Raleigh Permit Process for Retaining Walls

Many businesses and home owners require retaining walls in the Raleigh area. This blog will discuss the process for permit approval for commercial retaining walls or retaining wall systems. If your wall will be greater than 4 feet in height and within a horizontal separation distance of 50 feet or less, you will need a permit in the city of Raleigh, NC. These retaining walls systems include but are not limited to: cast-in-place walls, soil nailing, modular retaining wall system, H-beam retaining wall system, boulder retaining walls and gabions. They shall be designed under the responsible charge of a registered design professional per the North Carolina Building Code, Section 1807.2.

Be aware, there may be up to three permits needed. They are:

  • Building Permit
  • Zoning Permit
  • Electrical Permit, if lights are on the wall

Here is a step by step list of what you will need for the permit:

  • The permit application and submittal package should be submitted to the Development Services Customer Service Center
  • Completed City of Raleigh Permit Application (located at the top of the Forms Directory in the “Most Popular Selections” box).
  • Four paper copies and one electronic copy of signed and sealed drawings by a North Carolina registered design professional in responsible charge are required at site plan submittal with completed applications that indicate the square footage and cost for the retaining wall(s)
  • Building Code Summary Form
  • Supplemental Forms:
  • A Statement of Special Inspection (SSI) in accordance with Section 1704.1.1 must be plotted on the sealed drawings at time of submittal
  • Submittal of the completed Statement of Special Inspection (SSI) in pdf format must be emailed to: cor.si@raleighnc.gov at the time of the site or mass grading submittal. The subject line of the email should read exactly as: “Retaining Wall, SSI, Address, Transaction # & Permit #” providing the complete address as assigned by the City GIS Division and the transaction number assigned when Right of Way package is accepted by the Development Services Customer Service Center.
  • If retained soils support a building, the non-residential retaining wall will be considered part of the building foundation and additional permits will not be required

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