The Smyrna Zoning Ordinance (Section 7.030) requires a building permit to construct any building or other structure, including accessory structures, to commence the moving, alteration, or repair of any structure, or to commence the filling of land.
When is a building permit not required?
You may make normal maintenance and repairs, such as roof replacement, painting, etc., to an existing building as long as they do not violate any provisions of the code.
How much will a permit cost?
Permit costs vary according to type, size of project, and zoning. Contact Smyrna Codes Department at 615-355-5704 to assist you in determining these fees.
Where / When can I get a permit?
Building, Gas, Plumbing, and Electrical permits may be obtained from the Smyrna Department of Building Safety, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm.
What's the penalty for failing to obtain the proper permit?
In addition to any other penalty imposed for failure to obtain a permit, where construction of any work, for which a permit is required, is commenced before a permit is issued, the permit fees shall be doubled. (Refer to Smyrna Zoning Ordinance, Sect. 7.030)
How long is a building permit valid?
Section 7.030 of the Smyrna Zoning Ordinance provides that "Any Building Permit issued becomes invalid if work authorized by it is not commenced within six (6) months of the date of issuance, or if the work authorized by the permit is suspended or discontinued for a period of six (6) months."
Why do I need a permit to build or remodel my own house / property?
In a word safety - your safety, and that of your family, visitors, and guests. It is our goal to provide the present and future residents/tenants with buildings that meet a nationally recognized minimum standard.
What about my neighborhood restrictive covenants?
The Town can only enforce the laws of the Government. Restrictive Covenants are the legally recorded agreement between property owners in a subdivision usually made when the subdivision was recorded. Sometimes buildings, pools or fences are a violation of those agreements. Contact your developer or realtor to find out about these rules. Violations of those covenants may result in civil action but not Town or Municipal Action.
What does the Codes Department do?
The Codes Department enforces Building, Fire, Plumbing, Mechanical and Gas Codes; as well as certain Municipal Codes regarding Zoning, Property Maintenance, Safety, and General Appearance of the Town.
Am I required to obtain a permit to build a concrete or asphalt driveway?
No - but please take care not to encroach upon your neighbor's property. If your home is served by a septic tank and overflow system, by all means, take care not to encroach over the top of any part of the existing system (or areas reserved for future expansion, or replacement, of the system). If you have questions concerning the location of your septic tank and overflow, contact the Rutherford County Environmental Department at (615) 898-7891.
What constitutes a "trashy lot" and "junk" cars?
When trash, junk, or debris have accumulated, overgrown vines, brush or grass is over 12” high, the lot is in violation to the Town of Smyrna Municipal Ordinance. Also, any vehicle which is wrecked, dismantled, partially dismantled, inoperative, abandoned, or without current tags is deemed a "junk" vehicle and is also a violation of the ordinance unless it is kept in a completely enclosed garage.
Where can I put up yard sale signs?
The Sign Ordinance in Smyrna only allows you to put up yard sale signs only in the yard where the sale is being conducted. In no case are signs allowed to be placed on utility poles, street signs or in public right of ways.
Where can I put up a fence?
You can put up a fence on your own property; however, the fence must not encroach on the front setback of your lot. If there is a Drainage or Utility Easement on your property, fences are only allowed in those Easements by special exception and written permission from the Public Works Department. (615-459-9766)
Are sign permits required?
Sign Permits are required for any commercial or home business signs, development signs, or temporary signs and banners. Yard Sale, political, and real estate signs do not require a permit, but they must meet code requirements regarding location, size, and zoning district. The entire Sign Ordinance is available here. Please contact Mitchell Wensman (615) 355-5706 or send him an e-mail with questions about fees, size and location requirements.
What are Drainage and Utility Easements?
A drainage or utility easement gives the right for the Town to enter certain parts of your property for maintenance or repairs regarding the drainage of the area or for any utilities that may be there or are needed in the future. If you have an easement on your property the property is still yours to use and maintain, however no buildings, pools or fences are allowed in the easement. In the rare case that the Town needed access to this property, the Town is not responsible for repairs or replacement of any of these items that are in the easement.
How do I know if l'm dealing with a reputable contractor?
Number one - are they licensed? Tennessee law requires that a general contractor be licensed. Ask to see proof! Do they have insurance? In most cases, State law requires that they carry workers compensation insurance. Ask to see a Certificate of Insurance. Ask to see some identification. Be sure you know the correct name of the individual you are dealing with, his/her address, and telephone number(s). Ask for at least two references - and check them out! Make sure all agreements are in writing! Be sure to reduce all change orders, or contract amendments to writing. Do not pay a front end deposit of more than one third (1/3) of the contract amount. Make absolutely sure they obtain the required building permits - and call for and pass the required codes inspections? IMPORTANT: Be sure you are furnished with a Use & Occupancy Certificate issued by the Codes Department, before making final payment of the contract amount.
Where can I buy a code book?
First, determine "which" code book, or books. You can click hereto view a list of all model codes that have been adopted by the Town of Smyrna. From the list, be sure to note the correct "edition" that applies to your building project.
You can order copies of most code books directly from the Publications Department of the International Code Council, Inc.. Headquarters telephone (703) 931-4533 - The Birmingham Office (800) 877-2224.