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Planning Department Zone Changes

Zoning is the set of rules that govern how land may be used and the development standards for all property within Nashville. Zoning is necessary to protect the community health, safety, and welfare.

Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code details land development restrictions that control the types of buildings allowed on a property such as how tall they can be, how far they are set back from the street, and other development standards.

The basic Zoning Classifications are

The Land Use Table outlines how land can be used. 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.


In addition to base zoning, some areas have overlays that work in cooperation with or in addition to the zoning code.

Sidewalk Cafe

Application and Fees

Pre-Application Meeting Request Form

Zone Change Application: $2,200
A change in a property’s zoning classification

Zoning Text Amendment: $1,180
A text amendment prepared by staff in response to an application submitted proposing changes in the zoning code.

The Planning Department only provides zoning letters for the following: Planned Unit Developments, Specific Plan Districts, and Urban Design Overlays.

Zone Changes

Colorful Neighborhood HomesProperty owners can file a rezoning application if their property is not zoned for their intended use or development. The Planning Department coordinates the application with all other applicable Metro Departments. For all zone changes, the Planning Commission makes recommendations to the Metropolitan Council, which makes the final decision on all zone changes.

Community members can provide input on the underlying land use policies during the community planning process. Both the Planning Commission and the Metropolitan Council hold public hearings on individual zone changes.

Before a Zone Change

Before a zone change, we encourage applicants to consider the following:

  1. Talk to the Council member(s) and neighbors. Council members often host meetings with neighbors who would be impacted by potential zone changes.
  2. Review the area’s Community Plan to make sure the zone change fits the community’s vision for land use policy.
  3. If you have questions about a proposed use is classified by the zoning ordinance, contact the Zoning Examiner
  4. Check if there are additional development guidelines in the area, such as:

Finally, let the Councilmember(s) and the Metropolitan Council Office Planning and Codes Liaison know about your application.

Zone Change Process

Stack of Zoning Papers

The zone change process takes 3-6 months if there are no complications. Metro Ordinances include details on approved zone changes.

Step 1- Application

After reviewing the application checklist and Planning Commission Meeting Information, the applicant submits the appropriate application and fee to the Planning Department.

Step 2 - Staff Review

Planning staff reviews the application to ensure that it follows land use policy in the Community Plan and any additional development guidelines. Other Metro departments and utility districts review the application.

Step 3 – Public Notices

The applicant must post signs on the property stating the zone change and the date of the Planning Commission public hearing. The applicant must also mail notices to nearby property owners.

Step 4 - Recommendation to the Planning Commission

Planning staff posts a draft agenda the Friday before each Planning Commission meeting that includes the staff recommendation - approval, disapproval, or approval under certain conditions. The Staff Report details the staff recommendation.

Step 5 - Planning Commission recommendation to Metro Council

The Planning Commission considers the application at a scheduled regular meeting, which provides an opportunity for public comment at the public hearing. The Commission then makes a recommendation to the Metropolitan Council.

Step 6 - Metropolitan Council Action

The Metropolitan Council considers the application as a Bill through three "readings" before an approval can be made final.

  • 1st reading - Introduction
  • 2nd reading - Public Hearing
  • 3rd reading - Action

The Council can override the Planning Commission's recommendation during this process.

Step 7 - Mayor signs the Bill

Finally, the Mayor approves or vetoes the application.