Rutherford County TN
PLANNING & ENGINEERING

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1 South Public Square
Room 200
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

Monday to Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm

Planning:
P: (615) 898-7730
F: (615) 898-7823

Engineering:
P: (615) 898-7732
F: (615) 898-7823

FAQs

The following is a list of questions frequently asked by county residents, contractors and builders. If your question is not answered here please give us a call at (615) 898-7730.

Planning Department

How do I draw a building permit?
• Obtain copy of septic map/permit from TN Environmental (#1 Public Square South, #215).
Exceptions: Step System or those on City Sewer
• Take this information to Planning & Engineering Dept. to obtain Certificate of Zoning Compliance (#1 Public Square South, #200).
• Take all documentation provided by these departments to the Building Codes Dept. (#1 Public Square South, #101) to draw permit.

What structures require a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?
• Residences on non-subdivision lots
• Accessory buildings greater than 120 sq ft
• Swimming pools
• Agricultural structures (no fee) – see description below

Do agricultural structures require building permits?
• If the property is at least 5 acres in size and has an established agricultural use, any structures used exclusively for agricultural purposes are exempt from building permits and related fees. However, a Certificate of Zoning Compliance should be completed in the Planning & Engineering Dept. and provided to the Building Codes Dept.
• Agricultural use is a use by right if the above conditions exist. It is not a zoning classification.

What is the purpose of a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?
• Verifies ownership
• Establishes or verifies correct address
• Verifies zoning
• Checks for flood issues
• Establishes lot size, access and legality
• Determines whether requested use complies with Zoning Resolution

What is the fee for a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?
• As of May 1, 2007, the fee is $50. This is subject to change with posted notice.
• This fee is waived with proof of destruction by fire or natural disaster within a one year period.
• This fee is also waived if the applicant has gone through a committee process before being approved for the Certificate of Zoning Compliance. (i.e. – Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission)

Who can obtain a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?
• Property owner
• Contractor
• Other representative(s) with a notarized letter of attorney in fact or power of attorney

What documentation is required to obtain a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?
• Verification of ownership and legality of the lot. Normally available to staff via computer search. A recorded deed may be required in some instances.
• A sketch plan of the property showing existing structures, septic system, and requested structures.
• A copy of the septic system (obtained from Environmental Dept.)

Do fences require a building permit in the County?
• No. Fences require no permit and may be placed on or inside your property line, but may not encroach on another property. They may not encroach into the County Right of Way. They may not block the vision triangle for exiting any property or intersecting streets. Fence guidelines are available through the Planning Department.

Zoning Questions

How does the County determine zoning?
• All of Rutherford County is zoned R-15 unless the property owner has requested and been approved for another zoning through the Planning Commission.

What is the R-15 zoning?
• Residential use, minimum 15,000 square foot lot size.
• Uses by right are single family dwellings, churches, and agricultural uses.
• Any other use of the property requires Rezoning or a Conditional Use Permit to allow a special use within the R-15 zone.

How can property zoning be changed?
• Application for specific use must be submitted to the Planning Department along with the recorded deed to the property and/or a letter of attorney-in-fact for non-property owners, a scaled sketch plan of the request, notarized permission to enter property, building codes acknowledgement, and the applicable fees by the submittal deadline.
• The process goes through three public hearings and takes approximately 60-90 days if there are no complications.

Residential Property Questions

Can I conduct a business in the Residential zone?
• Home-based businesses are categorized as either minor or major, depending on the scope of the business. Minor home-based businesses may be approved by Staff provided the business meets the criteria in the Zoning Resolution. These criteria can be obtained by clicking here. Major home-based businesses must be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Please contact Planning Staff at 615.898.7730 to discuss the specifics of your business.
• There may also be restrictive covenants in regards to this issue, but be advised that the County cannot consider these covenants in making their decisions, nor can they help to uphold or remove these conditions. This is a civil matter.

How can I check the zoning of my property?
• You may call the Planning & Engineering Dept. and providing one or all of the following (listed in order of preference):
• Map and parcel number
• Physical address of property including both number and street name
• Property owner’s name

How can property be legally divided?
• Any division of property resulting in a lot of less than 5 acres must be presented in the form of a subdivision plat, prepared by a registered engineer/surveyor, signed by all legal property owners, reviewed and signed by the electric department, water department, environmental department, and finally the Planning Department.
• Platted subdivisions with 2 or less lots can be reviewed and approved administratively if they meet the minimum requirements for square footage, access to water, 75 feet of road frontage, and adequate soil site.
• Plats with 3 or more lots, or lots that do not meet the minimum requirements, must be approved by the Planning Commission.
• Lots of 5 acres or more can be created by deed if there is access to water and a minimum of 50’ of road frontage (Soil sites will also be required before building on these properties).

How do I get an address for my property?
• Subdivision lots are assigned an address once the plat is approved. Residents/contractors are notified at the time building permits are pulled.
• Acreage lots are assigned an address at the time the Certificate of Zoning Compliance is approved.
• Generally, vacant acreage is not assigned an address until there is an application for a building permit.

How do I determine if my property is in the flood plain?
• FEMA flood panels are available in the Planning & Engineering office.
• GIS mapping is also available to assist in showing contours and elevations.
• Engineers are available to assist with determinations if the maps show your property in the flood plain.

Can I build in the flood plain?
• There are provisions to build in the Flood Plain if certain elevations are met.
• The pad elevation must be 1 foot above the determined flood elevation and the finished floor elevation must be an additional 2 feet above that for a total of 3 feet above the determined elevation.
• Engineers are available to assist in this determination.
• There is no construction in the Floodway.

Can I remove dirt and rock from my property?
• This is considered Resource Extraction and must be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
• You may move dirt and rock around within your property boundaries to fill low spots or create a pond, etc., so long as there is no removal from the property.