Gaston County

NORTH CAROLINA

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Planning and Development Services

Land Use Services

The Land Use Services Office is also commonly referred to as the Zoning Office. Land Use Services is a division of Planning and Development Services.  Zoning is a Planning Tool used to assist land owners in achieving a reasonable use of their property and to ensure compatibility with abutting properties and surrounding neighborhood. Whether developed or vacant, every property in the County has a zoning designation, which is a determining factor as to what use(s) are allowed or not allowed on the property.

Land Use Services is responsible for the approval of building placement based upon the Zoning Code, and is also responsible for the enforcement of zoning regulations through the Zoning Code as found in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and enforcement of the County’s Minimum Housing Code. These efforts are accomplished through assisting the general public through zoning permit issuance for new residential construction, home addition, home remodeling, or providing information for commercial developers. Respond to various inquiries, including zoning violations, zoning change process, minimum housing, general floodplain as well as meeting coordination with citizens to review and discuss matters or concerns. The Land Use Office provides a response to various development questions, coordinates meetings with development applicants to review and discuss a site plan proposal as an example.

To develop vacant property, redevelop existing property or change existing property, the UDO Zoning Map and Ordinance sets the land use proposal in motion and determines if the land use proposal is allowed or not allowed in a particular zoning district. If the proposed use is allowed, it is classified by the Zoning Ordinance as a by-right use. Unless there is a special set of circumstances preventing the use by-right, the applicant is required to apply for a zoning permit from Land Use Services followed by application for a building permit with the County Building Inspections Office. If there is a special set of circumstances preventing the use such as not permitted, or a Conditional Use Permit is required the interested developer would need to contact the Land Use Services Office to discuss the special set of circumstances and requirements/process in order for the land use proposal to occur.

Land Use Services, is located on the first floor of the Gaston County Administration Building, 128 West Main Avenue, Gastonia, NC, office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For any questions or to set an appointment, please contact either Laura Hamilton, Land Use Officer, at 704.866.3075 or by email at laura.hamilton@gastongov.com or Willie King, Development Services Manager, at 704.862.5510 or by email at willie.king@gastongov.com.