The public hearing notice is placed in the legal notice section of the Knoxville News Sentinel. It includes the name of the applicant, the nature of the request, and a general description of the property location. Plan amendments are noticed in the paper 30 days prior to a monthly meeting, and all other cases are noticed at least 15 days in advance.
Public notice sign
For each case considered by the Planning Commission, a sign is placed on the property that is the subject of the proposal or application. These are displayed at least 12 days prior to the scheduled meeting. For each case, the sign includes the nature of the proposal or application, contact information, and a direct link to the application file.
Postcards are sent to all property owners whose property is within 300 feet of the property which is subject to rezoning, special use, planned development, or plan amendment. Postcards include the location and details of the property, agency contact information, and meeting information.
Word of mouth
Many people learn about a case from neighbors, friends, or colleagues.
You're the applicant
It’s not uncommon for someone’s first experience with our agency to be when they file an application. We encourage applicants to reach out to their neighbors to communicate about the project prior to the Planning Commission meeting.
We maintain a page on our website dedicated to active cases. For each case, you can view things like the application, maps, staff reports, additional property information, neighborhood context, potential impacts on traffic and local public schools, public comments, and contact information for the staff member assigned to the case.
This page is continuously updated leading up to each meeting. You can also find a "What's Next" button that shows the steps in that particular process from start to finish.
This is posted to our website three weeks prior to the Commission meeting. Emails are sent out notifying those on our mailing list that it has been posted. All application materials are posted to the active case page the Tuesday after the preliminary agenda is posted. If revisions are made to submitted plans they are updated online.
This is posted to our website 6 days prior to the meeting. Emails are sent out notifying those on our mailing list that it has been posted.
Planning Commission meetings
Each month, the Planning Commission holds Agenda Review and Planning Commission meetings in the City County Building in downtown Knoxville. Both meetings are open to the public, and the Planning Commission meeting can also be viewed live on CTV. Planning Commissioners review cases and ask staff for clarification at Agenda Review Meetings. Commissioners then hear from the public and vote on cases at their regular monthly meetings.
Community members can contact staff, sign up to speak at a meeting, and submit comments directly to Planning Commissioners using online forms. All comments are posted within 24 hours on our website with the corresponding agenda item.
We know that our meetings can be confusing and have developed tips for attending to help the public follow along.
City Council and County Commission meetings
City Council or County Commission makes the final decision on most cases, including rezonings and plan amendments. It is important to note that these bodies can overturn the recommendation made by the Planning Commission. To learn more about the process and find out which body has final decision-making authority for the type of case you're interested in, visit our Planning Processes page.
Some applicants or interested residents may choose to appeal a case to court if they feel strongly about the outcome.
We strive to balance the needs of the community while creating a process that is fair and transparent and does not create undue burden on applicants and the investments they are making in our community.
We hope this has helped you discover resources to follow a case from start to finish and make sense of the process along the way.