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Zoning FAQs

You can apply for the following requests:

  1. Lift/Amend Conditions
  2. Right-of-way Closure/Abandonment
  3. Planned Unit Development (PUD)
  4. Special Permit
  5. Zoning

Click here to find the applications and an application packet.  If you are unsure which application to use, please call RPA Development Services at 423-643-5902 or email

In the case of rezoning and special exceptions permits, property owners or their appointed representatives may apply. Adjacent property owners may apply for street and alley closures.

Visit this website and select item #4 “Additional Forms” then download “Property Owner Authorization” to fill out the required document allowing the property owner to give the applicant authorization to apply for a zoning application.

The appointed representative is a person authorized by the legal current property owner to represent the case as the applicant. As part of the application, the representative shall submit a SIGNED document by the current property owner stating knowledge of the request and acknowledging that the applicant is representing the owner.

Applications are due on the 3th Monday of each month. All applications and payments may either be made in person by 12:00 noon or submitted online by 4:30 PM to

Rezoning Application Process

The RPA staff offers pre-application meetings prior to submitting an application. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the applicant of the zoning process, the site plan requirements, applicable plans and policies, and to help RPA staff understand the proposed project and the purpose of the rezoning or special permit.

Pre-Application meetings are required for applicants who wish submit an application for rezoning, mandatory referrals, lift/amend conditions, or special permits that contain more than 5 parcels. The pre-application meeting must be scheduled a minimum of 2 days before the application deadline (4th Monday of each month) with RPA staff. This is to ensure that all the required application documents and site plans are complete.

Neighborhood/Community Meeting – Depending on the nature of the project proposal, the applicant is often encouraged to conduct a public neighborhood meeting sometime before the Planning Commission meeting. The purpose of a public neighborhood meeting is for the applicant to inform stakeholders of the proposed project and answer questions about the proposal and gather and respond to feedback from the neighborhood or community. This meeting is the applicant’s responsibility to coordinate and set up.

Staff will determine and identify the information required for the application submittal, based on the scale and complexity of the proposed project.

Contact RPA staff at to schedule a pre-application meeting.


It is the intent of the RPA Site Plan policy to require site plans that will provide sufficient information for planning staff, planning commissioners, elected officials, and other interested parties to make more informed decisions regarding rezoning requests. Site plans promote greater understanding of the request and help to communicate the applicant’s intent for how a site is to be used and developed.

Site Plan Required:

A site plan shall be required for all rezoning requests and special permits. The RPA site plan policy does not apply if a site plan is already required by the zoning regulations. In those cases, the applicant must submit a site plan as required by the zoning regulations.

Exempt Zones:

The following zones in the various jurisdictions are exempt from the site plan requirements: Chattanooga: R-1 / Hamilton County: A-1, R-1, R-5 / Lakesite: R-1 / Lookout Mountain: R-1, R-2 Ridgeside: R-1 / Walden:A-1, R-1, E-1

Plan Submittal:
  1.  All site plans must be submitted by the monthly application deadline with the application. No application will be accepted without a site plan, unless exempted as indicated above.
  2.  A five day grace period from date of submission may be considered, on a case by case basis, when approval has been obtained from the Planning Agency Executive Director prior to filing the application. Such approval will extend acceptance for five (5) days from the stated deadline date.
  3. Zoning applications are available at the RPA Development Services counter or online at
  4. Site plans may only be binding to the extent that a site plan is referenced in an ordinance or resolution or elements of a site plan are added as conditions to the rezoning.
  5. A site plan submitted as required for the application review process is for informational purposes only and, unless specified by ordinance or resolution, does not constitute a “development plan” under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 13-3-413 or Section 13-4-310 and therefore does not establish a vested property right.
Minimum Site Plan Requirements:

All site plans must contain the following:

  1. Area for proposed zone request (labeled as such) with dimensions and point of beginning and
    ending shown. Only include parcels that are intended to be rezoned. Do not include parcels that
    may be part of an overall development plan. This can be submitted as an addendum to the site
    plan with the rezone boundary.
  2. Include adjacent parcels with measurements for reference if only a portion of a property is to be
  3. Approximate location, size and dimensions of the existing or proposed building(s).
  4. Property lines that contain the tract of land to be developed.
  5. Vehicular and pedestrian points of ingress and egress, existing or proposed.
  6. Landscape buffers as required by ordinance or otherwise proposed.
  7. Any Proposed sidewalks
  8. Approximate parking area design/redesign, including number of spaces
  9. Location of dumpsters (if applicable)
  10. Location of floodway, 100-year and 500-year floodplain as currently mapped by FEMA or
    Hamilton County GISMO
  11. A legend with these items:

i. North arrow
ii. Graphic Scale (in feet)
iii. Area in acres (total area being requested for rezoning)
iv. Number of residential units, if applicable

  • All site plans must be submitted on a minimum of tabloid size (11” x 17”) paper. Larger sizes
    may be requested or provided. If a larger size is provided at least one (1) copy must be of tabloid
    (11” x 17”) size.
  • Only one (1) copy of the site plan is required. PDF files are also acceptable and may be emailed.
  • All plans must be clear, legible, and drawn to scale.

The following shall be submitted:

  1. Application
  2. Written Narrative describing the project and reason for the application
  3. Hamilton County Property Card
  4. Deed
  5. Subdivision Plat (if applicable)
  6. Site Plan
  7. Property Owner Consent Form
  8. Application Fee
  9. Any additional studies, drawings, or plan requirements required by staff


Refer to the complete application checklist on the RPA website.

Applications submitted to the Regional Planning Agency for rezoning, Planned Unit Developments and other special permits, or right-of-way closures must be submitted by the deadline to be placed on the appropriate Planning Commission agenda.

Applications are due on the 3th Monday of each month. All applications and payments may either be made in person by 12:00 noon or submitted online by 4:30 PM to

Applications will only be accepted when all required information is submitted. No application will be accepted without a site plan unless exempted as indicated in the previous section.


Application Deadlines

Application Fees

Application Forms and Checklists

Notification signs will be issued to the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to post the notification sign(s) on the subject property.  No notification sign(s) should be displayed on the property until after five business days following the monthly application deadline.

For applications in the City of Chattanooga, adjacent property owners and the Presidents of registered Neighborhood Associations of applications within their neighborhood boundaries will be notified by RPA by letter no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting.

A notice of the Planning Commission date, location, and time is also placed in the Hamilton County Herald.


After filing an application with the RPA, an applicant may request to defer the case within 5 business days following the zoning application deadline. Any request to defer a case after the 5 business day period following the zoning application deadline, must be made at the scheduled Planning Commission meeting.  Action to allow deferral of the zoning application will be determined by the Planning Commission.


After filing an application with RPA, an applicant may request to withdraw their application.   A request for withdrawal must be received by RPA no later than 12:00 noon on the Wednesday before the scheduled Planning Commission meeting.  Such requests will be honored.  RPA staff will place a “Withdrawn” sticker on the notification sign.  The applicant is responsible for removing the notification sign with the withdrawn sticker by no later than the Friday immediately after the public hearing of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission date, of which the case was scheduled for review.

Withdrawal requests that do not meet these guidelines must request their case to be withdrawn at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission before they can be officially withdrawn. Click here for the deferral and withdraw form to submit to staff.  Submit forms digitally to or in person at 1250 Market Street, 2nd floor.

The Planning Commission meeting is held the second Monday of every month on the fourth floor of the Hamilton County Courthouse, 625 Georgia Avenue, at 1:00pm. The Planning Commission reviews requests for zoning, special permits, closures/abandonments, and other mandatory referrals. They vote on each case after it is heard. Except for certain special permits, the Planning Commission vote is a recommendation to the appropriate legislative body (Chattanooga City Council, Hamilton County Commission, etc.). This is only a recommendation.

Final action on Special Permits for single-wide manufactured homes is by the Planning Commission.  An appeal to the Planning Commission’s action may be made to the County Commission who will hear said appeal at the 2nd County Commission meeting, which is held on the 3rd Wednesday of the following month.  A request for an appeal should be made at the Planning Commission meeting the day of the hearing.

The public is invited to participate in the meeting and will be given an opportunity to express support or opposition to cases. Planning Commission discussion is typically focused on zoning and land use. Topics include the applicant’s request, site plan, site description, zoning history, plans and policies. Except for subdivision plats, the Planning Commission does not review or have authority to approve building or road construction plans, storm water plans, flood plans, or any other similar engineering-related issues.

The final decision on each case is made by your local legislative body at another public hearing which is usually four to six weeks following the Planning Commission meeting. Notification of the local government meeting is done by a legal notice in the newspaper.  To be certain of the exact date and time of the legislative body’s public hearing, you should call one of the below listed numbers at least one week after the Planning Commission meeting.  All interested parties should be present at the local government meeting.

Additional Information

Zoning Process questions:

Contact RPA Development Services at 423-643-5902 or email

Infrastructure and Operational questions: contact one of the following:

Public Works – (423) 643-6000

Engineering – (423) 643-6190

Chattanooga Department of Transportation – (423) 643-5950

Technical Information – (423) 643-6033

Building Inspection – (423) 643-5894

Board of Appeals – (423) 643-5883

Landscape Coordinator – (423) 643-5885

Land Development Office– (423) 643-5891

Neighborhood Services – (423) 425-3700

Public Works – (423) 209-7800

Engineering – (423) 209-7810

Traffic Engineering – (423) 209-7810

County GIS – (423) 209-7760

Building Inspection – (423) 209-7860

Board of Appeals – (423) 209-7860

Environmental Health – (423) 209-8110




EAST RIDGE: (423) 867-7711

LAKESITE: (423) 842-2533

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN: (423) 821-1226

WALDEN: (423) 886-4362