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

Zoning: Commercial Corridors & Building Height

Regarding the Commercial Corridors question: single family housing should not be encouraged in the corridor but commercial with residential above is a great way to keep neighborhoods safe and convenient for multifamily dwellings.

Regarding height increases: 45' does seem a bit low but I would not want to see the heights increased by very much - the human scale is very important to maintain when attempting to encourage pedestrian friendliness (which is a form of equal opportunity design).
Staff Reply:

Zoning Regulations

We desperately need sidewalks to connect neighborhoods to each other and to commercial districts for food and entertainment.

We also need to bury utilities instead of cutting down trees around the utility lines. This is a never ending cycle. If we make the initial investment (albeit an expensive one) it will pay off in the long run. Obviously the annual expense of tree trimming will be less but it will add value to community both aesthetically and will attract more businesses in the long run. We want to keep Knoxville beautiful and if we keep massacring trees this is not possible!!
Staff Reply:

Zoning Considerations

I would prefer to see current single family neighborhoods retain their single family neighborhood status. Multifamily homes, apartment and condo complexes, and commercial buildings have destroyed the character of existing neighborhoods like Fort Sanders. I don't want that to happen in the area just north of downtown: LIncoln Park/Oakwood, Old North, Fourth and Gill, North Hills and its environs.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Comment

I just filled out the survey.

1) dramatically reduce parking required

2) mandate and retrofit neighborhood connectivity, especially for pedestrians

3) require sidewalks everywhere

4) require road design standards that force slow traffic. Require developers build calm streets in the first place. 25mph MAXIMUM design speed.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Codes

Looking to the future--I would like for the planning commission to re-consider zoning provisions that allow crematories at funeral homes. As a resident of Fountain City, I am appalled and still outraged at how the city MPC, permitting, and City Council handled the Gentry-Griffey funeral home's supposedly secondary use permit for a crematory addition. Apparently no one at the city checks to see if cremations are indeed the secondary use. Gentry-Griffey (owned by an LLC) contracts with several counties to cremate remains of indigents and remains from the medical examiner's office. According to my daily look at the Sentinel's obit pages, Gentry-Griffey doesn't do many funerals, so how could they stay in business if cremation is not their primary business? If Gentry-Griffey's cremations are not secondary, but primary, should their permit not be revoked and a fine imposed?

The new zoning provisions passed a few years ago (after the hurried, non-public approval of Gentry-Griffey's 24 hour, 7 day a week permit was issued and then opposed by a citizen group in Fountain City) now allow crematories at any funeral home, no matter the zoning, I can imagine that we could have a couple more crematories in Fountain City (in that there are several funeral homes here) and we could then kiss Fountain City's neighborhoods' ambiance goodbye. Such a shame the current state of this zoning puts us in!

My biggest problem with Knoxville's zoning is that it is not enforced. Inspections and reports should be made, especially in cases of secondary use permits.

As to your survey, some questions/proposed responses were ambiguous. I tried to respond in a way that reflects my view that neighborhood integrity should be honored, businesses should have to respect residents' reasonable wishes (as to appearance, addition of or re-purposing of commercial buildings, addition of multi-family buildings, to name a few.

Thank you for providing the survey. I am signing up for the newsletter.
Staff Reply:
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