A monthly e-Newsletter from the Division of Planning and Development – May 2022

A Message from John Zeanah, Director

Whether preparing to begin a DIY project or research contractors to hire, being informed about the permitting process can ultimately help homeowners have informed expectations when renovating or making changes to their homes. The Residential Permit Guide offers insight into what requirements and permits are necessary when beginning, continuing, and completing a project. Even more helpful, this information remains available outside of location hours, so anyone can use this tool and return to previously created guides at their convenience.

As the Residential Permit Guide has been available on the Develop 901 website for nearly one year now, there is more data available concerning what citizens are most interested in learning about while using the guide. The top query? Storage sheds, whether they require a permit and what type of permit they do require, are the top guides created by users in the Residential Permit Guide.

Looking for a starting place on your project? Try the DIY Corner; it includes video resources on using the Residential Permit Guide and the Develop 901 Citizen Portal as well as commonly asked questions and often-requested information.

Spotlight: Permit for a Storage Shed?

Do storage sheds require a permit? We get this question often. The answer is “YES.” Regardless of size or the materials used for construction, all storage buildings require a permit. A Residential Accessory Permit (RES-ACC) is required.

An application can be completed online using the Develop 901 Citizen Portal; or an application can be submitted in-person by visiting one of our two Service Centers: Downtown Office in City Hall, 125 North Main Street, Suite 477; or Construction Code Enforcement Office, 6465 Mullins Station Road.

Join the Waitlist for Customer Training Sessions

We’re offering training to help customers better navigate our online permitting system, the Develop901 Citizen Portal. They are a big hit, and most sessions are full. Please click this link if you are interested in joining the wait list for one of the sessions. If a space opens, we’ll send you a notification. Remember, the content of each session is similar so attending multiple sessions may not be necessary.

The sessions with limited available seats are listed below. Indicate your interest in a selected session on the waitlist.

May 5 – Plumbing Training

May 17 – Electrical Training

May 19 – Mechanical Training

May 26 – Contractor Licensing: Plumbing

May 26 – LUDS/Planning Training

May 31 – Contractor Licensing: Electrical

June 2 – Building/Elevator Training

June 2 – Contractor Licensing: Building

Training sessions will cover topics geared to improve a user's ability to access and maneuver through the online Develop901 Portal. Topics will include creating and updating your Accela account, the "how-to's" of the Accela application process for permits and approvals, adding a licensed contractor, paying fees, submittal of plans, submitting plans corrections, and how to request inspections in the Develop901 Portal.

Planning and Implementation

May is Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month is an international campaign that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety, reinforcing the need for the adoption of modern, regularly updated building codes and assisting individuals, families, and businesses in understanding what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures. 

This year’s theme is “Safety for All: Building Codes in Action.” Click here to view the State of Tennessee’s proclamation by Governor Bill Lee. To view events provided by the International Code Council, view their site.

Lead Hazard Reduction Program

Homes built before 1978 present a unique lead hazard risk to the adults and children who live and spend time within them. When children are exposed to lead paint, they are at-risk of becoming lead poisoned, which can affect their growth and development. The Shelby County Department of Housing (SCDH) Lead Hazard Control Program provides free assistance to homeowners, landlords, and renters who want to act proactively against the risk of lead-based paint hazards and who want to protect children from adverse health-related effects.

If you or someone you know lives in a home built before 1978 and also has a child or children (6 years or younger) who spend time in the home, then contact the SCDH Lead Hazard Control Program about a free lead inspection at (901) 222-7600. Eligible residents may receive free lead paint removal services. For more information about the program, visit this site.

Applications are now accepted online via the website Neighborly. Use this site to register and create a new account before beginning an application.

Staff Announcements

Congratulations to our very own Rick Meister (pictured, left), Manager of Plan Review, for receiving the 2022 State of Tennessee Code Official of the Year Award! Rick was also elected as President of the Tennessee Building Officials Association at their Annual Business Meeting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Sarah Johnson joins the Department of Housing as the Intake & Outreach Coordinator. She brings her background in data management and planning with aims in improving program service delivery.

Upcoming Public Meetings
The Division has returned to holding in-person meetings. Meetings will still be broadcast live on the Division's YouTube channel.

5/12/22 – Land Use Control Board

5/25/22 – Board of Adjustment

5/26/22 – Landmarks Commission

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