Highlands is governed by a Mayor and a Board of Commissioners. Town officials may be contacted through Town Hall (828) 526-2118.
Town of Highlands Website
MOVING YOUR BUSINESS
LAND USE REGULATIONS
If you are interested in adding to or remodeling your residence, you should be aware that the Town of Highlands enforces a Zoning Ordinance which regulates setbacks and size of residential buildings. Commercial activities are generally not permitted in residential neighborhoods. Construction of any kind requires a Zoning Certificate and a Building Permit from Macon County.
Most of Highlands is in a water supply watershed which means that run-off from your land could eventually enter the Town reservoir. In some areas of town, the amount of land that can be covered with impervious surfaces is regulated, and a natural buffer must be maintained along many lakes and streams. The use of paints, weed killers, and fertilizers must be done with care. Land-disturbing activities are also regulated in order to prevent soil erosion and resultant sedimentation, which has caused serious problems in Town lakes.
Copies of the Zoning Ordinance, the Zoning Map, and the Soil Erosion Ordinance are available at the Town of Highlands.
Garbage is picked up twice a week in residential areas in Highlands. All garbage must be placed in heavy plastic or metal containers with handles and tight fitting lids, and no larger than 32 gallons in capacity. Voluntary recycling is available at the Macon County convenience centers outside the town limits. Contact the Town Hall to determine which days your garbage will be picked up.
Depending on location, electricity is provided through the Town of Highlands, Haywood Electric Co-Op in Waynesville, N.C., or Duke Power in Franklin. Inside the town, water and sewer are provided to most households. Private wells and septic systems are common, and several of the private clubs have their own community water and /or sewer system.
The Town of Highlands requires a signed contract before utility service is provided. A letter of credit from a previous provider or a deposit may be required. The fee schedule for water, electricity, and sewer may be obtained from the Town website is here.
Local telephone service may be provided by Frontier 877-462-8188, Northland Cable, 828-526-5675 and Cellular Service Providers Verizon, AT&T.
CABLE TELEVISION & INTERNET SERVICES
Cable television in the Highlands area are provided by Highlands Cable Group at (828) 526-5119 or Northland Cable at (828) 526-5675.
If your vehicle is already registered in your home state, and you wish to register it in North Carolina, you will need to pay title fee, license fee, and notary fee. The License Plate Bureau is located at 118 Depot Street, Franklin, N.C. 28734. Their phone is (828) 369-8165. Up-to-date cost and other details are available at here
If you wish to become a registered voter in North Carolina, the forms are available at the Town Hall.
NEWS AND BROADCAST MEDIA
The Highlander Newspaper (828) 526-4114 Highlander Newspaper
Highlands Newspaper (828) 200-1371 The Highlands Newspaper
WHLC-FM 104.5 (828) 526-1045 WHLC
The Laurel Magazine 828-526-0173 The Laurel
THE HIGHLANDS SCHOOL provides for the educational needs for the youth of the Highlands area with a grade K-12 public school curriculum. Our school historically ranks in the upper 10th percentile on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests, and equally well on other standardized tests. Over the past five years, over 75% of our graduates have gone on to post-high school education. They have had two Morehead scholarship recipients for the past two years. To obtain more information or to enroll, call (828) 526-2147.
SUMMIT CHARTER SCHOOL serves th area with a K-8 program following the Carnegie Foundation Basic School model. As a public charter school, enrollment is tuition fee based and open to any student residing in Jackson, Macon, or Transylvania counties on a space available basis. For more information, they can be reached at (828) 743-5755.
CHILD DAY CARE is available at Highlands Community Child Development Center for ages two months to five years. For information, call (828) 526-8905. Highlands United Methodist Church offers a pre-school program during the school year. Call (828) 526-3376 for information.
SOUTHWESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE is located in Sylva, N.C. and has extension classes in nearby Franklin and Cashiers. It is a two year vocational institution with a variety of continuing education classes (828) 586-4091.
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY is located in Cullowhee, N.C. and offers full four year baccalaureate degrees in many areas of study. It also offers a variety of graduate and doctoral programs (828) 227-7211.
A well equipped EMS force is available on 24-hour dispatch. Their number is (828) 526-4400. The Highlands Police Department is trained and equipped to handle law enforcement issues. The Sheriff has deputies for areas outside the city limits(828) 349-2104. The Volunteer Fire Department provides fire fighting services for the area. Their number is (828) 526-3645. Highlands also has a rescue squad at (828) 526-9431. For emergencies, call 911 to ensure proper response.