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city hall: Monday - Friday 830AM - 5PM


The City of Darlington Codes Enforcement Office handles zoning ordinances, restoration approval for historical homes, commercial codes and more.

The City of Darlington Codes Enforcement Office

Located: 400 Pearl Street
Codes Enforcement Officer & City Building Inspector: Sheila Jones at extension 106
Codes Enforcement Assistant Officer: Nita Howard at extension 105
Contact: (843) 398-4029


The Codes Enforcement Officer offers building permits at 400 Pearl Street.  Permits are required for any work over $200.

Permits are required for any work done within the City limits, including construction, repairs, and demolition.
Separate permits must be obtained for building, structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work.

To obtain a permit, each contractor on a job needs to obtain a city business license and submit a contract to the Codes Enforcement Office.  They are also required to have a state license.

Plans should be submitted to the Codes Enforcement Office.  Review the Commercial Site Plan Review Checklist found on this page for more information.

Upon building inspection, these common items will be checked for compliance:

  • Panel Box properly labeled
  • Pan under hot water heater
  • Exit signs at all doors
  • Cover plates on all receptacles and switches
  • No raw wires showing
  • Updated Fire Extinguisher
  • Fire Alarms
  • No extension cords being used for permanent wiring
  • 4″ lettering adhered to the front of the house for E-911 and mailing purposes

Be sure to review Commercial Appearance Codes and Information for Business Licenses found on our website.


Beginning January 2022 in accordance with the Vacant Building Registration Program, approved by Darlington City Council on June 8, 2021, Owners of buildings vacant for longer than 30 days must register them with the City for a Vacant Building Permit. The Program was enacted to protect our neighborhoods and help the planning office direct developers and investors to areas of town and specific properties. Please help us help you.

For more information, contact the Codes Enforcement Office at 843-398-4029.

Vacant Building Requirements At-A-Glance

The following information is an overview of the vacant building ordinance and registration requirements. Please refer to City Code Chapter 18 or contact the Codes Enforcement Office.

1. Register. Register property vacant more than 30 days. Please see city website for application form.

  • a) Fees. Submit application with appropriate fees- a) registration fee and b) property maintenance verification fee. Please refer to the table. Failure to register may result in administrative registration, special assessments, civil penalties, and/or criminal charges.
  • b) Property Plan. If the property is in satisfactory condition, without ongoing security or maintenance problems, you may complete the property plan as part of the registration form at the time of registering. It is located on the registration application form. (See Property Plan #5 for more information.)

2. Property Maintenance Verification Inspection. Call to schedule inspection of interior and exterior with access to all areas. Responsible party may meet with inspector on-site or provide lock box code.

  • Exterior violations include items such as garbage, trash, junk, abandoned vehicles, unsecured structures, broken windows, screens missing, building or structure disrepair/defects (shingles missing, peeling paint, deteriorated siding, gutters/downspouts not functioning properly, broken fence), long grass/weeds, dead trees, brush piles, etc.

3. Imminent public health/safety violations. Immediately correct any imminent public health and life safety violations such as garbage accumulation, junk vehicles, securing properties, or other immediate hazards to the public.

4. Posting registration permit. Post registration permit on the property in a location not readily visible from the street if possible.

5. Property plan. Unless already completed during the registration process, submit a property plan to the city within 30 days of registration. The Property Plan must state the current condition of property, plan for property (sell, rent, rehab, demolish, etc.). Any change in emergency contact, ownership, or condition of property must be reported to and approved by the city within 30 days. If the property is in an acceptable condition, you may complete the property plan as part of the registration form at the time of registering. If the property has critical or ongoing issues, a more extensive property plan indicating long-term solutions to these issues will be required.

6. Maintain property. Maintain property in good condition with ongoing maintenance to include, but not limited to:

    • Secure from pests or people
    • Winterize property
    • Remove hazardous materials, garbage, refuse or any other items left on property
    • Routine oversight
      • Mowing
      • Remove illegal dumping/trash
      • Stop mail and newspaper delivery
    • Please refer to ordinance for more information
    • Vacant properties must maintain 6” or less in height for grass and weeds

Certain violations may be corrected by the city. The costs, including administrative fees, will be specially assessed to the property if unpaid.

7. Rental license. Apply for City business license if the property will be rented out and the owner does not reside at the property.

8. Correction of general health and life safety violations prior to re-occupancy. Any health and life safety violations must be corrected before the property may be re-occupied. These items and any outstanding orders must be disclosed to the buyer. The buyer may assume responsibility for correcting these items as well as other property maintenance code violations.

If the buyer assumes responsibility for making corrections, the buyer must contact the city for the inspection prior to moving into the property.

9. Final inspection. An inspection is required to verify all outstanding health and life safety violations have been corrected, as well as any other code violations. Permits must be obtained as applicable and building inspections completed. Either the seller or buyer can make the necessary corrections and call for the final inspection. If the buyer assumes responsibility for making corrections, the buyer must contact the city within 30 days to verify all corrections have been made.

Other codes or requirements may apply.

Considering improvements for your historic home?

Historical Landmarks CommissionIf you are in one of the City’s historic districts OR your home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you will need approval from the Historic Landmarks Commission prior to making any changes. Submit an Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, and staff will schedule a meeting for the commission to review your request. The fee for this application is $65, payable to City of Darlington, at the time of application. This covers the cost of notification and advertisement of the meeting as required by state law.

If you are not making any changes to your historic property but simply need to make repairs or paint, submit an Application for a Certificate of No Effect prior to beginning work. There is no fee for this application.

For both applications, supporting data (sketches, drawings, photo or snapshot, architect’s plans, site plan, etc.) must be submitted.