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Special Events

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
Special Events and Structures

From major conventions and international sporting events to community-based festivals, parades and athletic activities, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are proud to host nationally recognized events each year.

It is our goal to enhance the vitality, quality of life, and economic prosperity of Mecklenburg County along with the Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville.

The following information has been developed to guide you through the Special Event Permit Process and to provide you with the guidelines and requirements associated with special event management within the Mecklenburg County. Please complete the application and submit to

Special Events Application

Special Events Work Flow - this is designed to assist customers with the process.

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Step by Step process

Special Events are separated into three categories; 1) Special Events conducted and/or temporary structures erected for less than 7 days. 2) Special Events conducted and/or temporary structures erected for 7 to 179 days. 3) Special Events conducted or temporary structures erected within existing buildings. Each category has different requirements and processes.

Special Events conducted, or Temporary Structures erected, on private or public property must meet the requirements according to the categories below:
    Special Events Conducted for less than 7 days: Special events held, or temporary structures erected, for a period of less than 7 days on public or private property must comply with the applicable provisions of the NC Fire Prevention Code and Section 3103 of the NC State Building Code which are similar and will be regulated by Charlotte Fire (704-336-2101) or the Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal (704-336-2154) for these special events and temporary structures. Special events conducted within a street right of way please contact the following for additional requirements and permits:

  • NCDOT (NC Department of Transportation)
  • CDOT   (Charlotte Department of Transportation
  • Planning Departments of the appropriate jurisdiction

        Special Events involving Temporary Structures for 7 days to 179 days: Special events involving temporary structures and/or temporary electrical, mechanical, or plumbing systems for 7 to 179 days must comply with the applicable provisions of the NC Fire Prevention Code. and Section 3103 of the NC State Building Code, thereby requiring a permit, construction documents, placement of the temporary structure in compliance with Table 600 (Building Code), and compliance with the means of egress requirements of Chapter 10 and a maximum exit access travel distance of 100 feet. Any installations of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems included in any of these structures must comply with the applicable provisions of the NC State Electrical, Mechanical, and/or Plumbing Codes. Permits for these events are obtainable through Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement.
        Special Events Conducted within Existing Buildings: Special events held and/or temporary structures erected, inside permanent buildings, and temporary modifications to permanent buildings for special events must comply with all of the provisions of the NC State Building Codes including the building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and fire protection. Permits for these events are obtainable through Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement.
    When permits pertaining to the NC Building Code are required, to obtain a permit the company or individual may need a Surety Bond and an account set up with Mecklenburg County. The Land Use Bond Form or Land Use Cash Bond Form is obtainable from our website under forms. An address verification is required for the project(s) at each site location to identify the location of that particular equipment or temporary structure. address verifications may be obtained through our GIS/Addressing business unit.

    Depending on the nature of the work some type of a North Carolina Contractor's license may be required by the individual or company acquiring a permit.  Any work performed in the electrical, mechanical, or plumbing areas will require those respective licenses. When the project involves the construction of temporary structures (other than tents) larger than 120 square feet, a building permit is required. When the total project value is equal to or exceeds $30,000.00 and involves a temporary building, a NC licensed general contractor is required to permit and manage the overall project.

    If your Special Event has any of the following, we would recommend you consult with our office to verify if permits may be required:

    • Sale of merchandise, food or beverage
    • Erection of a tent 400 square feet or larger
    • Installation of a stage, band shell, trailer, portable building or toilet, grand stand, or bleacher for public use
    • Placement of a temporary building over 120 square feet
    • Using an electrical power source from either private propriety, public and or by a generator

    If you have any further questions please feel free to call our Commercial Technical Assistance center (CTAC) at 704-336-3829 or email Charlotte Fire Department at 704-336-2101, or Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal at 704-336-2154

    Do you plan to have food vendors or serve and prepare food at your Special Event? If so please review the information here. This link is to the forms and applications associated with preparation and distribution of food.

    Thank you for contributing to the spirit and vitality of our community through the presentation of your event in Mecklenburg County.

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