Mayor Jacobs opposed to changes in Knox Land Use Plan

By Focus Staff

“It’s not perfect but it’s a great improvement,” at-large Commissioner Kim Frazier told the Knox County Commission’s work session last week. She was referring to the Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Plan, a two-year effort by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’s administration and the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission.

The commission set a May 27 deadline for approval of the massive plan that would guide the county’s growth and focus on the development of agricultural areas. Frazier has been following the plan more than any other commissioner.

Frazier had several amendments for consideration and went over each one during the work session, including her wish to change “suggested” to “shall” in many of the items such as building on hillsides and ridgetops. Some of the proposed amendments would require further review by the planning commission.

Fellow commissioners and the planning staff had some objections and suggestions to Frazier’s terms that initially included separating the Land Use Plan from the Growth Policy Plan adopted by the county, Knoxville and Farragut. That suggestion faltered. Another suggestion from commissioners included changing the deadline for approval. If the new plan is not approved in June, the county would continue to use the existing land use plan, which opponents claim would continue to open more rural land for sprawl.

At-large Commissioner Larsen Jay’s motion to consider passing the proposed plan in tonight’s meeting passed and the commission agreed to post Frazier’s amendments on the commission’s forum for further consideration and response. The “Comp Plan Discussion” can be found online at

The proposals that most commissioners agree on would be added to the final plan for a vote and those with objections would be discussed.

Several citizens spoke in opposition to the land use plan, asking for it to be modified or postponed. Jay said that, if approved, the plan could be reviewed in three months and modified if needed.

Chairwoman Terry Hill urged the commission to move forward on adoption saying, “We’re 95 percent on the way.” At one point Frazier and Commissioner Kyle Ward had a pointed exchange with Frazier saying her suggestions “would put some teeth” in the enforcement of the plan.

A call for a special meeting to further discuss Frazier’s proposals was turned away in favor of Jay’s motion to consider passing the plan, with some possible changes, at tonight’s regular commission meeting.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs has stated that he is opposed to changes in the plan.