Steps to Understanding the Development Process

Plans Review and Inspections Director

Peter Ahrens
(865) 215-4311

400 Main St., Suite 475
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Understanding the Development Process
1 Design Project 2. Review Revise 3. Build, Inspections

Development in the City of Knoxville begins with your project vision for using a piece of property in the City limits.

1 Design Your Project
Design a projectPre-Submittal Conference and Project Discussion Meetings

The City’s Development Services team offers informal project reviews, either in the form of Pre-Submittal Conferences or Project Discussion Meetings. The purpose of these meetings is primarily to assist the customer in preparing the project for a formal plans review submittal.  

Pre-Submittal Conference and Project Discussion Meeting reviews should be construed as an opportunity for informal input and comment.

Pre-Submittal Conferences are scheduled with a large group of review team members, where most City, Planning, and KUB review staff attend.  

Project Discussion Meetings are typically scheduled with a limited group of review staff for a more focused meeting.

In order to maximize the use of customer and staff time, the following information must be provided prior to scheduling a meeting:

A specific list of questions to be answered at the meeting

Plans, drawings, details, etc. for review and discussion  

Meetings will be set no sooner than a week following meeting request/document submission. Please forward all documentation to Jen Scobee at [email protected]

2 Review, Revise Your Project
Review, Revise projectSubmit Project for Plans Review 

Once you are ready to submit plans for review, follow the instructions laid out at Beginning a New Project.

During this phase, City professionals review your plans with adopted codes to ensure designs are compliant. This phase can involve multiple attempts (cycles) sometimes requiring redesign until the project meets applicable requirements.

The following are a list of departments typically involved in the review process: Zoning, Engineering, Building, Fire, and Utilities

3 Review, Revise Your Project
Build, inspect projectBuilding Permit and Inspections

Once plans are approved a project is issued a building permit.

With a building permit in hand, you are now ready to build. This is where the approved plans are brought to life by construction on the site. The goal is to build a compliant and safe development.

City inspections ensure that the development is built in accordance with approved plans. Minor changes sometimes need to happen in the field to ensure the final building is safe.

You will coordinate each stage of construction with the appropriate inspections by the City. The inspections process uses these opportunities to ensure that everything is being built as approved and following public health and safety regulations.

Once everything is built according to approved plans and has successfully passed all required inspections, you will receive a Certificate of Occupancy. This allows the building and site to be used and enjoyed.