The Kinston Planning Department is responsible for long range planning, current development, grant management, civic engagement, and disaster resiliency. Our mission is to facilitate development, engage citizens in the planning process, and implement policies and programs representative of community needs and desires.

We strive toward a built environment that promotes healthy living, economic opportunity, and instills pride in our community.

Plan Kinston cover page


Beginning July 1, 2023, The City of Kinston Planning Department new fee schedule will become effective.  Fees have been added for Zoning Permit applications and Zoning Compliance Inspections. Fees must be paid upon submission.  Click the link below for the entire fee schedule.  For further information, please call the Planning Department at 252-939-3271.

 Revised Fee Schedule

City-Owned Properties

Upset bids have begun for the city-owned properties.  Please see ads in the Kinston Free Press for current bid amounts and instructions on how to submit new bids.   Kinston Free Press is only published on Thursdays.  For further information pertaining to the properties, you may call the Planning Department at 252-939-3271 or email us at

Community Improvements

  • Brownfields Assessment Grant

    • This grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers an initial assessment of properties for potential environmental issues; this grant can help property owners understand their environmental clean-up needs in order to develop their property, and paves the way for future grant funding that may help clean up such properties. This grant focuses on downtown properties, and will be active until at least 2023. Visit , watch this introductory video, or call 252-939-3269 to learn more!
  • Downtown Kinston Mural Program

    • The City of Kinston received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town program to commission 7 public murals throughout downtown to enhance connectivity between cultural and economic assets in Kinston’s city center. To learn more about the program, visit the Downtown Kinston Mural Program.

Long Range Planning

Long range planning is a collaboration between staff, elected officials, and residents to plan and implement strategies for zoning, land use, transportation, and future development. See current Planning Documents to the right.

Current Development

Planning reviews all development projects for compliance with the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), Historic District guidelines, floodplain restrictions, and minimum housing code. To find the forms required for your situation, see the Planning Forms column, go to the Historic District Commission page, or the Permits, Inspections and Code Enforcement page. 

Citizen Engagement

Planning is supported by the service and engagement of many Kinston residents through advisory boards, public input, and participation in our citizen academy.

Advisory Boards and Committees

  • The Planning Board advises the City Council in amending the comprehensive plan, recommending development ordinances, and approving major site plans. 
  • The Board of Adjustment hears and decides requests for variances to the UDO, interprets questions regarding the zoning map, and serves as the Housing Appeals Board where people can appeal the decisions of housing inspectors. 
  • The Historic District Commission recommends the creation or amendment of historic districts, consider applications to alter structures within a historic district, and recommend applications for the creation of a landmark to City Council.
  • Other: Planning gathers many temporary citizen committees including for a recent update to the Pedestrian Plan and a Selection Committee for the Downtown Mural Program. Opportunities are advertised on our website and social media.

Kinston 101

Kinston 101 is a 10 week program that shares information with citizens about city operations while increasing their capacity to participate in local government. Participants tour the police station, visit city parks, create a mock city budget, see the wastewater treatment plant, and more. Kinston 101 is for any resident that is interested in how the city works and how public decisions are made! Visit our page at Kinston 101 to learn more, or call 252-939-3271.

Disaster Recovery and Resiliency

The City of Kinston, in partnership with Lenoir County and regional authorities works constantly to meet the increasing need for resiliency measures against natural disasters. Our Flood Information page describes the city’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the City of Kinston, Frequently Asked Questions, and potential resources for those who have been affected by natural disasters. Kinston also collaborated with the region to establish the Neuse River Basin Hazard Mitigation Plan to identify and address collective strategies to improve safety and resilience throughout the region.

Call 252-939-3271 with any questions.

Ongoing Grant Applications - check back for updates 

Fair Housing Policy and Complaint Procedure