The Planning Department is responsible for planning for future development and growth within the town and its extraterritorial jurisdiction, enforcing land development regulations, issuing permits, project oversight, providing staff support to town advisory boards, assigning addresses, creating and maintaining geographic information system (GIS) zoning and development databases and representing the town on regional planning committees.


Building permits are issued and inspections performed by the Orange County Planning Department. The following permits are issued by the town Planning Department:

  • Zoning Compliance Permit: Required for additions and new construction, signs, changes of use and home occupations within the town and its extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  • Certificate of Appropriateness: Required for site changes or changes to the exterior of structures located in the Historic District Overlay Zone.
  • Sign Permit: Required for most signs, including agricultural, business and construction and renovation. Some temporary signs do not require a permit (such as yard sale, political, real estate and window signs), but regulations still apply on the number, size, location and longevity. Contact staff for more information.

Plans and Regulations

The Planning Department is responsible for enforcing land development ordinances enacted by the Board of Commissioners. Below are links to additional information on specific ordinances.

Code Enforcement

The Planning Department enforces the nuisance provisions in Chapter 11 of the Town Code, which includes issues such as noxious growth, junk vehicles and solid waste concerns. The Planning Department also enforces the Minimum Housing Code, which includes minimum standards for the condition of dwellings.

Advisory Board Support

Several of the town's appointed advisory boards are supported by Planning Department staff:

  • Planning Board: Enforces land development ordinances and plans for future development and growth.
  • Board of Adjustment: Rules on cases based on the Zoning Ordinance.
  • Historic District Commission: Rules on cases based on the Historic District Design Guidelines.
  • Parks and Recreation Board: Works to implement the recommendations in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
  • Tree Board: Hears requests by citizens for planting, maintenance and removal of street and park trees, and establishes guidelines for the spacing of trees on town property.

Economic Development

Information on projects currently underway can be found on the Approved Projects page linked below. Additional infomation for developers is under the Plans and Regulations section above.

Public Construction Management

The Planning Department studies and oversees major town construction projects, including advertising for and accepting bids.

Address Assignment

Addresses are assigned, verified and corrected by the Planning Department. Orange County's address database contains records maintained by the town. Additional information is available from the county Geographic Information Systems Division.

Addresses should be displayed with numerals at least three inches high on a contrasting background, and should be clearly visible from the street day and night.

Contact Information

Town Hall Campus
101 E. Orange St., Hillsborough, NC 27278



  • Planning Director Margaret Hauth, 919-732-1270, ext. 86
  • Senior Planner Tom King, 919-732-1270, ext. 85
  • Project Planner Stephanie Trueblood, 919-732-1270, ext. 74
  • Planning Support Specialist Jamie Johnson, 919-732-1270, ext. 73