Tips for Attending a Planning Commission Meeting

Planning Commission meetings are open and the public are encouraged to attend.

This information is provided for applicants or citizens not familiar with the agenda or the meeting format and is intended to help themunderstand the proceedings and effectively participate in the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, call (865) 215-2500 for more details or any other assistance.

General Info

Understanding the Agenda

Accessibility/Building Info

General Information about the Meeting

Meeting Time and Location

The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building. Commission meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month.

How Long is a Typical Meeting?

Meetings vary in length and can last several hours. Because it can be difficult to estimate the time at which any case will be heard, all applicants and citizens interested in particular items should arrive for the Call to Order at 1:30 p.m.

The Commissioners?

The Planning Commission is an advisory board comprised of 15 citizens - seven appointed by the Knoxville Mayor and eight appointed by the Knox County Mayor. They serve staggered four-year terms without compensation and may be re-appointed. Commissioners are confirmed by theTennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

More information about the Commissioners is available here.

Is the Meeting Broadcast on TV or Online?

Commission meetings are live streamed on the Knoxville’s Community Television (CTV) website.  Live television airings of are available on Comcast Channel 12, Charter Cable Channel 193, WOW! Channel 6 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99.

If you miss the live broadcast or need to review, download or share meeting footage, visit our video archive, which contains meeting footage dating back to January 2010.

Assistance at the Meeting

A staff person will be stationed in the lobby outside the Main Assembly Room 30 minutes before the meeting. An additional staff person will be posted at the back of Main Assembly Room to answer questions prior to the start of the meeting.

Understanding the Agenda

Order of Business

Each item is assigned an Agenda Item Number which determines the order of the meeting.

Postponements and Withdrawals

Postponements and withdrawals are marked throughout the agenda. AP, P, or a W before the Agenda Item Number indicates that a postponement, automatic postponement, or withdrawal has been requested by the applicant. More information on the type of postponement is available on a separate list at the back of the agenda packet. All items may be granted one automatic postponement (if received by the deadline), but additional postponements require a vote by the Planning Commission.

What is the Consent Approval List?

The items on this list are approved in one motion by an affirmative vote of the Planning Commission near the beginning of the meeting. These include applicant requests, with no known opposition, and recommended for approval by Planning staff. This allows additional time for consideration of the more controversial items on the agenda and allows the meetings to be conducted in a more efficient manner.

Anyone wanting to discuss a consent item can ask that it be removed from the list and heard separately in the appropriate agenda section.

Note: Once the consent list is approved, there is no further discussion about the items on it.

How Do I Remove an Item from the Consent Approval List?

If you would like to have an item removed from the Consent Approval List, approach the podium while it is being read. When the Chair finishes reading the Consent Approval List, he/she will ask if any items should be removed. Speak into the microphone, give your name and address for the record, and say which item(s) you’d like removed. You do not need to give a reason and should not provide commentary or evidence at this time. Items removed from the Consent List will be heard in the order of the meeting agenda.

How to Comment on an Item at the Meeting

To comment on an item, approach the podium when the Commission chair calls for public comments. This will happen after the staff recommendation for that item is read. You do not need to sign up to speak. Groups should select a spokesperson. That person may also recognize the citizens represented there.

Note: Each side commenting in support of or against an item has a total of five minutes to state their case. Try not to repeat comments that already have been made.

It’s important to mention any documents or letters previously mailed to the commissioners so that this material is made part of the record. Additional material may be submitted at this time.

What Happens Next?

Final decisions on most items are not made at Commission meetings (exceptions are final plats, concept plans, and uses on review). The Planning Commission is an advisory body and forwards its recommendations to Knoxville City Council or Knox County Commission. City Council meets at 6 p.m. every other Tuesday, while County Commission considers Planning Commission items at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of every month. Call Knoxville-Knox County Planning at 215-2500 for more details.

Accessibility and Other Information about the City-County Building

What If I Need Special Accomodations?

The City-County Building is accessible to citizens with special needs, and a sign language interpreter is present at the Commission meeting. Persons wishing to attend the meeting who require other assistance or accommodations may contact Planning staff to be certain any special needs can be met.

Where Can I Park While Visiting the City-County Building?

For most visitors, the Dwight Kessel Parking Garage (900 State Street) located on the corner of Hill and State Street is a good option.

Several parking spaces for persons with disabilities are located outside the Main Street and Hill Street entrances to the building.

Security Screenings at the City-County Building Entrances

Security personnel are stationed at all entrances to the City-County Building and screen all individuals for prohibited items including firearms and other weapons. Legal pocket knives may be checked in and returned to the owner upon exit from the building.

Restrooms and Other Services Inside the Building

Restrooms and a water fountain are located outside the Main Assembly Room and also downstairs. As you exit the room, turn right, go down the stairs, and the restrooms will be on your left. A snack shop is on the first floor. No smoking is allowed in the building, but designated smoking areas are available.