Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 ► Zoning Services
 ► Planning Services
 ► GIS
 ► Community Development

Zoning Services

How do I know what my property is currently zoned and what uses are permitted? 

Every parcel with the City of Concord has a designated zoning classification.  Your zoning designation can be found at the following link: https://www.concordnc.gov/Departments/Planning/GIS/Maps.  Zoning District descriptions and permitted uses can be found in Articles 7 and 8 of the Concord Development Ordinance (CDO) https://www.concordnc.gov/Departments/Planning/Zoning-Services/Development-Ordinance
 

How do I obtain a permit for site development in the City of Concord? 

A Plan Review Application is the first place to start for developing a site that is zoned appropriately for land uses other than single-family residential.  The Plan Review Application can be found at the following link: https://www.concordnc.gov/Departments/Planning/Fees-Applications.  Please note that a separate review of the building plans is required to be approved by Cabarrus County Construction Standards. 
 

Does the City of Concord issue building permits? 

No.  The City only issues Zoning Clearance Permits for new construction, additions, interior upfits and accessory structures.  Cabarrus County Construction Standards issues all building permits for the entire County and all municipalities. 
 

How do I occupy an existing structure for my new business? 

Please fill out and return the Certificate of Compliance Application found at the link below with applicable fees.  Please note, a Fire and Life Safety inspection will be required at part of this process.  https://www.concordnc.gov/Departments/Planning/Fees-Applications.
 

Do I need a permit to have a sign for my business? 

Yes.  Please refer to Article 12 of the CDO for sign regulations:  https://www.concordnc.gov/Departments/Planning/Zoning-Services/Development-Ordinance.  Also, a Sign Permit application is required to be completed for review and approval:  https://www.concordnc.gov/Departments/Planning/Fees-Applications
 

Planning Services

What is city-zoning and why is it regulated?

Zoning regulates the type of land uses permissible in certain areas of the City.  Each parcel in the City is assigned a zoning district.

Can the zoning district in a certain area change?

The only way zoning can change is through the public hearing process.  Property owners must submit a rezoning application to the Planning & Neighborhood Development Department, surrounding property owners are notified, and the Planning and Zoning Commission has a public hearing.

What does the Planning & Zoning Commission do?

The Planning and Zoning Commission is an appointed board of volunteers that reviews all of the rezoning and certain development requests in the City.  This Commission also recommends changes to the Development Ordinance to City Council. 

When and where does the Planning & Zoning Commission meet?

The Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting is on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 pm.  The meeting is held in the City Council meeting room at 35 Cabarrus Avenue West.

Can I speak at a Planning & Zoning Commission meeting in reference to a certain case?

All Commission meetings are open to the public and any citizen may attend and speak relative to any public hearing item.

What is a Historic District?

A Historic District is designed to protect and preserve architecturally significant historic structures.  The district functions as a zoning overlay (on top of the standard zoning district).  Concord has three historic districts:  North Union, South Union and Edgewood. 

What does the Historic Preservation Commission do?

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is a board of appointed citizen volunteers who decide on development requests within the Historic Districts.  Development within the Districts is governed by the  “Historic District Handbook and Design Guidelines.”

When and where does the Historic Commission meet?

The Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting is on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm.  The meeting is held in the City Council meeting room at 26 Union Street South.

Can I speak at a Historic Commission meeting in reference to a certain case?

All Commission meetings are open to the public and any citizen may attend and speak relative to any public hearing item.

What is the Zoning Board of Adjustment?

This Board (ZBOA) is a citizen appointed group which is charged with deciding variances (quantifiable deviations to ordinance requirements) and appeals of certain decisions.  This Board operates in a quasi-judicial fashion, much like a miniature trial setting, and requires sworn testimony by those speaking.  Decisions are based on evidence and not opinion. 

When and where does the ZBOA meet?

The ZBOA’s regularly scheduled meeting is on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 pm.  The meeting is held in the City Council meeting room at 26 Union Street South.

Can I speak at a ZBOA meeting in reference to a certain case?

All ZBOA meetings are open to the public and any citizen may attend and speak relative to any public hearing item.

What is the Land Use Plan?

The Land Use Plan (LUP) gives a long term development vision of the City, as to what types of development can go in specific geographic areas.  This plan was developed with a significant amount of public involvement.  The Development Ordinance, particularly the zoning portion, is the main tool utilized to achieve the vision set forth in the LUP.

What is an Area Plan?

Area plans can be viewed as more detailed versions of the LUP which concentrate on certain defined geographic areas.  Area plans are considered to be complimentary to the LUP. 
 

GIS

What is GIS?

A geographic information system (GIS) is a type of information system that contains data about locational features.  It consists of specialized software and a wide range of locational data (geographic data).  One example of geographic data is fire hydrants.  The GIS may contain locations of fire hydrants along with certain attribute data - such as the measure of water pressure, date of installation, and date it was last serviced.

Why does the Planning & Neighborhood Development Department use GIS?

Planners use GIS to quickly and efficiently reference information pertaining to a wide range of topics including zoning boundaries, addresses, streets, property information, floodplains, streams, topography, buildings, and aerial photography.  The system can also be used to make a wide variety of maps.  In the Planning Department, GIS is used in virtually all aspects of the department.

Why does the City manage an address system?

The City implements and manages an address system primarily to help emergency responders locate homes and businesses in the city.  The system is also used to help the public find their way throughout the city, and helps businesses find and locate other businesses and customers.  The addressing system is also used by the United States Postal Service, as well as other parcel delivery companies, to deliver mail and parcels in the city.

Can the City send me a letter to verify my address, so I can give proof of my address to my mortgage company or realtor?

Yes, occasionally, citizens need to give written proof of their address to their mortgage company, realtor, insurance broker, or banker.  Citizens and businesses in the City are welcome to contact our office for assistance.

Community Development

How do I qualify for Emergency Repair assistance?

This program is designed to assist low and moderate income homeowners make repairs to their homes that are urgent in nature or may cause an imminent threat to the health and/or safety of it occupant(s). Qualified applicants are selected on a first –come, first-serve basis with exception of life threatening situations.  The following are requirements for properties to be considered:

A.    Dwelling must be an owner-occupied, single-family home located within the City limits of Concord,
B.    Homeowner must have and income that is classified as  low –to-moderate as defined by HUD
C.    The dwelling must be in need of home repairs that are considered to imply an immediate property or personal risk to the occupants,
D.    Homeowner must have clear and marketable title to the property,
E.    The owner must be current with all City property taxes and utility billings.
NOTE:  A Deed of Trust and Promissory Note for the amount of the assistance provided under the program will be used for security.  A Deed of Trust for the amount received will be recorded taking a second position no less than a third lien position. 

What are the qualifications for receiving Down Payment Assistance?

Through this program homebuyers can receive a depreciating loan of up to a specified amount to use for their down payment, prepaids or closing cost.  In order to qualify applicants must be a first-time homebuyer and have an annual household incomes that do not exceed eighty-percent (80%) of the median income of the area.  A first-time homebuyer is defined as an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home during the past three years. It includes displaced homemakers and single parents.
Applicants must be pre-approved by a bank or financial institution for an adequate amount to purchase the home stated in their application.  Applicants must also complete a homebuyer education workshop prior to the anticipated closing date.
The assistance is available in the form of a five year depreciating loan.  The loan will depreciate 20% per year for the next five years, at which time the loan will be considered paid in full.  The buyer must occupy the home for the five year period.  The sale of the property during the five year period triggers repayment of the down payment funds.   A Deed of Trust and Promissory Note for the amount of the assistance provided under the program will be used to secure the amount of assistance.  A Deed of Trust for the amount received will be recorded taking a second position no less than a third lien position.
 

How can I qualify to buy a New Home from the City?

HOME funds are used for the purchase of vacant lots and for the construction of single-family housing units.  The houses built under this program are sold to buyers whose incomes are low-to-moderate as defined by the Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area.   Applicants must be pre-approved by a bank or financial institution for an adequate amount to purchase the home stated in their application.  Down payment funds may also be available when purchasing these homes. 

What is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program?

The CDBG program is authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended.  The primary objective of this act is the development of viable urban communities.  These viable communities are achieved by providing the following, principally for persons of low and moderate income:
A.    Decent Housing,
B.    A suitable living environment, and
C.    Expanded economic opportunities.

What is the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) program?

The HOME program was created by the National Affordable Housing Act 1990 (NAHA). 
                   The intent of the HOME Program is to:
A.     Provide decent affordable housing to lower-income households,
B.    Expand the capacity of non-profit housing providers,
C.    Strengthen the ability of local state and local governments  to provide housing, and
D.    Leverage private-sector participation for the development of affordable housing.

What type of activities can be funded through the CDBG program?

Acquisition of property, public facilities and improvement (i.e. sidewalks, water/sever lines, streets), clearance and demolition, housing rehabilitation activities, code enforcement, economic development activities, funding assistance to community based development organizations.

What are the National Objectives for the Community Development Block Grant Program?

All of the activities that are pursued must meet one of three national objectives:
A.    Benefit to low and moderate income persons;
B.    Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; and
C.    Meet a need having a particular urgency (referred to as “urgent need”) 

How are Low-to-Moderate income guidelines determined?

The City of Concord utilizes the Income Limits Documentation system that is issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development each year.  These income guidelines cover the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC HUD Metro Fair Market Rent Areas (FMR).  The FMR Area contains the following counties:  Cabarrus County, NC; Gaston County, NC; Mecklenburg County, NC; Union County, NC; York County, SC.
  


Ask a Planner

If you have a question, and you're not sure who to ask, simply send us an email at planning@concordnc.gov.  Someone will respond to your question. 

 


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