Public Meeting Oct. 20 Regarding Updating South Waterfront Codes

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Public Meeting Oct. 20 Regarding Updating South Waterfront Codes

Posted: 10/06/2016

At an Oct. 20 public meeting, City officials will present updates to the South Waterfront Form Based Code.

The meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, at South Knoxville Elementary School, 801 Sevier Ave.
The public is invited to the public meeting to discuss updates to the South Waterfront Form Based Code, which was first adopted by the Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council in 2007 and has periodically been updated over nine years.

The proposed changes are described as “legal housekeeping” – eliminating conflicts with other sections of City Code or clarifying language in the South Waterfront Form Based Code that is confusing.

“There are no proposed changes to the intent of the existing code, which encourages pedestrian- and environmentally-friendly development,” said Peter Ahrens, Director of Plans Review and Inspections. “The proposed common-sense updates remove areas of redundancy and confusion from the code and make it easier for property owners to navigate and meet the code requirements and, ultimately, successfully develop their properties.”

Dawn Michelle Foster, the City’s Redevelopment Director, said the clarifications will strengthen the code.

“The language explaining the requirements will be more clear, while all the original protections will remain in place,” she said.

Many of the changes will be small and, if adopted, won’t lead to noticeable changes in how structures are designed and built.

For example, the current code identifies roof requirements related to emissivity standards that are not commonly used in the roofing industry. The proposed change will still require that the roofing materials be energy star compliant consistent with standards for energy efficiency.

Another example: The requirement that 65 percent of surface parking be pervious is still a requirement; however, the proposed changes will allow for more flexibility and creativity in meeting the requirements.

The existing code – which shapes urban forms of development on the South Knoxville Waterfront and in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor – was written originally to address new construction. Last spring, revisions were adopted, after a public input process, that provided a clear pathway for property owners wishing to modify, renovate or add onto their existing structures.

Anyone needing a disability accommodation to attend the Oct. 20 meeting should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Stephanie Cook, at or 865-215-2034. For an English interpreter, contact the City Law Department at 865-215-2050.