Doing Business

Do you create things and sell to your friends, who in turn tell you that you should open up a store for your creations? Are you a baker or a chef who wants an outlet to make others happy? Do you have an eye for putting outfits together and for finding the right shoe for the season? Then you might have that entrepreneurial spirit that makes downtown so great, and you might want to look at exploring that passion this year by joining the downtown community. Now is the time!

When recently asked on the Downtown Fayetteville Facebook page ( what people wanted to see come downtown, answers varied from restaurant options to vintage clothing to more children’s stores, but the overall answer was more local, independent retailers. It seems people who come downtown to shop know they are going to find gifts and items that they will not find anywhere else. They know they are going to eat from menus that were specifically created by chefs, and they might not find the same menu items when they go to a different town. They know that the events are a lot of fun with family friendly activities and great entertainment. We even have a growing number of residents downtown who enjoy the atmosphere and vibe of an urban setting with cool lofts and apartments. With that, there are a few opportunities that have yet to be explored especially with those complementary businesses that would be great additions downtown such as a flower shop, more children’s clothing stores and a sushi bar.

It is an exciting time to be downtown, so if you are looking to open your own business downtown, call the Downtown Development office at 910-433-1599 for more information. The City of Fayetteville also has programs such as the Downtown Façade Grant, the Downtown Loan Program and the Business Assistance Program. To see if you qualify, call 910-433-1596.

We can also connect you with local resources such as CEED (Center for Economic Empowerment and Development), the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Center at FTCC and other organizations that can help you with solid business advice and help you as you construct your business plan. If you are ready to take the plunge into owning your own business, the tools are there, you just need to start now!

If there was ever a time to look downtown, it is now. Our downtown is the social and cultural heart of our community and new life has been brought to our national landmarks and historic sites in the last two decades through numerous revitalization projects.

Our residents and visitors enjoy a vibrant downtown with offerings for everyone including museums, art galleries and studios, antique shops, gift specialty stores, fine restaurants, cozy coffee shops, lively cultural and entertainment centers and government offices. We are also the home to the International Folk Festival, the Dogwood Festival and 4th Fridays among other events, which bring celebration and national attention to our community.

Need more reasons? Check out our top ten:

1. Festivals and events that fill the streets

The Dogwood Festival, 4th Fridays, International Folk Festival, Fayetteville after Five concerts and other special events make downtown a family-friendly, fun place to be and are an integral part of why Downtown Fayetteville has become the number one attraction in Cumberland County.

2. More than two dozen restaurants and bars with open doors, great menus and a fantastic atmosphere

With cuisine ranging from Italian pasta to delectable tapas to lighter fare salads to mouth watering desserts, this is your place to bring a date or your family or to have a lunch or dinner out with friends. Patio seating make it all the more fun to see and be seen while having a delicious meal!

3. Beautiful historical buildings and streetscape – just look around and know you are in one of the best places

Any history or architecture buff can explore the many exceptional buildings that have been beautifully restored and the examples of Neo-Classical, Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles and more. The Market House alone is one of less than forty National Landmarks in the state of North Carolina.

4. One-of-a-kind shops with unique gift items, clothing, local products, you name it

Personal service and fantastic merchandise make downtown one of the best places to shop in the region. Ranging from clothing to one-of-a-kind gifts to home décor and jewelry, Downtown Fayetteville is a one stop shop for all of your needs and wants.

5. Our fantastic parks – Festival Park, Linear Park, Cross Creek Park, just to name a few

Talk about wonderful places to have a fabulous picnic, walk or see a concert! Events and activities are commonplace in these parks, but if you just wanted to get healthy and take a nature walk, our trails in Linear Park are for you.

6. A truly cool atmosphere

Our heart of the City has been described as trendy, artsy, charming, picturesque, creative and diverse. Urban living, nightlife, friendly people, museum tours and lunch groups have people from all over having different experiences with the same result – returning over and over again!

7. The Airborne and Special Operations Museum and the new NC Veterans Park

The Airborne and Special Operations Museum, affectionately known as ASOM, is one of our region’s top attractions, and the new North Carolina State Veterans Park, which made its debut on July 4, 2011, sits adjacent to the museum. These two major attractions enjoy thousands of visitors every month.

8. The Field of Honor

The Cool Springs Downtown District hosts the Field of Honor every year and it is truly a sight to behold with sponsored flags lining the field in front of ASOM. Our appreciation for our soldiers, veterans and their families is worth a stand alone in this top ten list to say the least.

9. Award-winning performances and gallery-worthy art

Plays, performances, displays and world-renowned exhibits are featured downtown with so many options to see local shows at the Gilbert Theatre, The Arts Council, the Fayetteville Museum of Art and many more. Our museums, art studios and shops showcase the best that our community has to offer!

10. More shops, restaurants, luxury condos and the like on the horizon

More than ten years has gone by since our community started its plan for downtown revitalization and, in that time, we have made great strides towards building our center city, commercially and residentially. Downtown is growing and has new developments around every corner.

If you haven’t been downtown lately, you need to see what you are missing and how you can be a part of the revitalization taking place.

Opening a business will require permits, licenses and other approvals from the City of Fayetteville. The particular approvals needed for your business will depend on the nature of your business and the scope of needed improvements to the real estate. The following City departments are the first points of contact for issuing approvals:

City of Fayetteville Building Permits The Inspections Department enforces the NC State Building Codes and City of Fayetteville Ordinances. 910-433-1707 Within the historic districts, additional approvals including a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) may be required prior to the issuance of construction permits.

City of Fayetteville Fire Inspection Inspections are conducted of businesses and some operational functions and occupancies may require mandatory permits. A Certificate of Occupancy may be obtained by meeting all fire and life safety codes. 910-433-1730

City of Zoning Department Any outdoor dining or merchandise areas must be approved and permitted through zoning. 910-433-1707

City of Fayetteville Planning Department Provides services pertaining to annexations, historic preservation, rezoning requests, site plan review, special use permits, land use, neighborhood studies and variance requests. 910-433-1612

General Info No person, firm or corporation shall erect, construct, enlarge, install, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish any building, structure, or service system without first obtaining a permit for such from the City of Fayetteville Development Services Department. Work shall not deviate substantially from that described on the permit documents.

A permit shall expire six (6) months after the date of issuance if the work authorized by the permit has not been commenced. If after commencement, the work is discontinued for twelve (12) months, the permit shall expire. Work authorized by any permit that has expired shall not continue until a new permit has been secured.

All holders of permits, or their agents, shall notify the City of Fayetteville Development Services Department and the appropriate inspector at each completion of the stages of construction so that approval may be given before work is continued.

Certificate of Occupancy No new building or part thereof shall be occupied, and no addition or enlargement of any existing building shall be occupied, and no change of occupancy shall be made in any existing building or part thereof, until the City of Fayetteville Development Services Department has issued a Certificate of Occupancy. The Development Services Department shall issue a Certificate of Occupancy when, after examination and inspection, it is found that the building in all respects conforms to the provisions of the North Carolina State Building Code and the Zoning Ordinance for the occupancy intended.

There are numerous steps a prospective business owner must take before starting a new business. Identifying all the licenses, permits, regulations, and/or other approvals required for the planned business activity is a crucial step to the success of any business. Researching financial options and economic incentives is another.  Having a business plan is a crucial step to having a successful enterprise.

Prior to leasing or purchasing a building, please be aware of the following information and good neighbor practices:

Parking: Parking is available throughout Downtown Fayetteville via on-street parking and parking lots. On-street parking is free downtown, with time limits depending on location. Spaces may be leased for tenants or employees through Fayetteville Parking Service at 910-222-0302.  Please encourage tenant or employee parking in places which are not prime parking for businesses in the downtown area. It may be inconvenient for you or your employees to walk a longer distance, but the benefit to the district will be invaluable.  (See separate section for further Parking Information.)

Trash Removal: Trashcans and dumpsters may be contracted through Onslow Container Service at 252-361-0888 or through Waste Management at 888-964-9730. Check with the Downtown Development office to see if there is an opportunity to share a dumpster with partners in the district. Minimizing the number of dumpsters improves the overall downtown experience for visitors, residents and guests. The decorative trashcans around the district are not meant for commercial uses so please do not use them for those purposes.

Recycling: Recycling is available at the Ann Street Landfill (off Irene Street).  Holders of certain Alcoholic Beverage Control permits are required to separate, store and recycle all recyclable beverage containers. Recycling bins for this purpose can also be contracted with either Waste Management or Onslow Container Service.

Signage: A city permit is required prior to installing outdoor signage and all signage must comply with City ordinances. Prior to ordering or purchasing an exterior sign, please call the City Inspections at 910-433-1705, fill out the Sign Permit Application and be prepared to provide a copy of insurance to include the City of Fayetteville as additional insured (with annual renewal). If you are in the Historic District, you will need to schedule a review with the Historic Resources Manager at 910-433-1457 for a Code of Appropriateness (COA). For the Facade Improvement Grant Program, contact the Economic Development Administrator at 910-433-1596.

Municode Signage Link (UDO): Signs Permitted Downtown

Festivals and Special Events: Downtown Fayetteville is host to events such as the International Folk Festival, Dogwood Festival, Dickens Holiday, Fourth Fridays and Glory Days. These events bring large numbers of people downtown and due to the size of the crowds, it may be in the interest of safety for attendees to have streets closed to vehicular traffic. To host an event downtown, contact Special Events at 910-433-1505. (See separate section on Events and Festivals)

Historic Districts and Local Landmarks: The Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission is responsible for enforcing historic preservation guidelines. City assistance is available in the Historic Resources Office at 910-433-1457. (See Design Guidelines for Fayetteville’s Historic Districts and Local Landmarks)

ABC Permits: If you will be serving or selling alcohol or liquor products you will need to contact the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, for application and other information at 919-779-0700 or through their Web site at

State and Local Licenses: For more information on state and local licenses that might be necessary for your business, the North Carolina Department of Commerce is a great resource at  (Also, see separate section on Permits and Inspections).

Panhandling: Panhandling is prohibited in the core downtown area although from time to time, this occurs. If you and/or your customers are approached, please do not give the person money and keep walking. If you feel threatened or if the person is acting in a suspicious manner, call 911 immediately. (Services for the Homeless Guide)

Outdoor Dining/ Merchandise Areas: A City permit is required along with an annual fee for outdoor business use for dining or merchandise and needs to meet certain requirements, outlined in the Code of Ordinances, including keeping a five feet clearance on sidewalks for pedestrian passage.

Finding Space: See the Downtown Development office for a list of available properties, both commercial and residential. The Downtown Development office also keeps a list of property owners/ agents, building information and area architecture firms.

Sidewalk Maintenance: Everyone should pick up and dispose of debris (cans, bottles, cigarettes, papers) from sidewalks and alleys abutting their property every day. The City of Fayetteville empties the visitor trash cans and provides cleaning for public sidewalks; however, your front section is your responsibility. Report excessive trash, burned out or broken street lights or dangerous areas to the Downtown Development office.

Noise: Downtown is lively, which is a good thing! Businesses are asked to be considerate of noise impacts and adhere to City ordinances; however, expect during weekends and special events to possibly encounter crowds downtown.

Graffiti: Graffiti must first be reported to the City of Fayetteville Police Department and then removed.  Property owners may contract with the City of Fayetteville to remove the graffiti through the Graffiti Removal program. The fee will be waived and the removal service will be offered at no cost for properties located within the municipal services district (MSD) in downtown Fayetteville. Contact the Downtown Development or Historic Resources offices for tips on graffiti removal.

Hurley Pots: The Hurley Pots are maintained by Fayetteville Beautiful.  Donations are accepted to cover the cost of plants, topiaries and other needed materials.  For more information, visit the Fayetteville Beautiful Web site at

If you are opening your business in the core downtown area, see below list for needed materials according to type of permit. Permit applications are available in the Zoning department on the 1st floor of City Hall. For any questions, call 910-433-1062.

Here is the link to the permit application: Outdoor Business Permit

Here is the link for Historic Resources: Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)

**You will need two copies of each – one for Historic Resources and your Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) and one for Zoning and your actual permit.**

1) Outdoor Dining

  • Proposed location downtown (attach site map or sketch)
  • Show length of building or suite frontage that abuts the sidewalk
  • Show distance from building to back of curb
  • Show 5′ pedetrian passageway
  • Show number of tables and chairs and placement of same
  • Show trash receptacles (if placed within area)
  • Show photo or representation of tables/chairs/canopies/accessories (such as umbrellas and planters)
  • Provide approval from Historic Properties Manager, if in Historic District
  • Provide Certificate of Insurance for $500,000 minimum (must add City of Fayetteville as additional insured)
  • Zoning permit required

2) Pushcart – food/drink

  • Proposed location downtown (attach site map or sketch)
  • Provide photo of cart
  • Provide dimensions of cart
  • Show 5′ pedestrian passageway
  • Provide details of items sold
  • Provide Health Department Certificate
  • Provide name of restaurant cart operates in conjunction with along with letter from restaurant owner
  • Provide Certificate of Insurance for $500,000 minimum (must add City of Fayetteville as additional insured)
  • Privilege license and zoning permit required

3) Pushcart – non-food type

  • Proposed location downtown (attach site map or sketch)
  • Provide photo of cart
  • Provide dimensions of cart
  • Show 5′ pedestrian passageway
  • Provide details of items sold
  • Provide Certificate of Insurance for $500,000 minimum (must add City of Fayetteville as additional insured)
  • Privilege license and zoning permit required

4) Outdoor Merchandise Area (provide copy of privilege license)

  • Proposed location downtown (attach site map or sketch)
  • Show length of building or suite frontage that abuts the sidewalk
  • Show distance from building to back of curb
  • Show 5′ pedetrian passageway
  • Show placement of merchandise
  • Show photo or representation of display devices
  • Provide approval from Historic Properties Manager, if in Historic District
  • Provide Certificate of Insurance for $500,000 minimum (must add City of Fayetteville as additional insured)
  • Zoning permit required

5) Performance of Sidewalk Entertainment

  • Proposed location downtown (attach site map or sketch)
  • Provide detailed information on the type of entertainment and number of people
  • Provide times of entertainment
  • Zoning permit required

For Business Grant and Loan programs, see City Grant/Loan Programs (includes CEED programs).

Small Business Center at FTCC The Small Business Center at FTCC offers a variety of services to help existing businesses grow and serves first time entrepreneurs. The center can provide counseling and offers a multitude of different classes and seminars from starting a business to growing your business through marketing or applying for SBA loans.

Center for Economic Empowerment & Development (CEED) Center for Economic Empowerment & Development (CEED, formerly The Women’s Center, is a regional and community advocacy and resource center for men and women that provides business assistance to start up and expanding small businesses. Services include education and job skill training.

WBC at CEED The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to establish and oversee a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) throughout the United States and its territories. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.

Fayetteville Regional Chamber The Fayetteville Regional Chamber strives to improve quality of life by creating wealth, jobs and investment in our community.

Small Business Administration (SBA) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) Organized as an inter-institutional program of the University of North Carolina, operated in partnership with the SBA, the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is the primary organization through which the State of North Carolina provides counseling and technical assistance to the business community. The SBTDC’s mission is to support the growth and development of North Carolina’s economy by encouraging entrepreneurship, assisting in the creation and expansion of small businesses, and facilitating technology development and transfer.

North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) The North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) is a business development organization and a collaborative effort between North Carolina business and the North Carolina Community College System. The mission of the Military Business Center is to leverage military and other federal business opportunities for economic development and quality of life in North Carolina.

Cumberland Regional Improvement Corporation (CRIC) Cumberland Regional Improvement Corporation (CRIC) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization incorporated for the purpose of raising the economic, educational, and social welfare levels of low wealth areas of communities, through partnerships that increases the opportunities to own, manage and operate business enterprises that will result in long-term sustainable growth in businesses and human capital. CRIC’s is committed to promoting and advocating Historically Underutilized Businesses [HUBs] by providing managerial and technical assistance and businesses development services that supports the growth of minority and women –owned business.

NC Procurement Technical Assistance Center NC PTAC helps businesses obtain contracts by providing comprehensive assistance in selling products and services to local, state and federal government entities. The purpose of the NC PTAC is to generate employment and to improve the general economic condition of the state by assisting all North Carolina companies including those eligible for preferential consideration in obtaining and performing under local, state and federal government contracts.

Fayetteville Cool Springs Downtown District The Fayetteville Cool Springs Downtown District is a non profit organization, which encourages downtown business growth and promotes downtown to the public.

Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center Free computer classes and private instruction available.

If you are currently working on a business plan or if you are just in the beginning stages, it is important to know that the City of Fayetteville has designed programs just for you.


Offering economic incentives for investment in the district, these programs help encourage the restoration of facades through rehabilitation and offer loans for small business owners investing in our community and jobs. Through the City’s Community Development department, programs are offered including the following:

Business Assistance Loan Program

The Business Assistance Program provides funding to assist a small business owner in the city limits of Fayetteville with the additional equity or down payment needed in order to qualify for primary financing. The City of Fayetteville’s loan works in conjunction with a primary loan from a bank or other approved lender. The City will offer a subordinated loan up to 25% or a maximum of $125,000 of the total loan funds needed. Loans up to $200,000 will be considered for small businesses acquiring and renovating properties in the downtown historic district.

A small business first applies for a loan at a bank or approved lender. Once the standard underwriting criteria is met and the need for additional funds are identified, the small business may apply for a city loan to provide the gap financing or down payment required for the primary loan. The primary bank or lender must include the City’s potential loan payment in their credit analysis to confirm the small business can qualify for both loans and make a recommendation to the City to consider the small business for the additional loan funds.

Façade Improvement Grant Program

This program is designed to promote the revitalization of facades of active for-profit businesses through the rehabilitation of commercial building exteriors and landscapes in any of the City’s redevelopment plan areas. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching reimbursement grant up to $5,000 for each façade renovated.

The building must be located within the 3,000 acres of the Fayetteville Renaissance Plan area, including census tract 10 or the Massey Hill, Bonnie Doone, Deep Creek Rd., 71st Township, HOPE VI or Murchison Rd. redevelopment areas. The applicant must be the owner or long-term lessee of the property.

The building space design of the project should be sympathetic to the original integrity of the building, compatible with neighboring structures and of a quality that suggests the improvements will last a reasonable period of time. Since part of downtown is a historic district, the Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission must be included in the design review process for those properties located in the downtown historic district. The City Historic Property Manager, Bruce Daws, may be contacted at 910-433-1457 for guidance on a project.

Funds may be used for, but not limited to, brick cleaning and repairing, painting, window and/or door repair and replacement, landscaping, canopies, awnings, signage, lighting replacement or repair, and other permanent improvements to the exterior of the property.

Small Business Development Grant Program

The Small Business Development Grant Program is designed to assist with the startup and development of small businesses in the city limits of Fayetteville. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching grant up to a maximum of $5,000 for eligible small business expenses. Eligible clients must be referred by the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development (CEED) in order to be considered for this program.

Eligible small businesses must be an approved client of one of the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development Center’s (CEED) loan programs.

Referrals for consideration for this grant program shall come from a CEED business consultant. The CEED business consultant will be able to confirm the small business client has the necessary funds in place to successfully start and develop a business and identify how the additional grant funds are needed.

Referral clients will have successfully completed a series of small business training at CEED, resulting in a completed business plan approved by CEED. Small businesses that have the proper training prior and during the launch of their small business will have a higher success rate by obtaining the core knowledge and skills. A completed business plan will guide the business through the process and future development of the business.

Each business applicant is able to receive only one grant award from this program. The small business must have a signed lease in place or ownership of a property in order to qualify. Home-based businesses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Special consideration will be given to small businesses located in any of the City’s redevelopment plan areas.

Small Business Retention Grant Program

This program is designed to assist with the expansion costs of existing small businesses. The objective is to retain or create jobs and retain businesses in the City’s redevelopment plan areas. Each redevelopment area is unique with its own issues and opportunities. Funds are available to existing small business owners located within one of the boundaries of the Fayetteville Renaissance, HOPE VI, Murchison Rd., Massey Hill, Bonnie Doone, 71st Township and Deep Creek Rd. plan areas.

Grants for furniture, fixtures, equipment, and interior and exterior renovations can be considered for this program. Items that can be deemed for personal use can’t be considered for this program. In addition, salaries, rent and building-related expenses (phone bills, electricity, etc.) are not eligible expenses for this program. Eligibility is considered on a case-by-case basis.

The small business must be operational for no less than one year and the owner must be able to provide business financials to include a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and tax return for a full year of operation. Each business applicant is able to receive only one grant award from this program. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching reimbursement grant up to $5,000.

Each applicant must receive at least one private consultation with a small business consultant at the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development (CEED). Comments received from the small business consultant will be considered when rendering a grant decision.

Requirements that apply to all programs:

Job Creation/Retention: Since the programs are federally funded with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, a HUD national objective must be met that will provide a benefit to low to moderate-income persons along with other federal requirements. Each business that participates with these programs must meet a job creation or retention requirement benefiting a low to moderate-income person.

Davis-Bacon Act: Construction projects that exceed $2,000 and funded in whole or part with federal funds must also comply with the Davis Bacon Act. This act mandates minimum hourly payments to all employees employed on a construction project.

Environmental Review: Projects are also subject to an environmental review process. This process must be completed before an approved project can begin. An environmental review is the process of reviewing a project and its potential environmental impacts to determine whether it meets federal, state, and local environmental standards. This process can take a week to 60 days, depending on the level of review required.

Committee Review: There is a checklist of required documents and program forms that must accompany the completed application for all programs for review by the loan or grant committee. All requests must be approved and a grant agreement or loan documents must be signed by the applicant before the project can begin.

The City reserves the right to deny a grant or loan request by a small business that is not deemed feasible or does not meet a need or desire of the respective community. Non-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.

More Information

For more information on these programs, please contact Michelle Haire, Economic Development Administrator, at 910-433-1596.

And, of course, if you have other questions about opening up your business downtown include other funding sources, commercial or residential spaces and more, feel free to call the Downtown Development office at 910-433-1599.

Other Programs Available

CEED Capital Loan Program: CEED has a local and SBA monies for small businesses. CCLP can help small businesses from 5K-5M, which has funded many downtown businesses from working capital to property purchase and improvements.

Historic Districts and Local Landmarks: The Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission (HRC) is responsible for enforcing historic preservation guidelines and has 11 members who serve a two-year term.

The purpose of the HRC is to safeguard the heritage of the City of Fayetteville by preserving, in accordance with law, any property therein that embodies important elements of its cultural, social, economic, political, or architectural history; and to promote the use and conservation of such property for the education, pleasure, and enrichment of the residents of the City, County and State as a whole.

City assistance is available in the Historic Resources Office at 910-433-1457.

Design Guidelines for Fayetteville’s Historic Districts and Local Landmarks

When an owner of a local historic landmark or a resident within a historic district wants to make changes to the exterior of his or her property, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is needed from the HRC in addition to other permits that may apply. The COA grants permission to follow through with proposed work that is compatible with the preservation ordinance.

Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) Form

The City of Fayetteville offers a Graffiti Removal Program to residents and businesses citywide to address the unlawful and constant problem of graffiti in our community. The property owner may contract with the City to remove the graffiti if they have been victimized. Graffiti generates a negative image for the community and public support is needed to make this program a successful effort. The City is trying to keep Fayetteville clean and beautiful consistent with City Council’s goal of a “More Attractive City – Clean and Beautiful”.

This program is designed to educate and encourage the residents of the City to promptly report graffiti violations. If a person witnesses the graffiti “tagger” in action, the person is asked to call 911, but if the graffiti is already present, contact the Development Services Code Enforcement Complaint line at 910-433-1056. This will assist the City Police and Development Services Departments with creating a graffiti database in order to identify violation trends and locations where graffiti is common.

Graffiti Removal:

The owner of a property that has been tagged by graffiti is asked to immediately remove the graffiti to deter future vandalism. When the City becomes aware of the existence of graffiti on any property, the city is authorized to remove the graffiti after giving written notice and opportunity to the property owner to remove the graffiti. If the property owner fails to remove or effectively obscure the graffiti within 10 days from receipt of the notice, the City will take action to remove or effectively obscure the graffiti at the cost of the property owner for all expenses incurred by the City for the removal. This citation amount includes a $250 administration fee in addition to the removal fee assessed. Failure to comply with the removal can also result in a civil penalty being issued in the amount of $100.

If the property owner has not received a notice or citation from the City, they are encouraged to immediately remove the graffiti before they do. The property owner will only be responsible for paying the cost of removing the graffiti.

The property owner may contract with the City of Fayetteville to remove the graffiti. The property owner must sign a waiver of liability form stating the City of Fayetteville will not be held liable for any losses, claims, or damages that result from the graffiti removal process. A program application must also be completed and a removal fee of $100 must be received by the Development Services Department before a property can be scheduled for graffiti removal. A new application and fee will be required for each additional incident that may occur on a property. This fee will be waived and the removal service will be offered at no cost for properties located within the municipal services district (MSD) in downtown Fayetteville.

In most cases graffiti can be removed or covered up by property owners with little cost so the City will also provide tips on how the property owner can remove the graffiti quickly, effectively, and safely on their own. A property owner can also be proactive and reduce the effort involved with graffiti removal by coating a building with an anti-graffiti coating product to prevent graffiti paint from sticking to surfaces. This type of product is used nationally and can have up to a seven year warranty. There are also other things a property owner can do to deter graffiti.

Tips to Deter Graffiti:

If a property is easily accessible or frequently tagged for graffiti, there are a number of things that can be done to deter graffiti by taking away the “blank canvas” preferred by the graffiti artist and making the property less desirable and accessible to them. Some of these include:

  • Increase lighting or use motion-activated lights around the property.
  • Install security cameras.
  • Install a clear boundary, such as a locked fence between the property and public property.
  • Plant a hedge, shrubs, ivy or other clinging vegetation along the wall or fence.
  • Join a local neighborhood watch group and place the signs around the property.
  • Have a mural painted on an area being targeted. It could be a form of advertising for a business.
  • Protect exposed areas by applying an anti-graffiti protective coating that provides a barrier between the surface and the graffiti. Several different brands and prices are available.
  • When painting, consider darker paint colors that are less attractive to graffiti artists.
  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. One tag tends to attract others.

Graffiti Removal Tips:

The following tips are for various types of surfaces. There is not one overall solution for graffiti removal. A product’s effectiveness will depend upon the type of surface and the substance used for the graffiti removal. The City does not endorse specific brands of products, but will reference brand names to help the property owner identify graffiti removal materials and supplies.

Downtown Historic Properties and other Historic Structures:

  • Contact the City’s Historic Property Manager, Bruce Daws at 910-433-1457 to discuss the best option to remove graffiti quickly, effectively and safely to prevent damage to the structure’s surface.
  • Graffiti removal from historic structures should always begin with the gentlest means possible. There are a variety of removal techniques that are chosen according to the type of graffiti and the masonry of the structure. These techniques range from simply erasing penciled graffiti with soft erasers, removing chalked graffiti with soft brushes, to using an organic solvent and several other methods that the historic property manager may recommend.
  • In any case, sandblasting is not an option for removing graffiti on a historic structure. Power washing, if not done correctly at a low pressure, can also damage a fragile historic structure. So it is to the historic property owner’s advantage to get advice on the best graffiti removal option prior to any attempts to remove the graffiti.

Metal Surfaces:

  • Wipe the graffiti with any common paint thinner such as mineral spirits, lacquer thinner or acetone or try graffiti removal products such as “Goof Off”. Sometimes a light, penetrating oil such as “WD-40” or “Three-in-One” will remove it.
  • If the graffiti remains, try rubbing with steel or bronze wool, or light sandpaper.
  • If the graffiti still remains, try power-washing it with a 3,000 psi pressure washer.
  • If none of these methods work, paint over the graffiti.

Wood Surfaces:

  • If the wood is not weathered and sealed with paint, stain or sealer, try to remove the graffiti by wiping it with mineral spirits. If the wood is weathered, do not use this technique, as the mineral spirits will be absorbed by the wood, driving the paint further down into the wood.
  • Power-washing with a 3,000 psi pressure washer can be used, however, observe carefully to make sure the pressure is not driving the paint deeper into the wood grain.
  • If these methods do not work, sand the wood and re-paint or simply paint over the graffiti.

Plastic Surfaces:

  • Wipe the graffiti with a light, penetrating oil such as “WD-40” or “Three-in-One”. Do not use paint thinners as they can soften the plastic and cause clouding (if clear plastic) or permanent tackiness of the surface.
  • Sometimes a light rubbing with ultra-fine steel or bronze wool will remove the paint.
  • If these methods do not work, paint over it.

Masonry Surfaces:

  • The best option for this type of surface is to power-wash with a 3,000 psi pressure washer. Be careful in selecting the type of tip to use in the pressure wand. Too narrow of a tip (such as 0 degree) will etch the masonry surface leaving a perfect outline of the graffiti removed.
  • Sand-blasting is another removal option, but not recommended for any building, especially historic buildings due to the damage it may cause to the structure. If the structure is in a fragile condition, then only further damage will be caused. As with pressure washing, you must be careful not to allow the sandblasting tip to remain in one spot too long as it can permanently etch the surface. If you do attempt this option on a non-historic structure, be sure to keep the tip moving over the painted area and the surrounding area so as to blend in the surface.

Glass Surfaces:

  • The best method to use is a razor blade to carefully scrape it off. This method is 99% effective. Use the razor blade in a holder and scrape at a 30-degree angle to the glass.
  • If the paint does not come completely off using the razor blade, use ultra-fine bronze wool with water to gently rub the remaining paint off.
  • You can use paint thinners on glass, however the razor blade method is much quicker and more environmentally friendly.

Always read product labels and follow all manufacturer instructions and recommendations. Most of the products identified above are flammable so use caution and follow safety instructions. Always use proper safety clothing and equipment (including gloves and safety glasses). It is recommended that a small test area be done prior to a full application of any product.

For more information or to talk with a city staff person about applying for graffiti removal services or graffiti removal tips, please call Development Services at 910-433-1701.

Link to brochure: Graffiti Removal Program

All leased parking spaces can be contracted through the Fayetteville Parking Service.  They can be reached at 222-0302 or at  Business owners and employees are encouraged to lease a space in order to reserve prime on-street parking for customers and visitors.


ON-STREET Hay St., Green St., Gillespie St., Person St., Mason St., Maiden Ln., and Ray Ave. are limited to 2- hour parking per day. Time begins upon first arrival, and runs continuous for each block. If you leave and return, please keep that in mind. Your time is calculated beginning the first time you parked at each block.

OFF-STREET PARKING LOTS *No parking in posted reserved or permit only spaces without a permit. Time begins upon first arrival, and runs continuous for each lot. If you leave and return please keep that in mind. Your time is calculated beginning the first time you parked in the lot. City Plaza 1 & 2 – Located on the 400 block of Franklin St. behind City Hall and the Fayetteville Police Department.

HOURLY/DAILY PAY LOTS *Pay at pay station upon arrival. “$.50 hr/$4day. Bow Commons Lot – Located at the corner of Green Street and Bow Street behind the Fascinate U Museum. Franklin Commons Lot – Pay parking available in yellow numbered spaces. Entrances located on the 100 block of Person Street or on Ottis Jones Street. Library Lot -Located at the corners of Burgess St.,Maiden Ln. and Ray Ave. across the street from the Cumberland County Library. R.C.W. Lots 1 – Located on the 200 block of Franklin Street behind the RC Williams Building (201 Hay Street). Donaldson Pay Lot – Located on Donaldson Street between Franklin St. and Russell St. Anderson Lot – Located at Anderson and Old St.



ON-STREET Anderson St., Old St., Donaldson St., Maxwell St., Franklin St., and Bow St.


ON-STREET 100 block of Maiden Ln. – (Memorial Bridge enter off of Green Street). 400 block of Maiden Ln. -Located between Ray Ave. and Amtrak train station. (Behind the AIT building and the Prince Charles Hotel)

OFF-STREET PARKING LOTS Maiden Ln. Free Lot – Located on the right side of the 400 block of Maiden Lane between Ray Ave. & the Amtrak train station. *Cumberland county provides free parking in the lots located next to the county courthouse at the intersection of Gillespie St. and Ottis Jones St. Also on the 200 and 300 blocks of Person Street.


MONTHLY LEASE PARKING Contact Fayetteville Parking Service to lease parking. Downtown workers are encouraged to lease parking to allow customers convenient parking. Donaldson Reserved Lot – Located at the corner of Franklin St. & Donaldson St. $50 per month Franklin Commons Lot – Located between the 100 block of Person St. & Otis Jones St. $50 per month Bow & Ann Lot – Located on the corner of Bow St. & Ann St. $50 per month Library Lot – Located on the corners of Burgess St., Maiden Ln., & Ray Ave.$50 per month. Anderson Lot – Located at the corner of Anderson St. and Old Street. $50 per month. 300 Block Lot – Located on the corner of 300 Franklin and Ray Ave. $50 per month.