Planning & Zoning



If you are a property owner or associated business partner and need a zoning verification letter, please give us a call at 423-842-2533 to request such. Alternatively, you may also email our Building and Codes Official Dan Maxwell at to obtain a zoning verification letter. Any zoning verification letters for commercial, industrial and/or multi-family related uses are subject to the fee listed in our fee schedule. 


Although the Hamilton County - Chattanooga Regional Planning Commission serves as the authority for all subdivisions and rezonings within the Lakesite city limits, any and all subdivision and rezoning applications must be initiated at City Hall. We usually require a pre-submittal meeting which will help city staff understand what you plan to do with the subject property and it allows us to clarify our processes and requirements before you submit an official application to the planning agency. If you wish to subdivide or rezone a property in Lakesite, please contact us via the means listed above to schedule this initial meeting.  

More information about the subdivision and rezoning process is available here:

Subdivision Process
Zoning Process  


The city's zoning ordinance is available in Municode

For planning information, please go to the Hamilton County - Chattanooga Regional Planning Agency at or call 423-643-5902 or city hall at 423-842-2533

A zoning map is available via the Hamilton County GIS tool at

An application shall be filed with the Board of Zoning Appeals for review. Said application shall show the location and intended use of the site, the names of adjacent property owners, and any other material pertinent to the request which the BZA may require. Application for a building permit shall be made in writing to the Building & Coded Official on forms provided for that purpose. The application for a building permit for excavation, filling, construction, moving, or alteration, shall be accompanied by a plan or plat drawn to a scale showing the following in sufficient detail to enable the zoning official to ascertain whether the proposed excavation, filling, construction, moving, or alteration is in conformance with this ordinance:

  • The actual shape, location, and dimensions of the lot to be built upon;
  • The shape, size, and location of all buildings or other structures to be erected, altered, or moved and of buildings or other structures already on the lot;
  • The existing and intended use of all such buildings or other structures;
  • Location and design of off-street parking areas and off-street loading areas. Such other information concerning the lot or adjoining lots as may be essential for determining whether the provisions of this ordinance are being observed.
If the proposed construction or alteration as set forth in the application is in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance, the zoning official shall issue a building permit for such construction. If an application for a building permit is not approved, the zoning official shall state in writing on the application the cause for such disapproval. Issuance of a permit shall in no case be construed as waiving any provisions of this ordinance, and building permits shall be void after six (6) months from date of issue, unless substantial progress on the project has been made by that time.


In granting a variance, the board shall ascertain that the following criteria are met as outlined in Subsection 3 of Tennessee Code Annotated Section 13-7-207.

  • Variances shall be granted only where special circumstances or conditions, fully described in the finding of the board, do not apply generally in the district;
  • Variances shall not be granted to allow a use otherwise excluded from the particular district in which requested;
  • Variances shall be granted only where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property at the time of the enactment of the zoning regulation, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, the strict application of any regulation enacted would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to or exception or undue hardship upon the owner of such property, authorize, upon an appeal relating to the property, a variance from such strict application so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship; provided, that such relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the zone plan and zoning ordinance.
  • For reasons fully set forth in the findings of the board, the aforesaid circumstances of conditions are such that the strict application of the provisions of this ordinance would deprive the applicant of any reasonable use of his land. Mere loss of value shall not justify a variance. There must be a deprivation of beneficial use of land.
  • The granting of any variance shall be in harmony with the general purposes and intent of this ordinance and shall not be injurious to the neighborhood, detrimental to the public welfare, or in conflict with the comprehensive plan for development;
  • In reviewing an application for a variance, the burden of showing that the variance should be granted shall be upon the person applying therefore.
The application form for a variance is available in our Document Center

For any questions, please contact our Building and Codes Official Dan Maxwell at 423-842-2533 or via email at