Zoning, Planning & Building Codes

Washington County Zoning: Balancing Growth with Resource Protection

The practice of regulating development in an orderly way that protects the environment and the general welfare of all citizens is important for Washington County.

The Washington County, Tennessee Zoning Office was created in 1989 to regulate zoning in the rural, unincorporated areas of the County. The office includes: 

  • Flood Plain Management
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Building Code for Residential Dwellings
  • Planning
  • Stormwater Management

Building Codes

Washington County adopted the International Residential Code. The code establishes minimum requirements to safeguard public safety, health and general welfare through affordability, structural strength, means of egress facilities, sanitation, light and ventilation, energy conservation and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment. 

Stormwater Management

On January 8, 2013, Washington County was named the first Qualified Local Program for Stormwater Management in the state of Tennessee. 


The county's zoning office consists of Planning Director Angie Charles, Building Official Scott Chapman and five employees. Duties are broad, ranging from investigating citizen complaints about ordinance violations to overseeing the permitting and approval process for building projects. 

Balanced Growth

The Zoning Office strives to oversee that growth in a balanced way - helping developers and businesses achieve their goals without compromising natural resources or citizens' general welfare.