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Municipal Planning Commissions

Reference Number: MTAS-224
Reviewed Date: 09/27/2023

A municipal planning commission is to be composed of five to ten members determined by the chief legislative body (i.e., board of mayor and aldermen, city council, board of commissioners). One member is to be the mayor or someone designated by the mayor, and one is to be a member of the governing body and selected by that body. The remaining members are to be appointed by the mayor. The terms of appointed members must be arranged so that the term of one member expires each year. The legislative body determines whether and in what amount to compensate members. The mayor has authority to remove any appointed member "at his pleasure." T.C.A. § 13-4-101. A municipal planning commission must elect a chair from among its members and, if no existing charter provision exists, adopt rules for the transaction of its business. T.C.A. § 13-4-102.

This legislation is supplemental to and does not supersede private acts. T.C.A. § 13-4-105.

A planning commission may:

  • Make reports and recommendations to the governing body about community development. T.C.A. § 13-4-103.
  • Recommend building and financing programs for public improvements. T.C.A. § 13-4-103.
  • Require public officials to furnish requested information. T.C.A. § 13-4-103.
  • Adopt an official general plan for the municipality’s physical development. T.C.A. §§ 13-4-201–203.
  • Before construction, approve the location and extent of streets, parks, public spaces, public buildings and structures, and public and private utilities, T.C.A. § 13-4-104.
  • Adopt and administer subdivision regulations. T.C.A. §§ 13-4-301–310.
  • Certify a zoning plan (both text and map) to the governing body. T.C.A. § 13-7-202.

Planning commissions and zoning boards must review all plans for installation or replacement of a security gate or barrier at a gated community or facility. T.C.A. § 13-8-103.