Planning a Commercial Project

Kannapolis is a city that embraces high-quality growth and makes economic development its number one priority. As a part of that process, the City’s Planning Department works hard to make the process for building a new project as seamless as possible. 

Review the steps below for your project.

1. Check water and sewer availability for new development. To determine if water or sewer is available for your property, contact J. Lynn Kerley or Wendy Patterson at 704-920-4200. Be sure to provide the address or Parcel Identification Number (PIN) for your site.

2. Check the zoning designation of the property. City of Kannapolis Zoning Map – Updated June 2015. (Note: Changes can occur to the zoning map periodically. We recommend confirming the zoning designation for the property with a planner at the Planning Department before starting any projects.)

3. Determine if the proposed use is allowed under the zoning designation of the property. Table 4.6-1 Principle Uses Permitted in Zoning Districts identifies all uses and the zoning districts they are allowed in. There are three possible categories:
 Permitted by Right (P)
 Permitted with Supplemental Standards (P/S)
 Conditional Use with or without Supplemental Standards (C or C/S)

• If the proposed use is not permitted in accordance with the Table 4.6-1 Principle Uses Permitted in Zoning Districts, you may contact a planner to schedule a pre-application meeting to discuss the possibility of a Zoning Map Amendment (rezoning) or find a site with the correct zoning for your use. All Zoning Map Amendments (rezonings) are considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

• If the proposed use is allowed as a Conditional Use, you will need to submit a Conditional Use Permit Application to the Board of Adjustment for consideration.

4. If your use is allowed with a Conditional Use Permit, you will need to apply to the Board of Adjustment for the Conditional Use Permit.

5. If you wish to obtain a permit for a stand-alone business where the prior use was the same, contact the Planning Department  to obtain a Waiver of Zoning Compliance Permit.

6. For commercial, non-residential development or any multi-family residential project: Are site improvements or upfits necessary? If the answer is yes, contact the Planning Department to determine if site improvements are necessary based on the UDO. For interior upfits, contact Cabarrus County Building Inspections at 704-920-2128 and the City Fire Department at 704-920-4261.

7. If site improvements or upfits are not needed for a stand-alone business where the prior use was not the same as the proposed use, contact the Planning Department at 704.920.4350 for a Change of Use Permit. 

8. If site improvements or upfits are necessary, you will need to go through the Site Plan Review Process and submit the Site Plan Review Application, along with any architectural plans. The Site Plan Review Application details submittal requirements, fees, and timelines.

9. Existing sites are subject to the City’s backflow prevention and cross-connection control requirements before the Certificate of Compliance can be released. Read more about the City’s cross connection control policy.

10. Review additional requirements and resources for doing business in the City of Kannapolis.

11. For additional questions regarding commercial projects or ordinance requirements, please feel free to contact the planning staff at 704.920.4350 to speak with a planner. You may also find email addresses for the planning staff who can answer your questions under the Development Contacts page.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who do I contact for information regarding Building Permits?
•   If you live within the city limits of Kannapolis, including parts of Rowan County, call Cabarrus County Building Inspections Department at 704.920.2148.
•   If you live in the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of Kannapolis, call Rowan County Building Inspections Department at 704.216.8619.
•   If you are unsure which Building Inspections Department to contact, please call the Kannapolis Planning Department at 704.920.4350 and ask to speak with a    planner.

2. Do I need a zoning permit for demolition of a structure?
Yes, the City issues a waiver for demolitions. A demolition application must be filled out and submitted to the Kannapolis Planning Department for review and approval. Once the application has been approved, the City will issue a waiver to the applicant that must be taken to the County who issues a demolition permit. The County will not issue a demolition permit unless the required waiver from the Kannapolis Planning Department is presented. Waivers are free of charge and are issued at the Planning Department office Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm.

3. How can I find out what a property is zoned?
You may contact the Kannapolis Planning Department to speak with a planner. They will be able to identify and inform you of the zoning classification for the parcel. They will also be able to provide you with additional information (i.e. watersheds, floodplains, overlay districts, etc.) that apply to the parcel. Having a physical address or parcel identification number (PIN) available will assist the planner with quickly identifying the property in question.

4. What is the fee for a zoning permit?
Please see the Planning Department Schedule of Fees.

5. Is a plot plan required for a residential permit?
Yes. A plot plan, which includes the lot lines, proposed building footprint, driveway location and impervious surface calculations, must be provided before a zoning permit will be issued for a residential structure.

6. Do I need a permit for a fence?
Fencing is exempt from the requirements of the Kannapolis Unified Development Ordinance. No permit is required for installation.