Annexation Policy

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Rick Emmett
Downtown Coordinator
Room 655, City County Building

Underlying Values

The City of Knoxville places a top priority for growth and economic development within its present city limits through redevelopment of existing parcels. This strategy makes use of existing infrastructure that will support quality growth through greater use of infill, rehab, and mixed-use development within the existing city limits. However, because it is essential that any city must be in a position to expand its borders to include urbanizing areas in unincorporated areas on its edge, the city of Knoxville will occasionally supplement its primary growth strategy through a secondary policy of external growth through annexation of urbanized and urbanizing areas as envisioned by the Tennessee Growth Policy Act.

Among the purposes of the growth policy legislation was that of reigning in overly aggressive annexations while allowing local governments to "more closely match the timing of development to the provision of public services." The intent of the act was clearly to make annexation more rational and predictable by identifying areas of likely expansion for the city.

Pursuant to this act, the city and the county agreed on the urban growth boundary. The areas included within this boundary are in close proximity to the city already urban in character, or likely to become urban in character. These areas are those jointly deemed to be appropriate for eventual annexation by the city in order to insure orderly growth. The city, through its plan of services, is in a position to provide the additional services the city has the capacity to offer and which are necessary in a more urbanized area, for the protection both of the annexed parcel and of the citizens of the city.

The City of Knoxville will abide by the following principle in pursing annexation.

Many people request to be brought into the city. Moreover, as a municipal corporation the city will seek to convince others in areas where it is appropriate that it is in their interest to join the city. The city will pursue voluntary annexations when such annexations are consistent with the interest of city residents.

Property owners requesting annexation into the City of Knoxville must contact the City's Department of Policy and Redevelopment. In all cases, a written letter of request will be required pursuant to the State of Tennessee's legislative intent.