Survey results are now available and additional comments submitted by survey respondents are listed at the bottom of this page.

Knoxville area residents, workers and business owners jumped at the chance to weigh in on the City’s zoning ordinance update. A recent survey addressed a variety of issues and topics across the City, related to neighborhoods, commercial areas, transportation and sustainability. The survey was open from June 19 – July 12, 2017 and received 1,638 responses.

View the Survey Responses (PDF)

In addition to the survey responses, 140 people took a few extra minutes to provide detailed comments about the update. The survey results and comments will be used to inform the project.

“The preferences of residents, property owners, and business owners will help appropriately shape the city and enhance our sense of place for the next 20-40 years,” said Gerald Green, Executive Director of the MPC.

We appreciate your participation so far! We encourage you to stay involved with the zoning ordinance update by sharing with us your ideas about Knoxville’s future. We are happy to talk to any group or organization about the zoning ordinance and why it’s important. Contact us at

Responses by Neighborhood

Responses by Zip Code

Click an area above to view survey results.

Recent Comments

(no Title)

I have very little respect for some of your building code officials. In my previous experience of renovating 3 houses in Knoxville, some of them are pompous kings in their own little areas of code enforcement. One told me he could tear down a house in an area where we were trying to redevelop 8 houses. He could do it because it was condemned because the absentee owner would not cooperate with code enforcement or sell the property, or answer any mail concerning his empty house. The fact that it would affect the development of the rest of the properties meant nothing to this man. One plumbing inspector refused to give a CO for one of the 8 houses because the toilet was 1/2 inch too close to the toilet in a half bath. That was the only thing keeping the owner from obtaining the CO. 1/2"! I truly believe that if code enforcement had been more flexible there would be 8 renovated Victorian houses on W. Baxter, instead of everything torn down in the entire block of houses except for two little little houses. What a waste. I have heard similar horror stories from people trying to remodel or renovate buildings. I wonder that any investors have ever finished any projects in this town.
Staff Reply:


The survey is great. Glad we are starting to think "outside the box". It is likely that some survey takers will feel the questions lead to the desired responses. I felt that way but agree with where the questions led me.
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Additional Comments

My impression of the survey, which is only my impression, is that it is skewed toward approval of higher density development which would benefit commercial developers more than residents. It is also rather vague. In theory I might like the idea of a more flexible approach to the size of a lot needed for a residential building, for example. However, if a builder wants to put a house on the tiny lot next door to me as an "infill" I would object.

There is nothing in the survey about truly affordable housing, or about preventing the duplication of downtown redevelopment efforts into the Magnolia corridor, which would price many residents out of the area. Mixed use is great, but maybe not if it means a Starbucks below and pricey condos above.

Although I feel there should be more landscaping requirements and architectural guidelines, I think they should not be a burden on an individual homeowner such as myself. We need creative solutions which take the needs of the elderly, low income and disabled into consideration., with much more input from these residents. Local homeowners and very small business owners need affordable programs to help repair and enhance their properties.

When it comes to improving neighborhoods, let's not forget the mostly unattractive buildings for seniors, low income such as Love Towers. If real estate developers want to profit in our city, they should be wiling to contribute to the welfare of all its residents, not just the wealthier elements.

Gentrification needs to be addressed in an open, transparent way and more options developed for lower income citizens to purchase their own homes or perhaps have cooperatively owned apartments.
Staff Reply:


With the growth in South Knoxville, particularly the Sevier Heights area, we need sidewalks badly. Walkers on Sevierville Pike have to walk in people yards, the ditch and/or the middle of the road. In many places there is no where to go if cars are coming. Many times a day, people who live in apartments on Redbud walk down the street to the bus stop or convenient store and cars need to veer to avoid them.
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Codes & Standards

While I encourage the redevelopment of existing facilities and mixed-use development, I don't think that government should go as far as to regulate landscaping and actual architectural expression in building materials. For example, having an area of mixed use development that requires street level windows or retail is okay, but don't require the building look just like every other building on the block. Also, pedestrian and bike corridors are great where feasible, but if the expense is too great or right-of-way too narrow or restrictive, then there should be exceptions. In other words, encourage it where it's feasible and makes sense, but don't write it into the code everywhere and create an economic burden.

Thanks for requesting input!
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