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City of Asheville

Development Services Department

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need a contractor to complete my job?

In some situations, yes. Please refer to this guide for more information.

What are the general thresholds for Level I, II and III/Conditional Zoning site development review applications?


Do I need an architect, engineer or other design professional for my building or grading project?

It depends on the size and nature of your project.  Please refer to this guide for more information.

Where is the Development Services Department located?

We are located at 161 S. Charlotte Street.  Our parking lot is accessed via Eagle Street and our department is on the first floor. Be sure to park in a parking spot labeled for “Visitor Parking”.

What are your hours?

We are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are closed on public holidays.

I have an idea for a new development. Where do I start?

If you are interested in learning more about how the development review process relates to a potential project, please use our Commercial Development Assistant. This system will walk you through the City’s development review process.

I would like to run my plan by your review staff. How do I schedule a time?

We offer the Early Assistance Program to allow prospective business owners, developers and designers a chance to receive expert technical advice from staff during the preliminary phase of a project.  Register here by choosing "Schedule an Early Assistance Meeting."

How can I find out what my zoning is?

You can find out what a property is zoned and what uses are allowed there by visiting the Asheville Zoning Map.

How can I find out if I can open my business in a certain location?

You can find out what a property is zoned and what uses are allowed there by visiting the Asheville Zoning Map.

How much do permits and reviews cost?

Our permit and review fee schedule shows all fees and can be found here.

How do I get approval to put up a sign?

Signs within the City of Asheville require a Sign Permit. You can find the application here.

How do I schedule an inspection?

If you have an active permit, you can schedule your inspection via our Citizen Access website. Use your permit number to conduct a search.

Can I cut down trees in my yard?

If your property is zoned for single-family residential use and is used as such, you do not need a permit unless you are located in a protected steep slope area or a local historic district or landmark area. Find out if you are in a steep slope zone here. Find out if you are in a local historic district or landmark area here.

When do I need a grading permit?

If you are disturbing 500 square feet or more, you will need to obtain a grading permit for your residential or commercial project. If your project is disturbing over 10,000 square feet, you will need a formal grading plan. If your project is under 10,000, you will need an informal grading plan.

Do I need a design professional for my permit application?

Based on the size and scope of what you are doing, you may need to hire a professional to help you with your plans and application. Please refer to this guide for more information.