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Move To Highlands


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


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 in the Highlands area is 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.


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


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 in recent history. To obtain more information or to enroll, call 828-526-2147.

SUMMIT CHARTER SCHOOL serves the area with a K-8 program and a newly formed high school.  As a public charter school, enrollment is tuition free 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.  Please visit www.summitschool.org for more information.

CHILD DAY CARE is available at Highlands Community Child Development Center for ages two months to five years. For information, call 828-526-8905. The Gordon Center at Highlands United Methodist Church offers a pre-school program during the school year and childcare for ages one to five years. 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 firefighting 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.