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Zoning Code

Violation Categories

Business Operating in Residential Zone District

A business may not operate in a residential zone district unless a Home Occupation Permit has been obtained. Before obtaining a permit, a number of conditions must be met by the applicant.

  • No customer or clients may visit the premises.
  • There shall be no visible signs from the dwelling indicating the type of business being operated.
  • Only one (1) “non-resident” employee is allowed to work on the premises.
  • The area used for the Home Occupation Permit cannot exceed 20% of the area of the premises, but in no event be more than 500 square feet.

Illegal Use of Property

All parcels have been assigned a zoning category and their use must be consistent with that assigned zoning code. Common categories are RS– Residential Single Family, CS-Commercial Services, etc. Failure to use a property consistent with its zone category and / or without a required Use & Occupancy permit is prohibited.

Farm Animals

Common, domesticated farm animals, exotic and native wildlife are restricted in residential areas unless lot size requirements are met. For residentially zoned districts, the minimum lot size is five (5) acres. Only chickens are allowed (hens but not roosters), with permits. Permits are obtained through the Health Department.

Yard and Garage Sales

A resident is allowed no more than two (2) yard/garage sales each year, for no more than three (3) days at a time. Consignment sales are strictly prohibited.


The following rules apply to signs in Davidson county:

  • Most permanent signs require a permit. Any person erecting a sign without a sign permit is in violation of the zoning code. If the sign is connected electrically, an Electrical permit is also required.
  • Portable signs are not permitted in Davidson County.
  • Sign locations can be in violation as well, i.e. if the sign is located too close to or in the right of way.
  • Signs cannot be placed on public property without permission, including on utility poles, light poles, and bus benches and utility boxes.
  • Banners can only be used to announce a grand opening, closing, and must be permitted.
  • Political signs are allowed but cannot be placed on the public right of way. signs cannot be placed on either public or private property without the permission of the property owner.
  • A business owner cannot cover more than 25% of their store window area with signage.

Contact the Metro Codes zoning division to determine specific requirements that may effect your proposed sign before the sign is installed.

Rooming and Boarding Houses

A dwelling utilized as a rooming or boarding house may be in violation of the Zoning Code. Rooming houses require a permit. All residential zone districts limit the number of dwelling units on the property. Conversions of residential or other accessory structures into dwelling spaces are required to have the proper permits prior to construction or occupancy.