Adoption of Local Ordinances Regarding Vested Property Rights
A city may, by ordinance or resolution, specifically identify the type or types of development plans that will cause property rights to vest; provided, that regardless of nomenclature used in the ordinance or resolution to describe a development plan, a plan which contains any of the information for a preliminary development plan or final development plan shall be considered a development plan that will cause property rights to vest. Although the law states a city may adopt a local ordinance or resolution, it must be in the form of an ordinance if an existing code previously enacted by ordinance (such as a zoning ordinance) will be amended. T.C.A. § 13-3-413(e); T.C.A. § 13-4-310(e).
Any such ordinance or resolution shall also specify what constitutes approval of a development plan. If a city has not adopted an ordinance or resolution pursuant to this section specifying what constitutes a development plan that would trigger a vested property right, then rights shall vest upon the approval of any plan, plat, drawing, or sketch, however denominated, that is substantially similar to any plan, plat, drawing, or sketch approved as a preliminary development plan or final development plan. T.C.A. § 13-3-413 (e); T.C.A. § 13-4-310 (e).