Parking Alert: South Road Construction

Partial road barriers have been placed at the intersection of South Road and Country Club Road due to a summer construction project. The School’s parking deck is open and accessible from South Road for the duration of the project by driving between the two barriers and entering the parking gate immediately on the left.

Zoning Certification Course

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This is a seven day course and exam split over 2-3 weeks to explore more focused topics of zoning administration in preparation for the CZO Exam. Participants will take the NCAZO Certification exam the last day of class. The course is offered annually in the Spring.
Dates for 2017 are April 18-21 and May 2-4.
Attendees should plan to attend all dates.

This course is intended primarily for intermediate zoning staff with responsibilites for administering zoning ordinances, with an emphasis on ordinance enforcement. The Zoning Practice course is a prerequisite for this clourse and to sit for the exam. Please see the details tab for more information on prerequsites.
The cost of the 2017 training is $750. This includes both weeks and the exam.

**If you are registering after April 15th, please email Erin Murphy,, to see if space is available. Thank you.

For more information and crieria for CZO certification by NCAZO, click here for the NCAZO certification program.

General Course Content

  • General [3.5 hr]
    • Public records
    • Ethics
    • Liability
  • Zoning Administration [10 hr]
    • Legal framework review
    • Dealing with particular uses
    • Maps and site plan review
    • Ordinance amendments
    • Quasi-judicial procedures
    • Interpretation
  • Enforcement [13 hr]
    • Overview (permits, appeals, administrative enforcement)
    • Research and investigative techniques
    • Legal issues with inspections (warrants, evidence, trespass)
    • Case study
    • Litigation
    • Dealing with conflict and difficult situations
  • Certification [5 hr]
    • Certification program
    • Exam review
    • Exam 
Additional information: 

In order to qualify for the Zoning Officials Certification course, a candidate must have completed ONE of the prerequisite course options below. Prerequisite options:

  • A candidate must have completed the course Zoning Practice. Zoning Practice will next be offered Oct. 11-13, 2017.
  • If you attended either of the pre-2013 course offerings: Intro to Zoning, or Intro to Planning then you also meet the prerequisite requirement.
  • Approval by faculty

If you have not satisfied the prerequisite, you may not register for this course without prior approval. In select cases, a combination of knowledge and work experience may be substitutable for the prerequisite course. Please contact David Owens,, if you are requesting wavier of prerequisites.

CZO Manual-click here 


Special Note:

Prerequisite exemption requests are considered on a case by case basis. If you need a permission waiver for prerequisites, please contact David Owens, While undergraduate and graduate degrees in planning are helpful, the focus of the certification class and exam is on zoning enforcement, which is often not extensively covered in academic programs.  North Carolina experience can justify an exemption. It is important to note that subjects covered in the Foundations and Zoning Practice courses (general government organization, geographic jurisdiction, public records, open meetings, basic constitutional limits on regulations, and the like) are subject to exam coverage and are not re-covered in detail in the Certification course.  As a general rule, ten years of active zoning enforcement work and training is an acceptable substitute for the prerequisite courses. Persons considering a waiver request should carefully review the course content of the Foundations and Zoning Practice courses as that material is subject to coverage on the Certification examination.


We have room blocks at two hotels in the area. Please note the cut-off dates. The rooms are first come first serve.

Comfort Inn – Chapel Hill/Durham
Address: 3508 Mt Moriah Rd, Durham, NC 27707
Phone: (919) 490-4949
Price: $74/ night
Cutoff date: April 10th, 2017
“Zoning Certification” is the name of the Training.

Hyatt Place – Southpoint mall area
Address: 7840 NC-751, Durham, NC 27713
Phone:(919) 688-7800
Price: $102/ night
Cutoff date: March 31st, 2017
“School of Government April Training/ Zoning”

Planning and Development Regulation Resource Site:
Focuses on planning and land use law issues within the state of North Carolina. This website contains links to external resource sites, recent blogs, hot topics, the new Bill List for 2013, a link to sign up for the NCPlan Listserv, publications and course information. Click this link: NC Planning

Join the NCPlan Listserv: You may also wish to sign up for the NCPlan Listserv where you can see related emails and post questions to your peers. Link to sign up: SOG Listservs



This course is offered periodically.
View Scholarship Information
Scholarship Information:
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, August 1, September 1 and December 1.

Faculty Coordinators

individual image for David W. Owens
Gladys Hall Coates Professor of Public Law and Government
individual image for Adam Lovelady
Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government

There will be a class notebook distributed on the first day of class. You may also want to make sure you have Introduction to Zoning and Development Regulation by David Owens.

2017Zoning Certification Agenda
Erin Murphy
March, 2017

This is the 2017 Zoning Certification course agenda. Please click to reveal and download.

For questions regarding course details, please contact the program manager.

Faculty Coordinator

individual image for Erin Murphy
Program Manager
For questions regarding course content, please contact the faculty coordinator.

Faculty Coordinator

individual image for David W. Owens
Gladys Hall Coates Professor of Public Law and Government
For questions regarding registration, resetting passwords, or login issues, please contact Registration at or 919-966-4414.
Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles
Topics - Local and State Government