Plans Review

Engineering Director

James R. Hagerman, P.E.
(865) 215-2027

400 Main St., Suite 480
P.O. Box 1631
Knoxville, TN 37901

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The Stormwater Engineering Division is part of the plans review process for any development / grading / construction within the City of Knoxville. Chapters 1 and 2 of the Land Development Manual explain the role of the Stormwater Engineering Division in terms of plans review and final plat review. A developer will receive a Site Development Permit upon approval of drawings and computations relating to the design of site grading, street construction, stormwater drainage, stormwater quality, erosion control, easements, etc. The Site Development Permit is not issued until satisfactory performance bonds are posted and the final approved plat is recorded.

In addition to consulting the Land Development Manual, many types of questions can be answered in the Minimum Subdivision Regulations and the Knoxville Zoning Ordinance, which are maintained by the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC).

The most common points of contact at the Stormwater Engineering Division 865-215-2148 during site design and construction are:

Plans review, design questions - Joshua Frerichs or Boone Hillenbrand
Stormwater quality design & maintenance - David Hagerman
Plat review, easements, covenants - Charlotte Goforth or Ben Davidson
Field inspection & development certification - Curtis Williams
Construction bonds, covenants, agreements - Susan Nelson

Submittal Procedure

A project must have a valid street address assigned by MPC before the site plans are accepted for review. Submit two sets of site development plans to City of Knoxville Engineering Department (Suite 480, City County Building), along with roadway profiles, stormwater detention calculations, retaining wall calculations. See Appendix A of the Land Development Manual for the Site Development Permit Application and the Site Development Review Checklist. Four complete sets of drawings are needed when all drawing revisions have been completed.

When the customer submits the site development plans, a tracking number is assigned and entered into the submittal log. The customer pays the appropriate review fee, and fills out the information on the Site Development Permit Application. A submittal packet that contains permitting information documents is given to the customer. One of the documents, "Requirements for Permitting Projects With Water Quality Facilities", must be signed by the property owner and then returned to the Engineering Department.

Design References

In addition to the Land Development Manual, the Stormwater Engineering Division has prepared a "Water Quality Requirements for New Development" brochure to summarize the major considerations for design of stormwater detention and quality facilities.

Other sources of design information and guidelines are: 

  • Knoxville BMP Manual
  • City of Knoxville Standard Details
  • City of Knoxville Technical Specifications
  • TDOT Roadway & Bridge Specifications
  • TDOT Standard Roadway Drawings
  • NRCS Technical Release 55, Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds
  • FHWA Hydraulic Design Series No. 5, Design of Highway Culverts
  • State Board (Architects/Engineers) Building Officials Reference Manual [PDF]
  • Tennessee ONE-CALL Center webpage (Utilities) 1-800-351-1111

  • COK Technical Specifications

    COK technical specifications are not meant to cover every situation or design need, and only address general requirements for which additional drawings, details, and cross sections must be prepared and stamped by a design professional engineer or landscape architect registered in the state of Tennessee. Construction of buildings, houses, apartments, stores, etc. are not addressed in the COK technical specifications. Most terms and abbreviations are not explicitly defined within the specifications if commonly used in the practice of civil engineering. 

    Principal references that are mentioned throughout the COK technical specifications include: 

  • AASHTO (American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials)
  • ACI (American Concrete Institute)
  • ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)
  • MUTCD - Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (FHWA)
  • TDOTSS - TDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction

  • Safety

    Safety considerations should always be a top priority when designing site plans and specifications. Anticipate all safety issues related to phased construction such as traffic control, parking, equipment maneuverability, site access, material storage areas, types of fences needed, presence of neighborhood children, and grading. 

    A few typical safety points to emphasize include: 

    *     Temporary or permanent electrical work must be performed by licensed contractors. Use GFCI and other required types of equipment for safety; protect electrical lines to the maximum extent possible.

    *     For utility trenching and grading slopes, always specify that the contractor (and all subcontractors) must obey regulations in OSHA 29 CFR 1926, Subpart P - Excavations.

    *     Use the Tennessee One-Call Center (1-800-351-1111) for utility location at least 3 working days prior to excavating.