Plans Review & Appeals Boards

Plans Review and Inspections Director

Peter Ahrens
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(865) 215-3669

400 Main St., Suite 475
Knoxville, TN 37902

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BETTER BUILDING BOARD & PUBLIC OFFICER HEARINGS
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The Better Building Board hears appeals of the Public Officer's orders. The Better Building Board holds hearings and may affirm or alter the Public Officer's order. If the property owner does not comply with the Better Building Board's order, the city may repair or demolish, alter, improve, secure, board, or vacate and close the structure and bill the owner for the service. A lien can also be placed against the property to recover expenses for repair or demolition. The property owner may appeal the Better Building Board's order to the Knox County Chancery Court. The Better Building Board may also hear cases regarding the city’s acquisition of property or the enforcement of the Demolition by Neglect Ordinance. 

Public Officer
After the Neighborhood Codes Enforcement office issues complaints to property owners regarding structures that are alleged to be unfit or dangerous. The Public Officer holds hearings and issues orders to property owners to make repairs or to demolish unfit structures. If the property owner does not comply with the order, the city may repair or demolish the structure and bill the owner for the service. A lien can also be placed against the property to recover expenses for repair or demolition. The Public Officer may also order an owner to alter, improve, secure, board, or vacate and close a structure. The property owner may appeal the Public Officer's order to the Better Building Board within ten (10) days of receipt of the order.




BOARD OF ENVIRONMENTAL APPEALS
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The Board of Environmental Appeals allows any person who receives a civil penalty and/or remediation assessment from the Department of Engineering to appeal the action. The appeal must be made in writing and filed with the City's Law Department within 30 days after the civil penalty and/or remediation assessment has been issued. Upon receipt of an appeal, the BEA shall hold a public hearing within 60 days or as agreed upon.



BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
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Prior to submitting a variance application for your project, please reach out to a Zoning Examiner.

The City of Knoxville Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) shall have the following powers:

• To hear and decide appeals to the decisions made by an administrative official in carrying out any provision of this or other zoning ordinances enacted by City Council.
• Grant variances where practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships existing in carrying out the strict letter of the zoning ordinance.



CONSTRUCTION APPEALS BOARD
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The Construction Appeals Board hears and decides appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the building official relative to the application and interpretation of adopted codes.

The Board meets on the third Friday of every month at 9:00 a.m. when an application has been submitted. Contact the Plans Review & Inspections office for an application. Application fees are $100 for 1 & 2 family dwellings and $200 for other structures



DESIGN REVIEW BOARD
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The Design Review Board's responsibilities are to review and approve public projects, private development plans, and to advise the Mayor, City Council, the Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Historic Zoning Commission on means, incentives and programs to improve downtown design and foster beautification, safety and related public purposes downtown.



HISTORIC ZONING COMMISSION
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The Historic Zoning Commission works with developers to encourage the preservation of historic sites and areas and to integrate historic facilities into other plans. The commission reviews applications for building permits for construction or demolition within a designated historic zone. The commission also acts as an advocate for changes in various state, local and federal laws that affect historic sites.