Frequently Asked Questions

Is my property restricted?
All parcels in Hamblen County are restricted. Please see our Zoning Regulations for more information.

I have a question about my address, or obtaining an address for my property.
Please contact the GIS Department at 423-318-2507.

Can I run a business out of my home?
To operate a business out of your home you must fill out a Customary Home Occupation Application. Please remember that for a CHO, you must abide by the following:

  • Only ONE business may be operated at an address.
  • You cannot have a business in your residence that increases the traffic in any way. Your residence may be used as an office space ONLY.
  • A Customary Home Occupation will not be approved for anyone that is living in an unapproved structure.

For more information on the requirements for a Customary Home Occupation, please contact our office.

I have a question about septic.
Please see our Septic Page for more information.

My property is within the city limits. Do you regulate anything within the city?
The Hamblen County Planning Commission only regulates the county. For questions about a property in the city limits, please contact the City Planning Department at 423-585-4620.

I have a dispute with my neighbor over a property line.
This is a civil matter; we do not address property line disputes.

I would like to sub-divide my property.
Please see our Subdividing Property Information Sheet for more information.

Can you recommend a surveyor?
The Hamblen County Planning Commission does not recommend any specific surveyors.

I have another question that isn’t answered here.
Most questions require our staff to research a property, its history, or other information that is not immediately available during a phone call. Please send an email to with your contact information, the property address, any details you feel are relevant, and the question/request. Someone will be in touch with you shortly to address your question/request.

What zone is my property in?
To find your zone, please see the Zoning Page. This page also provides information on what uses are allowed in each zone and setbacks for those zones.

What uses are allowed in my zone?
Please see our Zoning Page for information on what uses are allowed in each zone. If a use is not listed for your zone, it is NOT an allowed use.

My tax card says my zone is different than what the zoning map says.
Tax cards do not provide the zoning use. They only show what the parcel is taxed as. You will need to enter your address into the Zoning Map to see what zone your property is in prior to any purchases or construction.

When do I need a permit?
If you are building or installing a structure, you are required to have a permit. The only projects that do not require a permit are:

  • Renovation projects that DO NOT affect the structure of the building (such as painting, replacing cabinets, installing new flooring)
  • Roof replacement/repair
  • Electrical work (please contact your utility company)
  • Structures such as tree houses, dog houses, or children’s playing equipment
  • Fences

How do I get a permit?
Please see our Applications Page to download the appropriate permit application. Descriptions are provided for each one. If you are uncertain, please contact our office at 423-581-1373.

I began a project and only now learned I need a permit. What do I do? 
Stop work immediately and go to our Applications Page. Select the appropriate application and submit it either to our office or via email to Please indicate on the application that work has already begun on the project and give a description of the work that has been done.

I have filled out an application. Now what?
Once we have reviewed your application, we will call you to let you know the permit is ready to be picked up. This usually takes 24 – 48 hours from submission of the application if ALL information has been filled in and there are no other issues that need to be addressed first.

When can I pick up my permit?
Our office is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
For residential permits, please make an appointment so that we have plenty of time to review all documents with you.

May I live in a camper/RV?
Living in campers is NOT ALLOWED in Hamblen County. The ONLY exception is that a person may reside in a camper during the construction of a permanent residence and ONLY if a permit has been issued.

Can I place a mobile home on my property?
Per our Zoning Regulations a Single Wide Mobile Home (SWMH) may be placed in an A-1 zone only. A Double Wide Mobile Home (DWMH) may be placed in either an R-1 or A-1 zone. HOWEVER, you will need to contact the Register of Deeds office at 423-586-6551 and request the Subdivision Covenants to ensure there are no rules for that section of property against SWMH’s or DWMH’s.

Please note that even if the property is not in a subdivision like ‘Brentwood’, the property may still be part of a ‘subdivision’. It is highly recommended that you check with the Register of Deeds before purchasing a mobile home.

Why did I receive a Notice of Violation?
If you received a Notice of Violation you will need to contact the office within the number of days indicated on the letter at 423-581-1373.

I would like to place a second residence on my property. How do I go about that? 
Per Hamblen County Regulations, only one primary structure is allowed on a property. A second structure MAY be added if the property is subdivided. See our Subdivision Regulations for guidance.

Can I build/install a tiny home?
Tiny homes are not allowed in Hamblen County. Residential one and two family dwelling units are considered to be dwellings above four hundred (400) sq. ft. with minimum habitable rooms of not less than seventy (70) sq. ft. Habitable rooms shall be not less than seven (7) ft. in any horizontal dimension.

What sort of structures are allowed to be lived in in Hamblen County? 
Residents in Hamblen County may ONLY live in the following structures:

  • Residential structure (four hundred (400) sq. ft. and above only)
  • Single wide or double wide mobile home
  • Modular home
  • Duplexes

Accessory buildings, campers/RVs, garages, storage buildings, and anything other than the above listed approved structures are FORBIDDEN from being used as a temporary or permanent residence.

Are there any restrictions on where I can place structures on my property?
Carports, pools, and accessory buildings (such as garages, sheds, etc.) are NOT ALLOWED in front of a residence. The ONLY exception is that an accessory building MAY be placed in front of a residence if the property is OVER THREE (3) ACRES & a site plan has been submitted and approved.

What are setbacks?
A Setback is the distance a structure is set back from the property line.

I am constructing/installing a structure. What are my setbacks?
Setbacks are determined by zone. You may refer to our Zoning Page or call our office at 423-581-1373 for more information.

What if I cannot meet the required setbacks? 
Please contact our office for variance requirements and the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting schedule.

What is the purpose of the Stormwater Department?
To ensure the health and safety of Hamblen County residents by working to improve water quality. Hamblen County is considered a Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) by the State of Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Water Resources. Our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit is issued every five years following an audit with the state.

Information on the NPDES permit can be found on the EPA’s website HERE and the State of  Tennesse’s website HERE.
The NPDES permit can be found HERE.

I have a Stormwater complaint. 
Please contact our office by using the Stormwater Hotline at 423-585-4077 or email us at