The Zoning Division of the Planning and Land Use Department is responsible for enforcing the county’s land use ordinances for properties within the unincorporated areas of New Hanover County.
If a violation is suspected, a Zoning Compliance Official will conduct an investigation to determine if there is an ordinance violation. If there is a violation, the inspector will attempt to notify the owner verbally and will mail a Notice of Violation.
Note: all information provided to the Zoning Division is subject to NC Public Records Law § 132-1.
Complaints that have imminent threat of public safety are immediately referred to and handled by the appropriate department; all other complaints are prioritized by severity of violation. If you have a violation to report, please contact the appropriate department as listed below.
To report a violation within the City of Wilmington:
The city has specific codes and enforcement guidelines. To report a violation in the City of Wilmington, contact the city’s Code Enforcement Services at 910-341-7836.
To report a violation within unincorporated areas of New Hanover County (outside city limits):
Call New Hanover County Zoning at 910-798-7116 with the location of the property and a description of the potential violation.
The following violations are enforced by other departments within New Hanover County:
After a Notice of Violation is issued, periodic follow-up inspections are conducted to determine if compliance has been met. The property owner may call New Hanover County Code Enforcement at 910-798-7116 to discuss a plan of action to meet compliance. Follow-up inspections are performed to determine if compliance has been met.
If a property owner fails to comply with New Hanover County Code Regulations, the county may issue civil penalties per G.S. 153A-123.
New Hanover County Zoning Ordinance 132: Enforcement of Ordinance states:
Section 132: Enforcement of Ordinance
This ordinance may be enforced by any one or more of the remedies authorized by G.S. S153A-123, including but not limited to the following:
132-1: Violation of this ordinance subjects the offender to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first offense, two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a second offense, and three hundred dollars ($300.00) for a third and subsequent offense to be recovered by the County in a civil action in the nature of debt if the offender does not pay the penalty to the county Finance Office within fifteen (10) calendar days after the offender has been cited for a violation. Violation of this ordinance shall result only in civil penalties and/or civil action set forth herein and shall not entail criminal sanctions. (1/5/98)(12/05/2011)
132-2: This ordinance may be enforced by an appropriate equitable remedy issuing from a court of competent jurisdiction.
132-3: This ordinance may be enforced by injunction, order of abatement, or both, as provided in G.S. 153A-123(e).
132-4: Each days’ continuing violation of the ordinance is a separate and distinct offense.