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The Development Services division coordinates the review, approval, and permit issuance of all development-related permitting for properties within the City of Salisbury and extraterritorial jurisdiction. Almost all development activity must receive a city Zoning Permit before obtaining a Building Permit from the county. The Rowan County Building Inspections department coordinates NC State Building Code permits, which may include plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and structural review. They can be reached by calling (704) 216-8619 or by emailing

This page details the type of permits that are coordinated by the Development Services division, provides an electronic version of the application, as well as the applicable fee schedule for processing. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email or phone for any questions related to your project or completion of the application.

If you need information about zoning, utility, signs, and other permits, please call Development Services at (704) 638-5208 or email

Development Activity not Requiring Board or Commission Consideration:

Some development activity may be processed and approved at a staff level. These activities require submittal of the application and set of development plans. Fees for these permits are paid at the time of permit issuance:

Zoning Permit

This is the go-to permit for almost all development activity. This permit is required for issuance of Rowan County Building Permits. Although other development processes may be required prior to permit issuance, the Zoning Permit is required for the following types of development activity. Projects defined as *Minor Site Plan or **Major Site Plan, which requires formal site plan review, must also include the Site Plan Supplement Form:

Service Cost
New House $50
New Multi-Family Residential $150
New Non-Residential $300
Residential Addition / Accessory / Upfit $25
Non-Residential Addition / Accessory / Upfit $100
Temporary Use Permit $50
Temporary Construction Trailer $25
Minor Site Plan Review $150
Major Site Plan Review $500
Application Site Plan Supplemental Form * Minor Site Plan is defined as Multi-Family < 8 units, Non-Residential development < 10,000-sf, or any Industrial development ** Major Site Plan is defined as Multi-Family 8+ units, Non-Residential development >9,999-sf

Zoning Permit for Signs

Almost all signs erected in the City of Salisbury zoning jurisdiction require a Zoning Permit for Signs. Examples of exempt signs that do not require a permit include, but may not be limited to, government signage, flags, wall murals, and building accents.

Service Cost
Special Event or Temporary Signs $25
Changes to Existing Signage $50
New Signs / Sign Packages $100

Certificate of Registration

The Certificate of Registration permit is the replacement program for the Business (Privilege) License tax that was repealed by the state in 2015. Except for a Home Occupation Permit, the city business registration program is free and is used to determine proper zoning as well as update the Fire Marshal for annual inspection purposes.

Service Cost
Home Occupation $50

Certificate of Appropriateness

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is required for all site and/or exterior building activity occurring in a Local Historic District. There are five (5) Local Historic Districts in the City of Salisbury: 1) Brooklyn-South Square, 2) Downtown, 3) Ellis Street Graded School District, 4) North Main Street, 5) West Square. Some of the development activity requires consideration by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Please email or call the staff liaison to the HPC for details.

Service Cost
COA No Fee
After-the-Fact COA $250
Application Agent Form (HPC Consideration)

Demolition Permit

Demolition of any structure within the City of Salisbury corporate limits requires issuance of a Demolition Permit. Demolition Permits are processed by the Code Services division and may require a public hearing. If a demolition is proposed in a Local Historic District, it must receive Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) approval prior to the issuance of any permits. If located in a National Register District, the HPC must be provided a minimum 90-day notice; however, the commission may reduce, or remove, the 90-day notice if found that the property has no historic value or significance.

Service Cost
Demolition Permit $50
Demolition COA by the HPC No Fee

Utility Review Only

Some development activity is outside of the city’s zoning and subdivision jurisdiction, but remains under utility review because the City of Salisbury is the owner and administrator of the entire Salisbury-Rowan Water & Sewer Utility System. Projects outside of the City of Salisbury or its’ extraterritorial jurisdiction requiring an extension of, or taps to, the water or sewer system must submit the following application:

Service Cost
Public/Private Water (Fire or Domestic) Extension $200 per extension type
Public/Private Sewer Extension $200 per extension type

Development Activity Requiring Board or Commission Consideration:

The following activities require a public hearing and approval by a higher authority prior to the issuance of any development permits. Fees for these activities are paid at the time of application submittal:

Alternate Methods of Compliance

Some development projects and certain sign types propose unique design considerations that the Land Development Ordinance (LDO) does not address. In this case, a special Council-appointed commission entitled the Alternate Methods of Design Commission (AMDC) considers whether the proposed alternate method of compliance can be approved. The AMDC meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month at 4:30 p.m. Applications must be submitted at least 15 days in advance of the next available meeting.

Service Cost
Alternate Methods of Compliance Review $50
Special Sign Permit $50

Variance or Appeal

A request for a variance to any specific provision of the Salisbury Land Development Ordinance or for an appeal of an administrative decision requires consideration by the Board of Adjustment. The Board of Adjustment meets on the 4th Tuesdays of the month. It is strongly recommended that you meet with planning staff to discuss your request prior to submitting an application.

Service Cost
Administrative Appeal $300
Variance $300

Rezoning Petition

A petition to rezone property in the City of Salisbury zoning jurisdiction requires a recommendation by the Planning Board and approval by City Council. If a specific development proposal is associated with a rezoning, it is considered a Conditional District rezoning. The Planning Board meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month while the City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. A courtesy hearing may be held at the Planning Board while a public hearing must be held at City Council. It is strongly recommended that you meet with planning staff to discuss your petition prior to submitting an application.

Service Cost
General Rezoning $600
Conditional District Rezoning (new) $1,000
Conditional District Rezoning (change) $750
Conditional District Minor Revision $50
Application Conditional District Supplement Form

Special Use Permit

A Special Use Permit (SUP) is required for certain land uses in the City of Salisbury zoning jurisdiction and requires consideration by the City Council. The City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. It is strongly recommended that you meet with planning staff to discuss your request prior to submitting an application.

Service Cost
Special Use Permit $500

Special Event Permits

The planning division is tasked with the review and approval of permits that are asking to close certain public-owned property for public events.

The City of Salisbury's municipal code was recently updated to reflect changes to the Special Event ordinance. Below are the related documents.

Special Event Permit Guide Municipal Code Ch. 22 - Streets and Sidewalks, Special Events

Taxi Permits

The Salisbury Police Department is tasked with the review and approval of permits for taxi operators and taxi franchises operating with the City of Salisbury limits. Taxi operators must renew their permit every year.

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