Community meeting to showcase concepts of proposed zoning changes

On Tuesday, May 3, staff from the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) will host a public meeting to present the general concepts of a newly proposed Mixed Use District zone for the Bearden Village area, and provide an opportunity for questions and feedback from the community.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at Bearden United Methodist Church, 4407 Sutherland Avenue.

The Bearden area has a rich history of over 200 years. It began as a prosperous farming community and center of commerce with its own public services. It gradually transitioned to a residential community with diverse housing types and a commercial district with hundreds of locally-owned, regional and national businesses.

In 2001, the Bearden Village Opportunities Plan was developed with extensive input from the community. The plan focused on three goals: enhance pedestrian activity and access, enhance the sense of place and community, and build upon Bearden’s urban character and unique atmosphere. To accomplish this the plan recommends transforming Bearden into an “urban village,” a complete and integrated community of housing, shops, workplaces, schools, parks and civic facilities within easy walking distance of each other.

Realizing the Bearden Village concept requires allowing new types of development. In 2015, Knoxville City Council requested that MPC staff consider options to allow residential uses in existing commercial areas. In doing so, staff determined the existing development standards were not adequate to simply allow residential uses. To create the sense of place and community envisioned for the community, MPC is proposing a new Mixed Use District zone in existing commercial areas.

For more information about the proposed mixed use zoning, contact Mike Reynolds, Senior Planner, with the Metropolitan Planning Commission at 865-215-2500 or Additional information about the proposed zoning will be posted to the MPC website ( prior to the May 3 meeting.