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Historic Planning & Zoning

Chattanooga is a Certified Local Government rich with historical and architectural character. The Chattanooga Historic Zoning Ordinance identifies four residential neighborhoods as Local Historic Districts. By preserving historic properties and communities, Chattanooga is promoting rehabilitation, sustainability, revitalization, and conservation. Design Review ensures the protection of a community's character while enhancing property values and promoting economic development. Design guidelines provide further administration of design issues which include building scale and massing, architectural features and details, and site design. 

The four Local Historic Districts, St. Elmo, Fort Wood, Ferger Place, and Battery Place are regulated by the Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission (CHZC) and staff. The CHZC is comprised of nine professionals who specialize in preservation, architecture, development, and neighborhood affairs. The Commission meets the third Thursday of every month at 9:30 A.M., in the Development Resource Center (DRC).

City Code - Historic Zoning: City of Chattanooga - Code of Ordinance/ Chapter 10 - Buildings / Article II.  - Historic Zoning 

Design Guidelines for the Local Historic Districts 

These Guidelines were updated in 2014. In this document update, several drawings depicting the intent of the Guidelines were deleted. Record has not been found to approve this deleting of information from the Guidelines. The original Guidelines can be found here: Saint Elmo, Fort Wood, Ferger Place, and Battery Place.   

Historic Zoning Commission Meeting Information

2019 CHZC Meeting Schedule and Application Deadlines

2019 CHZC Continuing Education Sessions:

  • February 21, 2019: Jane-Coleman Cottone: Certified Local Government Program

Past Meeting Minutes and Agendas, Click HERE

 

Meeting Documents and Presentation for October 17, 2019

Meeting Agenda: HERE

Meeting Presentation (including Staff Reports): Presented at the meeting. 

 

Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) Application Information:

COA Application, click HERE. (Application updated Sept 2019)

Submit applications by email, mail or in-person to: 

  • Mail or in-person to:

Historic Preservation and Zoning, City of Chattanooga

1250 Market Street, Suite 1000

Chattanooga, TN 37402

  • Email - Only send a maximum of 2 emails with all application materials attached

Sarah Robbins, srobbins@chattanooga.gov - Development Review Planner of Historic Planning and Zoning

Complete the application with all required materials listed in the "Submittal Requirements" section. If a submittal requirement is in question, please call the office for clarification.  

Demolition Requirements - Proof of Advertisement (Addition to the Application), click HERE

Conflict of Interest: It is the applicant's responsibility to communicate to CHZC Staff, at the application submission deadline, any and all conflicts of interests between the Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission members and the application case.

What is the Cost?

The cost of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) and its associated application is as follows.  If an application is submitted in response to a violation, there will be a double application fee (City Code Section 109.2.3 Penalties). These costs may be found in Chapter 10.3 figure 109.2.4 Other Fees:

  • $25 COA Fee - ALL cases that receive a COA pay this Certificate Fee at pickup of the COA.

The following fees are paid when the application is submitted.

  • $150 Commission Review Application Fee
  • $250 Demolitions for Commission Review Application Fee

All construction work must meet the Design Guidelines as approved by the Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission or CHZC Staff. If plans change, a new application will be required. If work is not started within 6 months of the issue date, a new Certificate of Appropriateness will need to be issued. A COA is NOT a building permit or a land-disturbing permit. Please contact the Land Disturbing Office or the Building Permit Office before starting the project.

The COA must be posted in a visible location or on file on the property until the project is completed.

If a case or case component has been marked as deferred, the applicant must submit an updated application addressing that case element or deferred case before the meeting deadline. This allows for proper processing of the applications for the meeting.

Hearing and Determination: This language can be found in Chapter 10. Article II. Sec. 10-15. (d) Hearing and Determination.

(1) Administrative (Staff) Review. Staff approval may be provided for work that meets the design guidelines and is not one (1) of the following: New construction of primary structures, outbuildings, or garages; additions, demolition; parking lots.

(2) CHZC (Commission) Review. The CHZC must review all applications for new construction of primary structures, outbuildings, garages, additions; demolition and parking lots as well as any applications that the staff refers to the CHZC.

COA Approval or Denial: 

Following proper review of sufficient data, including a public hearing, the Commission shall approve or deny the COA within thirty (30) days. The COA may be issued with modification by CHZC. Written notice of the approval or denial of the application for a COA shall be provided to the applicant and to the Building Inspection Division if a building or demolition permit is needed. The CHZC shall state in the written notice any required modifications to the application, and conditions to which the certificate is subject, or reasons for the denial of the application.

The applicant may resubmit an amended application for a COA which takes into consideration the recommendations of the CHZC. The applicant may also apply for a CEH if they feel the decision of the CHZC has denied them a reasonable economic return or use of the property.

Certificate of Economic Hardship (CEH):

If a COA has been denied to a property owner within a Local Historic District or of a Local Historic Landmark, then the property owner has the right to present evidence to the Commission that such denial has deprived the owner of reasonable use or economic return, of the property. Contact the Chattanooga Historic Planning and Zoning Office and staff for this application.

 

Staff Contact Information:

For specific historic planning and zoning questions, please contact Sarah Robbins, the Historic Development Review Planner, at srobbins@chattanooga.gov or (423) 643-5842.

 Office Location: 

City of Chattanooga Historic Planning and Zoning in the Land Development Office
1250 Market Street, Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402

 

Historic Zoning Commission  

The Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission's (CHZC) purpose is to review proposed changes and new construction in the four historic districts in Chattanooga, St. Elmo, Fort Wood, Battery Place, and Ferger Place. The CHZC reviews all proposals and determines that the work is within the adopted Guidelines of each district. They work to ensure the integrity of each district.

This nine-member commission is comprised of a representative of a local historical organization, a member of a local Planning Commission, an architect, four (4) residents of the Local Historic Districts and three (3) members of the general public.

Commission Membership: Click here to view current membership and to check for opportunities to serve on this Commission.

CHZC BYLAWS / RULES OF PROCEDURE: HERE 

Commission Attendance: Attendance at Meetings: Any member of the Commission who is absent from three (3) regular, consecutive meetings, or is absent from five (5) or more regular meetings in a twelve (12)-month period shall be removed from the Commission. A new Commission member shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the confirmation of the City Council for any such vacancy. Absences related to sickness, death, or other like emergencies shall not affect a member’s status on the Commission; except in the case of a prolonged absence, the Commissioner shall be replaced. (Found in the CHZC Bylaws/Rules of Procedure. Section V. Organization Structure.E. Meetings. 4.)

Contacting Historic Zoning Commissioners

In an effort to comply with Tennessee Open Meeting requirements and to provide all parties an equal opportunity to be heard by the entire Historic Zoning Commission during the public hearing, the Historic Zoning Commission members are unable to speak to you or read and respond to written communications on agenda items before action is taken in a public hearing during the Historic Zoning Commission meeting each month.

As public feedback is important to the process, stakeholders are encouraged to attend and provide input at the monthly Historic Zoning Commission meetings. If you are unable to attend the meeting(s) or if you would like to also provide written comments to the Historic Zoning Commissioners, you may provide your input by sending an email to chzc@chattanooga.gov or by contacting the Historic Zoning staff by email. Any communications before the monthly meetings will be provided to all Historic Zoning Commissioners during the public hearings of the Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission each month. Please send all the comments to the staff in advance. Please note that comments received within 24 hours of the listed meeting date and time can not be guaranteed to be read at the meeting, this is due to staff preparing for the meeting at that time.

 

Flow Chart for obtaining a Historic Zoning Certificate of Appropriateness

COA Flow Chart

Report a Violation

What's Happening Now

Neighborhood Association

Permits and Inspections

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf

Community Development
101 E. 11th Street
Suite 200 (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Land Development Office
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5800

Neighborhood Services
101 E. 11th Street (map)
Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7300

Outdoor Chattanooga
Coolidge Park
200 River Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 643-6888

Public Art Chattanooga
1102 South Watkins Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 643-6886

Regional Planning Agency
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street (map)
Suite 2000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 643-5900

- See more at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/economic-community-development/neighborhood-services#sthash.2gHDxWz1.dpuf
Dottie Brewer