Proposed Development on Blount Ave.

Skip to first unread message

Janice Tocher

Sep 13, 2022, 5:14:36 PM9/13/22
to Woodlawn
Greeting neighbors,

There are a number of folk on our email list that were closely involved with the South Waterfront code when it was being crafted by the community and then adopted by the city in 2007. Since that time, there has been much development on the east side of Blount Ave and development has begun to spread to the west side.

See below for information an appeal of administrative decision regarding a potential development on the South Waterfront.

Of note: SWNA has NOT taken a position on this - I am sending this to let all know what is going on and if you like, you can send an email in support of this appeal and come stand in support at next Tuesday’s BZA meeting.

Janice Tocher

Phone: 865-661-1685


Friends of the South Waterfront,

We need your help supporting an appeal about a proposed development at 451 W. Blount Avenue, just west of CityView.  The Zoning Administrator for the South Waterfront made a decision to treat this project as a Level II rather than as a Level III. We are appealing that decision to BZA.

Level II Development Plan Reviews are intended for projects with no major deviations from the South Waterfront Form Code. They are conducted and approved by City staff. There is no public input. In fact, the public is not informed that these reviews are taking place. For projects that meet code, this is not a problem.

According to the South Waterfront Form Code, a Level III Alternative Compliance Review is intended for development proposals that would “not otherwise be allowed under a strict interpretation of the Form District regulations.”  Level III reviews require approval by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission (formerly MPC). A Level III review is intended to put “more eyes” on the project, including the opportunity for review by the public.

The plan submitted for this development is significantly misaligned with the South Waterfront  Vision Plan and deviates from the South Waterfront Form Code in multiple and substantial ways, as shown in the following table.

SW4 Standards from 7.3.1.E
Deviations Requested 
Percentage Deviation
Block Size perimeter
1,400 linear ft. max
37.3% increase
Lot size
3 acres max
5.5 acres
83.3% increase
Front Setback
10 ft max
37.5 ft on northwestern portion
275% increase
Building height
50 ft max
64.5 ft
29% increase
Building footprint
30,000 sq ft max
68,087 sq ft
127% increase
Ground level transparency
Minimum of 70% 
38.5% for building A, 48% for building B
45% decrease for building A, 31% decrease for building B

Clearly this proposed plan needs a Level III review.  Failure to conduct that review violates the Form Code itself. It also sets an undesirable precedent for handling future proposed  projects.

The South Waterfront Vision Plan and Form Code were developed in a transparent process with a great deal of community participation.  When a proposal deviates this significantly from the Form Code, the community deserves a chance to review and comment. A Level III review provides that opportunity.

Please contact BZA in support of this appeal. Send your comments to Jennifer Scobee - - by no later than Friday, September 16th to be included in the agenda packet.  Please reference Agenda Item 9G22VA in your correspondence. ALSO, if possible, please show support by attending the BZA meeting September 20 at 4 p.m. in the Small Assembly Room of the City County Building.

For additional information, you can review the appeal here:

Scroll to  read the narrative page for details on the reasons for appealing this administrative decision.

You can find information about Form Code districts here:

If you have questions, contact Rachel Craig at 865-919-3476,, or Janice Tocher at 865-661-1685,

Thanks so much for your support!

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages