Planning News

People often assume MPC’s work is limited to things like rezonings and sector plans. Not only is the work coming out of our office more diverse than that, much of it is integral to projects and programs happening throughout the area. Find out more about a recent effort of our GIS and Addressing staff that serves as an example of one of these low-profile, high impact projects.
Do you know of safety issues or traffic congestion in Hardin Valley? Visit the study page below. Take the short survey. And provide your input. We need your help!
You’re invited to a public presentation given by Seth LaJeunesse. Seth is the Assistant Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, an organization that focuses on improving the safety of children walking and bicycling to school. He is a Research Associate with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center, where he evaluates behavioral interventions designed to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety and access, and designs studies that draw from psychology, sociology, and systems science. He primarily focuses on studying youth traffic safety and finding better ways to share effective road safety practices. His presentation will focus on how we can begin to put an end to traffic deaths.
Comments should be submitted by November 16, 2018 to be addressed in the fourth draft of the City's updated zoning ordinance. Any comments received after that will continue to be considered for later revisions. The fourth draft is anticipated in early December.
Knoxville is growing and will continue to do so. In the next few decades, we expect thousands of new residents to call our city home. The update of the city’s zoning ordinance will help prepare the community for that growth, striking a balance between protecting valued traits of existing neighborhoods and creating vibrant new communities to accommodate all residents.
We've experienced a lot of changes in recent months that wouldn’t have happened without certain staff members going above and beyond their regular responsibilities. Join us in thanking them for their service to the agency and our community!
From the City of Knoxville’s Comprehensive Bicycle Plan to the Urban Wilderness, bicycles have helped shape the city. Read on to find out more about how it landed us on the “Best Bike Cities in America” list.
MPC is working with a consultant on the newly adopted City of Knoxville and Knox County Wireless Communications Facilities ordinances. Read on to find out more.
Remember… Minimum 3 in Tennessee when passing bicyclists! Find out more about this campaign promoting the Three Foot Law.
After a one-year grace period, the use of the 10th edition ITE Trip Generation Manual for any Traffic Impact Study (TIS) submitted for a development reviewed by MPC is now required. Per MPC policy, traffic access and impact studies must be submitted along with applications for concept subdivision plan, use-on-review, and development plan requests which fall within certain 24-hour trip generation ranges. More information about these requirements, when it is appropriate to use fitted curve instead of average rate, and the deadline to submit a TIS can be found in this memo.
MPC bid a fond farewell to five colleagues in September – three retired, and two others are moving on to new endeavors. Combined, the departing staff members had 129 years of experience. While we are already missing their expertise and camaraderie, we are excited for them as they start new chapters.
TPO and MPC recently participated in PARK(ing) Day, held on September 19, 2018. The Knoxville event was organized by a local group, and nearly 50 organizations reserved parking spots along Gay Street, transforming them into parklets for the day.
MPC staff hosted a public meeting at the Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Clubhouse on Tuesday, September 18, to discuss design review overlay options for a portion of the Oakwood neighborhood. There were approximately 30 attendees, including members of the Metropolitan Planning Commission and Knoxville City Council.
The TPO, I Bike KNX and Smart Trips will all benefit from the addition of our newest AmeriCorps Intern. Hannah Kitterman, a recent UT-Knoxville graduate, joined us in August and is already hard at work!
A second community meeting was held on Sunday, September 9, at SoKno Market to review the recommendations of the John Sevier Scenic Highway Corridor Study. Approximately 30 people attended and provided their input on the current draft recommendations for the study.
The Planning Commission is an advisory board made up of citizens appointed by City and County Mayors, serving four-year terms without compensation. These volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and represent a broad spectrum of community interests and concerns. June 30, 2018 marked the start of three new Commissioners.
MPC and Knox County are working together on the Hardin Valley Mobility Study. Hardin Valley is located in northwest Knox County, the fastest growing Knox County sector in terms of building construction over the last several years. This continued growth has led to increased traffic volumes that have warranted a closer look at transportation issues. More information is available on the project page.
MPC recently completed an update to the Major Road Plan, a tool used to coordinate and regulate land use. The document exists to ensure that the public’s investment in roadway infrastructure is protected as development occurs by preserving roadway facilities for their intended purpose. A presentation on the update that is open to the public will be given in September, and comments are now being accepted.
MPC is working with several community groups throughout the City of Knoxville and will share information about the second draft of the updated zoning ordinance at a series of upcoming meetings. We encourage you to attend one of these meetings to learn more about the project! If you are unable to attend, please be sure to check out the Recode Knoxville website. Information presented at the meetings will be shared on the website. You can also submit comments online! Get in touch with us here or email us at
Residential growth in downtown Knoxville started slowly in the early 2000s. Within about five years it was starting to gain traction and has accelerated more recently. This resurgence started with the conversion of historic non-residential buildings like Sterchi Lofts, a building constructed to serve as the Sterchi Brothers Furniture Company headquarters in 1920 and renovated into 100 apartments in 2002.
MPC Commissioners and staff recently visited Cincinnati to learn about development in the Over the Rhine neighborhood and around the Bengals and Reds stadiums. While the two projects are very different, there are some similarities in the development approaches being used for both.
At the June MPC meeting, staff adopted an amendment to the Administrative Rules to stop accepting concept subdivision plans and use on review requests up until the extended (double fee) deadline. This change would mean that these applications would need to be submitted by the standard application deadline.
Recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show continued gains in Knox County and resurgence in the City of Knoxville.
MPC and the City of Knoxville, in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, are developing a prioritized list of improvements for the Chapman Highway Corridor that serve the needs of residents and others traveling by car, bike, bus and on foot. The study focuses on a 6.2 mile segment from the Henley Street Bridge to Mountain Grove Drive, just past John Sevier Highway.
The conversation topics that arose from Ben’s presentations included walkability, affordable housing, financing for mixed-use projects, and the changing demographics of the region.
Join Active Knox for a public presentation on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, with Ben Crenshaw, senior vice president over design at Southern Land Company. He has vast experience creating quality mixed-use communities with affordable housing components.
The local construction industry had another big year in 2017, according to MPC’s recently released Development Activity Report. Knox County saw residential building activity top the 3,100-unit mark, and non-residential projects totaled 133. Building gains extended a trend of near-steady growth since the housing crisis took its toll on local activity earlier in the decade – the homebuilding market hit bottom in 2011 when only 997 units were built.
Transportation Planner Craig Luebke joined the Transportation Planning Organization in early April.
Jana Lynott of AARP’s Livable Communities Team recently visited Knoxville as part of the Active Knox speaker series. Jana discussed AARP’s interest in making sure that communities design their streets and neighborhoods so that seniors can enjoy transportation choices and age in place if they choose.
The John Sevier Stakeholder Committee members met Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the Historic Ramsey House. Committee members that attended the community meeting on March 4 were mostly positive about the process thus far.
The initial draft is more transparent, predictable and consistent than the current ordinance, which was achieved through updates to the document’s organization, processes, and procedures. Neighborhoods, community groups and professionals are invited to attend community meetings and share their feedback on the first of three drafts.
Hear from a national expert about how to create communities for people of all ages!
This study will develop policy recommendations to protect rich historic assets, rural character and scenic qualities of the corridor. A stakeholder committee has formed and the first community meeting was held on Sunday, March 4.
Three meetings were held in February to let all city residents join the conversation.
MPC is facilitating a study of Gov. John Sevier Scenic Highway to protect rich historic assets, rural character and scenic qualities of the corridor. A stakeholder committee has formed and the first community meeting is scheduled for early March.
MPC planners met with residents from South Knoxville to talk about upcoming changes to the One Year Plan, a tool that helps city officials make decisions about zoning and land use.
MPC planners recently met with residents from West and Northwest areas of the city to talk about upcoming changes to the One Year Plan.
MPC has some map housekeeping to take care of. A series of changes that replaces outdated Slope Protection and Stream Protection data will complete a modernization process that began in 2011.
Major improvements to air quality over the last several years mean that the East Tennessee region is now meeting all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. And that’s very important for the health of both our residents and our economy.
The Annual update of the One Year Plan for the City of Knoxville is getting underway. Learn more about upcoming meetings and how to get involved.
Welcome to our new AmeriCorps member, Susan Shin. Susan is not new to AmeriCorps or to the City-County Building. She served with City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods in 2015-2016. Susan has a degree in Global Studies from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.
The Knoxville Regional TPO is celebrating its 40th anniversary as the region’s metropolitan planning organization. The TPO was established in May 1977 through the appointment of an Executive Board by the Governor of Tennessee. The urbanized area initially included just the City of Knoxville and a portion of Knox County.