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Sign Ordinance

To access the Chattanooga Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 3: Advertising, click here.

Sign Applications

Board of Sign Appeals

If your sign does not comply with the rules of Chapter 3 in the Chattanooga Zoning Ordinance, you may request a variance and have your case heard by the Board of Sign Appeals (BOSA).    Complete submissions (Application, site plan, rendering, and payment) are to be made to submit through the Online Portal.  The cost to apply for a sign variance is $150.00.  You can find the meeting dates and deadlines here.

Form-Based Zoning Signs

If your project is located in the Form-Based Zoning area of downtown Chattanooga, please be sure to read the sign portion of the Form-Based Code zoning. You can access this zoning code here.  If you are not sure if your proposed sign is located in the FBC area, please follow these directions to determine your zoning.

 If your sign does not comply with the rules of the Form-Based Code, you may request a variance from the Form-Based Code Committee.  You may find the Major Modification Application, meeting dates, and deadlines here.

What do I do if my sign or awning projects in the Right of Way (ROW)?

If your sign projects into the Right of Way you will need a Temporary Use Permit that is administered by CDOT.  You will need to turn the Temporary Use Application into Shannon Mikus in the City of Chattanooga's Transporation Department.  His email address is  

Who Performs Sign Installation Inspections?

If your sign needs an electrical inspection you will need to request an inspection through the Online Portal. The permit number is required when scheduling an inspection.

Depending on the sign type, the footer for a sign may be inspected by a zoning inspector or building inspector. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Information for the Zoning Office

Land Development Office
1250 Market Street, Suite 1000
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402

Phone: (423) 643-5800
Main Fax: (423) 643-5848

Office hours of operation are Monday through Friday (excluding Holidays), from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. including the lunch hour. Inspection hours of operation are Monday through Friday (excluding Holidays), from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Permit payments are not accepted for processing after 3:30 p.m. We accept checks, money orders, and credit cards (Visa, Discover, American Express, and MasterCard Only). We do not accept cash.

Staff return calls as quickly as possible. For faster responses, please be sure to email staff.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea