance
    The Solid Waste Control Ordinance regulates the collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste and recyclables generated by owners, occupants, tenants, lessees, proprietors, or other persons in charge of any residential, commercial, small business, industrial, institutional and/or construction/demolition properties in unincorporated areas of Buncombe County.  It also sets forth procedures and standards for the franchised collection of solid waste and recyclables in unincorporated areas of Buncombe County.  

    For more information contact the Solid Waste Office at 250-5460.


Environmental Health Ordinances

  • Sewer & Septic Tank Services
    Septic tank permits are issued by Buncombe County Environmental Health Services. For more information, please call 250-5016.

    Permits for connections and extensions to public sewer services are issued by the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Please call 254-9646 for more information.

Soil and Water Conservation Service Ordinances

  • Farmland Preservation
    Buncombe County has a voluntary Farmland Preservation Program. The purpose of this program is to encourage the economic health of farming areas, to increase protection from nuisance suits and undesired non-farm development and to increase the identity and pride in the agricultural community and its way of life. To qualify for the program, the land must be in the farm present-use-value taxation program, have a conservation management plan and be fifty acres or within a mile of other qualifying farms that together total fifty acres. Please contact the Soil and Water Conservation Service at 250-4785 for an application and additional information.

Permits & Inspections Ordinances

  • Permits & Inspections Services
    A permit should be obtained before beginning construction, alteration, or repairs other than ordinary repairs. Ordinary repairs are nonstructural repairs and do not include additions to, alteration of, or replacement or relocation of plumbing, electrical wiring, or mechanical or other work for which a permit is required.

For information on obtaining a permit, call Permits & Inspections at 250-5360.

You man also need to contact the Soil and Water agency at 250-4785.