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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

Rutherford County Zoning Process

The Rutherford County Board of Commissioners is responsible for enacting the Zoning Resolution,
arranging for its enforcement, and for making any necessary changes. Zoning changes can only be
made after a public hearing and the Board of Commissioners has enacted the change.

Planning and Engineering Departments
Regional Planning Commission
Steps in the Process
Board of Zoning Appeals

Planning And Engineering Departments

The Planning Department is responsible for the administration of the Zoning Resolution and Subdivision Regulations. 

The Engineering Department is responsible for aiding in the administration of the Subdivision Regulations, i.e. drainage, roads, etc.

The two departments work together to promote orderly growth and development for Rutherford County.

The County’s Planning and Engineering Departments are located at One South Public Square, Suite 200. Zoning Maps are available to any citizen for inspection, and any questions regarding the Zoning Resolution or Subdivision Regulations should be directed to the Planning and Engineering staff.

The staff consist of the Executive Director, the County Engineer and their assistants.

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The Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission

The Planning Commission has the broad responsibility to plan for community development and land uses in the unincorporated areas of the county. Another important function of the Commission is to consider and make recommendations concerning any change to the Zoning Resolution, i.e. a change in the text of the document or a change to the Zoning Map. In this respect, the Commission is merely an advisory body and the final decisions rest with the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners.

The Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission is composed of eleven (11) members, which is a mix of citizens and members of the county legislative body. However, the number of legislators on the Commission can not constitute a majority of the membership, i.e. greater than five (5). Each legislator serves for the duration of his/her term in office. The appointed citizens serve four (4) year staggered terms. All members are recommended for appointment by the Rutherford County Executive and are appointed by the Board of Commissioners. All members of the Planning Commission serve without pay, but are reimbursed for their expenses. State law requires that all members of the Planning Commission receive four (4) hours of training annually.

Planning Commission meetings are held on the second Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. and the fourth Monday of the month at 1:p.m.

  • The first Planning Commission meeting each month held on the second Monday at 6:00 p.m. meets in the Commission Chambers in the Rutherford County Courthouse. The primary purpose of this meeting is to review all rezoning requests, Type III Conditional Use Permits, amendments to the Zoning Resolution, amendments to the Subdivision Regulations, preparation of the Planning Commission’s annual budget and long range planning. All items, except for amendments to the Subdivision Regulations, are sent to the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners with recommendations for approval or denial.
  • The second Planning Commission meeting each month held on the fourth Monday at 1:00 p.m. meets in the Mezzanine Meeting Room of the Rutherford County Office Building. The primary purpose of this meeting is to review all major subdivision plats, site plans and any waivers to the Subdivision Regulations.

All meetings are open to the public. You may confirm meeting dates, times and locations by contacting the Planning Department at (615) 898-7730.

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Zoning Process

The Rutherford County Board of Commissioners is responsible for enacting the Zoning Resolution, arranging for its enforcement, and for making any necessary changes.  Zoning changes can only be made after a public hearing and the Board of Commissioners has enacted the change.

Steps in the Zoning Process

Zoning Changes

  1. A citizen submits an application requesting a zoning change to the Planning Department.
  2. The planning staff prepares reports, maps and other pertinent information for the Planning Commission. In addition, property owners within 500 feet of the property in question are notified via letter and a sign is placed on the property.
  3. The Planning Commission hears the request, takes public comments, and makes a recommendation to the County Board of Commissioners.
  4. Public notice is given for any request to be heard by the Board of Commissioners.  This is the advertised public hearing. This is accomplished via a legal notice in a paper of general circulation within the county. This legal notice is run in the paper at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting date.
  5. The Board of Commissioners hears the request, hears the Planning Commission’s recommendation, holds a public hearing, and votes to approve or disapprove the request.
  6. The Board of Commissioners actions are final, and any appeal of its decision is processed through the court system.

During either of the meetings (the Planning Commission or the Board of Commissioners) any person who wishes to speak for or against the request may speak at the appropriate time. The meetings are open to all.

Steps in the Subdivision Process

The Definition of a subdivision as defined by State Law (TCA 13-3-401) is: the division of any parcel into two (2) or more lots, sites, or other divisions requiring new street or utility construction, or any division of less than five (5) acres with frontage on an existing public way.

A. Major Subdivisions, i.e. four (4) or more lots:  (Steps Numbered 1 through 4 apply to all single family residential developments with four (4) or more lots as well as commercial and industrial developments.)

  1. Request for subdivision approval is made to the Planning and Engineering Departments.
  2. The Planning and Engineering Departments study the preliminary subdivision plan to see that it meets the existing subdivision regulations and the Zoning Resolution.
  3. The preliminary subdivision plat is presented to the Planning Commission for review.  The Planning Commission will review the subdivision plat and approve, deny, or approve with conditions. If the subdivision plat is denied, the reasons for denial must be stated upon the minutes of the Commission.
  4. final plat is then submitted to the Planning Department for review and compliance to the subdivision regulations, the Zoning Resolution and to ensure it agrees with the preliminary plat.  This final plat is reviewed by the Planning Commission and approved, denied or approved with conditions.  The plat is recorded with the Rutherford County Register of Deeds when all conditions of approval have been met, a road and drainage bond have been posted, a home owner’s association, if necessary, has been established, and all fees and taxes have been paid.

B. Minor Final Subdivisions with three (3) lots where no new streets are to be constructed, are reviewed by the Planning and Engineering Departments to see that it meets the existing subdivision regulations and the Zoning Resolution. Next the Planning Commission will review the final subdivision plat and approve, deny, or approve with conditions.

C. Minor Subdivisions, i.e. two (2) or fewer lots where no new streets are to be constructed, are reviewed and approved by the Planning Department if no waivers are required from the Planning Commission or if no variances are required from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Any minor subdivision must conform to the requirements of the zoning district in which it is located.

All subdivisions must conform to the requirements of the zoning district in which it is located. When a zoning change is not requested, there is not a public hearing.  However, any one who wishes to speak on a subdivision before the Planning Commission may request to be identified by the Chair to voice his concerns.

 

The Board Of Zoning Appeals

The Board of Zoning Appeals is a quasi-judicial body to which citizens may turn to for relief from the strict application of the Zoning Resolution or to request certain types of Conditional Use Permits. The Board’s functions fall under four (4) major headings:

  1. The interpretation of the Zoning Resolution or the Zoning Map;

  2. The granting of certain types of Conditional Use Permits

  3. The granting of variances; and

  4. Appeals from administrative decisions.

Public notice is given in order for each case to be heard. This is accomplished via a legal notice in a paper of general circulation within the county. This legal notice is run in the paper ten (10) days prior to the meeting date. In addition, staff sends written notification to all property owners within 500 feet of the corners of the property in question and also places a sign on that property with the Planning Department’s telephone number.

The Board’s actions are final, and any appeal of its decision is processed through the court system.

The Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals consists of five (5) voting members and two (2) alternates. All members are nominated by the Steering Committee of the Board of Commissioners and appointed by the Board of Commissioners for four (4) year staggered terms. Board members are paid for each meeting. In addition, state law requires that all Board members receive four (4) hours of training annually.

The Board of Zoning Appeals meets on the second Wednesday with a video tour of the agenda beginning at 4:00 p.m. for Board members and the public hearing at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the video tour; however, comments to Board members are not permitted until the public hearing. For meeting dates and location contact the Planning Department at (615) 898-7730. All meetings are open to the public.

Citizen involvement in the process of planning and land use is valuable and necessary. By keeping up with the monthly activities of the Planning Commission, a citizen will know of any proposed changes which might affect him and will be able to voice his concerns early in the process.

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If you have any questions regarding any of these procedures, you should call
the Rutherford County Planning and Engineering Departments located at
One South Public Square, Suite 200, Murfreesboro, TN 37130.
Their phone number is (615) 898-7730.

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