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

Planning a Residential Project

Zoning Clearance Permits are required for:

  • New construction 
  • Manufactured homes
  • Modular homes
  • Addition to a home
  • Placing or constructing sheds, outbuildings, or any other accessory structure on a residential parcel
  • Pools
  • Constructing a deck/patio/porch/fire pit etc.
  • Home occupations 
  • Fences

(A permit may be required from Cabarrus County Building Inspections or Rowan County Building Inspections for certain types of renovations.)

How to apply for a Residential Zoning Clearance Permit:

  1. For property requiring an address, contact Laura Coppola, GIS Specialist at 704-920-4375 or  For property requiring 1-5 addresses, please allow 5 working days.  For addresses requiring more than 5 addresses, please allow 10 working days.  Addresses will be viewable through Cabarrus County GIS.

  2. Verification of water and sewer services must be completed before application and payment are submitted. Please contact the City of Kannapolis Planning Department at 704-920-4350 for a verification request. The City of Kannapolis Engineering Department will complete a site inspection and confirm availability within 3 working days.

  3. 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.)

  4. Determine if the proposed use is allowed under the zoning designation of the property. Article 4 of the Kannapolis Development Ordinance (KDO) identifies all uses and the zoning districts they are permitted. There are three possible categories:
      • Permitted Use ("P")
      • Special Use ("S")
      • Prohibited Use ("-")

  5. If the proposed use is not permitted in accordance with Article 4 of the KDO, you may contact a planner to schedule a pre-application meeting to discuss the possibility of a Zoning Map Amendment (rezoning) which are considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

  6. If the proposed use is allowed as a Special Use, you will need to submit a Special Use Permit Application which are considered by the Board of Adjustment.

  7. Prepare a plot plan showing the location of property lines, existing and proposed structures, required setbacks (determined by the zoning district) and any other pertinent information.

  8. For accessory structures (shed, pool, sunroom, etc.): Submit the application and plot plan by email to the Planning Department  or by mail to 401 Laureate Way, 3rd Floor, Kannapolis, NC.

    For new construction: Submit the application and plot plan through Accela by creating a Plan Review, Building (PRB). All required documents must be uploaded and legible.

    Permits are issued Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and will be processed within approximately two (2) business days of receipt, provided the application is complete. Once the permit is ready for payment, you will be contacted regarding applicable fees.

    For property located in the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of Rowan County, all required documents must be presented to the Planning Department.

  9.  For subdivisions (divisions of a parcel of land into two or more lots), you will need to go through the Subdivision Review Process prior to applying for a Zoning Clearance Permit.

For any questions regarding Residential Zoning Compliance Permits or ordinance requirements, please call the Planning Department at 704.920.4350 to speak with a planner. Specific contact information is available on the Department Directory.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need a Zoning Clearance Permit?
    Yes, if you are changing the existing footprint of your home, adding a structure or changing the impervious surface on your property, you will need a Zoning Clearance Permit.
  2. Do I need a Building Permit?
    Yes, if you are adding to your home, adding a structure that is 12'X12' or larger or if you are completing electrical or mechanical work, you will need a building permit.  All will require a Zoning Clearance Permit from the City of Kannapolis prior to obtaining a building permit from the County.
  3. 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 704.920.2128.
    • 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 review the City of Kannapolis Zoning Map or call the Planning Department at 704.920.4350.

  4. 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 zoning clearance 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 zoning clearance permit from the Kannapolis Planning Department is presented. 
  5. How can I find out what a property is zoned?
    You may view the City of Kannapolis Zoning Map or contact the Planning Department at 704.920.4350.  Please provide an address or Parcel Identification Number (PIN) in order to identify the property.
  6. How can I find out what the setbacks are for a property?
    Setbacks are determined by the zoning district (Zoning Map) and then referencing Article 9 of the KDO, Rules for Construction, Interpretation, and Measurement.  All street side setbacks will meet the requirements for the front yard setback.
  7. Do I need a permit for a fence?
    Yes. Please refer to Article 5.5 of the KDO.
  8. What is the fee for a zoning permit?
    Please see the Schedule of Fees.
  9. 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.
  10. What is needed for a Home Occupation permit?
    You should submit a Home Occupation Permit application (by email to the Planning Department or by mail to 401 Laureate Way, 3rd Floor, Kannapolis, NC  28081) and review Article 4, Section 4.3.D.10 of the KDO