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Short-term Vacation Rental

Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulation: A Brief History.

The wonderful City of Chattanooga has regulated STVR operation, in one form or another, since 2009 when The City Council passed Ordinance 12231 limiting STVR operation to only R-3 and R-4 zones. That was the law of the land until 2017 when The City Council passed a comprehensive STVR reform ordinance (Ordinance 13194) to restrict STVR operation to “The Overlay”. This ordinance made all zones that allowed for dwellings within “The Overlay” to be eligible for STVR permitting provided certain regulatory steps were taken. Additionally, the ordinance grandfathered the R-3 and R-4 protections present in the 2009 ordinance into the 2017 ordinance so those zones would not be restricted to “The Overlay”.

In 2019, The City Council revisited STVR regulation in order to make surgical refinements based on lessons gleaned from the experiences of the 2017 ordinance. The revisions were adopted by The City Council and for 2020 we are proud to have Ordinance 13515 on the books. This ordinance tweaked the opposition requirements and allowed an additional appeals process for applicants denied by The Land Development Office.

Below you will find a couple handy flowcharts to help guide you through the sometimes convoluted process of government regulation. There are three potential designations and two pathways to achieve STVR nirvana:

1) Owner Occupied
2) Non-Owner Occupied
3) R-3/R-4 Zones

1) Owner Occupied and R-3/R-4
2) Non-Owner Occupied 

Remember, The Land Development Office and the wonderful staff therein are always more than happy to assist you with any of your STVR related needs and queries. Reach out; you just might be glad that you did!

Flowchart: Owner Occupied and R-3/R-4 Zoned Properties

Owner Occupied Flowchart

Non-Owner Occupied

 Non Owner Occupied Flowchart

STVR Overlay

To check your zoning and proximity to the Short-Term Vacation Overlay, please click here.



  • Application Fee: $150
  • Renewal Fee: $150
  • Additional fees may apply

Complaints and Opposition

We understand that not all STVR operations are legal nor are the legal ones always welcome or responsibly operated. The best ever city of Chattanooga is always most welcoming of any and all input concerning your neighborhoods and the ideals you strive for as well as any local STVR experiences or observations. For any and all STVR related inquiries, thoughts, opinions, high-fives, complaints, or conversations we invite you to email us at stvr@chattanooga.gov.

Additionally, there is an opposition process that all Non-Owner Occupied STVR Applications must go through before becoming permitted. This thirty day period allows for property owners or residents within 300 feet of the applied for property to submit a written objection to The Land Development Office. The applicant will also be required to post a Notice Sign in their yard for a period of fifteen days within the thirty day opposition period. Meanwhile, Notice Letters are mailed to all property owners within 300 feet of the applied for property. Should The Land Development Office receive four or more letters of objection from property owners or residents within 300 feet of the applied for property then a public hearing before City Council is triggered. At that point, The City Council will make a determination on whether or not to allow the application to proceed. If an application is denied by City Council, that property is not eligible to attempt the STVR permitting process in any form for a period of one year from the date of denial.

As a last note ..... Don’t forget to remit those occupancy taxes!

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea