BL2019-78: Distance Requirement for Non-Owner Occupied STRPs

UPDATED 7/9/20: Substitute Bill BL2019-78, which measures the setback from lot line to lot line, passed third reading at Metro Council on July 7, 2020.

The only amendment that was added states “qualifying properties with a valid master permit on file with the department of codes administration on or before September 1, 2020, or who has completed at least fifty percent construction on a new unit as of September 1, 2020, will not be subject to the provisions” of the bill. 

UPDATED 5/14/20: Substitute Bill BL2019-78, which measures the setback from lot line to lot line, is scheduled for third and final reading at Metro Council on July 7, 2020. The following amendments have been proposed:

  • CM Allen proposes it does not apply to DTC
  • CM Allen proposes an effective date of January 1, 2022
  • CM Withers proposes it does not apply to parcels fronting an “arterial-boulevard”, as designated in the major and collector street plan, or parcels that are not adjacent to two or more residentially zoned parcels
  • CM Withers proposes the removal of “religious institution” so the list would only include: a school or its playground, a park, or a licensed day care center or its playground
  • CM Sledge proposes that projects with their master permits on file with Codes by Sept. 1 can proceed.

*UPDATED 3/12/20: Despite the tornado, this bill was still heard at Metro Council for its second reading on 3/5/20, where it passed.**

Substitute bill BL2019-78, which measures 100 feet from lot line to lot line, is scheduled for third and final reading at Metro Council on March 17, 2020.

UPDATED 2/27/20: Planning Commission voted to approve this bill with the staff recommendation of measuring 100 feet from lot line to lot line.

The bill as originally written (measuring from structure to structure) is immediately enacted by Codes for issuance of new STR permits, per Pending Ordinance Doctrine.

The bill will be back at Metro Council for a final public hearing on March 5, 2020.

UPDATED 2/21/20: Planning Commission Staff Report released today. (See page 17.) They recommend approval of the bill with an increase of the setback distance, measuring 100 feet from property line to property line. 

The bill will be at Planning Commission for a public hearing on February 27 and back at Metro Council for the final public hearing (second reading) on March 5.

UPDATED 2/8/20: From the Planning Commission Staff Report:

“At the 1/16 Planning Commission meeting, the Planning Commission asked staff for additional research regarding the proposal. The Commission specifically asked for the following:

  • analysis of how many eligible properties would be affected
  • where STRs are currently allowed in relation to the uses outlined
  • locations of sensitive uses
  • current infractions with their relationship to those distances and focus on future eligible properties

Planning staff has been compiling data since the 1/16 meeting. As of publication, we have not received all requested data and analysis is ongoing. Staff recommends deferral to the February 27, 2020, meeting to allow staff to complete the requested analysis.”

Bill sponsor, Councilmember Colby Sledge, deferred the Metro Council public hearing until March 5, 2020. (Rescheduled from March 3 due to Election Day.)

UPDATED 2/4/20: Bill sponsor Colby Sledge has deferred the Metro Council public hearing until March 3, 2020. The next Planning Commission public hearing is on February 13, 2020.

UPDATED 1/30/20: This bill is on the agenda for Metro Council’s meeting on February 4, 2020. It will again be discussed at Planning Commission’s public hearing on February 13, 2020

UPDATED 1/17/20: Planning Commission deferred one meeting, currently scheduled for February 13, 2020. This will again be a public hearing. NOTE: Second reading public hearing at Metro Council is still listed as February 4, 2020.

UPDATED 1/13/20: Date for public hearing at Planning Commission is this Thursday, January 16, 2020 (per the meeting agenda released this morning). Staff recommendations, more details, and action items can be found HERE »

UPDATED 11/21/19: Date for hearing at Planning Commission is still unknown. Public hearing at Metro Council has been deferred until February 4, 2020.

In addition to the two new bills that were introduced last month, two additional bills were introduced this week that propose significant changes for short term rentals in Nashville. This is an overview of the first of these additional bills.


BL2019-78, sponsored by Colby Sledge, adds a minimum distance requirement for any new non-owner occupied STRP permit. This bill states that “no new STRP permit shall be issued to an applicant whose location is less than one hundred feet from a religious institution, a school or its playground, a park, or a licensed day care center or its playground.”

  • Applies to all new, non-owner occupied STRP permits issued
  • Distances shall be measured in a straight line from the closest point of the applicant’s dwelling unit for which a STRP is sought to the closest point of the building of the religious institution; from the closest point of the applicant’s unit to the closest boundary of a park; from the closest point of the applicant’s unit to the closest point of the building of a school or licensed day care center, or to the closest boundary of the playground of the school or day care center, whichever is closest to the applicant’s unit.
  • Planning Commission staff recommendation is to increase the setback distance to 100 feet from property line to property line, which would impact an exponentially greater number of homes.
  • Exemptions may be applied for (see bill for details and process).


  • Data does not support the claim that short term rentals (non-owner occupied or otherwise) are more prone to nuisance or lewd complaints and issues.
  • In fact, the last data released shows they are less likely to cause issues because they represented 1.8% of all housing and yet comprised only .2% of Codes complaints and police calls.


This bill is currently on introduction/first reading next Tuesday at Council. The typical process is that this introduction/first reading is a procedural meeting where the bill is recommended for referral to Planning Commission. It is then expected to go through the process of being heard and passed at Planning Commission followed by a public hearing/additional readings at Metro Council to become law. There is a Planning Commission meeting on December 12 and another on January 16. There is a possibility this bill could be heard in December, however at the time of this post no dates have been publicized yet. Planning Commission hearings will be public hearings.

Keep in mind that due to Pending Ordinance doctrine, once the bill passes Planning, the Codes Department is likely to immediately enact these stipulations for issuance of new STRP permits.

After passage at Planning Commission, the bill will go to Metro Council where there will be another Public Hearing before going on through the process. When we know these dates, we will update the details here.


Based on the Tennessee Short Term Rental Unit Act, existing STRP permit holders should be grandfathered in under the laws that existed at the time their original permit was issued. However, there have been instances (like earlier this year when the city revoked over 100 Owner-Occupied STRP permits) where this has not been the case in Nashville, so it is unclear as to whether or not the Codes Department will attempt to enforce the new restrictions on existing permit holders.


It’s crucial that you make your voice heard.

Stay up to date on all STRP happenings and support the short term rental community in Nashville by joining NASTRA today.


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