• Planning and Development

  • Department:

  • How can I contact your office?  

    Onslow County Planning and Development
    Central Permitting
    234 NW Corridor Blvd
    Jacksonville, North Carolina 28540

    (910) 455-3661 office
    (910) 989-3195 fax

    Commonly Dialed Automated System Selections:

         Residential Permits and inspections press 1
         Commercial Permits and inspections
    : press 2

         Environmental Enforcement: press 3
         Minimum Housing
    : press 4

         Planning and Subdivisions: press 5 
         Flood Plain Management: press 6

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    When am I required to get a permit?

    Permits are required for any new construction, as well as alterations and additions to existing building, including structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, manufactured housing, boiler, and elevator work.

    However, there are some exceptions to the structural requirements. If you aren't sure you need a permit, call our office to speak with a Code Enforcement Officer.

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    Why do I have to buy a permit to build on my own property? 

    North Carolina law requires you to obtain permits - even if you build on your own property - to ensure that minimum building standards are met for your own safety and for the safety of future property owners and occupants.

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    Who is responsible for obtaining permits?

    The property owner and/or contractor is responsible for obtaining structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, on-site wastewater system and manufactured dwelling setup permits.

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    How do I obtain a building permit?

    To obtain a building permit you must complete a permit application. Permit applications are available by visiting Central Permitting or receiving an application via fax or email. Applications and information are also available online.

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    Can I setup an escrow account?

    Yes.  Central Permitting will process your request to create a Trust Account.  Only associated contacts are permitted to request a withdraw to secure payment for permit fees.  Permitting staff are authorized by your signature to accept either verbal authorization or photo identification.  No overdraft or combination payments are permitted.  Sufficient funds must be available to secure payment for authorized fee amounts.  For additional information, please contact Central Permitting.

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    When can I start work?

    When an actual building permit is issued to you, work can begin. The permit must be available on the job site and to the inspector. Initiating work prior to permit approval will result in an Enforcement action.

    If you've submitted plans and specifications, one set of plans stamped "Approved" will be returned to you. These approved plans, along with the building and zoning permit, must be available on the job site and available to the inspector.

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    When am I required to obtain local zoning approval?

    You're required to obtain local land use/zoning approval for any new structure and for work that improves a structure, increases the area or height of a structure, or changes the use of a structure.

    You may be required to obtain local zoning approval for electrical and plumbing work prior to a permit being issued. Please feel free to contact our Zoning Office with any questions you may have.

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    Where do I get applications?

    Permit applications are available by visiting Central Permitting or receiving an application via fax or email. Applications and information are also available online.  To pickup an application:  our office is located at 604 College Street, Jacksonville North Carolina 28540.

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    Can I get a permit application through the mail?

    Yes. Contact the Central Permitting office. When seeking a permit application through the mail, be sure to state your name, phone number, mailing address, job location, and type of permit application you need.

    You should receive your application form within three to five working days. Permit applications can also be faxed to you if requested.

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    How long will it take to get an approved permit?

    Your permit will be issued to you when all of the required information listed on the application is received and reviewed.  If your project requires a plan review, the permit and plans will be issued to you after your plans are approved. Time frames can change depending upon the complexity of the project and the level of information submitted with your application.

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    What happens if I forget to send all necessary documents and fees with the permit application?

    We'll contact you by phone or mail to request additional information or fees for processing your application, and this may cause a delay.

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    How do I determine the fees for a permit?

    Fee schedules and valuation tables are available to help you determine permit fees.

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    When does my permit expire? 

    Under State law, building permits expire if “the work authorized by the permit” is not started within 6 months after issuance (or any lesser time fixed by ordinance of the county) or if discontinued for a period of 12 months.  GS 153A-358


    The “work authorized by the permit” is permanent construction. The actual start of that work is represented by the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slabs or footings, installation of piles, construction of piles, construction of columns and any stage beyond or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation.


    For most projects, the reasonable evidence of work started is the inspection history: at a minimum the footing inspection.

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    Why do I need a plumbing permit to replace a water heater?

    North Carolina law requires plumbing permits for water heaters because of potential safety hazards such as fire, electric shock, or explosion.

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    When do I have to hire an architect or engineer to design my project and prepare the plans?

    For information regarding these requirements contact our Code Enforcement office.

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    When are drawings of plans for review and approval required?

    You must submit structural plans or drawings for any new building construction, or for addition or alteration to an existing building. You also must submit plans for commercial plumbing projects.  For information regarding these requirements contact our Code Enforcement office.

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    Can a permit be issued before the plan review is approved?

    No.  All plans must be approved prior to issuing permits.

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    What is the Homeowners Recovery Fund?

    Homeowner's recovery is a fund setup by the North Carolina licensing board designed to be a last resort for homeowners seeking to recover losses incurred as a result of the actions of a dishonest or incompetent general contractor.  Additional information and definition is available via the internet:  http://www.ncbia.org/State%20Boards.htm. 

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    Do I receive any paperwork after my project is completed? 

    At the conclusion of all work done under a permit, the appropriate inspector shall make a final inspection.  Certificates of Occupancy are issued for new construction of residential homes and modular construction.

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    How do I access building applications and forms online? 

    All applications, related documents and brochures can be accessed online by selecting the document(s) you would like to view from the link below:


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