Zoning Certification Course

This course is sponsored by North Carolina Association of Zoning Officials.

CZO Certification is sponsored jointly by the North Carolina Association of Zoning Officials (NCAZO), and the School of Government.  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 CZO Certification exam the last day of class. The course is offered annually in the Spring. There is an attendance policy. Attendees should plan to attend all dates.

This course is intended primarily for intermediate zoning staff with responsibilities for administering zoning ordinances, with an emphasis on ordinance enforcement. The Zoning Practice course is a prerequisite for this course and to sit for the exam. Please see the Additional Information section below for more information on certification and prerequisites.

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 

Local Government Federal Credit Union offers scholarships to local government employees to apply toward tuition for conferences, classes, and seminars offered by the School of Government. There are four deadlines to submit applications:

  • March 1 (for courses starting between April 1 and June 30)
  • June 1 (for courses starting between July 1 and September 30)
  • September 1 (for courses starting between October 1 and December 31)
  • December 1 (for courses starting between January 1 and March 31)

Additional information

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

  • A candidate must have completed the course Zoning Practice. (Note that Zoning Practice has a prerequisite). 
  • 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

Prerequisite Exemption/Waiver Requests:

If you have not satisfied the prerequisite, or received a waiver/exemption, you may not register for this course.

Prerequisite exemption requests are considered on a case by case basis. If you need a permission waiver for prerequisites, please contact Adam Lovelady at adamlovelady@sog.unc.edu.  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 General Course Content of the Foundations and Zoning Practice courses as that material is subject to coverage on the Certification examination. 

Additional Resources: 

Certification:
CZO Certification: For more information regarding criteria and maintenance for CZO certification, visit NCAZO.org.

CZO Certification Manual-click here

Planning and Development Regulation Resource Site:
The Site focuses on planning and land use law issues within the state of North Carolina. The resourse 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

  • Chapel Hill, NC
    March 17 - 20, 2020
    April 13 - 15, 2020
    School of Government
    400 South Road
    Knapp-Sanders Building Room 2601
    Chapel Hill, NC 27514
    View Scholarship Information

    Local Government Federal Credit Union offers scholarships to local government employees to apply toward tuition for conferences, classes, and seminars offered by the School of Government. There are four deadlines to submit applications:

    • March 1 (for courses starting between April 1 and June 30)
    • June 1 (for courses starting between July 1 and September 30)
    • September 1 (for courses starting between October 1 and December 31)
    • December 1 (for courses starting between January 1 and March 31)
    View Cancellation Policy
    Course participants who cancel their registration on or before March 09, 2020 will receive a full refund. No refund will be made for cancellations on or after March 10, 2020, but you will receive a transferrable credit to be used within 12 months. Click here to view the School’s full cancellation and refund policy.
    View Hotel Information

     

    Start Date: Monday, March 16, 2020

    End Date: Friday, March 20, 2020

    Holiday Inn Express

    A block of rooms has been set up at the newly renovated Holiday Inn Express Chapel Hill with a rate of $94.00. The rate includes a full deluxe hot breakfast and Wi-Fi. To reserve a room online please click the link Zoning Officials  To reserve a room by phone call the hotel at 919-489-7555 and provide the name Group Code "ZO1”.

    Start Date: Sunday, April 12, 2020

    End Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 

    Holiday Inn Express

    A block of rooms has been set up at the newly renovated Holiday Inn Express Chapel Hill with a rate of $94.00. The rate includes a full deluxe hot breakfast and Wi-Fi. To reserve a room online please click the link Zoning Officials Certification To reserve a room by phone call the hotel at 919-489-7555 and provide the name Group Code "ZOC”.

    Hampton Inn & Suites Chapel Hill

    A block of rooms has been set up at the Hampton Inn & Suites Chapel Hill with a rate of $104.00. The rate includes a full deluxe hot breakfast and Wi-Fi. To reserve a room online visit chapelhillsuites.hamptoninn.com and use Group Code “ZOC”. To reserve a room by phone call the hotel at 919-403-8700, press 0 and provide the Group Name “Advanced “ZOC".

    View Additional Information
    Must apply
    $800.00
    If you are a returning customer, please note that we have a new course registration system that we hope will be easier for you to use. If you encounter any registration issues, please explore our list of frequently asked questions or contact us at registration@sog.unc.edu or 919.966.4414.

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
919.966.4414
For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

Charmain Cale

Program Manager, Local and State Government Group
919.966.4157
Associate Professor of Public Law and Government