Zoning decisions are based primarily on sector plans, which are components of the adopted general plan. Sector plans are more specialized and include land use and capital improvement recommendations for both the city and the county. They are prepared for 12 different sector areas across Knox County which are based generally on census tract boundaries. Sector plans are updated periodically and provide guidelines for development and improvements for the next 15 years.
Sector plan amendments may be considered at any monthly meeting of the Planning Commission, and may also occur concurrently with One Year Plan Amendments in the city and requests to rezone property. Planning staff will consult with applicants to determine whether this type of amendment is necessary for a particular rezoning request.
One Year Plan
Zoning within the City of Knoxville is based not only on sector plans, but on the One Year Plan - which is updated every spring to reflect Knoxville growth patterns and changing community needs.
The One Year Plan lists the general land use classifications with their descriptions, location criteria and recommended zone districts. The Planning Commission and the City Council use the One Year Plan as a guide to evaluate individual requests to rezone property.
Although the Planning Commission meets monthly, it considers requests to amend the One Year Plan quarterly - in January, April, July, October. The Planning Commission may recommend that the City Council approve an amendment request under the following circumstances:
- An error in the plan.
- A significant change in the development pattern, or the completion of a public improvement (road, park, sewer), which changes the basis on which the plan was developed for an area.
- A change in public policy, unanticipated by the plan.
- New information (including new plans and studies produced by Knoxville-Knox County Planning) becoming available, which reveals the need for a plan amendment.
To request an amendment to the One Year Plan, applicants must file an application with Planning at least 30 days before the Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the request.
Typically, amendments to the One Year Plan are heard concurrently with requests to rezone property. However, applicants may choose to apply for the plan amendments first, then proceed with the rezoning to minimize the cost if an application for a plan amendment is denied since if the amendments are denied by the Planning Commission or City Council, the rezoning cannot be approved.