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Land Disturbing

Land Disturbing

NOTE: Effective May 21, 2013, a Land Disturbing Permit is required for the construction of all residential single family homes, additions and out-buildings (garages, sheds, etc.), if the land is disturbed. Plans are not required for the construction of a single structure, but erosion controls are required. The application may be approved by the Stormwater permit clerk, any soil engineer specialist, or the Site Development Manager. For multiple adjacent houses, only one LD permit is required and an erosion plan must be submitted. The plan must only be approved by the Stormwater reviewer. If the disturbed acreage is greater than one acre, a State permit (Notice of Coverage) must be obtained before the issuance of the LD permit.


Construction Site "Do's and Don'ts" Associated with Land Disturbing Permitted Activities


Schedule a free pre-submittal meeting by calling 423-643-5884.  These are held on Tuesday & Thursday mornings at the Development Resource Center in Conference Room 1B.  Staff from several departments will be present to offer guidance & clarify requirements for your project.

Submit plans for review and approval prior to any land-disturbing activity. Best Management Practices "BMP's" must be installed on site.  You can email plans, applications, checklists, documents, and any questions to  

Obtain a Land-Disturbing permit before any construction activity begins.

Keep a copy of the Land-disturbing permit, State permits and an approved set of plans on the job site at all times. All permits must be posted on site.

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

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

Properly install and maintain 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).

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.  


Don't begin clearing or any land disturbance activity until all pertinent permits have been issued.

Don't disturb areas along creeks, streams, wetlands and other environmentally sensitive features, as these areas require special attention and/or permitting.  

DO NOT disturb "buffer zones".  A stop-work order or fines may accompany the costly expense of replacing the buffer often at a higher mitigation ratio (adding back more buffer than disturbed).

Don't install in-stream controls such as check dams, weirs, etc., which are not allowed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) without special permits.



Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea