Code Compliance Enforcement FAQ's


To report zoning or code compliance violations, contact a Code Compliance Officer.

Q: How tall can my grass be before I get a letter from the town?

A: All grass must be cut lower than 8 inches. Any grass taller than 8 inches, will be considered a violation of the town ordinances. 

Q: My neighbor has old cars sitting in his yard. Is that a violation?

A: The Code of Ordinances state that all vehicles have to operable on state highways. Any vehicle that is not operable on state highways could be considered a nuisance vehicle and ultimately be towed. 

Q: My neighbor has a lot of trash and debris scattered around his yard. Can I report it?

A: Yes. This is a, ordinance violation, to report contact Code Compliance Officer.

Q: What are building setbacks?

Setbacks are required minimum distances between a building and the related front, side, exterior side, or rear property line. These distances determine how far construction must be set back from the property line.

Q: Where may I place a storage building on my lot?

Storage buildings are permitted in the back yard of a lot provided that they are detached and separated from the main building. For a complete list of regulations pertaining to accessory structures contact the Planning Department at (919) 365-4448. 

Q: What are my setbacks?
Due to variable setbacks within the Town of Wendell, it is best to contact Planning Staff at (919) 365-4448 to verify the setbacks on your property.

Q: Who can I contact about the minimum housing code?

For minimum housing issues located within the Town of Wendell corporate limits and Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) contact a Code Compliance Officer.

Q: When is a building permit required?

No person shall locate, erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair or relocate any building, or change the type occupancy without first having obtained a permit for the specific work to be done. Building permits are not required for nonstructural work where no change of use occurs and costs less than $5,000, farm buildings outside the jurisdiction of any municipality, and residential accessory structures where no dimension exceeds 12 feet. For a complete list of building permit applications, refer to

 Q: When is an electrical permit required?

An electrical permit for the specific work is required to install, alter, repair, replace or relocate any electrical material, appliances or equipment. For a complete list of building permit applications, refer to

Q: When is a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or sprinkler permit required?

A plumbing or heating permit is required to install, replace or relocate any plumbing, heating, air-conditioning material, appliances or equipment. Plumbing permits shall not be required for minor repairs or replacements on the house side of a trap to an installed system of plumbing provided such repairs or replacements do not disrupt the original water supply or the waste or ventilation system. For a complete list of building permit applications, refer to

Q: What needs to be submitted with the building permit application?

For Manufactured Housing - 
For Residential Permits - 
For Residential Accessory Structures - 
For Swimming Pools 
For Commercial/Industrial Permits -

Q: Who can answer my questions about residential, commercial, or industrial building codes?

Wake County Inspections, Development Plans, and Permits. For a complete list of the entire Wake County Building Inspectors staff directory, please visit

Q: How much is a permit going to cost me?

Wake County Building and Inspections charges all inspection fees. Wake County’s fees must be paid in full before any inspections will take place. For questions about these fees, please contact Wake County Building and Inspections at (919) 856-6060 or view Wake County Inspections and Development Fees.