SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS

The Knoxville/Knox County Minimum Subdivision Regulations establish legal minimum standards for subdivision development. It is the job of the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) to ensure that proposed subdivisions conform to these adopted standards.

Subdivision regulations set standards for streets, drainage ways, sewage disposal, water systems, and other aspects of public welfare.

Subdivision regulations are needed to protect communities and ensure building lots provide a wholesome living environment for future residents. These regulations ensure adequate lot size, public access, and the availability of public services to each lot created. They also help to conserve natural, scenic, historic, and recreational areas.

Subdivision regulations eliminate the need for excessive public expenditures by making the developer responsible for the installation of basic public facilities before the recording and sale of lots.

According to Tennessee State Law, any time a property owner converts a tract of land into a subdivision—whether dividing it into two or 200 lots—a subdivision plat must be recorded. Recording of a subdivision plat is necessary before property transfers can begin in the subdivision.

Types of Subdivisions

There are one lot subdivisions, minor subdivisions, and major subdivisions. Each type is subject to regulations administered by the Planning Commission.

One Lot Subdivisions

A One Lot subdivision can be created by:

  • Dividing a tract of land into no more than two lots
  • Combining two or more existing lots into one lot
  • Adjusting a lot line between two existing lots (only one lot line can be moved)

Minor Subdivisions

A subdivision is considered minor when:

  • One lot is divided creating three lots
  • All lots created by the subdivision have access to an existing public street
  • No more than five lots have access to a public street via a joint permanent easement

Major Subdivisions

A subdivision is considered major when:

  • Construction of a new public road is necessary
  • More than five lots have access to a public street by means of a joint permanent easement
  • Special hillside protection, drainage, or traffic safety concerns are created

 

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