Foundations in Planning and Development Regulation

This two-day course provides a basic introduction to planning and development regulation offered annually in the fall.

This course is intended for planning and zoning staff, practitioners and staff in related areas, and interested citizen board members. For some staff members, this course alone may be sufficient, while for others, this will serve as the initial class in a multi-course curriculum. 

This course is a pre-requisite to the following courses: Zoning Practice, Subdivision Practice, and Zoning Officials Certification. Completion of Introduction to Zoning in North Carolina or Introduction to Planning in North Carolina prior to 2013 satisfies this pre-requisite. 

All of the intermediate and advanced courses presume that the participants have a level of knowledge and competencies commensurate with participation in the Foundations course. 

General Course Content 

  • Context for planning and regulation [1 hour]
  • Governance [2 hours]
    • Local and state government organization
    • Jurisdiction for planning and development regulation
    • Public records and open meetings
  • Planning [2 hours]
    • Types of plans (comprehensive, strategic, functional, others)
    • Process of plan making (studies, public engagement, role of boards)
    • The comprehensive plan
    • Relation of plans to regulations
  • Zoning [3.5 hours]
    • Basic framework (use and evolution, types of districts, use regulations, types of standards)
    • Basics of legislative and quasi-judicial decisions (types of decisions, process requirements)
    • Basics of ordinance administration (processing applications, interpretations, inspections, enforcement)
    • Introduction to legal limits (Constitutional and statutory restrictions)
    • Other development regulations (floodplain, historic district, sedimentation, etc.)
  • Subdivision [2 hours]
    • Basic framework (definition, exemptions, process for review)
    • Exactions
    • Growth management options
The Local Government Federal Credit Union offers scholarships to local government employees to apply towards tuition for conferences, classes, and seminars offered by the School of Government. There are five deadlines to submit applications: March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1.

Additional information

Textbook Provided:  Introduction to Zoning and Development Regulation

Prerequisites: This course is the intro course and does not have a pre-requsite.

This course is a pre-requisite to the following 3 courses: Zoning, Planning , and Subdivision Practice. After completing Foundations in Planning and Development Regulation you can attend the other courses. You can register for the later courses for the purposes of registering and planning, but need to have completed Foundations before attending the later courses.

*If you completed "Introduction to Zoning in North Carolina" prior to 2012, or "Introduction to Planning in North Carolina prior to 2013," these satisfy the Foundations requirement for the Certification and other courses. These courses were phased out in 2013.

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Chapel Hill
6119 Farrington Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
(919) 489-7555

A block of rooms has been set up at the Holiday Inn Express Chapel Hill with a special rate of $89.00. To reserve a room please call the hotel directly at (919) 489-7555 and provide the name "Foundations in Planning & Development Regulations". To receive the special rate, reservations must be made no later than August 22, 2018.

There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.


Electronic Materials: We are now utilizing Sakai, a secure online site accessible to registrants only. You will receive instructions via email on how create your account and log on this site prior to the program date. You will then be able to access this site and print materials and bring copies with you if you choose. Or you may bring your computer or other device to access materials online during class. It is not necessary for you to have printed materials for class. You will also find your parking pass, the room number, agenda and timeline for the course on Sakai.

For all registration questions, resetting passwords, or login issues please contact:

Dale Zuckert

Assistant Registrar, Registration and Client Services Group
For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

Julie Truluck

Program Manager, Leadership Group
David Owens
Gladys Hall Coates Professor of Public Law and Government