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Planning Applications


The City of Portland has converted to an electronic submittal portal for all applications reviewed by the Planning, Engineering, Public Works, Codes, and Utilities Staff. Please submit your projects through the IDTPlans System. If you are needing additional assistance with the process, please contact the Planning Department at 615-325-6776 ext 227. When submitting your documents make sure that you include the application, plans or plat, and any additional required information to ensure the submittal is accepted. https://cityofportlandtn.idtplans.com/

Below is a brief description of when to use each of the City’s application for different requests to Planning Commission or Board of Zoning Appeals. If you have any questions, contact the City Planner.

Pre Application Meeting

A pre application meeting is REQUIRED for all Planning submittals without exception. City Staff has set aside Thursdays for pre application meetings. All pre application meets will need to be scheduled with the City Planner.

Major Site Plans, Major Plats, and other Planning Commission submittals must have a pre application meeting at least three (3) weeks in advance of the submittal.

Minor Site Plans and Minor Plats submittals must have a pre application meeting at least one (1) week in advance of the submittal.

Submittals without a pre application conference will not be accepted.


Concept Plan Application

The Concept Plan is the first step in the subdivision process. The purpose is to provide a rough sketch of the proposed subdivision and show the general layout of the subdivision as is it is related to environmental features.


Preliminary Plat Application

The Preliminary Plat is the second step in the subdivision process. The purpose is to provide detailed graphic information and associated text indicating property boundaries, easements, land use, streets, utilities, drainage, and other information required to evaluate the proposed development.


Final Plat Application

The final plat is the legal document that is recorded with the County Recorder’s office. The sale of subdivided lots can only proceed after this recording. The primary purpose of the final plat is to delineate property boundaries and to describe and dedicate rights-of-way and easements.


Minor Site Plan Application

City Staff may approve and determine specific site improvement requirements for minor site plan submittals. The following items are considered as minor sites:

  1. Existing sites with each Change of Occupancy/Use.
  2. Building additions up to 5,000 square feet that meet the minimum zone lot requirements/lot coverage.
  3. New accessory buildings or uses which do not change use of property and do not exceed 5,000 square feet that meet the minimum zone lot requirements/lot coverage.
  4. Any other associated items determined by Staff to be minor.

Site Plan Application

Any Site Plan that does not meet the requirements for a Minor Site Plan will require an approval by Planning Commission.


Annexation Application

Annexation is a process by which a municipality expands its boundaries into adjacent areas not already incorporated into the municipality. A request to bring property currently in the County and within Urban Growth Boundary into the Municipal Limits of the City of Portland. Land to be annexed must be adjacent to the current City Limits and must not create doughnut holes. Any annexation request will include the Zoning for a property upon annexation.


Gate Plan Application

A Gate Application is made when a gate or security barrier is being installed on a site that will restrict access to a site by an Emergency Responder or Utility. This submittal is required by Tennessee Code Annotated § 13-8-101 through § 13-8-107


General Information Application

A General Application is made when you are requesting amendments to regulations and ordinances governing the City of Portland or upon direction from Planning Staff. Contact the City Planner prior to submitting a General Information Application.


Rezoning Application

Rezoning is the process to change the Zoning Classification for a property within the City. The zoning change will change the land uses allowed, setbacks, lot size, and other bulk regulations and may affect site design criteria.


Right of Way Application

An abandonment relinquishes the City’s interest in all or portion of the previously dedicated right-of-way, thereby giving a property owner more usable area. A property owner may apply to abandon a right-of-way adjacent to his/her property. Abandonment does not designate ownership of the abandoned property, but rather relieve the City of any responsibility, interest, or liability concerning the area.


Board of Zoning Appeals Application

A Board of Zoning Appeals application is made when the applicant is:

  1. Seeking relief from provisions of the Zoning Ordinance; or
  2. Appealing a decision of the City Planner; or
  3. Appealing a Zoning District line; or
  4. Requesting a Conditional Use as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance.

Sign Permit Application

A Sign Permit Application is required when submitting a sign plan for review. This is required for subdivision signs and commercial/industrial signs. Permits are required for some temporary signs. Contact the City Planner if you have questions regarding signs.


Special Exemption from the Subdivision Regulations Application or Design Guidelines

A Special Exception from the Subdivision Regulations or Design Standards may be requested when the applicant is seeking an exception from a regulation outlined in either the City of Portland Subdivision Regulations or the City of Portland Design Guidelines. Special Exception Requests are acted upon by the Portland Municipal Planning Commission.


Certificate of Appropriateness Application

This application is for anyone interested in building a new building, adding an addition, restoring or rehabilitating a building, making exterior changes, demolishing, or changing the signage on a lot listed as a historic landmark or within a historic district. Certificates of appropriateness require a hearing and are acted upon by the Portland Historic Preservation Commission.


Historic District Nomination Application

This application is for anyone interested in nominating an area as a historic district. Historic districts may be nominated by three (3) members of the Portland Historic Preservation Commission or by an organization interested in historic preservation, or by the owner of the property being nominated. Creating a historic district requires a public hearing and decision by the Portland Historic Preservation Commission, the Portland Planning Commission, and the Portland City Council.


Historic Landmark Nomination Application

This application is for anyone interested in nominating a resource or resources as a historic landmark. Historic districts may be nominated by three (3) members of the Portland Historic Preservation Commission or by an organization interested in historic preservation, or by the owner of the property being nominated. Creating a historic landmark requires a public hearing and decision by the Portland Historic Preservation Commission, the Portland Planning Commission, and the Portland City Council.


Plot Plan Application

Plot Plans are required for any construction or development taking place in a floodplain, floodway, an area with known drainage issues, or any property deemed a critical lot. They are reviewed and approved by staff and once approved are valid for one (1) year. Following construction an elevation certification produced by a licensed surveyor must be provided to the City prior to the issuance for a Certificate of Occupancy.


Floodplain/Floodway Development Permit Application

Floodplain/Floodway development permits are required prior to any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate located within a floodplain or floodway including but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavating, or drilling operations.