Now shipping....

From what I read, this bill prohibits home recording studios in Davidson County!  And it's moving quick.  It past the 1st reading last night at a public hearing.  There's a Council Meeting May 3, at 6 pm on it. 


This will effect a lot of people in our industry!


Read below....


3. 2011Z-003TX-001
BL2011-858 / JAMESON

Staff Reviewer: Jennifer Regen
A request to modify the Metro Zoning Code, Section 17.16.250 (Accessory Uses: Home Occupation), to modify regulations
pertaining to "Home Occupations", requested by Councilmember Mike Jameson.
Staff Recommendation: APPROVE proposed substitute bill

•Encourages Housing Maintenance and Neighborhood Stability
•Supports Infill Development
•Efficient Use of Existing Housing and Infrastructure
•Preserves Historic Resources

This council bill, and the proposed text amendment, both support maintaining, preserving, and supporting Nashville's housing stock and infrastructure. It accomplishes this by allowing homeowners and residents to use a small portion oftheir home for a business. Allowing for this accessory use in the agricultural and residential zoning districts promotes homeownership, rental property maintenance, and efficient use ofexisting infrastructure by promoting reinvestment in existing neighborhoods.

This request is to modify the home occupation standards by creating two different permit tiers: Tier 1 (no customers) and Tier 2 (customers). Under Tier 2, a client or customer can come to a home by appointment in the AG, AR2a, R, and RS zoning districts. In addition, it renames the land use from "home occupation" to "home business".

The current home occupation standards in the Zoning Code prohibit customers from coming to a residential property where a home business is located. A council bill has been filed, BL2011-858, and a substitute bill is proposed, that would allow customers under certain conditions. The proposed substitute creates a two-tiered home business: Tier 1 (no customers); Tier 2 (customers). Tier 1 permits would be approved administratively by the Codes Department as these kinds of home businesses are approved today. Tier 2 permits would be acted upon after a public hearing is held by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The BZA will review a Tier 2 home business application against the specified standards detailed in the proposed substitute bill and the general provisions contained in Section 17.16.150 ofthe Zoning Code.

Permitted Uses
Existing Code: Any activity is allowed provided no customers/clients come to the home, no outdoor activities, emissions, noise, glare, etc. occur.

Proposal: Under both ofthe home business tiers, general office and cottage industry activities are permitted. Under Tier 2, personal instruction is also allowed and any permitted activity may also have clients and customers come to the home.
•General Office (non-medical);
•Cottage Industry where persons are engaged in the onsite production of goods or services such as, but not limited to:
•Artists, sculptors, photography; ceramics, jewelry making, dress-making, tailoring, sewing, ironing, home crafts;
•Baking, preserving, cooking, catering;
•Barber or beauty shop;
•Catalog or internet sales;
•General Office excludes medical office per current Zoning Code definition of this land use;
•Licensed massage therapy;
•Personal counseling;
•Watch or clock repair;

Prohibited Uses

Existing Code: Automobile-related uses are prohibited as a home business

Proposal: The following uses would be prohibited as a home business, in addition to any automobile-related uses:
•Animal boarding, grooming, bathing, or exercising; animal day care;
•Automobile/farm/lawn equipment sales, rentals, detailing, washing, repair, dismantling, storage, or salvage; engine or machine shops;
•Bed and breakfast;
•Direct retail sales;
•Divination (palm reading, fortune-telling, etc);
•Nail salon;
•Recording studio;
•Rental or leasing ofhomes for special events and gatherings;
•Small appliance repair;
•Tattoo Itanning I body-piercing;
•Wedding chapel;
•Wrecker service; or,
•Any businesses where employees come to the home and then are dispatched to other locations.


Existing Code: A home business can operate in the home, garage and/or an accessory structure. No outdoor operations.
Proposal: Same as existing code, except:
•Under Tier 2, a swim or tennis instructor may conduct lessons outside.
•Under either tier, a business must operate in one structure only to better enable code enforcement.

Maximum Size
Existing Code: 20% of finished floor area in home or 500 square feet, whichever is less, and excluding garage and other unheated space.
Proposal: No change.

Existing Code:
 A home business can employ an unlimited number of family members who reside in the home and one non-resident employee who does not live in the home.
Proposal: Same as existing code, except:
•Clarifies "employee" as being anyone who works in the home, regardless of whether compensation is received;
•Clarifies calculation of a part-time or full-time employee shall not include the use of full-time equivalents;

Existing Code: A home business can be operated by the property owner or a tenant.
Proposal: No change.

Existing Code: No customerslclients are allowed to visit the home.

Proposal: Under Tier 1, no change. Under Tier 2, clients and customers can visit the home between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday -Friday with these restrictions:
•No more than 2 visits per hour;
•No more than 12 visits per day during those hours;
•A "visit" means any trip made to the property for any purpose.


Existing Code: No restriction on the type or frequency of deliveries to a home.
Proposal: Under Tier 1, no change. Under Tier 2, deliveries are restricted to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Deliveries also count as a "visit" to the home.


Existing Code: Indoor storage can occur only with no outdoor storage.

: No change except to clarify that a porch, deck, patio, and carport are not eligible for storage. Also, clarifies property cannot be used to store items sold offpremises.

Existing Code: No sign allowed advertising business on home, mailbox, yard, or any vehicle.
Proposal: No change, except allows for one, nonilluminated plaque measuring a maximum of 1 square foot to identify the home business mounted to the wall. The plaque will enable better code enforcement as neighbors and inspectors will know they have the right house when reporting a possible violation.

Existing Code: Residents and employees can park onstreet or off-street.
Proposal: No change except customer and clients can park or wait on the property only; they cannot park or wait on-street.

Existing Code: Only one large passenger vehicle is allowed that weighs no more than one and one-half tons.
Proposal: Clarifies what vehicles are allowed by defining what constitutes a "passenger vehicle".

Number of Permits
Existing Code: Multiple permits for same residence.
Proposal: One permit per residence.

Permit Transferability
Existing Code: Not addressed.
Proposal: Clarifies home business permit is good for one residential address, and cannot be assigned or transferred to another entity or address. Further, when the permit holder no longer lives at the address, the permit becomes null and void.

Existing Code: None required.

Proposal: No change, except:
•Under Tier 2, prior to submittal ofan application for a home business, the applicant must send a letter by registered mail, return receipt to all abutting and adjacent owners. The letter will describe the proposed home business.
•Under Tier 2, prior to the BZA's consideration ofthe home business as a special exception use, all property owners within 600 feet ofthe property will be notified by mail ofthe date, time, and location of the public hearing.

Business License

Existing Code: Not addressed.

Proposal: In conjunction with the submittal ofa home business application to the Codes Department, the applicant is required to submit a copy of a valid business license, from the State ofTennessee, if a license is required by the state.

The proposed substitute bill can be administered by the Codes Department, however, the department does have concerns about its enforcement. Specifically, allowing customers and clients to visit the home. The Codes Department does not have sufficient staff to observe home businesses for extended periods of time to determine whether a violation has occurred.

Staff recommends approval ofthe proposed substitute text amendment. It recognizes the evolution of home occupation businesses given the advent of technology, flexible work schedules, and dual income families.

SUBSTITUTE ORDINANCE NO. BL2011-858 can be found
page 20 - 25


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Replies to This Discussion

That's great news!
Mike Jameson responded responded to my email, but I see Peter King has already addressed this on the next page. I hope the final bill is amended appropriately.

Thank you Mr. Jameson.
I sincerely hope Mr Jameson has made the necessary amendments to help the residents of "Music City" in their quest to stay solvent in these troubled times.

Hey guys, just saw this from the Scene online


Hope this will clarify & put minds at ease.

I went to the council meeting last night.  Yes, the meeting your referring to is May 24 at the Howard School Building at 6 pm. (800 2nd ave north).  Public comments will be heard.  Then I believe Michael Jameson set what I think is the final reading, for the council meeting the 3rd Tues. night in June.

Metro Council roundly rejects home-based business bill.


I didn't even know this was back in front of the Council.  Not sure the details, but I see my councilperson voted against it. 

Since this legislation did not pass, do people have a better understanding of what the codes and laws are - right now - regarding home studios and are we any closer to a solution for the way the industry has changed?


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