City of Kannapolis | City of Kannapolis > Government & Departments > Planning > Planning a Commercial Project

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 City of Kannapolis Development Guidebook for basic information regarding the development plan review process.  Additional helpful information is listed below:

1. Check water and sewer availability for new development by contacting Brent Yost with Engineering at 704.920.4221 or you may email a Water & Sewer Verification form to Brent at  Be sure to provide the address or Parcel Identification Number (PIN) for your site.

2. Check the zoning designation of the property on the City of Kannapolis Zoning Map or by contacting the Planning Department at 704.920.4350. (Note: Changes can occur to the zoning map periodically. We recommend confirming the zoning designation for the property with 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)

4. If you wish to obtain a permit for a stand-alone business where the prior use was the same, contact the Planning Department at 704.920.4358 to obtain a Change of Use Permit.

5. 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 at 704.920.4350 to determine if site improvements are necessary based on the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). For interior upfits, contact Cabarrus County Building Inspections at 704-920-2128 and the City Fire Department at 704-920-4261.

6. 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 704.920.4358 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. A PRS (Plan Review-Site) will need to be submitted through Accela Citizen's Access along with any architectural plans. Please reference the Development Guidebook for additional details.

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. For additional questions regarding commercial projects or ordinance requirements, please feel free to contact the Planning Department 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 or view the Zoning Map.

3. Do I need a zoning permit for demolition of a structure?
Yes, 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 permit 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 permit from the Kannapolis Planning Department is presented. 

4. How can I find out what a property is zoned?
You may view the Zoning Map or call the Kannapolis Planning Department at 704.920.4350.  Having a physical address or parcel identification number (PIN) available will assist with quickly identifying the property in question.

5. What is the fee for a zoning permit?
Please see the Schedule of Fees.

6. 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.

7. Do I need a Business License?
No. The state of North Carolina no longer requires business licenses to conduct business but the City of Kannapolis does require a Zoning Clearance Permit.  Please contact the Planning Department at 704.920.4358 to obtain the permit.