The Planning and Development Department is governed by the Rowan County Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances. All rules, regulations and information are found in the ordinances. Listed below is the process to obtain a building permit.

Obtaining a Zoning and Building Permit
1. Obtain a 
Building Permit Application from the Building Inspections Department. (Room 207)

2. Complete Application and obtain Map and Parcel Number from the Tax Department. (Room 201)

3. Obtain Zoning Permit (one year vested period) from the Planning & Development Department. (Room 204)

4. Obtain a Septic Permit from the Environmental Health Department. (Room 106)

5. Return to the Tax Department to register permit. (Room 201)

6. Return to the Building Inspections Department with Permit Application, Zoning Permit, and Septic Permit. (Room 207)

Note: A Preliminary Zoning Permit has to be obtained from the Planning & Development Department (Room 204) and taken to the Environmental Health Department (Room 106) to order a Perk Test.

Note: For residential buildings exceeding 7000 sq. ft and all commercial buildings, detailed plans shall be submitted and approved prior to obtaining a Building Permit.

Note: If the parcel is in a municipality's jurisdiction or extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), zoning permits must be issued from that municipality with the exception of China Grove, which is administered by Rowan County Planning & Development.

Determining Zoning Jurisdiction

​There are ten (10) municipalities within Rowan County nine (9) of which (less Town of Landis) have Extra Territorial Jurisdictions (ETJ) that extend approximately one (1) mile outside their municipal limits.  Rowan County Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances only apply to properties located outside the municipal and ETJ limits of these areas.  Municipalities may be contacted here.  Note: Rowan County Planning & Development administers the Town of China Grove's Unified Development Ordinance.

1. Call (704) 216-8558 (Tax Assessor) with the address and owner information for the map & parcel number.

2. Call (704) 216-8588 (Planning & Development Department) with the tax & parcel number to verify zoning.


1. Go to the GIS link, then click on the Connect GIS link.

2. Use the search button on the left sidebar to select the parcel.

3. Select zoning under Map Theme on the top right side of the screen.

Note: If the zoning has a municipality name, that parcel is in their jurisdiction.

Zoning Verification
1. Obtain map & parcel number from Tax Assessor's office (Room 201).

2. Verify type of business, business location and operations with the Planning & Development Department (Room 204). A Zoning Verification Application needs to be completed prior to receiving a business verification letter. This application serves to document the intentions of the owner or applicant regarding the intended use of the property. 

3. Receive a business verification letter from Planning & Development Department to take to the Tax Collector's Office.

Farmland Preservation
Contact the Cooperative Extension office located at the Agricultural Center at (704) 216-8970.