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The Development Process in Metro Nashville Davidson County

Our Development Services departments are connected through a common computer software system and database for permit and inspection tracking, and they are located in the same building to provide a “‘one-stop shop” for development and building permits.

We have three principal permit processes which might be associated with any particular construction or development project, depending upon the nature of the proposed project: building permits, grading permits, and rezoning.

The Building Permit Process

Approximately 240,000 parcels of property exist within Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, and each is currently zoned for a wide array of uses permitted by the applicable zone district classification, as shown in our Zoning Land Use Table.

Your site is considered “zoned and ready” if its current zoning matches your intended use; the next step in that case is to apply for a building permit at the Department of Codes and Building Safety, which serves as the hub of the building permit process for all Metro departments associated with the review of the permit application.

Building permit process flowchart

Applications can be submitted through our Kiva Citizen (ePermit) system, or in person at the Codes and Building Safety Office on the third floor of the Metro Office Building, 800 Second Avenue South.

Project plans and specifications may also be submitted electronically using our Buzzsaw electronic filing system or delivered to our offices. We offer a very wide array of electronic services, and we encourage electronic submission of plans and specs to save you time and money, help us complete your plan review more quickly, and make the plan review process transparent to all.

The Grading Permit Process

A grading permit is required prior to any excavation or site preparation for any project which proposes to disturb more than 10,000 square feet of land. Grading permit applications are filed at the Stormwater Division of the Metro Water Services Department, located on the first floor of the Metro Office Building, 800 2nd Avenue South.

The Water Services Department/Stormwater Division serves as the hub of the grading permit process, and coordinates the grading permit application with all applicable Metro Departments.

Grading permit process flowchart

The Rezoning Process

Apply at the Planning Department, located on the second floor of the Metro Office Building, 800 2nd Avenue South, if your intended use of the property requires rezoning.

The Planning Department serves as the hub of the rezoning process, and coordinates the application with all other applicable Metro Departments.

Rezoning process flowchart