About PDI

Wake County Planning, Development & Inspections coordinates county-wide planning in partnership with municipalities and regulates development in the unincorporated areas. Planning staff are divided into current planning and comprehensive long-range functions. Current planning staff process rezonings, subdivisions, grave removals, special use permits, and variances. Contact current planning about development regulations and standards including setbacks, permit requirements, and limits on impervious surfaces. Policies governing land use, development and design are in the Wake County Unified Development Ordinance, which can be found by going to Municode.

The long range planning section conducts land use planning and ordinance changes, and provides data analysis and tools for decision making. The long range section also participates in planning efforts and activities headed by other agencies and local governments. Contact long range for population information, including school enrollment projections, future land use, and planning documents.


Contact us for


Current Planning

Setbacks, impervious surface



Any proposed subdivision of land


Long Range Planning

Orphan roads, Land Use Plan Amendments, population data



Construction permits, on-site inspections


Code Enforcement

Building code violations, dumping



Upcoming public meeting items



Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need for my home occupation?

Permitting a home occupation is a relatively simple administrative procedure in Wake County's unincorporated area. In addition to any required permits related to construction, if applicable, there is an application

How do I learn about setbacks and other requirements if I want to build a house, shed, or install a driveway?

Setbacks and other design requirements are contained in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which can be accessed by going to Municode.

Wake County developed a simple checklist that provides guidance.

How do I learn more about transportation plans?

Most cities and towns in North Carolina have plans for transportation investment. Other investments are coordinated by CAMPO or NCDOT. 

How do I find information about transportation services?

Most cities and towns in Wake County have support services for local public transit.  Non municipal trips are provided by GoWake. Regional services are coordinated by GoTriangle, and intercity rail is provided by NCDOT (NC By Train).  

Who maintains my road?

In accordance with state law, NCDOT maintains all public roads in unincorporated county jurisdiction. You can check the jurisdiction of your road by looking at NCDOT’s secondary road database or this interactive map. Please note, the map is updated quarterly.

If your road is not a legal private road and is not listed in NCDOT’s database, it may be an orphan road. See more information on orphan roads here.

What is my jurisdiction?

You can find out property information by looking at iMAPS where you can do a search for your property. The jurisdiction you live in is listed under "City." You live in the unincorporated area of Wake County if "City" is blank. If a town or city is listed in Planning Jurisdiction your property is in the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction, or ETJ, of that town or city.

I see that my property is located in an extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. What does that mean?

Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, or ETJ, is a planning tool enabled by the North Carolina General Assembly that allows municipalities to regulate planning and zoning decisions outside of their corporate limits. So, for example, if your property is in the Town of Apex’s ETJ and you wish to make any improvements to it, you would be required to follow the Town of Apex’s development ordinances and permitting procedures. However, for non-development-related matters, your property is considered part of Wake County’s jurisdiction. You will never pay municipal taxes if you’re in the ETJ, nor will your property ever be involuntarily annexed by any municipality. For specific questions about how being in the ETJ affects your property, contact the Planning Department.

What is a Multi-Use District?

In county land use plans, Multi-Use Districts (sometimes called Activity Centers) identify the most appropriate location for commercial development to help serve the daily needs of the surrounding area. In this role, the Multi-Use Districts are used by the county to guide decisions on rezoning requests and development permits.

How do I move or remove a grave?

If you wish to move or remove a grave, please contact Keith Lankford. Mr. Lankford will instruct you on the state requirements on proper grave removals.