This site focuses on local development regulation in North Carolina, including land use planning, zoning, land subdivision, historic preservation, and other land use law matters. This page offers highlights of certain opportunities and resources. Follow the category links (tabbed below or to the side) for more complete information.

Check back after the 2023 legislative session for a summary of new laws affecting planning and zoning in North Carolina.

Slides from the 2023 NCAZO Summer Conference.

Slides from the 2023 APA-NC Annual Conference.

Courses and Training

The School of Government offers various courses and training focused on planning and development regulations, from multi-week professional development courses to on-demand workshops. While the structure and format of the courses have evolved in recent years, the core content and emphasis on practical knowledge continue. Visit the Courses and Programs page for more details.  


Publications and Resources

Books and Reports on Planning and Zoning in North Carolina  

Visit the Publications page for more details about books, reports, and other publications from the School of Government. Among other things, you can find Land Use Law in North Carolina (2023),  PlanNC Guidebook (2021),  the Quasi-Judicial Handbook (2017), and Reshaping Suburban Spaces (2016).

Coates’ Canons

The Coates’ Canons Local Government Law Blog covers a range of local government topics, including planning and development regulations. Check out posts by Adam Lovelady, Jim Joyce, David Owens, and Rich Ducker.

Chapter 160D

In 2019 the NC General Assembly adopted a comprehensive rewrite of the state laws relating to planning and development regulations. The new legislation, codified as Chapter 160D of the NC General Statutes, clarified terminology, streamlined procedures, affirmed authority, and incorporated a few substantive changes. For more detail, check out the Chapter 160D microsite.

Legislative Information

Faculty at the School of Government monitor proposed legislation and summarize adopted legislation relating to planning and development regulations. Find the latest on the Legislative Information site, and here is the 2022 Legislative Bulletin.

Litigation Summaries

For annual highlights of past litigation relating to planning and development regulations, check out the Litigation Summaries.  

Summary of Key Legal Issues in Land Use Law

Is spot zoning illegal? What counts as a bona fide farm? What are the rules for family care homes? These and other specific topics are addressed on the Key Legal Issues page.

Reports on Surveys of Planning and Zoning in North Carolina

Over the years, the School of Government has administered surveys of common practices in North Carolina planning and development regulations. The reports from those surveys are available on the Surveys page.   


Planning and Development Regulation Community

Let’s connect! There are many ways to connect with the School of Government and planning and zoning officials around the state.  

SOG Planning and Development Regulation Digest

Get the latest news from the School of Government about recent publications, upcoming courses, and related announcements. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.


The School of Government hosts several listservs to connect planners, zoning officials, preservationists, and others around North Carolina and beyond. For a complete list, check out the List of Listservs. Planning and development regulation professionals will be particularly interested in the following:

  • ncplan             Planners and Planning Departments
  • ncazo              Zoning Officials
  • nccomdev        Community Development Topics
  • ncpres             Historic Preservation Topics
  • stormwater       Stormwater Officials

Related Organizations

Many wonderful professional associations, including the North Carolina Association of Zoning Officials and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association, serve the planning community in North Carolina.


This is a service of the School of Government at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Faculty Coordinators

individual image for Adam Lovelady
Professor of Public Law and Government
individual image for James (Jim) Joyce
Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government
individual image for Ben Hitchings
Adjunct Instructor, School of Government Fellow
individual image for David W. Owens
Gladys Hall Coates Professor of Public Law and Government