Skip to Content

Second Substitute Bill BL2019-48 (as amended)

An ordinance amending Section 17.16.250 of Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws relative to home occupation (Proposal No. 2019Z-020TX-001).

WHEREAS, current regulations prohibit even one client from visiting a home-based business; and

WHEREAS, these regulations create a hardship on residents seeking additional income to survive in a city with a skyrocketing cost of living; and

WHEREAS, these regulations create a significant barrier for children seeking tutoring services, music lessons, and other enrichment; and

WHEREAS, 5.7% of Nashville workers aged 16 and older work from home; and

WHEREAS, permitting limited home-based business activity will protect the residential character of neighborhoods while allowing more Nashvillians to earn supplemental income to remain in their homes.


Section 1. That Subsection D of Section 17.16.250 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby amended by deleting it in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

D. Home Occupation. A home occupation shall be considered an accessory use to a residence subject to the following:

1. Location
a. A home occupation must be conducted entirely within the dwelling unit or accessory building.
b. The home occupation shall not occupy more than twenty percent of the total floor area of the principal structure and shall not occupy more than 1,000 square feet of total floor area within the principal structure and area of any legally permitted accessory buildings.

2. Employees and Vehicles
a. No more than one part-time or full-time employee not living within the dwelling may work at the home occupation location.
b. No more than five employees may reside within the dwelling at a home occupation location.
c. Parking a commercial vehicle on the premises or on a street adjacent to residentially zoned property is prohibited. Vehicles associated with the home occupation shall be limited to one passenger vehicle such as a motorcycle, automobile, pick-up truck, sport utility vehicle, van or similar, with a maximum axle load capacity of one and one-half tons.
d. No truck deliveries or pick-ups, except by public or private parcel services, are permitted.

3. Customer Visits
a. Customer visits must occur by scheduled appointment and only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
b. Customer visits shall be limited to no more than three visits per hour and a maximum of six total visits per day.
c. The permit holder shall maintain and make available to the Codes Department a log or register of customer appointments for each calendar year.

4. Outward Appearance
a. Signs, as defined in Section 17.32.030.B, exterior or interior displays of goods visible from the outside, or any exhibit that would indicate the dwelling unit or accessory building is being used for any purpose other than a residence are prohibited.
b. The residential character of the lot and dwelling must be maintained. A home occupation that requires a structural alteration of the dwelling to comply with a nonresidential construction code is prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to modifications to comply with accessibility requirements.
c. A home occupation may not produce noise, vibration, smoke, dust or other particulate matter, odorous matter, heat, glare, humidity, fumes, electrical interference, waste run-off, or other objectionable effects outside the dwelling unit or garage.

5. Activities
a. The storage of materials or goods shall be permitted in connection with a home occupation provided such storage complies with the following standards.
i. All materials or goods shall be stored completely within the space designated for home occupation activities.
ii. Only those materials or goods that are utilized or produced in connection with the home occupation may be stored within the dwelling unit or accessory building.
iii. All materials or goods shall be stored completely within the dwelling unit or accessory building.
iv. All flammable or combustible compounds, products or materials shall be maintained and utilized in compliance with Fire Code NFPA-30.
b. The following are permitted as home occupations that are allowed customer visits under subsection D.3:
i. Personal instruction, defined for the purposes of this section as services for training individuals or groups in academics, arts, fitness, personal defense, crafts, or other subjects of a similar nature;
ii. General office, defined for the purposes of this section as provision of executive, management, administrative, or professional services, but not involving medical services;
iii. Personal care services, defined for the purposes of this section as spa services and beauty and barber care;
iv. Multimedia production, defined for the purposes of this section as staging and recording of video or audio productions that occur indoors and do not require sound to leave the premises; and
v. Artisan manufacturing, defined for the purposes of this section as the shared or individual use of hand tools, mechanical tools, and electronic tools for the manufacture of finished products or parts as well as the incidental storage, sales, and distribution of such products within the limitations of this section.
c. The following are not permitted as home occupations regardless of whether customer visits are allowed:
i. The manufacture or repair of automobiles and other transportation equipment.
ii. The repair of equipment that takes place outdoors.
iii. The outdoor storage of construction, scrap, or salvage materials.
6. Permit Requirements
a. Home occupations that meet both of the following conditions are not required to acquire a permit for activity under this section:
i. The home occupation does not serve customers on the property; and
ii. The home occupation does not employ anyone who does not live within the dwelling.
b. Prior to issuance of a permit, the applicant shall provide the Codes Department with a an affidavit verifying that the applicant has confirmed that operating the proposed home occupation would not violate any home owners association agreement or bylaws, condominium agreement, covenants, codes and restrictions, lease or any other agreement governing and limiting the use of the property proposed for the home occupation. If the applicant is not the property owner, the affidavit shall also verify that the property owner is aware of the application and does not object to pursuit of the home occupation permit. Further, the applicant shall provide proof of written notification to the owner of each adjacent property prior to filing the application. For each such adjacent property, proof of written notification shall be: (a) a signature of an owner; (b) a signed receipt of U.S. registered or certified mail addressed to an owner; or (c) notice from the U.S. Postal Service that registered or certified mail to an owner was refused or not timely accepted.
c. In single-family and two-family zoning districts, no more than one home occupation permit may be issued per lot.
d. The owner of the property: (1) must be a natural person or persons or trust; (2) may not be a limited liability entity, including without limitation a corporation or limited liability company; and (3) may not be an unincorporated entity, including without limitation a partnership, or joint venture.
e. The permit applicant must be the owner of the property, a relative of the owner of the property, or, if a renter, must have at least a one-year lease for the property. The applicant shall verify by affidavit that they comply with this subsection.
f. Only one permit may be issued per property owner, regardless of the number of properties owned by the property owner and regardless of whether the property owner is the applicant.
g. No person may be issued more than one permit.
7. Transferability and Enforcement
a. Permit Transferability. A permit issued for activities under this section shall not be transferred or assigned to another person, entity, or address, nor shall the permit authorize any person, other than the person named therein, to commence or carry on the business. Upon termination of the occupant’s residency, the home occupation permit shall become null and void.
b. Revocation of Permit. Upon the filing of three or more verified complaints within a calendar year regarding a permit issued for activities under this section, the Zoning Administrator, or his or her designee, shall notify the permit holder in writing of such complaints and the Zoning Administrator, or his or her designee, will determine whether such complaints are valid. If it is determined that violations have occurred, the Zoning Administrator may revoke a permit as provided in Section 17.40.590. One a permit has been revoked pursuant to this subjection, no home occupation permit shall be issued to the applicant for the same property for a period of one year from the date of the revocation. The permit holder may appeal the Zoning Administrator’s decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a public hearing as provided in this Title. Other violations of this Subsection D are punishable by a fine of fifty dollars per day, per violation.

Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its final passage, and such change shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Dave Rosenberg, Zachary Young, Colby Sledge, Joy Styles, Zulfat Suara

Related Documents

Legislative History

Second Substitute AdoptedMarch 5, 2020

Referred toPlanning Commission
Budget and Finance Committee
Codes, Fair, and Farmers Market Committee
Planning, Zoning, and Historical Committee

Deferred to April 7, 2020March 5, 2020

Public Hearing SetApril 7, 2020

Deferred to May 5, 2020April 7, 2020

Public Hearing SetMay 5, 2020

Deferred to June 9, 2020May 5, 2020

Public Hearing SetJune 9, 2020

Amended and Passed Second ReadingJune 9, 2020

Amended and deferred to July 7, 2020June 16, 2020

Amended and Passed Third ReadingJuly 7, 2020

ApprovedJuly 20, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

EffectiveJuly 24, 2020

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 07/20/2020 3:20 PM