What Happens to a Project Application?

Plans Review and Inspections Director

Peter Ahrens
(865) 215-4311

400 Main St., Suite 475
Knoxville, TN 37902

Last item for navigation
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email

Bryan Berry, AICP, Deputy Director
Plans Review & Building Inspections
[email protected]

Developing in a Form Based District goes through the following process.

1PRE-APPLICATION CONFERENCE. A pre-application conference with City staff is required before submitting an application. Depending on the nature of the project, this conference may be accomplished by phone, email, virtually or in-person. A request by a potential applicant must be accompanied by preliminary project plans and designs. Please contact Bryan Berry at [email protected] or 865-215-2863 for a pre-application conference regarding a project.

2APPLICATION SUBMITTED. After the pre-application conference, the developer submits a completed application and material. Once it has been determined the application is complete and all of the information they intend to submit has been received, the review fee is paid.

3APPLICATION TYPE. Based on the project type, the application follows one of the three appropriate levels of review for the Cumberland Avenue and South Waterfront Form Districts:

    • The first is a Level 1: Zoning Clearance Review (Article 7.0.2.E). This is for all houses and duplexes within the Form Districts and requires approval from the Zoning Administrator only.
    • The second is a Level 2: Development Plan Review (Article 7.0.2.F). This is for all multi-dwelling, mixed use and nonresidential structures within the Form Districts. This requires a recommendation from the Administrative Review Committee and approval from the Zoning Administrator.
    • The third is a Level 3: Alternative Compliance Review (Article 7.0.2.G). This is for innovative, high quality developments that would not otherwise be allowed under a strict interpretation of the Form District regulations but nevertheless comply with the intent of the applicable Form District and Plan. The Alternative Compliance Review mechanism is also intended to provide a process for requests by applicants for reconstruction or expansion of nonconforming structures in which nonconforming uses operate. This requires a recommendation from the Administrative Review Committee and the Zoning Administrator with approval from the Knoxville Knox County Planning Commission.

4APPLICATION REVIEWED. The Administrative Review Committee must review Level 2 and Level 3 applications for consistency with the requirements of the applicable Form District. A two-week turnaround time is established for all Administrative Review Committee members to provide their comments related to a proposed project to the Zoning Administrator.

5COMMENTS RECEIVED. The Zoning Administrator compiles into one review all of the comments provided by the Administrative Review Committee. These are provided to the applicant by the Zoning Administrator.

6APPLICATION REVISION. The applicant makes changes to the project based on the comments provided by the Administrative Review Committee, then resubmits to the Zoning Administrator for review again. This can take multiple review cycles and sometimes involves variances by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

7APPLICATION APPROVAL. Once the applicant has met all of the comments/requirements of the Administrative Review Committee, or has been granted variances by the Board of Zoning Appeals to requirements of the form based district the application is approved. The applicant is provided stamped plans from the Zoning Administrator that denote form district approval. The applicant is ready to submit for plans review.