An ordinance amending Chapter 12.42 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws to establish a commercial permit parking program.

WHEREAS, parking on public streets should be available for both customers and employees of local businesses to promote successful commercial enterprise; and

WHEREAS, in some instances, employees of larger institutions required to provide adequate on-site parking may choose to forego the provided parking and instead utilize free parking off-site near other smaller businesses which rely on street parking for their employees and customers; and

WHEREAS, this may be detrimental to the conduct of those smaller businesses which are also a vital part of the economy of Metro Nashville; and

WHEREAS, providing a mechanism to reserve an appropriate number of on-street parking spaces for those small businesses that are negatively affected can encourage the use of allocated parking for all entities.


Section 1. That Chapter 12.42 (PERMIT PARKING PROGRAMS) of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby amended by adding a new Article III to create a Commercial Permit Parking Program as follows:

Article III. - Commercial Permit Parking Program

12.42.210 - Definitions

As used in this article, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, except when the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

"Motor vehicles" means an automobile, truck, motorcycle or other motor-driven form of transportation.

"Person" means a natural person.

"Commercial area" means a contiguous or nearly contiguous area containing public streets and highways or parts thereof where commercial businesses are located.

"Tenant motor vehicle" means a properly registered motor vehicle owned or leased by a property owner, business owner, or employee of a business in the commercial permit parking area.

"Commercial permit parking areas (CPP)" means a commercial area designated as herein provided where tenant motor vehicles displaying a valid permit as described herein shall be exempt from parking time restrictions established pursuant to this article.

12.42.220 - Commercial permit parking areas authorized.

The chief traffic engineer is authorized to restrict by order, subject to approval by the traffic and parking commission as hereinafter provided, parking on public streets in a commercial area to vehicles bearing a valid parking permit issued pursuant to this article. This authority shall be in addition to, and may be exercised in conjunction with, any other authority the chief traffic engineer may have to regulate the times and conditions of parking.

12.42.230 - Commercial permit parking areas—Eligibility requirements.

In determining whether an area identified as eligible for commercial permit parking shall be designated as a commercial permit parking area, the chief traffic engineer shall take into consideration the following factors:

A. The extent of the desire and need of the tenants for commercial permit parking and their willingness to bear the administrative costs in connection therewith;

B. Proximity (within ¼ mile) of the commercial area to major "parking attractors" including, universities and hospitals;

C. Location within the Urban Zoning Overlay;

D. Scarcity of convenient off-street parking for tenants;

E. The extent to which motor vehicles registered to persons working in the commercial area cannot be accommodated by the number of available off-street parking spaces;

F. Substantial and extended use of business curb space by non-tenants for parking;

G. Traffic, noise, and safety problems caused by vehicles cruising for parking.

12.42.240 - Procedures to be used in designation or withdrawing designations of commercial permit parking areas.

A. A petition requesting creation of a commercial permit parking (CPP) area shall be submitted to the councilmember representing the council district in which the CPP area is located. The petition must be signed by seventy-five percent of the business entities within the geographic limits as stated in the petition.

1. The petition shall include the following information:
a. Each petitioner's name (signature and printed). For business entities other than sole proprietorships, petitions must be signed by an authorized representative or agent of the commercial business entity.
b. The time of day that commercial permits will be required. Example: six a.m. to five p.m.; twenty-four hours; days of the week, etc.
c. A clear description of the geographic limits of the area(s) requested.
d. A maximum time limit that non-permit holders (visitors, customers, etc.) could legally park. Example: two hours; four hours; etc.

B. The councilmember shall then submit the petition, with a written recommendation, to the chief traffic engineer for review by staff of the traffic and parking commission.

C. The chief traffic engineer shall recommend, by report to the traffic and parking commission, whether to designate the area under consideration as a CPP area, specifying the time or limitations recommended and proposed fees, or whether to remove the designation in the case of an established CPP area. The traffic and parking commission shall approve or disapprove the recommendation of the chief traffic engineer.

D. All CPP areas approved by the traffic and parking commission shall become part of Schedule VII of the Traffic and Parking Code of the traffic and parking commission of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

12.42.250 - Implementation.

A. Once a commercial permit parking area has been approved by the traffic and parking commission, the chief traffic engineer or his designee shall install parking signs on the streets designated as a commercial permit parking area. The signs shall indicate the times under which parking shall be by permit only.

B. Number of permits available – Each building identified by a unique street number shall have a designated number of parking permits available based upon the street frontage of the building. The number of permits to be made available shall be calculated by the chief traffic engineer based upon the number of parking spaces that could be located in front of the building according to the linear footage in front of the building and the type of parking used. The chief traffic engineer may also use other criteria including but not limited to the following to determine the number of permits made available: building occupancy or capacity, customer volume, peak hours of operation, etc.

C. A permit shall be issued for a designated commercial permit parking area upon application and payment of the applicable fee by a person eligible for such permit. A person is eligible to apply for a commercial parking permit if he owns or operates a motor vehicle and is employed at a business on property immediately adjacent to a street, avenue, or other location selected for implementation within the commercial permit parking area. Proof of employment in the commercial permit parking area designated for implementation must be presented at the time application is made. A tenant is any person employed by a business entity in the proposed permit parking area with a valid Tennessee driver's license showing proof of employment within the proposed CPP area, who owns or leases a motor vehicle, or drives an assigned business vehicle. All motor vehicles must have current Tennessee registration.

D. The application for a permit shall contain the name of the owner or operator of the motor vehicle; residential address; the make, model, color, registration and license plate numbers of the motor vehicle; and the number of the drivers' license of the applicant. The motor vehicle registration and the driver's license of the applicant must be presented at the time of making said application in order to verify the contents thereof. The owner or operator of any motor vehicle applying for a commercial parking permit shall have a valid Tennessee motor vehicle license plate; provided, if said applicant is enrolled as full-time student in a college or university within the area of the metropolitan government, then said applicant shall have a valid motor vehicle license plate issued by any state and proof of enrollment at such college or university. The motor vehicle registration must show the applicant's present address; provided, if the applicant is a full-time student, then said applicant must provide satisfactory proof of employment in the CPP area.

E. The permit shall be renewed annually upon such conditions and procedures as the chief traffic engineer shall specify. The permit shall display the motor vehicle license plate number.

12.42.260 - Commercial parking permit.

A. The holder of a commercial parking permit shall be permitted to stand or park a motor vehicle for which a permit has been issued in the commercial permit parking area designated on the permit without being subject to the limitations imposed upon vehicles lacking the permit, provided that parking is otherwise permitted. While a motor vehicle for which a commercial parking permit has been issued is so parked, such permit shall be displayed on the extreme left hand corner of the dashboard (driver's side) so as to be clearly visible and able to be easily read through the windshield of the vehicle.

B. A commercial parking permit shall not authorize the holder thereof to stand or park a motor vehicle in such places or during such times as the stopping, standing, or parking of motor vehicles is prohibited or set aside for specified types of vehicles, and shall not exempt the holder from the observance of any traffic regulation other than the parking limit.

C. A commercial parking permit shall not guarantee or reserve to the holder thereof an on-street parking space within the designated commercial permit parking area.

12.42.270 - Exemption from commercial permit parking area.

A. Service vehicles parking in commercial parking areas while making service calls to businesses within the area shall be exempt from the posted time limits. Such service vehicles shall display in the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle a work slip showing the name and address of the business being serviced.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 12.44.085.E.6.f, free-floating car sharing vehicles displaying a free-floating car sharing permit in a clearly visible location on the vehicle determined by the department of public works shall be exempt from being subject to the limitations imposed on vehicles lacking a commercial parking permit, provided however, that parking is otherwise permitted.

12.42.280 - Commercial parking permit fee.

The traffic and parking commission is authorized to establish by order an annual commercial permit parking fee for each commercial parking area to cover the administrative costs for the commercial parking permit issued pursuant to this article. The permit fee shall be calculated in July of each year by the Department of Public Works based on the number of permit parking spaces and the capital and operating costs to administer and patrol the permit parking program. Revenues from parking fines may be included in the calculation. The fee shall be approved by ordinance duly adopted by the metropolitan county council. An initial annual fee of fifty dollars is approved. Upon presentation of adequate proof, persons sixty-five years of age or older who otherwise qualify for the permit shall be exempt from paying the permit fee.

12.42.290 - Misrepresentation by applicant for permit—Illegal use of permits.

A. It shall constitute a violation of this article for any person to falsely represent himself as eligible for a commercial parking permit or to furnish any false information in an application to the chief traffic engineer in order to obtain a commercial parking permit.

B. No person other than the permittee named thereon shall use a commercial parking permit or display it on a vehicle operated or parked, and any such use or display by a person other than the permittee shall constitute a violation of this section by the permittee shall constitute a violation of this section by the permittee and by the person who so used or displayed such parking permit.

12.42.310 - Penalties.

(A) The chief traffic engineer is authorized to revoke the commercial parking permit of any permittee found to be in violation of the provisions of this article and upon written notification thereof, the permittee shall surrender such permit to the traffic and parking commission.

(B) Any violation of a provision of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars.

Section 2. Be it further enacted, that this ordinance shall take effect immediately after its passage.

Sponsored by: Burkley Allen


Introduced: October 17, 2017
Passed First Reading: October 17, 2017
Referred to: Traffic, Parking & Transportation Committee
Deferred to December 19, 2017: November 7, 2017
Deferred to January 23, 2018: December 19, 2017
Deferred: January 23, 2018
Deferred Indefinitely pursuant to Rule 23: January 23, 2018
Withdrawn: August 20, 2019

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.