Schedule a Pre-Submittal Conference - One-Stop Shopping for Developers, Contractors May Avoid Hassles Later

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Schedule a Pre-Submittal Conference - One-Stop Shopping for Developers, Contractors May Avoid Hassles Later

Posted: 08/27/2014
August 27, 2014 - Getting ready to build that perfect home of your dreams? Or, got a great idea (and some pretty cool conceptual designs) for lovingly restoring a warehouse downtown, or creating an innovatively-designed new restaurant or apartment building?

If you're redeveloping your property, it's natural to feel uneasy: Do you have all the waivers and permits you need? What if there's been a miscalculation and a redesign sets your project back three months? Or maybe you're not sure exactly what's affected by a zoning overlay?

The City of Knoxville's Plans Review and Inspections Department wants to help eliminate the anxiety and confusion.

Starting Sept. 8, the department is scheduling free, voluntary and informal monthly meetings with property owners, developers, architects, contractors and engineers who want to ask questions and iron out details about their property-improvement projects.

"It's intended to be convenient one-stop shopping for anyone with questions about a building project," said Plans Review and Inspections Director Peter Ahrens. "Everyone will be together, in the same room at the same time, and can answer questions on the front end.

"We want to help facilitate successful projects, and the best way for a developer to avoid a frustrating delay - especially on a complex large-scale project - is to talk through the steps in the process early on, so that the construction or restoration can go smoothly."

At a Pre-Submittal Conference, City staffers and others will review a copy of the project plans, offer comments, provide answers to specific questions and suggest possible options to difficult design challenges.

The conferences will take place starting at 1 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, in Room 511 in the City County Building, 400 Main St.

Owners and developers can schedule an appointment and meet with staff from the Plans Review and Inspections Department, the City's Engineering Department, the Fire Marshal's Office, Knoxville Utilities Board, the Metropolitan Planning Commission, and others.

"A Pre-Submittal Conference is a free service to help guide stakeholders through the land or property redevelopment process," said Christi Branscom, Deputy to the Mayor and Chief Operating Officer.

"These conferences will identify and resolve specific issues early in the process, foster more effective communication among the parties involved in the project, and help eliminate costly and unnecessary redesigns. This is something that a property owner can use to his or her advantage to build as efficiently as possible."

Ahrens likewise sees these free informal discussions as a valuable tool for an owner or developer.

"In construction and redevelopment, time is money," he said. "No one wants to see a project get stalled for any length of time due to a problem in getting the proper permits. These meetings are a great way to avoid unpleasant surprises."

To schedule a Pre-Submittal Conference, call Plans Review and Inspections at 865-215-2626. A week before a scheduled meeting date, the owner or his/her representative should submit a copy of the project's plans and complete a small application.