East County Community Plan
Adopted by MPC

View the Plan Read the Comments

Knox County Commission approved the East County Community Plan on November 21.

East Knox Community Plan

East Knox Community Plan will build upon and enhance existing plans for the area by developing a community vision and identifying a variety of tools to achieve this vision. By using existing plans, and assessing other planning themes not previously addressed in those plans, the East Knox Community Plan will help the community and its stakeholders plan for the future.

Next Meeting

No meetings are currently scheduled. Please check back soon.

East County Community Plan to go before City Council and County Commission

  • 11/20/2017 - County Commission: Plan adopted on second reading
  • 11/7/2017 - City Council: Plan adopted
  • 10/23/2017 - County Commission: Plan approved on first reading
  • 9/14/2017 - Planning Commission: Plan adopted

About the Plan

Meeting 1
July 17, 2016

Meeting 2
October 30, 2016

Meeting 3
December 6, 2016

Meeting 4
February 23, 2017

How is this different?

Long range planning projects, like the East Knox County Sector Plan and the French Broad Corridor Study, identify a community's vision and goals, and strategies for success. These larger plans have a long checklist; we can't tackle each implementation item at once. Further, some strategies need more planning and study before implementation.

Think of this process as a strategic plan for the next 5 years – the other goals and strategies are just as important, but may take more time to implement.

Plan Objectives

Through the East Knox County Community Planning process, we're asking East Knox's neighbors to

  • Identify the strategies that are most important to tackle in the next 5 years
  • Detail implementation steps for those strategies
  • Dig into the projects that need more thought
  • Explore planning themes, such as health, that were not a substantial part of existing plans.

Our Team

As directed by Knox County Commission, the Planning Commission will lead the effort to  work with the community to develop a plan for an area of east Knox County. A steering committee composed of leaders from the community and a team of consultants are helping to guide the plan formation and community engagement efforts.

Community Leadership

  • Herb Anders - Carter Community, Planning Commissioner
  • Vickie Baumgartner - Riverdale property owner
  • Elaine Clark - Riverdale/Thorngrove Community
  • Laura Cole - Ruggles Ferry Community, Commissioner
  • Michael Grider - Knox County
  • Todd Napier - Development Corporation of Knox County
  • Wayne Whitehead - Community Member
  • David Wright - Knox County Commissioner

Consulting Team

Knoxville-Knox County Planning hired Kostelec Planning of Asheville, NC to lead the planning process. Firm Principal Don Kostelec, AICP has managed dozens of small area and rural community plans across the southeast. He is joined by Kristy Carter, AICP from J.M. Teague Engineering and Planning in Waynesville, NC.

Local team members from the East Tennessee Community Design Center, Leslie Fawaz and Wayne Blasius,  and Bill Bruce with CRJA in Knoxville are also assisting with the plan.


A timeline of planning activities related to East Knox County since 2001 is presented. The board, which was part of Station 1 at the first community meeting, highlights the recommendations from the 2003 French Broad Corridor Study and the East County Sector Plan, which was adopted in 2011. To read these plans and others identified on the timeline of planning please visit: knoxplanning.org/plans.

View the Timeline


Proposed Strategic Direction

The East Knox County (EKC) planning effort is a response to changes in the community - changes related to growth, the Midway Interchange development, and the need implement new tools to that match the community's preferred future.

Knox County will grow. Where will the 66,000 new households call home? What about the businesses to support new growth? At the same time, residents seek to find options that respect the area's traditions and natural, rural, and historic features. EKC residents must make a choice for their future. They can let an unsustainable development pattern continue, or they can choose to work together toward this strategic direction. The draft plan identifies the priority implementation steps to find the balance. 

Strategic Direction

East Knox County will bring together the best targeted growth and preservation strategies to preserve and enhance the area's rural character and landscapes by concentrating growth to the most appropriate areas and increasing the number and type of land development and protection tools available to private landowners.

The direction is based on our strategic direction based on what we know from previous plans, what we heard from the community.

Interchange Development

Community sentiment about the midway business park is mixed. We heard from people who are, and will remain, adamantly opposed to it. We also heard from people who are fully supportive of the development.  Some people are in the middle – they would prefer that it not happen, but know that it is likely and therefore want the most minimal (need a different phrase) and integrated footprint. This draft plan does not take a stand as to whether the business park should or should not bet there - it includes recommendations to contain development to the interchange to minimize impacts on the rural areas, and to integrate development with the rural context.

Key Recommendations

  1. Ensure the plan for Midway Business Park is context sensitive.
  2. Engage stakeholders to re-zone the City of Knoxville C-4 Zoned properties at the interchange to a less intense and context sensitive zoning district.
  3. Coordinate conversations with County & Municipal leadership, KUB, TDOT, TVA to develop agreement for an infrastructure growth boundary that delineates growth areas.
  4. Integrate a "Gateway to East Knox County" visitor information center that serves as an activity jump-off point (e.g. outfitters, tours, bicycle rides) at the interchange or business park.

Tools for Implementation: Rural Corridors, Corridors and Wedges

There is common ground - folks want the region to retain its rural character. While there is not common agreement on how to remain rural (particularly in the shadow of development pressure), the suggested set of tools and strategies will direct development to targeted areas and increase the tools available to maintain rural character.

The PRIMARY PRIORITY is protecting the French Broad River Corridor.  This Plan recommends a renewed focus and effort to implement river corridor protection strategies.  It identifies the key strategies (many of which are in the East County Sector Plan and the French Broad River Corridor Study), but also recognizes the need to build relationships and provide land owner education opportunities. If preserving the rural, cultural, historical, ecological value is the primary priority, the community needs to concurrently address what happens elsewhere - what other areas need to be rural (and what does that development pattern look like) and to what areas does the community push development to (Rural Corridors and Development Corridors).  What's left are the areas in between, the wedges.  Defining these areas allows the community to "apply" the transition concept.

The suggested pattern is consistent with the Sector Plan's 5-Year strategy plan.

Call to Action

The gifts I have to offer are...

What I need from my neighbors is...

How do we continue the conversation?

Community Input

Feedback from the Workshop

Get Involved

Do you have additional input or thoughts for the planning team and steering committee to consider? Contact us below.

Email Amy Brooks

For comments specifically on Midway Business Park, please visit the The Knox County Development Corporation (TDC) website or email Todd Napier, TDC CEO and President directly.