New Hanover County, NC – On October 25, the Planning and Inspections Department was divided into two separate departments in an effort to better reflect the services provided to citizens. Now, the departments are being renamed to better describe their vital development functions.
The former Planning Department, which is led by Chris O’Keefe, will now be called the Department of Planning and Land Use. The department will be responsible for the creation and implementation of long-range comprehensive and community-level plans, as well as the administration of the zoning and flood plain ordinances and subdivision regulations.
The former Inspections Department will now be known as the Department of Building Safety. This department, led by newly-hired Nicholas Gadzekpo, will focus on ensuring that residential, commercial and industrial buildings meet codes and standards that will keep the public safe. Building Safety will focus on three core areas: coordinating permits and development services, plan review to ensure code compliance, and inspections.
“Providing a clear understanding of the services we provide, and improving the customer experience for our citizens are the reasons these two departments were separated and are now being rebranded,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “Our goal is to continually improve our service to citizens, so this is an important step forward for New Hanover County.”
The Development Services Center, located in Suite 170 of the Government Center, will continue to provide coordinated and personalized assistance to citizens for planning, permitting, engineering and inspections. The center’s hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and permitting hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The Development Services webpage will continue to provide detailed information about each of the services offered. In the coming months, separate webpages will be developed for the Planning and Land Use and Building Safety departments.
Communications & Outreach Coordinator