City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance Update

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero requested that MPC conduct a complete review and update of the City's zoning ordinance. Knoxville City acted in early 2016 to provide the funding to conduct that task.

This process is expected to take about 24 months and a consultant will be hired to assist in the update.

Why do we need an update?

Many of the current requirements and standards of Knoxville's Zoning Ordinance are antiquated and in need of extensive changes. The original ordinance was written over fifty years ago, at which time there was an emphasis on suburban development. The result has been a less efficient pattern that left some parts of Knoxville behind.

While the ordinance as a whole needs to be modernized, recent amendments such as the South Waterfront and Cumberland Avenue redevelopment, have been successful, fueling demand for increased flexibility in future standards.

A Rekindled City

A lot has changed. Population in the city is growing again. An additional 170,000 people are expected to call Knox County home by 2040. How many will settle in Knoxville?

Significant revitalization throughout downtown and historic neighborhoods over the last fifteen years has created momentum that is starting to spread along corridors leading into downtown and adjacent neighborhoods. Older commercial centers, former industrial sites, and the riverfront are examples of areas the new ordinance will help guide through redevelopment, finding a balance between protecting characteristics of neighborhoods and creating standards that encourage dynamic growth.

The City needs a zoning ordinance that acknowledges these changes and increases connectivity among neighborhoods and destinations.

Zoning Update Guiding Principles

  • Promote development and redevelopment in a manner that uses resources efficiently
  • Build a strong, sustainable, walkable community
  • Encourage and gather public input from the Knoxville community and business leaders

Request for Proposals

To provide the comprehensive update the City has requested, MPC will hire and direct a consultant to complete the review.

On June 29, 2016, the City of Knoxville issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to start its update of the decades-old zoning ordinance, as requested by City leaders. The RFP sought proposals for the comprehensive update of the City's zoning code, asking applicants to identify their approach to the project and the estimated cost. The deadline for submittals was July 22, 2016.

The consultant selection is currently pending.

RFP Related Documents

Meeting Schedule


Contact Us

For more information about the project, contact Gerald Green, MPC Executive Director
Email:  Gerald Green at Gerald.green@knoxmpc.org
Call:  (865) 215-2500