Land Use Controls

Municipal Zoning Code

The Planning Department is responsible for the preparation and administration of the city’s Zoning Code. The current Cookeville Municipal Zoning Code was adopted by the City Council on December 20, 2001 through Ordinance Number O01-11-15 and became effective on January 4, 2002. The new Zoning Code and Map (PDF) replaced the 1988 Code and Map.

Code Amendment Date

The 2002 Zoning Code has been amended a number of times since its adoption, the most recent being on June 21, 2018 through Ordinance Number O18-05-10.

Code Requirements

The Zoning Code contains specific requirements for various zoning districts. Additionally the Zoning Code includes the city requirements for:

  • Floodplain development
  • Landscaping
  • Parking
  • Screening and buffering
  • Sidewalk construction
  • Signs
  • Street access

Zoning Request

All requests for rezoning and code amendments are submitted to and reviewed by the Planning Department. The Planning Director presents recommendations on these matters to the Planning Commission and City Council. The department also reviews and makes recommendations to the Board of Zoning Appeals on all requests for variance, special exception, and administrative review. Applications for BZA requests must be submitted to the Planning Department.

Historic Zoning & Commission

Historic Zoning provisions are contained with the Municipal Zoning Code and were established by the City Council on November 11, 2000 through Ordinance Number O00-10-35. The first Historic Zoning Commission was appointed by the Council on April 5, 2001. On August 4, 2005 through Ordinance Number O05-06-09, the membership of the Commission was expanded from 5 to 7 members for the purpose of improving the representation from the established historic districts. The Planning Department serves as staff for Historic Zoning Commission. All petitions for Historic Zoning Designation are submitted to and reviewed by the Planning Department.

Historic Districts

North Dixie Avenue Historic District

The city’s first Historic District, the North Dixie Avenue Historic District (PDF), was established by the City Council on November 15, 2001 by Ordinance Number O01-10-12. Design Guidelines for this Historic District (PDF) were approved by the Historic Zoning Commission on April 9, 2002. In 2008, through ordinance Numbers O08-08-13 and O08-09-17, 15 additional parcels were placed within the North Dixie Avenue Historic District.

East Broad - Freeze Street Historic District

The city’s second Historic District, the East Broad - Freeze Street Historic District (PDF), was established by the City Council on May 15, 2003 by Ordinance Number O03-04-06. Design Guidelines for this district have not been developed.

Cream City Historic District

The city’s third Historic District, the Cream City Historic District (PDF), was established by the City Council on September 16, 2004 by Ordinance Number O04-08-13. Design guidelines for this district (PDF) were approved by the Historic Zoning Commission on June 14, 2005. A database of all properties within the Historic District was completed by the Planning Department in 2008. This inventory provides detailed information on each parcel and includes photographs.

Certified Local Government

On May 1, 2002 the City of Cookeville was approved as a Certified Local Government by the National Park Service from United States Department of the Interior through the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act. Cookeville is the twenty-fifth Certified Local Governments in the State of Tennessee.

Sign Regulations

The location, number, and dimensions of on-premise signs and billboards in the City of Cookeville are regulated through Section 207, General Sign Regulations (PDF), of the Municipal Zoning Code. These regulations are administered by the Planning and Codes Departments. Sign permits are required for all signs. Permits for on-premise signs may be obtained from the Sign Inspector with the Codes Department. Billboard permits are obtained through the Planning Department.

Municipal Subdivision Regulations

The Cookeville Subdivision Regulations were adopted on April 24, 2000. Amendments to the Subdivision Regulations were approved by the Planning Commission on March 25, 2002, May 23, 2005, and on March 23, 2009. The Subdivision Regulations (PDF) provide the standards and procedures for the subdivision of property in the city. The Planning Department reviews all subdivision plats to ensure that they comply with regulations and completes inspections of required improvements such as streets and utilities to ensure that they meet required construction standards.