Transylvania County, North Carolina

Addressing and Road Naming Ordinance




1.            Purpose


The purpose of this chapter is to establish a uniform system for addressing, road naming, and for the enforcement thereof as it relates to the properties and buildings throughout the county’s jurisdiction in order to support services dependent upon physical addresses.


2.            Authority


The provisions of this ordinance are adopted under authority granted by the North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 153A-240.


3.            Jurisdiction


The jurisdiction of this ordinance includes the entire unincorporated geographic area of Transylvania County and all municipalities that have agreed to be included.


4.            Numbering System


A frontage unit (standard interval in feet) shall be assigned for every 5.28 feet of ground whether improved property or vacant lot on every street/road within the entire geographical area of Transylvania County.  Even numbers must always be on the right side and odd on the left side of the street/road.  The starting point for all numbers will be from the Transylvania County Courthouse and radiating out in all directions from that point.  Roads with two entrances will have a starting point determined by the entrance with the shortest distance from the Transylvania County Courthouse.


5.            Road Name Signs


Road name signs shall be acquired and installed for unincorporated areas of Transylvania County.  Road name sign maintenance within municipalities shall be the responsibility of the municipality.  The acquisition and installation of road name signs for private roads and private developments shall be the responsibility of Transylvania County.


6.            Definitions


For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms are defined below.  Unless specifically defined, words or phrases used in this ordinance shall be interpreted to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this ordinance the most reasonable application.


Board of Commissioners:  Transylvania County Board of Commissioners.


Building:  A structure having a roof supported by columns or walls for the shelter, support or enclosure of persons, animals, or equipment and requiring a separate power meter to be installed for the building to have electrical service.  This will also include mobile homes or manufactured homes.  For the purposes of this ordinance, the term “building” may also include other manmade structures meeting the same requirement as in the first sentence.


Driveway:  A private road, easement, or private right-of-way, giving access from a public road, private road, or private right-of-way, leading to a building.  A driveway does not serve more than two buildings that have or require separate power meters to be installed for electrical service.


Frontage unit:  A frontage unit is a standard interval in feet used to assign consecutive property numbers on a street or road.  The standard frontage unit adopted for use throughout Transylvania County is 5.28 feet.


House number:  The number assigned by the Property Address Coordinator to any building for the purpose of identification of the location.


Mailing address:  The address assigned by the Property Address Coordinator and used by the United States Postal Service for the purpose of delivery of the United States mail.  The property address and mailing address will be the same for all buildings unless the property owners utilize a post office box for delivery of their mail.


Official Road Name:  The road name list and the road name map on file with the Transylvania Count 911 Emergency Operations shall be the official road names and map for Transylvania County roads, unless changed by action of the board of commissioners.


Private Road:  Any road, which is not maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and/or municipality through the use of public funds, or is not a driveway as defined by this ordinance.


Property Address Coordinator:  The official of Transylvania County, including his authorized agent or delegate, charged with the administration of this article.


Road:  A public or private one-way or two-way road for ingress and/or egress.  Such roads may be of various types including frontage roads, rear access roads, roads with cul-de-sacs and dead-end roads.  This definition includes secondary roads, but does not include driveways.


Road Sign:  A metal blade and necessary hardware used to convey a road name and, where applicable, the state road number.


State Road Number:  A number assigned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, also known as the “SR Number” for secondary state-maintained roads.


7.            Renaming a Road


a.             Request for name changes must include a completed petition signed by at least 66% of the property owners along the affected road.


b.            A petition to change an existing road name must include a fee to cover all associated costs.


c.             Petition applications may be obtained at the Transylvania County 911 Emergency Operations Center, 207 South Broad Street, Brevard NC 28712.


d.            A unique name must be chosen (Dogwood Lane and Dogwood Drive are considered to be duplicates).  In the event that two roads in the county have the same name, the road with the greater number of residents will be allowed to retain the name.


e.             All existing road names, which were in use before the effective date of this ordinance, will be grandfathered into use except in the case of road name duplication.  After new addresses are delivered to each respective postal district, residents will have fourteen days to petition the 911 office for a new road name in the event the petitioner is unhappy with the name which was assigned to his road.  After the fourteen days expire, no appeals to change the road name will be accepted for one (1) year.


f.              The Property Address Coordinator will review requests to determine if all procedures are met and to ascertain that the proposed name does not duplicate an existing name nor does not have a sound-alike name, and also to ensure that the petition meets all other requirements of this ordinance.


8.            Guidelines for Naming an Unnamed Road


a.             Choose a unique name (Dogwood Lane and Dogwood Drive are considered to be duplicate names).  Under no circumstances will duplicate road names be accepted.


b.            To avoid confusion, do not select names that sound similar to other road names or subdivision names.


c.             Use short names that are easier to understand when spoken and will be cost efficient when purchasing road signs.  Choose names with fewer than fifteen characters in total length, including spaces, but not including suffixes.


d.            Avoid special characters such as hyphens, apostrophes, periods or decimals.


e.             Do not use North, South, East or West.


f.              Do not use personal or proper names.  There are many people with the same first or last names, which could create confusion when trying to locate a particular road.


g.             Do not use numbers as part of a road name.


h.             Do not select discriminatory names.


i.               Names that have historical or geographical significance may be selected.


j.              Select names of birds, fish, animals, plants, trees or flowers that are indigenous to the area.


k.            When selecting a road name, choose two (2) alternate names in case the primary name has already been selected or is already in use.


9.            Addressing


a.             All roads, both public and private, shall be named and addressed if three (3) or more addressable buildings, including mobile homes, are located on and accessed by them.


b.            When each building has been assigned its respective address, the Property Address Coordinator in cooperation with the United States Postal Service shall notify by letter or in person the owners, occupants, or agents of the affected building advising of the new address.


10.        Display of Address Numbers


a.                   The official address number must be displayed on the front of a building or at the entrance to a building, whichever is most clearly visible both day and night from the street or road.


b.            If a building is more than 100 feet from any road, the address number shall be displayed at the end of the driveway or easement nearest the road which provides access to the building.


c.             Numerals indicating the address number of a single-family dwelling shall be at least four inches in height and shall be posted and maintained so as to be legible from the road.


d.            Numerals for multiple dwelling units and non-residential buildings shall be at least six (6) inches in height and shall be placed on the front of the building facing the road or on the end of the building nearest the road.


e.             Numerals must be of contrasting color to the background.  It is preferable that these numbers be reflective to ensure better visibility at night.


f.              Mobile home lots shall have sequential address numbers throughout the mobile home park.  Each lot will have a separate address number assigned.  The address number of each lot must be clearly displayed on the mobile home which is located on that lot and must be clearly visible from the road.  If the lot is more than 100 feet from the road, the address number shall be displayed at the end of the road or easement giving access to that mobile home.


g.             The address shall be placed on existing buildings within thirty (30) days from the date of the letter of notification.


11.        New Address Assignment


a.                   The owner, occupant, or person in charge of any house or business in need of an address in the unincorporated area of Transylvania County and all municipalities shall apply through the Transylvania County 911 Emergency Operations Center.


b.            No building permit shall be issued for any principal building until the owner or occupant has procured from the Property Address Coordinator, Addressing Section, the official address of the premises.


c.             Final approval for a certificate of occupancy of any principal building erected or repaired after the effective date of this ordinance shall be withheld until a permanent and proper address has been displayed in accordance with the requirements outlined in this ordinance.


d.            No certificate of completion will be issued for mobile home parks until address numbers are properly displayed for each lot within the park.


e.             The record plat of any subdivision must show the address for each lot created or recorded.  No building permit shall be issued until an official house number has been assigned for a lot, and no certificate of completion will be issued until address numbers are properly displayed.


f.              The person or business applying for a building permit that will result in the establishment of a road that will have three or more buildings as defined will be required to first submit the proposed names of the road(s) to the Property Address Coordinator, and then submit a fee determined by the Property Address Coordinator to cover the cost of installing the required road name signs.


12.        Property Address Coordinator


a.                   The Property Address Coordinator is hereby designated administrator of this ordinance and shall have authority to verify, modify or assign addresses and to enforce the requirements of this ordinance.


b.            The Property Address Coordinator shall assign and maintain a record of all addresses for Transylvania County.


c.             The Property Address Coordinator shall maintain a database of existing road names, such that duplication and sound-alike road names are neither assigned nor approved.


d.            The Property Address Coordinator shall submit to the board of commissioners on a monthly basis a list of any changes to road names required to execute this ordinance.


13.        Amendments


         The Transylvania County Board of Commissioners will, before adoption, review amendments to this ordinance.


14.        Variances and Exceptions


         The Property Address Coordinator may issue variances and exceptions from the requirements of this ordinance such that would not be contrary to the public interest, or the spirit and intent of this ordinance, and where, due to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship.  In granting a variance, the Property Address Coordinator may prescribe appropriate solutions, as it deems necessary to preserve the intent of this ordinance.  In granting a variance or exception to this ordinance, the Property Address Coordinator must determine the following:


a.             Special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the road naming or addressing involved, and which are not applicable to other roads or addresses.

b.            The literal interpretation of the provisions of this ordinance would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other citizens.

c.             Special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant; and

d.            Granting the variance requested will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this ordinance to other citizens.

e.             All variances and exceptions granted will be forwarded to the board of commissioners for their information.


15.        Appeals


         The board of commissioners will handle appeals.  Any person wishing to have an appeal heard shall submit his request to the clerk to the board of commissioners.  A time and date for the appeal to be heard will be set at that time.


16.        Enforcement


         After the effective date of this ordinance, any person, firm, or agent thereof who intentionally violates this ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, for the conviction of which, the maximum penalty by law may be imposed.  Each day’s continuing violation is a separate and distinct offense.  Owners or occupants of buildings already constructed which do not comply with this ordinance will be notified and requested to meet these requirements within thirty (30) days from the date of the notification.  A warning notice will be issued after sixty (60) days if the requirements have not been met.  If the owner or occupant does not comply voluntarily with this ordinance within thirty (30) days of delivery of a warning notice by mail or by hand delivery to the building in violation, enforcement action pursuant to NCGS 153A-123 may be initiated.


17.        Limitation of Liability


         The county, directors, officers and agents are not liable for any damages in civil action for injuries, death or loss to persons or property incurred by any person as a result of any act or omission of any of its employees, directors, officers or agents, except for willful or wanton misconduct, in connection with developing, adopting, implementing, maintaining or operating any 911 system.


18.        Severability


         Should any section or provision of this article be decided by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the article as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so declared to be unconstitutional or invalid.


19.        Previous Ordinances Null and Void


         This ordinance shall supersede and replace all Transylvania County Addressing and Road Naming Ordinances or portions thereof previously adopted.


Approved this 26th day of April, 2004




ATTEST:                                                                     Raymond D. Miller, Chairman




Kimberly T. Conover, Clerk to Board