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Historic Zoning Design Guideline Consolidation Project


The MHZC recently received funding from the Tennessee Historical Commission for a design guideline consolidation project. The project will take between January 2019 and September 30, 2019.

The Design Guidelines Consolidation Project includes two main components. One is to consolidate all the neighborhood conservation design guidelines into one basic set of design guidelines, with individual chapters for each district. All of the neighborhood conservation design guidelines are already very similar but the consolidation will provide an opportunity to reorganize and add clarifying language. The goal is to provide clarity to users of the document. The second component is to create new design guidelines and a plans book for outbuildings, that provide more flexibility in terms of size and design and clearer guidance.


The process will include regular meetings with stakeholders, who will provide regular information and updates to property owners in their districts. Council members have appointed the stakeholders from each overlay that is located within their respective district. Regular updates can also be found here.

The MHZC will request proposals for a consultant to create the outbuilding plans book and make recommendations regarding the design guidelines, in terms of outbuilding. Draft documents can be reviewed here, once available.

Public hearings regarding adoption of the design guidelines is expected in early fall.


There are multiple ways to participate in the process. One is to send your email address to to be placed on an email list to receive regular updates or check this website frequently.

A more discussion-oriented way to participate is on Padlet, where you can see the thoughts of others, comment on their ideas or post your own. At this time, feel free to comment on any aspect of the design guidelines that you want. Once draft design guidelines are posted, we will create a new Padlet for comments specifically regarding the draft. General comments can be sent to Community meetings and a public hearing will be scheduled for early fall.

Use Padlet to read or leave a comment

Meeting Notes:


Secretary of the Interior's Standards. According to state law, the design guidelines must be based on these standards.

History of Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in Nashville

Accessory Dwelling Units: What They Are and Why People Build Them

The Basic Principles of Traditional Construction by Stephen A. Mouzon

This project is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee and funding from the Metro Historical Commission Foundation and with assistance of the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.