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Form Based Zoning

General Information about Zoning

There are two types of zoning found in the City of Chattanooga. One is the Euclidean zoning that is found in the majority of the City Limits. The Form-Based Code (FBC) "Downtown Code" zoning zones and standards were developed to promote urban development form that aligns with the vision and policies set forth by the Downtown, ML King, Southside, and North Shore plans. These plans define a vision for growth that is urban, mixed-use, walkable, neighborhood-friendly and contributes to a high-quality public realm.

Chattanooga's Euclidean zoning districts provide very limited options for urban development. This Downtown Code provides a set of zones and standards that are intended to be applied in several defined "Context Areas" (Sec. 38-693.) where planning policy has defined a clear direction for urban development. For more information pertaining to the Euclidean zoning found in the remainder of the City Limits please go to our Zoning page here.

Effective Date & Purpose of Form-Based Code (FBC) Zoning 

The FBC zoning was adopted on June 21, 2016 and became effective on July 5, 2016. The final cut-off date for old zoning submissions was December 5, 2016. The FBC zoning has been amended three times: May 1, 2018, December 17, 2019, and September 1, 2020. 

New to Form-Based Code?  Need to know where to start?

Click here for a brochure that outlines how to research zoning, and what steps to follow for designing your project in the FBC area.  

Form-Based Code Zoning Document

The Form-Based Code document, CLICK HERE, not including the updates from Ordinance NO.13592 and Ordinance NO. 13520. 


Meeting Information

FBC Committee  

The next Form-Based Code Committee Meeting will be an online Zoom meeting on October 8, 2020 at 2PM. A Training session for the FBC Committee and the general public will follow the meeting. 

October 8, 2020, Meeting Presentation: CLICK HERE. Emailed public comments will be presented at the meeting.  

To join the meeting, please do the following:

When: Oct 8, 2020, at 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Form-Based Code Committee Meeting

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you have any trouble, please email or call the staff. 

Zoom Meeting Community Comment Rules and Procedures: HERE.

  • Send all emailed community comments to Form-Based Code Staff at least 24 hours prior to the 2:00 p.m. meeting. Any comments received less than 24 hours to the meeting, may not be able to be placed into the presentation and incorporated into the meeting.

FBC Training - 10/8/2020 After FBC Committee Mtg.

Following the October 8th, 2020 FBC Committee meeting, City staff will lead training for the FBC Committee and the general public. The agenda for the training is as follows: 

  1. Review the Intent of the FBC & Code Modifications
  2. Review the Major Modifications & the FBC Committee’s Role
  3. Review September 1, 2020, FBC Updates

To attend the training: register and login to the Zoom meeting listed above for October 8th, 2020 FBC Committee meeting.

Please remember that the time for questions during the training is limited and the "Zoom Meeting Community Comment Rules and Procedures", noted above, will be followed. 


Other FBC Committee Meeting Information & Deadlines

Click here for the 2019-2020 meeting dates & deadlines

Click here for meeting Minutes and Agendas


What areas are located within the Form-Based Zone?

1. Northshore
2. Riverfront
3. City Center
4. Martin Luther King
5. Southside
6. Westside (The Bend) Not reflected in the map below. The Context Areas map is to be updated.


Screen Shot 2017 10 18 at 10.10.32 AM

How do I know my zoning?

To find out what your zoning is, click the instructions here.  These instructions will show you how to navigate Hamilton County GIS (HCGIS) to determine your zoning.


My project is located in the FBC zone, what do I do now?

Screen Shot 2017 10 20 at 9.10.49 AM


Who is the Development Review Planner and other Form-Based Code Staff?

Sarah Robbins, Development Review Planner

Levi Witt, Administrative Support Assistant 2


Who do I contact to set up a presubmittal meeting?

To set up a presubmittal meeting you will need to call the main Land Development Office phone number at 423.643.5800 and request a meeting.

How do I know if I am in or within 300 feet of a Neighborhood Association?

Click Here for instructions or go to

Neighborhood Association Directory: HERE.

If you are required to have a Neighborhood Association Meeting, please click here to know which procedure you should follow when notifying the neighborhood and Council member of the meeting and what to bring to it.

What do I submit when I submit for permitting?

Plan Review Checklist
Submission Checklist
Site Plan and Building Elevations
Required Specifications: Window, Lighting, Sign or Planting (when applicable)
Proof of a Lot of Record
Pictures or Renderings
Sheet from the Neighborhood meeting (if it has occurred)

Modification Applications

Major Modification Application - If your variance request must be heard before the Committee.  The application fee is $150.00.  This is nonrefundable.  
Minor Modification Application - For Staff Approvals.  The application fee is $25.00.  This is nonrefundable.

Rezoning Property

The Land Development Office is not involved with the rezoning of property.  To rezone a property you will need to reach out to the Regional Planning Agency (RPA).  For more information, please visit their website, click here

Dottie Brewer