A: Construction Permits can be obtained by qualified contractors via the City’s Permit Portal or in person at the Permit Counter in City Hall. The permit process consists of an application, fee (both found under “Permit Application & Fees” on the Building Division web page) and review of construction drawings as required by project. Once all required documentation is received plan review must be performed to ensure compliance with City adopted Building and Zoning Codes. Plan review allows the details of proposed work to be adjusted on paper prior to the physical start of work which avoids wasted time and money.
A: Residential work only requires a site drawing for new homes &additions. Work that does not change a home’s footprint, such as an interior renovation of existing home, requires permit but does not require a drawing.
Commercial work requires a drawing for any work relative to a structure’s walls, building systems, or modification of earth/site. A commercial job scope consisting of the one for one change out of equipment does not require a drawing.
All accessory structures, retaining walls over 4’ tall (measured from adjacent grade), new drive ways and curb cuts, both residential and commercial, all also require drawings.
A: Once the review is completed and the permit is released for purchase, it can only be obtained by a licensed contractor (see “Contractor Requirements &Info” on the Building division web page) or an Owner/ Occupant when related to a single family home. Business owners and landlords who are not licensed contractors are not qualified to purchase their own permits or perform any work. Please see “Contractor Requirements” for information needed to qualify as a contractor.
A: Setbacks are determined by the zoning of the property in question. This can be determined by visiting “Property Zoning” on the Development Services web page. Once determined, see the setbacks for that zone in article VI of the zoning code.
A: Yes. Please see “Communication Tower Permit Reqs” document found in “Designer & Application Support Info” section of the Building division web page. Also see Article X of the Johnson City Zoning Code.
A: TN State Law allows the Owner/ Occupant of a single family home to act as their own General Contractor. In Johnson City, a single family home Owner/Occupant can also complete their own electrical or plumbing work after successfully completely a free competency exam administered in the Building Division Office located in City Hall.
City Ordinance requires all other work to be performed by licensed contractors.
Mechanical work can only be performed by a licensed mechanical contractor due to its inclusion of gas fired appliances.
A: Architects and Engineers (AKA State Licensed Designers) may be required by the Building Official for any work requiring permit within the Johnson City, City Limits.
State Licensed Designer are not required for single family homes.
Any work to be completed relative to a commercial structure having a fire area greater than 5000sf, 3 stories or greater, or housing an occupancy type of Assembly, Institutional or Educational, must always be accompanied by drawings that have been sealed by a TN State licensed designer.
Civil Engineers are required in Johnson City when 4000sf or more of ground surface is disturbed.
A State Licensed Designer is also required for all signs over 20’ tall or over 15’ tall if the sign has a surface area of 120sf or more.