The City of McMinnville has adopted codes and ordinances that are intended to improve and protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public. These ordinances seek to promote a desirable neighborhood living environment and preserve property values. 

The Property Maintenance Division's mission is to enforce the ordinances of the City of McMinnville fairly and equitably through administrative, inspection, and regulatory procedures.

Each citizen has a right and is encouraged to report code violations. Reports may be made online, by telephone or in person to any member of the Property Maintenance Division. Get started with our Citizenserve Public Portal now.

Once a report of a code violation is made, in most cases, a member of the Property Maintenance Division will notify the responsible person(s) of the violation and educate them on how to gain compliance. If voluntary compliance is not achieved in a specified time period, the responsible person(s) is issued a citation and ordered to appear before the judge of the Municipal Court. Once a citation or summons is issued, the judicial officer makes all final decisions.

The following are brief descriptions of ordinances that generate the most questions about the code. Questions about the code should be directed to Lyndon Bussell, Property Maintenance Inspector via e-mail or by calling 931-473-1204.

Outside Storage

Zoning Code 

All zoning districts prohibit outdoor storage of any type, except that in connection with and on the premises of active building and/or land developments

Inoperable vehicles, parts thereof, and equipment (junked automobiles and parts including tires)

2012 International Property Maintenance Code with amendments
Section 302.8 Motor vehicles. Except as provided for in other regulations, no inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicle (Must be operative and have a current license plate) shall be parked, kept or stored on any premises, and no vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled. Painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth.
Exception: A vehicle of any type is permitted to undergo major overhaul, including body work, provided that such work is performed inside a structure or similarly enclosed area designed and approved for such purposes.

Tall grass, weeds, brush, and noxious vegetation

2012 International Property Maintenance Code with amendments 

Section 302.4 Weeds.

All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 8 inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. Crops shall be excluded from the definition of weeds.    

Upon failure of the owner or agent having charge of a property to cut and destroy weeds after service of a notice of violation, they shall be subject to prosecution in accordance with Section 106.3 and as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction. Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property.

Insert Section 302.4.1, 302.4.2, and 302.4.3 and all subsections:

302.4.1 General

302.4.1.1 All portions of land, whether developed or undeveloped, within the city limits shall be kept, cut, clipped or controlled through chemical means as frequently as necessary to ensure that weeds, grass, and noxious growths do not exceed a height of twelve (12) inches in an undeveloped area, or a height of eight (8) inches if located in a developed area.

302. Parcels that qualify for an Agricultural Exemption or parcels that have been designated as a “natural” area by the federal, state, or local government are exempt from this section.

302.4.1.2 Undeveloped area that fronts a public street or roadway or adjoins a developed area shall be cleared of all weeds, tall grass and other noxious vegetation exceeding twelve (12) inches within one hundred (100) feet of the property line adjoining the developed area and within one hundred (100) feet of the pavement edge of any street or roadway adjoining the subject parcel to and including the right-of-way to the pavement edge.

302. Natural wooded area containing trees are exempt from this section.

302.4.1.3 Failure to maintain the trees, shrubs, ground cover, or grass of any landscaped area (that was required by the city to be planted) in a healthy, living condition shall be a public nuisance. Failure to replace any tree or shrub that has died is a public nuisance. It is also a public nuisance if landscaped areas are overgrown with weeds or unmaintained grass.

302.4.1.4 Any pruning of trees or shrubs (that were required by the city to be planted) shall be for the purpose of maintaining the tree or shrub in a healthy growing condition and/or to enhance its natural growing form. Excessive pruning of trees or shrubs that adversely affects the healthy living condition of the plant or excessively damages the natural growing form of the plant shall be a public nuisance; unless such pruning is done to alleviate documented public health and safety concerns.

302.4.2 Agricultural Exemption

302.4.2.1 Property owners may apply annually by March 1 for an Agricultural Exemption to use their property for the growth of crops.

302.4.2.2 Crops are defined as any product being raised for the sale of feeding of livestock such as corn, cotton, hay or other marketable products.

302.4.2.3 Crop growth shall not be permitted within one hundred (100) feet of a residential or commercial structure, or within thirty (30) feet of a residential or commercial parcel boundary.

302.4.2.4 Crop growth shall not be permitted within thirty (30) feet of the pavement edge of any street or roadway adjoining the subject parcel to and including the right-of-way to the pavement edge.

302.4.2.5 On a corner lot within the area formed by the edge of the pavement of intersecting or intercepting streets adjoining said corner lot and a line joining points along such pavement lines at a distance of forty (40) feet from the point of intersection, there shall be no obstruction caused by vegetation or otherwise to vision between the height of one (1) foot and a height of ten (10) feet above the average grade of each street at the center line thereof.

302.4.3 Disposal

302.4.3.1 Disposal or accumulation of vegetation waste, including, but not limited to, grass clippings, cut brush, cut trees and branches, cut weeds, and/or cut wood, except as kept in a compost pile shall be removed within thirty (30) days.

302.4.3.2 It shall be unlawful for any person to cast, throw, or sweep any vegetation clippings, trash, refuse, leaves, or sweepings into any of the streets or sidewalks. During the months of May, June, July, August, September, and October all sidewalks must be kept clear and clean of all grass or any other foreign substances growing therein.

Parking, Storage, and use of Major Recreational Equipment, Vehicles, and Trucks

Zoning Code

In all residential districts, including the R-5, Residential-Commercial District, no vehicles or trailers of any kind or type without current license plates shall be parked or stored only in a completely enclosed building.

14-605.2 In all residential districts, including the R-5, Residential-Commercial District, no major recreational equipment (including boats and boat trailers, travel trailers, partial travel trailer units, and the like, and equipment used for transporting such) shall be parked or stored in any front yard or in any required side yard except for periods not to exceed twenty-four (24) hours during loading and unloading.  No such recreational equipment shall be used for living, sleeping, or housekeeping purposes when parked or stored on a residential lot, or in any location not approved for such use.

Trash Garbage and Junk

2012 International Property Maintenance Code with amendments

Section 302 Exterior Property Areas

302.1 Sanitation.  All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. The occupant shall keep that part of the exterior property which such occupant occupies or controls in a clean and sanitary condition.

Section 308 Rubbish and Garbage

308.1 Accumulation of rubbish or garbage. All exterior property and premises, and the interior of every structure, shall be free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.

308.2 Disposal of rubbish. Every occupant of a structure shall dispose of all rubbish in a clean and sanitary manner by placing such rubbish in approved containers.

308.2.1 Rubbish storage facilities. The owner of every occupied premises shall supply approved covered containers for rubbish, and the owner of the premises shall be responsible for the removal of rubbish.

308.2.2 Refrigerators. Refrigerators and similar equipment not in operation shall not be discarded, abandoned or stored on premises without first removing the doors.

308.3 Disposal of garbage. Every occupant of a structure shall dispose of garbage in a clean and sanitary manner by placing such garbage in an approved garbage disposal facility or approved garbage containers.

308.3.1 Garbage facilities. The owner of every dwelling shall supply one of the following: an approved mechanical food waste grinder in each dwelling unit; an approved incinerator unit in the structure available to the occupants in each dwelling unit; or an approved leak-proof, covered, outside garbage container.

308.3.2 Containers. The operator of every establishment producing garbage shall provide, and at all times cause to be utilized, approved leakproof containers provided with close-fitting covers for the storage of such materials until removed from the premises for disposal.

Sign Maintenance

Zoning Code Title 14, Chapter 14 Official Sign Code

Section 14-1409 Sign Maintenance
For all signs and similar advertising structures, the following regulations shall apply:
14-1409.1 Every sign hereafter registered shall show in a conspicuous place thereon the permit number.
14-1409.2 Any sign or similar advertising structure not meeting the following provisions shall be repaired or removed within thirty (30) days after receipt of notification from the Office of Codes Enforcement:
A. All signs, supports, braces, guys, anchors, and electrical equipment shall be kept in safe repair.
B. All support structures shall be kept in safe repair and shall be well maintained.
C. The area around the sign shall be properly maintained clear of brush, trees and other obstacles so as to make signs readily visible.
D. All burned out bulbs or damaged panels must be replaced.
E. All sign copy shall be maintained securely to the face and all missing copy must be replaced.
Section 14-1410 Removal of Signs
All signs, including existing nonconforming signs found to be abandoned, one that neither the advertised business nor sign company nor land owner will maintain, or considered to be in such disrepair or so poorly maintained as to produce a visual blight, shall be subject to removal without liability after providing notice to the sign owner, if known, and to the land owner to so remove the sign within thirty (30) days.  Any sign which is declared to be an illegal sign, one that is erected or placed on location in violation of this Official Sign Code after said Code is effective, shall be removed immediately without liability for said removal.  If the Community Development Department finds that any sign or sign support is in violation of this Official Sign Code and that by reason of its condition it presents an immediate danger to the public, he shall order either repair or removal within ten (10) days. 

 City of McMinnville
Community Development Department
101 East Main St./P.O. Box 7088
McMinnville, TN 37111