Zoning Map

All properties located within the Wake Forest Town Limits or Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) are subject to the requirements of a specified zoning district. An area within the ETJ is subject to the specified Town's zoning and building regulations, not the county's, to enable the Town to better ensure that development patterns and associated infrastructure will allow the efficient provision of urban services as the Town grows into that area.

To verify the zoning of property and permitted uses, contact the Planning Department (919) 435-9510 or you may view the Wake Forest Official Zoning Map and the Permitted Use Table in Section 2.3.3 of the Town of Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance. If you intend to apply for permits or are considering a rezoning, please contact the Planning Department staff before you submit an application.

Rezoning Process

Prior to submitting a rezoning petition, it is required that all applicants meet with the development services staff in the Planning Department to determine the most appropriate district for rezoning.

A rezoning case may be either for a general use district or a conditional district. For a general use district, all potential uses authorized under the proposed rezoning district are considered. The Board of Commissioners are not allowed to consider specific site plans or conditions as a basis for a decision regarding a general use rezoning request.

Conditional District rezoning are districts with conditions voluntarily added by the applicant and approved in a legislative procedure by the Board of Commissioners in accordance with G.S. 160A-382. Conditional Districts provide for orderly and flexible development under the general policies of this ordinance without the constraints of some of the prescribed standards guiding by-right development. This Conditional District may be used in any district but is not intended to relieve hardships that would otherwise be handled using a variance procedure. The Board of Commissioners consider these conditions and site / subdivision plans in making a decision on the rezoning.

See our Forms & Applications page to apply.

Special Use Permits

Special uses are land uses that are generally compatible with the land uses permitted by right in a zoning district, but which require individual review of their location, design, and configuration so as to evaluate the potential for adverse impacts on adjacent property and uses. Special uses ensure the appropriateness of the use at a particular location within a given zoning district. Applications requiring a Special Use Permit are noted in Section 2.3 & Chapter 3.

See our Forms & Applications page to apply.

Variances & Appeals

The Board of Adjustment hears and decides appeals and variance requests as prescribed in the Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance. Appeals are heard when it is alleged by an appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, permit, decision, determination, or refusal made by the Administrator in the carrying out or enforcement of any provision of the Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance.

  1. Purpose: The variance process administered by the Board of Adjustment is intended to provide limited relief from the requirements of this ordinance in those cases where strict application of a particular requirement will create a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship prohibiting the use of the land in a manner otherwise allowed under this ordinance.

  2. Sufficient Grounds for Variance: It is not intended that variances be granted solely to remove inconveniences or financial burdens that the requirements of this ordinance may impose on property owners in general or to increase the profitability of a proposed development, although such factors can be taken into consideration.

  3. Use Variances Not Permitted: In no event shall the Board of Adjustment grant a variance which would allow the establishment of a use which is not otherwise allowed in a land development district or which would change the land development district classification or the district boundary of the property in question.

  4. Authority Limited to this Ordinance/Conflicts with other Laws Prohibited: In no event shall the Board of Adjustment grant a variance which would conflict with any state code unless otherwise authorized by laws and regulations.

See our Forms & Applications page to apply.

Zoning Verification Letters

Zoning letters are regularly prepared by the planning department. All letters include zoning information along with any applicable case history. It will also indicate if the property in question is in compliance with the town's zoning requirements. Additional information is provided upon request. Letters are $100 (per parcel) and requests should be submitted in writing. Once payment is received, requests can expect to be completed in 5-7 business days.