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Property Addressing More Than Just a Name and Number

November 2, 2011 | More News


Did you know that traffic light cameras, barns with electricity, and cable boxes on utility poles are assigned street addresses? In addition to these unconventional locations, MPC's Addressing Department ensures that every house, business, church, school, cell tower, and most other types of structures in Knox County are systematically assigned a valid, unique address?each consisting of a road name and number.

Assigning a valid address sounds simple, but things get complicated quickly: which street name do you assign to a corner lot? What numbers do you give to lots subdivided along an existing road? How are apartment complexes addressed? Can one of your neighbors have your street name changed? These issues and many others are handled by the Addressing staff at MPC everyday. Shirley Mase, a GIS Specialist, and Donna Hill, GIS Operator, staff the Addressing Department, and combined, they offer 45 years of experience working with local addressing matters. Providing additional support on a part-time basis are Planning Technicians Emily Dills and Marc Payne.

The MPC Addressing Department is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the existing inventory of 253,000 addresses in Knox County and for creating new addresses required for development projects. During FY2010-11, staff created 1,793 addresses for new residential and non-residential development, they added 236 new street segments to the county base map, and they modified 697 existing street segments, coordinating their work with several other agencies, including Knoxville Utilities Board, United States Postal Service, Knox County 911, Knox County Property Assessor, and Knoxville/Knox County/KUB Geographic Information System.

MPC assigns addresses within the guidelines and requirements of the Uniform Street Naming and Addressing System adopted by both Knox County and the City of Knoxville. Those guidelines are detailed in MPC's Administrative Rules and Procedures. Staff also evaluates problems with addresses, such as duplicate addresses, out of sequence numbers, or odd/even numbers on the wrong side of the road. When handling problems, staff considers the local mandates, and, further, the implications of a bad address: Can police, fire, and ambulance service providers find the property or neighboring properties during an emergency? Are annual tax bills reaching property owners? Will utilities, mail, and other public services be disrupted?

Each day, dozens of citizens request the services of MPC's Addressing Department to correct a problem with a street address, to make a change to a street or subdivision name, or to have their address certified. In the past, citizens were required to come to the Addressing Department in person. Recent changes to our procedures make it possible to complete many of those tasks over the phone or online, eliminating the need, in many cases, to visit in person. One of the more requested services is the issuance of a Certified Address, often required when applying for building permits and property financing. The form to request a Certified Addressis now available online?it can be partially completed by the citizen and emailed to the Addressing Department, and the process can then be completed by phone or online through consultation with staff.

Check the Addressing area of the MPC websitefor more information on department services or call 865-215-2507, Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 4:30.

Posted 11-02-2011, written by Terry Gilhula,

Photo: ? Dan Kelleher | Dreamstime.com