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Permit Center

The Permit Center coordinates the approval of new construction and development projects, as well as, the occupancy of existing buildings. The Permit Center also includes the City's Zoning Enforcement staff, which investigate violations and enforce the City's Land Development Code. Zoning Enforcement staff also conduct footing and final inspections of new construction, as well as, on-site inspections of new businesses.

The Permit Center is located on the second floor of the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building. Staff will assist you in filling out the required applications, and will ensure that all necessary plans and specifications are included with the applications. In addition, Permit Center staff can help direct you to the appropriate person if you have technical questions they cannot answer. It should be noted that Catawba County enforces the State of North Carolina Building Code within Hickory's jurisdiction. Building code questions should be directed toward Catawba County Building Services, who can be reached at (828) 465-8399.

The Permit Center is committed to providing superior customer service, so don't hesitate to call. The telephone number is (828) 323-7410.

Additional Information

Single Family and Duplex Construction
Accessory Structure Regulations
New Commercial Development
Occupancy of Existing Buildings
Landscape Requirements
Sign Permit Information
Temporary Signs and Banners
Animal Keeping Regulations
Food Truck Information
Zoning Districts and Setbacks
Race/Walk/Cycle Special Events

Forms and Applications

Residential Zoning Application
Unified Commercial Application
Erosion Control Affidavit
Permanent Sign Application
Temporary Sign (12 Weeks) Application
Temporary Sign (1 Year) Application
Special Event Application - Private Property
Special Event Application - Public Property
Special Events - Road Closure Permit Application
Special Event Application - Road Race Events
Special Event Application - Road Race Maps

Online Permitting Information

An online permitting system, ePermits, is now available for projects in Catawba County and the municipalities of Catawba, Claremont, Conover, Hickory, Long View, Maiden, and Newton. The online permitting system may be accessed at  

The new ePermits system helps streamline the application process by making most permit processes available online and eliminating the need to apply or pay in person. The ePermits system includes permits related to commercial and residential construction, well and septic installation or repair, food and lodging applications, planning and zoning, plan review, and more.

All users are required to set up an account at to access the new system. Building and trade contractors who have done business with the Catawba County Permit Center within the past five years should start by contacting the Permit Center at or (828) 465-8399 to receive their access code. This code will enable them to set up an online account on that synchronizes with their existing information in the permitting system.

All other users will start by visiting, where they will create a new account online by clicking on “Sign Up” in the top-right corner. An access code from the Permit Center will not be needed.

Once their account is established, users can log in to submit applications and make payments online. Payments can be made online by check, debit card, or credit card (Visa and MasterCard only).

Users will also have access to a personalized dashboard, which will track the status of their applications, show any payments due, and enable them to request inspections, see upcoming scheduled inspections, and view inspection results for their projects. Online tutorials are available online to assist users with navigating the new system.

Applications and payments may still be made in person.

Questions about the online permitting system and can be referred to the following offices:

  • Catawba County Permit Center: 828-465-8399
  • Catawba County Planning: 828-465-8380
  • City of Hickory Planning: 828-323-7422

Please contact the City of Hickory Permit Center at (828) 323-7410 with any questions regarding projects in Hickory, as some specific projects and permits may still require in-person visits.