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Adopting Building Codes and Amendments By Reference

Reference Number: MTAS-1093
Reviewed Date: 11/17/2022

Cities adopting building codes by reference must adopt the complete codes by ordinance. Cities may adopt amendments to building codes published by original publishers in one of two ways: by ordinance or by administrative regulations compiled by the building official. Tennessee Code Annotated sets forth the procedure for both methods. To adopt amendments by ordinance, a city follows the adopting procedures provided by its charter. To adopt amendments by administrative regulation, the building official compiles the regulations and gives them to the governing body of the city. The governing body may reject the building official's regulations by resolution. If the governing body does not reject the regulations within 90 calendar days or after its second official meeting following receipt of the regulations, whichever is later, the regulations become effective. Building codes and their amendments must be available for public inspection in the city recorder's office at least 15 days before they are adopted.

This section sets forth procedures for adopting codes and published amendments by reference as authorized by T.C.A. § 6-54-501 et seq. T.C.A. § 6-54-501(1) defines "code" as "any published compilation of rules and regulations which have been prepared by various technical trade associations and shall include specifically, but not be limited to, building codes; plumbing codes; electrical wiring codes ... together with any other code which embraces rules and regulations pertinent to a subject which is a proper municipal legislative matter." In this publication, the term "building code(s)" will be used to refer to any or all of these codes. "City recorder" includes "city clerk." A step-by-step guide is included at the end of this section. Sample ordinances, regulations and resolutions are included at the end of this section.