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Land Development & Water Quality

Program Overview

The City of Chattanooga/Public Works has a specialized office that provides developers with both plans review and site inspection services. This office follows a Standard Operating Procedure which corresponds with State of TN Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook.

Construction Inspection and Enforcement

silt fence sign

Construction inspections are conducted in accordance with City of Chattanooga Stormwater Management Erosion and Sediment Inspector Manual August 31, 2004 and Construction Site inspection Standard Operating Procedures January 31, 2005. During the site inspection, it is the responsibility of the Soil Engineering Specialist/Inspector to insure that all structural site erosion controls (BMPs) have been installed according to the approved plans. Site inspections are conducted on a routine basis throughout the duration of land-disturbing activity. Inspections are scheduled based on project phase (i.e., during heavy grading activity more frequent inspections are required, once interior building activity has begun less frequent inspections are required).

A typical inspection evaluates and confirms the following elements:

1.      Erosion and sediment control measures in the approved plan have been properly installed and maintained.

2.      Erosion is being controlled.

3.      Off-site sedimentation is being prevented.

4.      No turbidity in adjacent streams is being generated.

Corrective actions for noncompliant sites are ordered in accordance with the adopted Stormwater Enforcement Protocol November 18 2004.


Notice Sign

Erosion Control Matting

Site Planning

All new subdivision and commercial site work is required to submit plans for review and approval prior to land-disturbing activity. New Construction plans are reviewed for compliance with applicable City land disturbance codes. For sites larger than one acre, confirmation of a State Notice of Coverage is also established prior to permit issuance. Such sites are then required to obtain a City Land-Disturbing permit before any construction activity begins. Land-disturbing permits are not required for residential (single family dwelling) construction; however, Best Management Practices "BMP's" must be installed on site. Sites are required to maintain and post a copy of the Land-disturbing permit, Erosion and Sediment Control Plans, State permits and an approved set of plans on the job site at all times. The permit application may be found via:

Following approval of a site-specific permit, the developers are then required to:

- Schedule pre-construction meetings with the Stormwater inspector to evaluate site perimeter erosion controls and site construction exits prior to grading activity.

- Properly install site erosion controls (i.e.: entrench silt fences, use approved concrete truck wash areas, maintain construction exits, storm structure inlet/outlet protection, protect stockpiled soils and locate so that        natural drainage is not obstructed).

- Follow approved plans; any deviation requires re-submittal and approval prior to implementation on site.

- Maintain self inspection reports. Inspect and repair all sediment/erosion controls before and after forecasted rain events.

- Initiate site stabilization within 15 days after final grade or if area remains barren greater than 30 consecutive days.

- Contact the Stormwater inspector to conduct a final inspection prior to request for a Certificate of Occupancy. Once land-disturbing activity is completed, follow-up with all final paper work such as "Closure Request Forms" and State Notice of Termination.

For more information, please visit the Land Development Office's Webpage.


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1250 Market Street
Chattanooga TN 37402 (map)
(423) 643-6311  


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