Commercial Standard Review

Last updated Jan. 19, 2017 - 12:31 pm

The process for the standard review of commercial building plans ensures that all commercial construction complies with the N.C. State Building Code. This process covers new buildings, additions, alterations, change of use and mass grading.

If your project involves a site smaller than 12,000 square feet of disturbed area with improvements, you can submit for simultaneous Commercial Building Review and Final Site Review.

If your project involves a site of 12,000 square feet or more of disturbed area with improvements, the project must have a Site Review before you submit building plans.

You must schedule a gatekeeping appointment with the Development Services Customer Service Center before submitting plans for:

  • New buildings
  • Additions
  • Changes of use

Gate-keeping is an administrative review to verify that there is adequate information for a detailed code review. Contact a Development Services Technician at 919-996-2500 to schedule this appointment.

Other proposed work, including alterations and fit-ups, may be submitted to the Development Services Customer Service Center without an appointment. Walk-ins will be assisted in the order they arrive.


  • Obtain a recorded map of property, if available, for new buildings, additions, change of use and site reviews. If there is no recorded map, a copy of a current signed and sealed survey, in addition to the property description on file with the Wake County Register of Deeds, will be accepted
  • Establish address. Contact the GIS Addressing Team at 919-780-4471 for address assignments
  • Approved infrastructure construction drawings, if applicable
  • Approved administrative Site Review, if applicable
  • An appointment scheduled for gate-keeping, which is conducted the same day as the package is received for submittal

Approvals or Permits Issued

  • Permits to commence with work approved by staff
  • Associated permits and approvals needed to support the request
  • Issuance of all trade permits necessary for commercial construction within the City of Raleigh's jurisdiction (City Limits and ETJ)

Submittal Requirements

Required for Submittal
Required for Some Projects
Recommended for a Successful Review

Additional Information

  • Copies of the 2012 NC State Building, Plumbing and Mechanical Codes and the 2008 National Electric Code are available from the NC State Fire Marshal's Office, 322 Chapanoke Road, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27603, 919-661-5880. Codes also are available at
  • Call 704-432-1093 for copies of the Rehab Code
  • Design professional seals, when applicable, must appear on each sheet and be signed and dated by a North Carolina registered design professional. Contact the NC Board of Engineers or the NC Board of Architects to confirm that a design professional is registered in North Carolina
  • Plans and specifications must contain information on the technical properties of building materials when such properties are essential to show compliance with technical building codes. Code references used must be specific. See NCABC Vol 1A, 302.1

Expected Processing Time

  • Approximately ten (10) business days, depending on the specific type of review. Subsequent reviews are based on the review type
  • Final review approval takes up to six (6) business days after all trade reviews are approved
  • If the property is zoned a Unified Development District, the review may be considered a Concurrent Review with Final Site Review and Infrastructure Construction Plans having a ten (10) business day review cycle

Plans that are ready for permit issuance but still waiting on contractor information will be kept at the Development Services Customer Service Center for up to six months. After six months, the plans will be discarded and the application will be voided.

Plans that are not approved in between review cycles must be picked up at the Development Services Customer Service Center Records Center within 30 days after the last review. Unapproved plans will be discarded after 30 days.


  • Two fees are due with the submittal package. These are the Commercial Review fee for new buildings, change of use and additions that are 4,000 square feet or larger and the Land Disturbance (grading) review fee
  • All other permit fees are due when permits are ready for pickup
  • See Development Fee Schedule for specific fees
  • The Development Services Customer Service Center processes payments
  • Payment types include: Cash, MasterCard, Visa or check made payable to the City of Raleigh

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