184 Tiger Trail
Ringgold, Georgia  30736
Phone Number:  (706) 965-3787
James Davis, Zoning Administrator
Fay Wood, Zoning Secretary

 Rodney Pfeifer Code Enforcement Officer

E-Verify User ID #: 97014
E-Verify Date of Authorization: 02/04/2008

The following information was obtained from the Catoosa County Zoning Ordinance. A complete copy of the county's zoning ordinance can be found at 

Basic activities regulated and not regulated in this ordinance.

The activities listed in this section are not all-inclusive:

Development activities are regulated under this ordinance as is the construction of and extension of buildings (including, but not limited to the construction of a porch or deck or placement of a sign).  However, regardless of any other provisions of this ordinance to the contrary, the following activities shall not be regulated by this ordinance, and shall not require a permit:

1)   Home gardening;

2)   Installation of carpeting;

3)   Installation of appliances in homes;

4)   Installation of drapes, curtains, curtain rods, pictures or other household furniture;

5)   Sanding or painting of interior or exterior surfaces of homes, buildings or structures;

6)   Installation of telephone jacks or computer modems;

7)   Erection, repair or destruction of fences (except those on rights of way or concerning swimming pools);

8)   Non-electrical or non-gas related repairs that do not extend the size of the building.

9)   Replacement of doors or windows or a roof;

10)  Installation of kitchen appliances or water or sewer fixtures (except that a sewer, water, or septic tank permit may be required by the Catoosa County Health Department or utility district);

11)  Construction of a veranda or canopy;

12)  Ordinary yard work, yard landscaping, lawn mowing, or sprinkling (however, yard modifications are required for buffers, screening and other reasons set forth in the [this] ordinance); or

13)  The paving (concrete or asphalting) of, laying the foundation for, or placing of chert or rock upon, a private drive, private road or basketball or tennis court; however, tile placed on a public road must be approved by or purchased from the Catoosa County Board of Commissioner's office.  The paving of parking lots in excess of one acre is regulated.

List of definitions.

Except as specifically defined herein, all words used in this ordinance shall carry their customary meaning as defined by Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition.

1)  Accessory use.  A use clearly incidental to, customarily found in connection with, and subordinate to the principal use or building, and located on the same lot with such principal use or building; what may constitute accessory uses are as follows:

a)  Family garden to residences;

b)  Swimming pools to residence, or to hotels;

c)  Indoor home occupations completely enclosed within a residential structure where only the landowner, his immediate family members (who live on the property), and no more than two other full-[time] or part-time employees are based from (or ordinarily present at) the premises, subject to barriers and screens that may be required in this ordinance;

d)  Indoor home occupations completely located and enclosed within a detached accessory building where only the landowner and not more than two additional full-[time] or part-time employees perform a service at the premises, subject to the barriers and screens that may be required in this ordinance; "detached" means capable of freestanding without support by or from another structure;

e)  A car wash and the storage of petroleum products are accessory uses of a garage or gas station;

f)  A coffee shop is accessory use of a hotel;

g)  Any accessory use of a type requiring a special use permit if it were the primary use shall be prohibited as an accessory use unless the landowner obtains a special use permit;

h)  An accessory use of a residential premises shall not have a neon or lighted sign on the residential premises which can be viewed from any portion of the outdoor portion of another residential premises;

i)  Reserved;

j)  A garage used for the parking of automobiles (and not for the purpose of repairing, painting or working on vehicles) shall be construed as an accessory use to a residential premises;

k)  A garage used for the purpose of repairing, painting or working on motor vehicles shall be construed as an accessory use to a residential premises only if the conditions of c) or d) of this section are met, and if the doors (to the bay areas and to access areas through which the vehicle(s) pass) thereto are kept shut except when vehicles are traveling there through;

l)  The renting of rooms in or conversion of a residence for this purpose is not an allowed accessory use (or an allowed home occupation) of a residence in an R-1 district (unless a room(s) was being rented therein prior to the effective date of this ordinance) and is prohibited;

m)  The display or placement of more than one automobile for sale on a residential premises is prohibited as an accessory use in any residential district.

2)   Agriculture.  Agriculture shall be considered to mean the raising of soil crops and livestock in a customary manner on tracts of land and shall include all associated activities.  Retail selling of products raised on the premises shall be considered a permissible activity provided that space necessary for the parking of customers' vehicles shall be provided off the public rights-of-way.

3)   Alley.  A minor way, public or private, used for service access to the back or side of properties otherwise abutting a street.

4)   Biomedical waste treatment or disposal facility.  A facility that disposes of or treats pathological waste, biological waste, cultures and stocks of infectious agents or associated biologicals, chemotherapy waste, discarded medical equipment or parts, but does not include expendable supplies and materials that have been decontaminated.

5)   Block.  A piece or parcel of land entirely surrounded by public highways or streets, other than alleys.

6)   Building.  Any structure having a roof supported by columns or by walls and intended for shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals or chattels.

7)   Building, accessory.  A detached, subordinate structure designed for the use of which is clearly incidental to, customarily associated with, and related to the principal structure or use of the land, and which is located on the same lot as the principal structure or use.

8)   Building, principal.  A building in which is conducted the main use of the lot on which said building is located.

9)   Building line.  A line parallel to a lot line which is adjacent to, abutting, and established by the building erected or proposed to be erected and in front of which no part of the building projects.

10)  Certificate of zoning compliance.  A certificate issued by the zoning entity that a proposed use is either in conformity or nonconformity with existing zoning laws.  If a request is made (pursuant to a legitimate business purpose and need) to the zoning entity concerning whether a proposed use is in compliance with the zoning for the property in question, the zoning entity may issue a certificate that such property is in conformity or nonconformity with existing zoning laws.  However, if such certificate or letter is issued, it cannot make an assurance that the proposed use will be allowed for any particular time in the future (beyond the time required for a hearing on an amendment) without expressing that this assurance remains valid until the next regularly scheduled or specially called zoning meeting.  Upon receipt of such request, the zoning entity may make such investigation or initiate a hearing to determine whether conformity exists.  Any such hearing shall be preceded by at least 15 days' but not more than 45 days' advance notice to the property owner and to the public (by advertising in a newspaper of general circulation within the county) of the time, place and purpose of the hearing.

11)  Cluster housing.  The grouping of conventional single-family detached houses (not to exceed 1,200 square feet).

12)  Compatible.  Congruous with, tolerant of and having no substantial adverse effects on neighboring uses.  This term shall be synonymous with the term "consistent."

13)  Compliance.  As used in the context of being in compliance with this ordinance or the terms thereof, this means not only the following of the literal wording and intent of this ordinance, but also the following of the wording and intent of the orders, decisions and interpretations given to this ordinance (or portions hereof) by the zoning entity.

14)  Conditional use.  A use not ordinarily permitted but which may be permitted upon the imposition of conditions related to the promotion of the public health, safety, morals or general welfare and designed to minimize the negative impact on surrounding lands.  Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, restrictions on land use; height, setback and other non-use requirements; physical improvements to the property and infrastructure serving the property; conveyance of land and agreements that the property will revert to its former classification if the specified conditions are not met.  A conditional use must be approved in the same manner as a rezoning request prior to the issuance of a permit.

15)  Condominium.  Individual ownership units in a multifamily structure combined with joint ownership of common areas of the building, grounds, in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Georgia Condominium Act of 1975 (1975 Ga. Laws, as amended).

16)  Dangerous chemical.  Any chemicals that pose a significant risk of death or serious illness to human beings by exposure to their vapor, combustion, external bodily (skin) contact or touch.  Such chemicals include known or suspected carcinogens via such exposure.

17)  Development.  Subdividing a tract of land into two or more lots whether for sale or rental; construction, erection or expansion of a structure; filling, grading, excavation or land disturbing activities affecting more than one acre (however, any mining, landfill, junkyard or recycling plant activities, creation or enlargement affecting any size tract of property whatsoever shall be deemed development and is prohibited without a permit); recordation of a plat in the office of the clerk of superior court (unless such recordation is to illustrate a deed line such as with a land boundary line agreement); or the location of a facility.

18)  Diagonal tie.  Any tiedown designed to resist horizontal or shear forces and that deviates not less than 30 degrees from a vertical point.

19)  Dispose.  The discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, placing of any solid waste or hazardous waste or dangerous chemicals into or on any land or water so that such solid waste or hazardous waste or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or be emitted into any waters, including groundwaters, or be burned, incinerated or deposited by any other means onto or into the air, land or water, including groundwater.

20)  Domesticated animals.  Those animals that are tamed, associated with a family life, and accustomed to living in or near habitations of humans.

21)  Dwelling.  A building designed, arranged or used for permanent living quarters for one or more persons.

22)  Dwelling unit.  A building or portion thereof, providing complete living facilities for one family.

23)  Easement.  A grant by a property owner of the use of land for a specific purpose or purposes by the general public, a corporation, or a certain person or persons.

24)  Factory-built home.  Factory-fabricated dwelling or commercial unit(s), including a mobile home, a pitched-roof double-wide home and a modular home.  Regardless of their designation as "homes" the three types of factory-built homes referred to in this ordinance need not be used as dwellings in order to be considered "factory-built homes."  The three types are as follows:

a)  Mobile home;

b)  Modular home;

c)  Pitched-roof, double-wide home.

25)  Family.  An individual or two or more persons related by blood or marriage, including stepchildren or adopted children living together in a dwelling unit having no roomers or boarders or having not more than four persons who need not be related by blood or marriage living together in a dwelling unit (regardless of whether such roomer or boarders are paying an enumeration for said boarding).  For purposes of this ordinance, "a family" may include five or fewer foster children placed in a family foster home licensed by the State of Georgia, but shall not include fraternities, sororities, roominghouses or boarding-houses, rest homes, or tourist homes.

26)  Family care home.  A family care home is a dwelling home with support and supervisory personnel that provide room and board, personal care and habilitation services in a family environment for resident handicapped persons who because of a temporary or permanent physical, emotional or mental disability, including but not limited to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, hearing and sight impairments, emotional disturbances, and orthopedic impairments, desire a substitute home; provided that persons with any of the following categories shall not be eligible for admission to a family care home:

a)  Mentally ill persons who are dangerous to others;

b)  Persons who are not handicapped persons, excluding supervisory personnel for the handicapped.

27)  Grandfathered use.  A use which is not subject to the use district requirements or the special use permit requirements of this ordinance because of vested rights acquired prior to the adoption of the [this] ordinance or acquired from the county based upon the principle of equitable estoppel that will estop the county from imposing such zoning regulation because of structures or actual uses in place or good-faith reliance upon a written assurance from the county (that the use will probably be allowed for a time certain, within which the use lawfully commenced) reasonably relied upon to the substantial detriment (and change of position) of the landowner.  A use shall not be grandfathered unless this ordinance clearly and specifically allows such vested rights.

28)  Ground anchor.  Any device at the manufactured house stand designed to secure a manufactured house to the ground.

29)  Hazardous waste.  Means any solid or liquid waste which has been defined as a hazardous waste in regulations promulgated by the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the federal act which is now in force and effect on February 1, 1988, codified as 40 CFR, 261.3 and any designated hazardous waste.

30)  Hazardous waste facility.  Any property or facility that is intended or used for storage, treatment or disposal of hazardous waste, with the exception of the following businesses (which shall not be defined as hazardous waste facilities because of their history in this county for safety, and because of the familiarity of emergency response entities to respond to incidences at the following facilities):  Service stations where liquids are used as motor fuels and are stored and dispensed from fixed equipment into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles; oil change businesses which service the changing of oil on automobiles, motorcycles and other motor vehicles; automotive mechanic shops; automotive body shops; automotive garages; provided that such excepted facilities use the tract of land upon which such businesses are located exclusively for the excepted uses or uses incidental thereto (such as convenience stores, food markets, facilities for the sale and service of tires, facilities for the sale and service of batteries and accessories and the sale of gifts and other crafts).

31)  Health clinic.  A use designed to examine, diagnose, treat (or attempt to control) human ailments or diseases which houses patients on an overnight (or longer) basis.

32)  Home occupation.  An occupation for gain or support conducted by the homeowner on residence premises by family members only or with not more than two additional full-time or part-time employees. 

33)  Injurious.  In terms of light, noise or other attributes, an affect on the comfort or enjoyment of property such that the sufferer is subjected to a deprivation or hardship as balanced against the ability of the landowner (of the land upon which the attribute originates) to take action to confine the effects of the attribute.  This term shall be synonymous to the term "annoying" and is often referred to in this ordinance as an "attribute."

34)  Junk.  Wrecked or inoperative (whether repairable or not) motor vehicle(s), scrap copper, scrap brass, scrap rope, scrap glass, scrap rags, scrap metal, scrap paper, scrap batteries, scrap appliances, scrap beds and bedding, scrap rubber, scrap tires, scrap motor vehicle parts, scrap furniture, scrap wood, scrap building materials, scrap tools or other used materials that have been abandoned from their original use but may or may not be used again in their present form or in a new form.

35)  Junkyard.  Any outside use involving the storing, disposal, buying or selling of junk that can be viewed from other property, public streets or public roads.  Junkyards shall be presumed to exist if three or more inoperative motor vehicles are maintained for more than five days, except vehicles being held pursuant to a law enforcement agency impoundment; however, this presumption may be rebutted if no part of the junk is outside of a completely enclosed building and no part of the junk can be viewed from any portion of any adjoining property, public road or public street; this presumption may also be rebutted if the inoperative vehicles are part of a legitimate display of nonrusted collectible vehicles that are neatly arranged, maintained in a clean condition, and are placed for the purpose of display.  The fact that such uses are in conjunction with, addition to, or accessory to other outside uses allowed under this ordinance shall not alter the definition of such use as being a junkyard.  A use may be outside even though it is within a building if the building is maintained so that junk can be viewed from other property (e.g. a three-sided structure with the opened end facing other property).

36)  Kennel.  Any land designated or arranged for the care of more than five dogs or five cats (under eight week old pups and kittens shall be excluded from such count) that is not completely enclosed such that the animal noise carries no more than 100 feet from the use.  A kennel may be either commercial or noncommercial.

37)  Landfill.  A disposal site employing an engineering method of disposing of solid waste in a manner that minimizes environmental hazards by spreading or applying cover materials over all exposed waste at intervals.

38)  Lot.  A portion or tract of land devoted to a common use, or occupied by a building or group of buildings devoted to a common use together with the customary accessories and open spaces belonging to the same that meets the minimum requirements for a lot size depending upon the use as set forth in the table in article VIII of this ordinance.

39)  Lot, depth of.  The mean horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines, measured in the general direction of the side lot lines.

40)  Lot, width of.  The distance between side lot lines measured at the nearest building line.

41)  Manufactured house.  A factory-built home.

42)  Mobile home park.  A parcel of land which has been planned and improved for the placement of factory-built homes for nontransient use containing five or more mobile homes.

43)  Mobile home.  A structure composed of one or more factory-built components containing a chassis designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation.  Including [Included] in the definition of "mobile home" are all factory-built dwellings or commercial units that are commonly known as "single-wide mobile homes," regardless of their manner of construction or attributes.  Also included in the definition of "mobile home" shall be all factory-built dwellings or commercial units built in one or more sections designed to fit together on a permanent foundation but which do not have a chassis or wheels that do not bear the label and seal of approval issued by the commissioner of community affairs (i.e. homes that, but for said label, would be modular homes).  Further included in the definition of "mobile home" are factory-built dwellings or commercial units that are built in two or more sections typically known as "double-wide mobile homes" unless all of the following exist on such structure:  a pitched roof with a minimal vertical rise of one foot for each five feet of horizontal run; a continuous permanent masonry foundation connected by mortar mix, unpierced except for reasonably required ventilation and access; or the tongue, axles, transporting lights or removable towing apparatus are removed after placement on the lot and before occupancy.

44)  Modular home.  A factory-built dwelling or commercial unit built in one or more sections designed to fit together on a permanent foundation but which usually does not originally have wheels for movement and which is constructed in accordance with the Georgia Industrialized Building Act and which bears the seal of approval issued by the commissioner of community affairs.

45)  Neighboring property(ies).  Properties adjacent to or nearby the property which is the subject of regulation, rezoning, variance or other similar zoning action.

46)  Nonconforming use.  A building, structure or use of land existing at the time of enactment of this ordinance, and which does not conform to the regulations of the district in which it is located.

47)  Open Space.  An area that is not used for or occupied by a driveway, an off-street parking area, a loading space, a yard, a refuse storage space or a building.

48)  Other Property(ies).  Property(ies) owned by persons other than the owner of the property which is the subject of the zoning use proposed.

49)  Person.  Any individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation, partnership, association, state or municipal commission, political subdivision of the state (excluding Catoosa County), or any interstate body.

50)  Pitched-roof, double-wide home.  A factory-built dwelling unit of two or more components manufactured after 1976 wherein the following exist:  a pitched roof with a minimum rise of one foot for each five feet of horizontal run; a continuous permanent masonry foundation connected by mortar mix, unpierced except for required ventilation and access spaces; and the tongue, axles, transporting lights and removable towing apparatus are removed after placement on the lot and before occupancy.

51)  Planned unit development (PUD).  A planned development on a minimum of 100 acres without regard to the customary lot size requirements or the segregation of housing types or uses and which may include multiple zones within the same tract.

52)  Plat.  A map, plan or layout of a county, city, town, lot, section, subdivision or development indicating the location and boundaries of properties.

53)  Premises.  The lot and improvements and fixtures on the lot.

54)  Principle [Principal] use.  Primary purpose for which land or a building is used.

55)  Recorded Plat.  A plat recorded in the office of the clerk of the superior court of Catoosa County.

56)  Recycling collection point.  An incidental use that serves as a neighborhood dropoff point for temporary storage for recoverable resources.  No processing of such items would be allowed.  This facility would generally be located in a shopping center parking lot or in other public/quasi-public areas such as those at churches and schools.

57)  Recycling plant.  A facility that is not solely a landfill in which recoverable resources or products (such as paper, plastic, glass or metal) are recycled, compressed, reprocessed or treated to begin to return such product to a condition in which it may again be used for production.

58)  Right-of-way.  An area or strip of land either public or private on which a right of use has been recorded.

59)  Right-of-way line.  The dividing line between a lot, tract or parcel of land and a contiguous road right-of-way.

60)  Rooming[house] or boardinghouse.  A dwelling, other than a hotel (motel) where meals or housing accommodations are provided and where more than four nonfamily members reside regardless of whether remuneration is paid.

61)  Sign, business.  An attached or freestanding structure which directs attention to a business or profession conducted on the premises.  Political posters, religious messages, Christmas lights, and architectural structures (without letters, lights or arrows) shall not constitute a "sign" for purposes of this ordinance.

62)  Sign, outdoor advertising.  A structural poster panel sign or painted sign, either freestanding or attached to the outside of a building for the purpose of conveying information, knowledge or ideas to the public about a subject either related or unrelated to the premises upon which it is located.

63)  Similar.  Of like kind or nature.

64)  Single-family unit or dwelling.  A detached building used exclusively for occupancy by only one family.

65)  Skirting/underpinning.  Installation of acceptable material from the exterior base of a factory-built house to the ground which may or may not provide support to the house.

66)  Solid waste.  Means solid waste as defined by regulations promulgated by the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the Federal Act which is now in force and effect on February 1, 1988, codified as 40 CFR, 261.1, 261.2(a)--(d), and 261.4(a).

67)  Standard building code.  Minimum standards as set by the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., as amended.

68)  Storage.  The containment or holding of hazardous waste, or dangerous chemicals either on a temporary basis or for a period of years, in such a manner as not to constitute disposal of such hazardous waste.

69)  Street.  A way for vehicular traffic, whether designated as an avenue, road, boulevard, highway, expressway, lane, alley or other way.  For the purpose of this regulation, "streets" are divided into the following categories:

Alley:  A minor way, public or private, used for services access to the back or side of properties otherwise abutting on a street;

Cul-de-sac:  A minor street having one end open to traffic and the other end permanently terminated with a paved turnaround;

Dead-end:  A stub street in a subdivision which will at a later time be continued into another portion of the subdivision;

Major or arterial streets:  Those streets designed to serve moderately fast and voluminous traffic through and within the county with a minimum of traffic control devices;

Minor or local streets:  A street used primarily for access to adjacent and abutting properties.

Secondary or collector streets:  Streets designed to collect traffic to minor or local streets and distribute it to major (arterial) streets.

70)  Structure.  Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires location on the ground, or attachment to something having location on the ground but does not include fences (whether wood, chain link, masonry or otherwise), nor electrical poles or lines, nor underground piping, nor signs, nor unaffixed personalty.

71)  Subdivision.  A tract of land divided into two or more lots and including the definition in the subdivision ordinance.

72)  Transport.  The transportation or carrying of hazardous waste or dangerous chemicals or liquids in a storage tank, drum, tanker, or other container on or in a motor vehicle (except within a tank being used to feed or supply the motor vehicle with a means of energy for locomotion at the time of transport) on roads on the county system of roads.

73)  Travel trailer/recreational vehicle.  A portable structure whether self-propelled or pulled by a power unit, designed as temporary occupancy for travel, recreation, and vacation uses, which is identified on the unit by the manufacturer as a camper or travel trailer or recreational vehicle or bus.

74)  Warehouse.  Building used for the reception and temporary or permanent retention of goods.

75)  Yard.  An open space on the same lot with a principal building open, unoccupied, and unobstructed by structures from ground to sky except where encroachments and accessory buildings are expressly permitted.

76)  Yard, front.  An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a principal building, extending the full width of the lot, and situated between the right-of-way line and the front building line of the building projected to the side lines of the lot.

77)  Yard, rear.  An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a principal building, extending the full width of the lot and situated between the rear line of the lot and the rear line of the building projected to side lines of the lot.

78)  Yard, side.  An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a principal building, situated between the building and side lot line of the lot and extending from the front yard to the rear yard.  Any lot line not a rear line or a front line shall be deemed a side line.

79)  Zoning entity.  The zoning administrator, planning commission or governing authority.  Whenever the terms of this ordinance provide for a decision to be made by one zoning entity, the entity with greater authority in the line of authority has the power to overrule, affirm or modify the decision made by the entity lower in the line of authority.

80)  Buffer area.  A strip of land, identified on a site plan or by a zoning ordinance, established to protect one type of land use from another land use that is incompatible.  (Normally, the area is landscaped and kept in open space use.)

81)  Setback.  The required minimum horizontal distance between any portion of a building or other structure and the related front, side or rear property line.

82)  Platted lot.  A lot designated on a plat which has been duly recorded in the clerk of superior court's office of Catoosa County, showing the division of land into lots, streets and areas, marked upon the earth, and represented on paper.

Division into districts.

For the purpose of this ordinance, Catoosa County is divided into nine districts designated as follows:

A-1    Agricultural district
R-A   Residential district with 5-25 acres and limited agricultural uses
R-1    Residential district (single-family)
R-2    Residential district (duplexes and triplexes)
PUD  Planned unit development
C-1    General business district
C-2    Neighborhood business district
C-R   Commercial district with residential multifamily dwellings of four or more units (including quadruplexes and apartment complexes with four or more units)
I         General industrial district
PCFD  Planned commercial farm district