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As the City of Raleigh continues to grow, we at the Development Services Department routinely seek ways to improve our processes. To address issues that may result due to property constraints and building setbacks, we will be implementing a new survey requirement for all infill lots (defined per UDO section 2.2.7), as well as for any projects with lots that appear to substantially deviate from the approved plans. Infill construction often occurs in older neighborhoods where the lot lines are no longer distinguishable.

Beginning March 1, 2018, a survey performed by a professional land surveyor licensed in the state of North Carolina, must be completed and submitted to the City of Raleigh for all infill construction projects. The City recommends that this take place once the forms are completely in place (before concrete is poured) or at the owner and/or builders discretion at the foundation stage (after concrete is poured, but prior to any framing or vertical construction occurring). This flexibility is provided to align with other entities, that at times may require a similar survey, and thus allows for combining of the two.

There will be no change to the initial plan submittal and/or application requirements. Please stay tuned for more information, both through this blog and the city website.


For the purpose of this requirement the following definition shall apply to a Foundation /Form Survey:

  • Foundation/Form survey: A sealed and signed survey by a North Carolina licensed Land Surveyor, which attests to the horizontal and vertical location of the building foundation and/or forms, which clearly indicates the set back dimensions ( on all sides and to any accessory or main buildings); any deviations from the approved plans clearly noted, and a statement that foundations and/or forms were found to be in conformity with the approved plans ( any exceptions/deviations noted). In addition an average grade reference datum benchmark , as determined by section 1.5.7 of the UDO , shall be staked on site, and protected for the zoning inspector to use for determining final height compliance at time of the building final. This reference datum location and height shall be clearly indicated/referenced in the prepared sealed document as well as the height of the top of forms or foundation relative to this datum.
  • UDO section 1.5.7 ( A) 2 “Average grade is determined by calculating the average of the highest and lowest elevations along pre development grade or improved grade ( whichever is more restrictive) along the front of the building parallel to the primary street setback. Where mass-grading has been approved by the City average grade shall be considered the improved grade following such mass grading.”
  • UDO section 1..5.7 (A ) 4 “ where the property slope increases to the rear , building height is measured from the average point at grade of the front and rear wall planes.”
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