Welcome the Town of Clayton, North Carolina

Tall grass, illegal signs, graffiti...Code Enforcement is all about keeping Clayton looking great!

Code Enforcement, part of the Planning Department, helps maintain and improve the quality of Clayton’s neighborhoods by operating programs that ensure public compliance with the Town’s Code of Ordinances.

Additionally, we respond to customer complaints of potential Zoning and Nuisance Code violations and initiate fair and unbiased enforcement action to correct those violations and educate property owners on how to maintain code compliance.

To ensure code compliance within Town limits and the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), Code Enforcement works with residents, neighborhood associations, business owners, other Town departments, and Johnston County in order to ensure the heath, safety, welfare and quality of life are preserved.  Zoning violations are enforced in the Town of Clayton's corporate limits and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction.  Nuisance type violations are enforced within the Town's limits and a coordinated effort occurs with the Johnston County when nuisances occur in the ETJ.

Yard Sales

Yard sales are a great way to get rid of the clutter in your house as well as make some money in the process.  There are a few rules/guidelines  that are required for each yard sale to follow. Click here to find out more information!

Common Planning Code Violations

Each year, the Planning Department responds to numerous inquiries pertaining to potential land use violations. In most cases, investigation of code violations happens when a citizen reports a potential violation.

Examples of violations include construction/demolition, landscaping maintenance, building misuse and inappropriate parking and signage violations. The types of violations that are typically reported include:

  • Addition of Dwelling Unit(s) without Planning Department Approval
  • Addition of Accessory Structure without Planning Department Approval
  • Expansion of Non-Conforming Use
  • Opening a Business without Planning Department Approval
  • Illegal Advertising Sign
  • Illegal Business Sign on Private Property
  • Illegal Residential, Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Uses
  • Encroachment into a required setback
  • Operation of Home Business beyond Limitations
  • Removal of Required Landscaping

If you think you know of a potential violation and would like to report it, please call the Planning Department at (919) 553-5002.

The Planning Department maintains the Unified Development Code, which regulates the 'location' and the 'use' of buildings and land adjacent to streets and sets forth standards for development. All properties under the jurisdiction of the Town’s Unified Development Code shall be used only for the uses permitted and in accordance with the regulations established for those uses under the various Zoning Districts.

Click to view the official Unified Development Code

No structures shall be constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered, or relocated with out obtaining a Zoning Compliance Permit.

Every condition, stipulation, special restriction, and other limitations imposed in actions on building permits or planning approvals, such as conditional uses, variances, etc., shall be complied with.

Failure to comply with any of the above without due process and authorization constitutes a violation of the Unified Development Code. Thus, a complaint can be made in regards to any of the above violations. The Planning Department will investigate the complaints and/or refer them to other Town/County departments or agencies for their investigation as deemed necessary.

Common Nuisance Code Violations

Fair, equitable and consistent enforcement of Town’s nuisance ordinances is the goal of the Planning Department.  Through our Community Oriented Code Enforcement activities, we encourage voluntary compliance to Town ordinances.  Our goal is to have a clean town and to preserve the quality of our neighborhoods.  We encourage neighborhood involvement and actively pursue all violations which are not brought into compliance with timeframes established by the Code of Ordinances

Examples of violations include abandoned or junk vehicles, solid waste violations, excessive garbage or debris, tall grass, graffiti and site obstructions. The types of violations that are typically reported include:

  • Abandoned vehicles left on private property without the property owner’s consent
  • Dismantled or wrecked (junk) vehicles which are inoperable
  • Nuisance vehicles which have been declared to be a health or safety hazard, a public nuisance or unlawful
  • Placement of garbage or materials outside of the required containers
  • Placement of appliances, furniture and mattresses curbside without calling for a special pick-up
  • Accumulation of uncontrolled growth, weeds, garbage, trash, junk, furniture, appliances or any other materials that may become a breeding place for animals or create an unsafe condition
  • Unmaintained weeds or grass which reaches a height of 12 inches
  • Defacement of property (graffiti) by painting, spraying, scratching, drawing, marking, etc. which is unsightly, unauthorized or is otherwise deemed a public nuisance

Filing a Complaint

IMPORTANT: Before reporting a potential code violation, please read all the information on this page.

Each year the Planning Department responds to numerous complaints. There is no fee to file a complaint. We accept anonymous complaints, but please provide the correct information regarding the potential violation. Please note that if the information is incorrect or insufficient, the investigation may be hampered and we will be unable to contact you.

If you think you know of a potential violation, you may report it as outlined below.

  • In Person - Visit the Planning Department located on the second floor of 111 East Second Street, room GS202, where you can submit your report directly to Josh Cotten, Code Enforcement Officer.
  • By Phone/Email - Call Josh Cotten, Code Enforcement Officer, at (919) 208-1302 or email at Jcotten@townofclaytonnc.org.  Please provide the exact address of the property, and specific information about the potential violation.
  • By Regular Mail - Mail the violation information to the Planning Department's Code Enforcement Division at 111 East Second Street, PO Box 879, Clayton, NC, 27528.

In addition to filing a complaint with the Planning Department's Code Enforcement Division, there are a number of other options available to you:

  • Make Contact with the responsible person. Describe your perception of the problem and discuss how the problem affects you, including possible solutions.
  • Attend Neighborhood Organization Meetings and get involved with solving the problem. If you do not know if your neighborhood is represented by an organization, please call the Planning Department at (919) 553-5002.
  • Contact Other Town Agencies: Any complaints not directly related to Unified Development Code can be reported to other Town/County agencies with services and programs to maintain the quality of living, working, and operating businesses in the Town of Clayton.

How We Respond to Complaints

When a complaint is received it will be logged and assigned to an Enforcement Officer. The assigned officer investigates each complaint in order of priority to determine if a Unified Development Code violation exists. The Department's highest priority for investigation and resolution of reported violations are health and safety-related. If evidence exists that a violation of the Unified Development Code may have occurred, the Enforcement Officer sends a notice to the responsible party (usually the property owner or leaseholder).

High service demands can routinely cause cases to remain open for some time. These cases usually involve violations that do not constitute a significant impact.

If necessary, the Enforcement Officer may conduct a site visit to further investigate the reported violation.

If the violation is confirmed, further written notice will be sent to the responsible parties.

If the violation notice is not corrected and the violation continues, administrative penalties may be assessed and further enforcement action will be taken.

Checking Complaint Status

Within 10 business days of filing a complaint, you may contact the Planning Department (919) 553-5002 to find out which Code Enforcement Officer has been assigned the case.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Unified Development Code or a possible violation, or if you received a notice and would like to discuss a specific complaint with an Enforcement Officer, please call Josh Cotten at (919) 208-1302. You may also visit the Planning Department in person at 111 East Second Street, Room GS202.


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