The City-County Planning Department is responsible for reviewing new street names and proposed street name changes for all jurisdictions in Forsyth County except Kernersville, High Point and King. Any street or private easement serving three (3) or more homes and/or businesses is required to be named. The following is a general description of street naming/renaming procedures. For complete addressing and street naming regulations and policies, consult the ordinance and policies
New Street Names
New street names are submitted by developers, through rezoning, with minor subdivisions, and occasionally by the NC Department of Transportation, county or city departments, and E911 services. When naming streets, please use the following standards:
- Avoid using an individual's name, especially living persons. If you choose to pursue a proper name as your new street name, you must submit a summary of the person's accomplishments or contributions to the community prior to submittal to the City Council/County Commissioners. The request will not be submitted until the summary information is received. If the information is not received within 30 days, the application will be considered inactive.
- Avoid sound-alike names (e.g. Maiden Street or Madin Street, Bernard Dr. or Barnard Dr.).
- Avoid names that have the same pronunciation, but different spellings, (e.g. Smith and Smythe, Allen and Alan, Centre and Center, Main or Mane).
- Use of frivolous or complicated words or unconventional spellings in road names is discouraged.
- Names which may be offensive (slang, double meanings, etc.) should be avoided.
- Directional prefixes will be used only when necessary. Addressing staff and E911 will make the determination.
- Street name changes are prohibited for continuous segments within an existing street.
- New street segments that align with or extend existing street segments will maintain the same name across minor intersections.
- New street segments that are continuations of existing alignments at major intersections usually maintain the same name across the intersection; however, they may have a new name proposed. Addressing/E911 staff or the Address Technical Committee will make the determination whether there is a sufficient reason for the street name to change.
A Street Naming Application [pdf/58kb/2p] must be completed and all fees paid prior to scheduling a public hearing.
Duplication of Street Names
When naming streets or renaming existing streets, duplication must be avoided. The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning Department keeps an updated list of the street names in the county to help prevent reuse of existing names.
Address numbers are also assigned by the Address Coordinator in the Planning Department.
Private easements may be named if all property owners are in agreement of the chosen name. Private easements which serve 3 or more homes are required to be named by E911.
Developers can reserve a street name approval by the City-County Planning Board for up to two years.
Changing a Street Name
Changing a street name requires a Street naming/renaming certification petition [pdf/16kb/1p] to be signed by property owners along the street to be renamed. The proposed new street name must receive approval from the majority (75% or more) of the property owners. In some cases the current address (house number) will also change if the street name change is approved. The address numbering decision is made by the Address Coordinator upon approval of the new name.
Once the petition for the name change has been received, it will generally take about three to five working days for staff to review. Once the name has been accepted by the Planning Staff it will be submitted to the appropriate elected board for the jurisdiction in which the street is located. If the elected board approves the name, the CCPB staff will send notification to all property owners, the US Postal Service, city, county, and state departments of the renamed street. The residents are responsible for notification to cable, telephone, gas Company, other personal business, friends and family.
Application & Fees
An application to rename/name a street is available online [pdf/2p/56k] or may be picked up at the Planning Department. There is a $125.00 processing fee for each proposed street renaming or naming, which must be submitted with the application. This application fee is nonrefundable, even if the proposed name is denied. A street sign fee ($200 for each double-blade sign and $100 for each stop sign) must be paid by check at the time of submission of the completed application. Checks are made payable to the City of Winston-Salem. If the street name is denied, only the check for the sign costs will be returned to the petitioner. The entire process of changing a street name may take 45-90 days.
For more information on Petitioner-Initiated Street Naming/Renamings, view or download the Petitioner-Initiated Street Naming/Renaming Procedures [pdf/43kb/2p].
Questions about Addressing or Street Naming?
MapForsyth at www.mapforsyth.org