Uniform Development Ordinance
Article 151.3, Section 3.6

(Click Here for Ordinance)

The commercial zoning districts are established for the general purpose of ensuring there are lands in the County that provide a wide range of office, retail, service, and related uses to meet household and business needs, and more specifically to:

  • Provide appropriately located lands for the full range of commercial uses needed by the County’s residents, businesses, and workers, consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the County’s adopted policy guidance;
  • Strengthen the County’s economic base and provide employment, shopping, dining, and medical treatment opportunities close to home for residents of the County;
  • Protect the County’s established community character by encouraging commercial and more intense forms of development to locate in appropriate areas like village centers and along established corridors;
  • Create suitable environments for various types of commercial uses, and protect them from the adverse effects of incompatible uses
  • Expand tourism and recreation-related uses in appropriate locations throughout the County;
  • Foster compact, sustainable mixed-use development in the County’s designated village centers;
  • Raise the bar for commercial development quality along the County’s commercial corridors and in rural crossroads areas;
  • Ensure adequate storm-water management facilities are installed to prevent flooding, property damage, and potential loss of life;
  • Provide for safe and efficient vehicular access and circulation and promote alternative forms of transportation, including bicycles and pedestrian options; and
  • Minimize the impact of commercial development on residential uses, agriculture, sensitive natural environments, and the County’s community character.

 

Zoning Districts

Click the link inside each districts description to go to the UDO section with more detail for each district.

  • The Crossroads Commercial (CC) district is intended for low intensity, neighborhood-serving commercial development around significant roadway intersections in rural and suburban portions of the County. The district’s small scale and limited range of use types provides convenient access to basic goods and services to nearby residents in ways that protect the County’s scenic character and rural character. The district allows restaurants, offices, personal services, indoor recreation, retail, and visitor accommodation uses, as well as agricultural support uses, and institutional uses. As a means of providing additional housing options, the district allows live/work dwellings and upper story residential. Industrial development, single-family homes, and higher density residential uses are not permitted. The district is limited in size (up to four acres) and must be within 500 linear feet of a significant street intersection. New commercial development is built close to the street and subject to commercial design standards to raise the bar for development quality. District regulations discourage uses that are too intense or that draw the majority of their patrons from outside the immediate area.

  • The Village Commercial (VC) district intended to foster high quality, compact, pedestrian-oriented development on lots within designated village centers. Development in the VC district is human-scaled and designed to promote visual interest for pedestrians. Ground-level retail and personal services that promote pedestrian activity along the street are highly encouraged and large, monolithic, automobile-oriented developments are prohibited. New development in the district is located close to the street, provides passers-by with clear views into the building’s ground floor, and fosters sidewalk dining, outdoor seating, and interaction among pedestrians. The district requires urban-style open space (greens, seating areas, plazas, pocket parks, roof gardens, etc.) to be included as a part of new development. In addition to commercial uses, the district allows a variety of moderate-density residential development. New commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family developments in the district are subject to the design standards in ARTICLE 151.5: DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS.

  • The Mixed Use (MX) district accommodates a diverse mix of uses on lands well served by public sewer and located within the core portions of the County’s designated village centers. The district is intended to foster functional neighborhoods where County residents and visitors can live, work, shop, and recreate without travelling large distances between differing uses. Buildings are built close to the sidewalk and one another and served by public gathering areas that create places for people to congregate and interact. Off-street parking and service areas are located to the sides and rears of buildings to help ensure a continuity of building facades along street edges and to avoid areas that are unsafe or undesirable for pedestrians. The district encourages a fine-grained network of streets and pedestrian ways that allow a wide freedom of movement and choices in transportation mode. Uses are located in close proximity to one another and rely on design techniques to maintain compatibility instead of large yards, deep setbacks, and suburban-style vegetative buffers. The district allows a wide variety of housing types to promote population density and to support nearby retail, dining, and entertainment establishments. The district discourages the establishment of single-use, monolithic, and automobile-oriented forms of development that require large areas of off-street parking, large floor-plates, or that fail to cater to pedestrians.

  • The Highway Commercial (HC) district is applied to lots along the County’s major roadways (e.g., US 158, US 17, NC 34, and NC 343) and is intended for automobile-oriented commercial development as well as large floorplate commercial uses and uses that require or generate truck traffic. The district also accommodates agricultural and institutional uses as well as higher density residential uses with a special use permit. New development in the HC district is grouped and configured to ensure regular lateral vehicular and pedestrian access along major transportation routes as a means of establishing a well connected transportation system. New development is configured to maintain high visual quality along the major roadway, or is fully screened from view. Sufficient spacing and screening is included along lot lines shared with adjacent residential zoning districts to ensure compatibility. New commercial and multi-family developments in the district are subject to the design standards in ARTICLE 151.5: DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS.

  • The Maritime Commercial (MC) district accommodates commercial operations which depend on a waterfront location or that use the County’s waterways for operation. The district encourages the establishment and continuation of coastal-dependent and water related uses of a marine theme and character that provide physical and visual access to rivers, streams, and sounds. Uses allowed in the MC district are configured in ways to avoid negative impacts on County waters and adjacent low density residential uses. The district also allows institutional uses, recreational uses, and higher density residential uses with a special use permit. Uses are configured with sufficient spacing and screening along lot lines shared with adjacent residential zoning districts to ensure compatibility. New commercial and multi-family developments in the district are subject to the design standards in ARTICLE 151.5: DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS.

  • The Light Industrial (LI) district is established to accommodate agricultural and light manufacturing uses, including assembly, fabrication, processing, distribution, storage, and wholesales sale of finished or semi-finished products from previously prepared materials. The district also allows commercial activities intended to serve the primary businesses in the district and their employees. Uses allowed in the district do not require large amounts of land or large building areas for operation nor large yard areas for isolation or protection from adjoining premises or activities. Activities take place almost entirely indoors and result in minimal exterior movement of vehicles, materials, and goods in areas around the district. Buildings are situated so as to have minimal visual impacts, and are well-screened from adjacent lower intensity uses. Heavy industrial uses and uses with significant adverse impacts on adjoining lands are prohibited. Single-family detached homes and other low-intensity uses which could interfere with industrial operations are also prohibited.

  • The Heavy Industrial (HI) district is established to accommodate agricultural processing, heavy manufacturing, and extractive industry (mining, quarrying, and oil and gas exploration, subject to use specific standards). The district accommodates largescale industrial uses including outdoor operations or storage with extensive movement of vehicles, materials, and goods, truck traffic and greater potential for adverse environmental and visual impacts on neighboring lands. The district allows limited forms of heavier commercial use types and residential development is prohibited (except for caretaker quarters as an accessory use). District standards are intended to prevent the establishment of any use types that would interrupt industrial operations. Extractive operations may only take place in accordance with State-issued permits and shall be returned to their pre-extraction state upon completion.

Zoning Officer

Amber Curling Planner 1, Zoning Administrator P.O. Box 74, 117 North NC 343 NC 27921 (252) 338-1919 x232
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