Have a question about Development, Streets, Codes, Zoning or the Greenway? Check our Frequently asked Questions section here.
Q: How do I get City water service to a subdivision outside the City?
A: Submit a request to the Development and Design Department or to the City Engineer at City Hall in the form of a petition signed by those interested in the service and willing to share in the cost of the water line extension. After evaluation by the City Engineer and his staff as well as the Director of Water Resources, including determination of existing facilities in the area and their condition and capacity, a preliminary layout and design for purposes of cost estimating will be done. This cost estimate would be presented to the parties who would benefit from the service and they would be encouraged to organize in order to finance the water line extension. The procedure is outlined in a policy adopted by the Morganton City Council copies of which are available to those groups wishing to make such a request
Q: What can I do about speeding on my street?
A: Submit a request to the City Engineer asking for a traffic speed study and analysis to be conducted. Based on that study and analysis, the City Engineer will make his recommendations to correct the problem. The solution may involve a formal request to change the speed limit that would involve presentation to the City Council for approval of the speed limit change. The solution may be the installation of a traffic calming device, such as speed humps. Again, this recommendation would come from the City Engineer as warranted by the traffic study and analysis that would have included an evaluation of the street based on criteria set forth in the policy adopted by the Morganton City Council with regard to installation of these traffic calming devices. Or, it may simply involve a request to Public Safety to increase their enforcement of the speed limit along that street. It is also possible that the City Engineer may also conclude that no action is warranted based on his study and analysis.
Q: How do I put in a driveway at my home?
A: A permit is required to construct the driveway. If there is curbing, then a curb cut is needed as well.
If the street is a NCDOT-maintained roadway a permit must be obtained from NCDOT. If it is a city-maintained street, a request needs to be made to our Permitting Section.
Upon notification of your intent to put in a driveway, the City Engineer or a member of his staff will go out to your site to determine if the location and conditions allow for the installation of the driveway and the execution of the curb cut, according to Morganton City Code and reasonable engineering practices and principles. If approved, you may have your contractor install the curb cut to the City of Morganton's specifications after first obtaining the permit. Or, you may have the City install the curb cut at a cost to you based on the linear feet of driveway opening.
Q: What can the City do about drop offs along roads?
A: If it is a city maintained roadway, the City Engineer or Public Works Director will address the situation promptly including performing an actual visual inspection of the subject roadway and appropriate measures will be taken to correct or mitigate the problem as soon as reasonably possible, if warranted. If the roadway is private or maintained by NCDOT, the City Engineer will go and visually inspect the roadway and make an assessment of the problem, and notify the appropriate jurisdiction or owner and make a recommendation and request for correction of the problem, if warranted.
Q: My basement gets flooded after a heavy rain and especially after the way my neighbor has graded their backyard for the installation of a pool. (Or similar situations) Can you help me with the drainage issues?
A: Unless the occurrence is due to problems with our storm water sewer system, the City Engineer, the Public Works Director, or their staff members can only make recommendations with regards to solutions based on their analysis of the situation and their education, knowledge, background, and experience within a reasonable degree of engineering probability. Implementation and execution of those recommendations and their resultant consequences are the sole responsibility of the homeowner.
Q: What trees are best to plant?
A: This varies widely with the situation. Shade/canopy/large trees (oaks, maples, elms etc.) tend to live longer than ornamental/understory/small trees (dogwoods, crape myrtle, red bud) as a general rule. Native trees are generally more suitable to local weather and pests.
Q: Can trees be planted under power lines?
A: Large trees should be planted at least 30 feet from overhead power lines, some even further away, so that future trimming can be minimized. Many small trees may be planted closer. Every tree is different as well as every situation so it is best to do some research to know how large your tree will grow and plant according to that mature growth size. (possible link to NC State or Agriculture Extension Service)
Q: When is the best time to plant trees?
A: The best time to plant trees is during or close to the same time the plant is dormant. It is best to plant after leaves start falling in Fall and before leaves arrive in Spring. Consult your local grower for more information.
Code EnforcementQ: Can I have livestock in the City?
A: Yes you can have livestock, such as horses and cows. One animal per half acre is permitted. You may not have pigs or chickens.
Q: Can I keep a junk car in the City?
A: Vehicles must be tagged OR in running condition. You may keep one non operating vehicle provided it is located in your back yard and is covered by an acceptable cover.
Q: Can the City make my neighbor cut a tree that is leaning over onto my property?
A: No. If a tree is leaning from a neighbor's property, then it is a civil matter between property owners.
Q: Can the City regulate where you can hang laundry?
A: No. We cannot regulate where a resident has a clothesline or hangs their laundry.
Q: Does the City regulate the way people care for their property? (grass cutting. weeds, etc.)
A: The City has a Nuisance Ordinance which regulates the conditions of property and requires residents to keep their property clean and the grass cut.
Q: How long is the Greenway?
A: The Catawba River Greenway is 3.8 miles long. It begins at Greenlee Ford Access (Greenlee Ford Road) and ends at the Rocky Ford Access (NC 18). The Freedom trail Greenway is .6 miles long. It begins at Freedom Park (Independence Blvd.), crosses the Catawba River and connects into the Catawba River Greenway near the Greenlee Ford Access. (provide link to map)
Q: What are the round silver markers in the Greenway trails?
A: These are Safety Markers and are intended to aid emergency workers in locating persons that need help on the Greenway. A person in need can call 911 and read the marker to the dispatcher to tell where they are located on either Greenway. These markers are located every 10th of a mile. More information on how to use these is on the kiosks at each Greenway Access. Also you may refer to the information posted elsewhere on the web site. (provide link to emergency marker info)
Q: What are the Greenway hours?
A: The Greenway is closed from dusk until dawn.
Q: How do I make a donation to the Greenway or other City parks?
A: Contact the Recreation Department for recreation parks and Public Works Department for mini/beautification parks. They will review your request and put you in touch with the appropriate City staff.
Q: What is the zoning for my property?
A: Zoning information may be obtained by going to www.webgis.net.
- Click on the drop down box at the top of page labeled "WebGIS Sites"
- Click on "North Carolina"
- then click on "Burke Co., NC". This will open the Burke County, NC web page.
Click on "ArcIMS GIS" label. Left Click and Drag a Zoom In Box over the green Morganton image on the large map. To the left hand side of the page you will see a box titled "Layers". Click on the boxes in the "Layers" table to turn on and off various layers of the map.
To turn on the zoning layer, go down the layer side and select Morganton zoning by checking the boxes beside this heading. Then click apply at the top of this side. This will show the zoning for your particular location.
Go to the ? at the top of the map and click on it. It will bring up a screen for you to put in the address or other information to locate your property
If you need help, call our offices at 438-5260.
Q: What uses are permitted on my property?
A: There is a table in the zoning ordinance that lists uses allowed in each zoning district. It is Section 9-4008.
Q: What are the setback requirements for my property?
A: This information is available in the zoning ordinance located on our web site under Development & Design Services. Section 9-4005
Q: What are the setbacks for an accessory structure and a fence?
A: If the accessory structure is detached from the house and is in the rear or side of the house (not street side) then the setback is 6 feet from all property lines. A fence may be located along the property line, but is limited to 5 feet in height in the front setback area.
The city does not regulate how close you can put a fence to the property line, however, we advise you to consider placing it close enough on your property such that you can maintain both sides for plant (weeds, vines, etc.) growth.
Q: What are the sign regulations for my business?
A: These regulations depend on what the zoning is for your property location. If you know the zoning district, then go to the zoning ordinance on our web site and see section 9-4010.
Q: What are the restrictions on mobile homes in the City?
A: Existing mobile homes may be replaced with a 1976 or newer model if replaced within 6 months. The house must meet guidelines provided in the zoning ordinance under Section 9-4008. Single wide homes are only allowed in the Residential Transition zone and double wide homes only in Residential High and Residential Transition zones.
Mission 2030 Plan
Hunting Creek, located in eastern Morganton and Burke County, has been included on the “Impaired” waters listing for the State of North Carolina. Based on this listing, this study has been completed during the past two years (through a grant received by a local non-profit) to study in detail the issues associated with this impairment designation.
Lee Anderson • Director
Development & Design
The Development and Design Department is located on the second floor of City Hall.