For years, the Guilford County Planning Department and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners have been discussing changes to area building ordinances, and now the county has partnered with Stewart, Inc. – an engineering and design firm based out of Raleigh – to hold a “Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Virtual Public Interest Presentation.”

Interested parties will be able to watch on Tuesday, June 23 at 6 p.m., when the major overhaul of Guilford County’s development ordinances is discussed.

Many people have never heard of a UDO; however, it is, as explained by the county this week, the “source for standards and regulations related to land-use and development.”

Amendments to UDO’s come about due to changes over time in state or federal law – or due to changes in area comprehensive plans. Changes are also often implemented because planning staff or builders have found a need for corrections or clarifications in existing building codes.

According to a press release from Guilford County government announcing the June 23 meeting, the ordinance changes are scheduled to be considered for approval.

“The new ordinance, which is scheduled to be adopted by the Board of County Commissioners later this year between late summer and early fall, are designed to provide a more user-friendly development code using modern development standards,” the statement reads.

According to Guilford County Planning Director Leslie Bell, the purpose of a UDO is “to promote development patterns that support safe, effective and sustainable growth for our community … An updated development ordinance will help remedy any inconsistencies and outdated practices in our current codes. This process will help make our community more development friendly.”

Bell said the UDO would make ordinances easier to find and understand.

In order to give everyone time to make the transition from the existing Land Development Ordinance (LDO) to the new UDO, Guilford County planners are recommending that the Board of Commissioners allow the conditional use of the old LDO for a year after the adoption of the new ordinance.

The proposed Unified Development Ordinance can be seen on Guilford County government’s website at

For more information about the UDO, people can also call the Guilford County Planning Department at 336-641-3334.

Members of the public can join the Virtual Public Interest Presentation webinar by clicking on this link:

There’s also an option to listen to the meeting on a phone by calling (562) 247-8422 and entering the access code 205-531-261 at the prompt.