STEP 1: PLANNING & ZONING
This is your first point of contact. Residential zoning districts allow Bed & Breakfast Homes (see definition below) to open and operate without having to obtain a special use permit, while Bed & Breakfast Inns must obtain a special use permit to operate in a residential district. Please contact the Planning Department to verify if you meet the B&B requirements for the zoning district of the facility. However, it is important to note that events, assemblies, or other related activities may require other types of approvals or permits for a B&B.
Definition of a Bed & Breakfast (B&B) Home: Owner-occupied bed and breakfast homes with no more than two (2) rooms (units) for rent for stays no longer than seven (7) consecutive days. B&B Homes are permitted in the R5, R2 and R1 Zoning Districts if the Home is located on at least 1.5 acres and meets the standard setbacks of the Zoning District.
Definition of a Bed & Breakfast (B&B) Inn: Small, owner-operated businesses where the owner may or may not live on the premises. The building’s primary usage is for lodging of overnight guests and meals served in conjunction with the stay of guests. The facility must be located on at least three acres, with no more than six rooms for rent, and have double the setbacks on all buildings, structures, and high intensity activity areas. B&B Inns may host events such as weddings, small business meetings, et cetera with up to 6 overnight rooms for rent to guests. B&B Inns are permitted in the CB and RB Zoning Districts, but require a special use permit in the R5, R2 or R1 districts.
Ordinances: Current land use ordinances.
Contact: Angela Plummer, 919.542.8285 or email
Office Location: 80-A East St, Pittsboro, NC 27312 (behind the BP station & Hardees)
Mailing Address: Planning Department, P. O. Box 54, Pittsboro, NC 27312
STEP 2: CENTRAL PERMITTING & INSPECTIONS
A bed and breakfast facility in a single family dwelling that contains eight or less guest rooms for rent is considered a single-family dwelling. The building must comply with the current edition of the NC Residential Code.
NC Fire and Building Code is applicable for a bed and breakfast facility in a single family dwelling that contains nine or more sleeping units. All bed and breakfast facilities utilizing fossil fuel burning appliances and/or have attached garages must undergo an annual carbon monoxide detector(s) inspection by the Chatham County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Special events including but not limited to fairs, carnivals, street festivals, art shows, outdoor musical performances, plays or similar events involving tents, inflatables, food sales, music with outside sound/amplification or fireworks may need permitting from various county departments. For assistance navigating the permitting process with all relevant agencies, visit Special Events Pre-Application Form. This webpage and form were created to assist residents and groups planning an event navigate the permitting process with all relevant agencies.
Contact: Kacey Hargrove, Permit Supervisor, 919.545.8474, email
Office Location: 80 East St, Pittsboro, NC 27312 (behind the BP station and Hardees)
Mailing Address: Central Permitting, P. O. Box 548, Pittsboro, NC 27312
STEP 3: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Definition of a Bed & Breakfast: For Environmental Health, a Bed and Breakfast is defined as a private home offering bed and breakfast accommodations to eight or less persons per night for a period of less than a week. Also, a maximum of four guest bedrooms may be offered under state regulations for a Bed & Breakfast Home permit.
Definition of a Bed and Breakfast Inn: According to state regulations, a B&B Inn is NOT the same as a B&B. The B&B Inn is defined as a business of no more than 12 guest rooms offering and breakfast accommodations for nine to 23 persons maximum per night for a period of less than one week. However, the B&B Inn also:
- Does not serve food or drink to the general public for pay
- Serves only the breakfast meal, and that meal is served only to overnight guests of the business
- Includes the price of breakfast in the room rate; and
- Is the permanent residence of the owner or the manager of the business.
Other Questions to Consider: The questions below are important to consider as some may require other environmental health permits.
- How many total bedrooms exist in the home and how many of these will be available for overnight guests to book?
- Will your site host meetings, public functions or conduct food catering activity? If so, you may be required to have a commercial kitchen which is separate from the innkeeper’s domestic use kitchen. A separate application process is required for requesting a food service permit.
- Is your home on a municipal sewer system or does it use a private septic system? If on a private system, the septic system must be sized or modified to accommodate the largest number of guests based on use frequency and type of food service. A separate application process is required when requesting the evaluation of an existing septic system or the installation of a new septic system.
- Do you have municipal water or a private well? State regulations require that existing or new wells comply with setback and construction specifications. You may be required to comply with the state’s Division of Groundwater Quality’s regulations if you prepare food other than the breakfast meal.
- Are you planning to offer use of a swimming pool or hot tub on your premises? If so, a separate pool operations application process is required before a permit can be issued when a pool is available for public use.
Environmental Health Fees & Information.
Contact: Lisa Morgan, Environmental Health Food & Lodging Program Supervisor, 919.545.8309, email
Office Location: 80 East Street, Pittsboro, NC
Mailing Address: Environmental Health, P. O. Box 130, Pittsboro, NC 27312
STEP 4: TAX OFFICE
Contact: Angela McMahon, 919-542-8224, email
Office Location: Courthouse Annex, 12 East Street, 1st Floor, Pittsboro, Mailing Address: P. O. Box 697, Pittsboro, NC 27312
STEP 5: TOURISM
The Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) serves all of Chatham County and provides various services to promote lodding and meeting facilities to potential visitors around the state and the nation. So contacting them is a great place to start your marketing efforts. The CVB provides numerous services to Chatham County’s tourism-related businesses, all of which are free. Below are just a few:
- Include information for tourism-related businesses on its tourism website, which includes information on lodging, dining, shopping, attractions and special events.
- Provide related information for the Chatham County portion of the NC Tourism website
- Display brochures at the CVB’s Visitor Centers and distribute them at lodging facilities, other attraction sites, trade shows, etc.
- Mail brochures with information sent to all visitors requesting information (Internet, walk-in, or phone requests).
- Assist in facilitating partnerships between lodging and attractions for getaway packages and other marketing opportunities to increase business for all facilities in the county.
- Include information about golf courses, lodging, attractions, and tourism-related businesses in annual paid advertising and public relations campaigns.
- Provide media with story ideas, information, and photos/electronic images of tourism-related businesses.
- Include all information, brochures, and photographs/electronic images in press kits provided to local, regional, and national media and film scouts.
- Work with the N.C. Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development to promote tourism in our area.
- Write and distribute monthly e-mail newsletter, Tourism ChitCHAT (distributed to individuals who have specifically requested to receive information, updates, and golf information about Chatham County).
Annually, provide listing information about county golf courses in Official NC Tourism Visitor Guide, the Official NC Golf Guide, semi-annual NC Tourism Event Calendar (print), and for inclusion in the marketing materials for Chatham County.
Applicable Taxes: Another reason to contact the CVB is to find out more about applicable taxes that must be paid by lodging and meeting facilities in the county.
- Sales tax: Current rate – 4.25% to the state and 2.5% to Chatham County.
- Occupancy tax: Current rate – 3% of nightly lodging rate. See information above under Finance Office and below.
Important Tax Resources: It can be very confusing to figure out how what receipts are subject to sales and occupancy taxes. Below are two resources that you will find helpful.
Contact: Neha M. Shah, 919.542.8296, email
Street Address: 964 East Street, Pittsboro NC 27312