Permitting and Code Enforcement

Tony Elders, Director
E-Mail: tonyelders@jacksonnc.org

Sylva Office
Address: 401 Grindstaff Cove Road, Suite 145, Sylva, NC 28779
Phone: 828-586-7560 / Fax: 828-586-7563

Cashiers Office
Address: 357 Frank Allen Road, Cashiers, NC 28717
Phone: 828-745-6850 / Fax: 828-745-6867  

Our department functions:
We administer and enforce all State building and fire codes, the flood damage prevention ordinance, sediment control ordinance, and other Jackson County Ordinances that regulate new development. For a complete listing of all Jackson County Ordinances - CLICK HERE

Jackson County has created a Plan Review Process to assist Developers, Design Professionals, Contractors and Property Owners who are seeking approval of site development applications for commercial, industrial, multi-family projects or projects having to meet the criteria established in the Jackson County Subdivision Ordinance. This review process includes most proposed projects within the County and in zoned jurisdictions. For more information regarding the Plan Review Process and Applications, please click on the following link or call the Jackson County Permit Center at 828-586-7560.

Land Development Application Land Development Application (1105 KB)

Fee Schedule

2017-2018 Fee Schedule 2017-2018 Fee Schedule (88 KB)

Building Permits

Monthly Building Permit Report - January 2018 Monthly Building Permit Report - January 2018 (597 KB)

Monthly Building Permit Report - December 2017 Monthly Building Permit Report - December 2017 (2132 KB)

Monthly Building Permit Report - November 2017 Monthly Building Permit Report - November 2017 (2571 KB)

We enforce the regulations outlined in the most current versions of the NC Building Codes and National Electric Code (NEC). If you would like to view the current NC Building Codes, the International Code Council (ICC) has made the current versions available for viewing on their website: North Carolina Codes

In addition to the enforcement of the current NC Building Codes and the NEC, our office also performs inspections mandated by The NC Fire Prevention Code; please contact our office if you have any questions regarding fire inspection requirements.

Who Needs a permit to build?

North Carolina General Statutes require issuance of a building permit prior to construction, alteration, or repair of any building or building system.


There are certain exceptions to building permit requirements. Exceptions are as follows:

  • Certain farm buildings that do not contain electrical, mechanical, or plumbing systems.
  • Roofing replacement or repairs that are not of a structural nature.
  • Documents Required for a Residential Building Permit

  • Before any permit can be issued in Jackson County a Land Development Permit is required. This permit would be approved through our office (Land Development Application available at the bottom of this page).
  • Our office must have proof of an approved method of sewage disposal before we can receive an application for a Building Permit. For information regarding septic systems permitted through the Jackson County Environmental Health Department, you may call their office at 828-587-8250. Also, some areas of Jackson County are equipped with community wastewater systems, Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority (TWSA), or Utilities, Inc. In these areas, our office will require a letter from the serving authority before receiving a building application.
  • If you plan to build in a zoned area, our office will need a copy of an approved Zoning Certificate before we can issue your Building Permit.
  • In addition to a completed Building Permit packet, we will, also, need drawings drawn to scale and specifications with sufficient clarity to show the work to be performed. 
  • Documents Required for a Commercial Building Permit

    All the requirements mentioned for a Residential Building Permit are, also, required for a Commercial Building Permit. In addition to these requirements, our office will require two printed sets of commercial plans for a plan review. Also, a digital plan should be submitted in the form of a pdf or jpg file.

    Plans for all building except shall be prepared by a NC registered design professional except the following:

  • Single-family residence
  • Farm buildings
  • Institutional or commercial building not exceeding $90,000 value
  • Institutional or commercial building not exceeding 2500 square feet
  • Once a full permit packet is submitted, the application and plans will be reviewed promptly in the order in which they are received.
    A property owner may undertake construction on property that he/she owns. However, if the cost is greater than $30,000, current statutes would require an owner/building to have their plans sealed by a design professional if they do not want to be present for all inspections. The requirements for an owner/building are further described in the affidavit that must be completed to be an owner/builder. To see those requirements, please see Owner Excemption Affidavit at the bottom of this page.

    The information is intended as a guide only in obtaining a building permit in Jackson County. Codes are subject to change; the Permitting and Code Enforcement Department should be contacted for current permitting requirements.

    Erosion & Sediment Control
    For questions regarding stormwater or erosion & sediment control permitting and regulations you may contact:
    Sylva Office: Robby Shelton , Phone: 828-631-2256, E-mail: robertshelton@jacksonnc.org or
    Cashiers Office: Steve Beasley, Phone:828-745-6850, E-mail: stevebeasley@jacksonnc.org
    Please be sure to contact the appropriate office at least 24 hours before beginning new grading work.
    Our County inspects all sites with new disturbance on a regular basis to check for compliance with the NCDENR Best Management Practices - CLICK HERE. And the proper installation of sediment control measures in the NCDENR Design Manual - CLICK HERE.

    A permit is required in Jackson County for any new land disturbance. The smallest amount of land disturbance can be permitted with the issuance of a single page Land Development Permit (see application below). This permit would cover a total land disturbance of less than 1/2 an acre.

    For larger projects, the Land Development Permit is still required, but a Financial Responsibility Form is, also required in order for our office to issue a permit for any land disturbance greater than 1/2 acre (see Erosion Control Half Acre or More Application at the bottom of this page).

    For land disturbance of more than 1/2 acre erosion control plan review must be completed and the appropriate permit(s) must be issued before work can begin.

    Erosion & Sediment Control Plan Requirements

    3 sets of plans are required for review.

    Disturbance less than 1/2 acre: A plan is not required for a grading permit to be issued.

    Disturbance from 1/2 - 3 acres: You may draw your own plan.*

    Disturbance greater than 3 acres: Plan must be drawn by a design professional.*

    Disturbance greater than 5 acres: Plan must be drawn by a design professional and self-inspections must be completed and submitted monthly by said design professional to our office. Surety bond is required.

    *Contractors for sites with more than 1 acre of disturbance will be responsible for completing NCDENR Self-Inspection forms; these forms must remain on the site during construction. These forms can be found on the NCDENR website. CLICK HERE

    Floodplain Permitting

    Our office has been appointed to enforce the regulations outlined in the Jackson County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance; this includes floodplain permitting & inspections. We have several Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs) in our office that can assist you with the necessary requirements for development of a property within floodpalin areas. Please contact one of our CFMs in the appropriate office with any questions or concerns before beginning development. In Sylva, please contact Tony Elders at 828-631-2284 and, in Cashiers, please contact Steve Beasley at 828-745-6850.


    For additional information regarding development in Jackson County, please review the following helpful handouts and checklists:


    See a list of fillable pdf applications below for development and bulding. Please see our current Fee Schedule above if you have any questions about the fee(s) for your permit(s). If you have any questions about these applications, feel free to call our offices at: Sylva Office: 828-586-7560 or Cashiers: 828-745-6850.