The county commission will vote on a measure to adopt design and lighting standards within the Zoning Regulations at their meeting tomorrow night at 7 p.m. You can find the proposed changes on the agenda here, starting on page 77: (link...) I'll also paste them below.

What do you think of them? I'd especially like to hear the opinions of those of you who keep up with the Dark Skies Initiative and those of you who drive Hwy 411S. Are these regulations sufficient? Are they too much? Are they just right?

That a new Section 7.14 addressing commercial and industrial design requirements be added to read as follows:

Section 7.14. Design Requirements for Commercial and Industrial

A. Any commercial or industrial use permit requiring a site plan provided
in Section 7.2 shall also require conformity with this section. The site
plans required in this section shall conform to requirements of Section
7.2 and other requirements specified in this Section. All elements of
use, including associated accessory elements such as garbage disposal
areas, heating and air units exterior to buildings, and loading docks,
shall be shown on the site plan. Site plan submittal shall contain
required plans for stormwater management under this section, other
applicable sections in the zoning regulations, and other County and
State grading and stormwater permit regulations. The site plan shall
contain specific design of parking areas required in this section and
other sections in the zoning regulations.

B. Site plans and site plan elements shall be prepared by qualified
professionals. Qualified professionals shall be licensed as one or a
combination of architect, landscape architect and/or engineer.

C. To mitigate the impact of building appearance along scenic highways
and other existing roads within the county exterior to a commercial
development, the following design requirements shall apply.

1. The front, side and rear elevation of any building shall be
provided as part of site plan submission for review and approval.

2. The front (facing highway or road) and side wall planes of
buildings shall be staggered by occasional changes in surface planes
or changes of materials or architectural features to avoid monolithic
“box” appearance. Walls and roof visible to public roads shall have
changes of wall and roof planes with at least a three (3) foot
projection or recess no less than every thirty (30) feet horizontally. In
addition, any of the following elements shall be integrated in walls
visible to public roads at no less than thirty (30) feet spacing, both
horizontally and vertically: porches; awnings; stairwells; doors;
windows; chimney; changes in construction materials. Excessive
repetition of only one or two architectural features above is

Elements that are not acceptable as a means to comply with the
requirement above include, but are not limited to: gutter downspouts;
garage doors; retaining walls; changes in paint color, color bands or
small (less than two (2) square feet) accent materials using flat tile;
narrow trim; common hallways parallel to outside walls not including
stairwells; window and door frames; shutters; structural or decorative
columns; and narrow extensions (less than three feet wide) of fire

3. Exterior walls visible from public roads may not be comprised
of aluminum or flat-faced concrete block. Exterior glass shall
compose a minimum or five (5) percent of the façade of the building,
unless the building is an open-air structure such as a produce market.

4. All accessory garbage and disposal facilities (dumpsters, etc.)
and accessory heating and air facilities shall be screened with
materials compatible in appearance to the principal structure. Loading
docks shall be placed away from fronting roads, and shall be screened
if visible from residential uses.

D. Outdoor Lighting Standards.
Outdoor lighting is important for night visibility, safety, and security.
Outdoor lighting can, however, also invade privacy and cause
nuisance if excessive glare and direct light trespasses on adjacent
properties. These requirements ensure that new development
minimizes the amount of light that may shine on abutting properties.
The following is required when installing lights:

1. A lighting plan may be required (as determined by the Building
Commissioner or reviewing body);

2. A light “point by point” footcandle diagram must be shown on the
site plan with a 10x10 foot maximum grid. The diagram should cover
at least ten feet on either side of property lines that border residential
zones or uses;

3. Lighting must not exceed 0.5 footcandle at or beyond the property
line zoned or used for residential purposes;

4. Any luminaire with lamp(s) rated at a total of more than 1800
lumens, and any flood or spot luminaire with lamp(s) rated at a total
of more than 900 lumens shall not emit any direct light above a
horizontal plane through the lowest direct light emitting part of the
luminaire (full cut-off);

5. Laser source lights or any similar high intensity light for outdoor
advertising or entertainment is prohibited; and

6. The operation of searchlights for advertising purposes is prohibited.
That Section 7.2 be amended to add subsection I to read as follows:

I. Any commercial or industrial use permit requiring a site plan provided
in this Section shall also require conformity with Section 7.14 Design
Requirements for Commercial and Industrial Developments.

May be. We know that

May be.

We know that churches are exempt from most rules. What other types of businesses / structures may fall in the void so that they are neither commercial or industrial and thus are not required to follow any new rules?

And are these the same lighting guidelines they were working on for the sperts komplex?

Great Start

I noticed that the rear of building are not included, the rear should be screened or regulated by design standards. Someone will have a view of the rear of the building from their home. I still believe some vegetation screening should be between the road and building, do we really need to see the building or just a well designed sign? Vegetation screening between each business would also break up the commercial look.

The lighting regulation has a loophole, or did I misunderstand it. Is it legal to install an unlimited number of fixtures rated less than 1800 lumes?

4. Any luminaire with lamp(s) rated at a total of more than 1800
lumens, and any flood or spot luminaire with lamp(s) rated at a total
of more than 900 lumens shall not emit any direct light above a
horizontal plane through the lowest direct light emitting part of the
luminaire (full cut-off);

I'm having some trouble understanding the regulation, which usually means there is something to hide. Why are they using lumens and footcandle in the same reg?


Any commercial property proposal that borders residential has to have somesort of screening. As for the lighting, that is the same as maryville's but there is another regulation that is more stringent in in the rural areas in the county.


As for the lighting, that is the same as maryville's but there is another regulation that is more stringent in in the rural areas in the county.

Is it the same as Maryville or is it not? 'cause I sure don't want the county lit up like the city.

And bravo Joe! Leaving the back of buildings unregulated means we care more about those driving by these commercial properties than the folks who have to live next to them and wake up each and every morning to the glare of sunlight on metal.

Mello you go to the meetings

You of all should know. It was the same restirictions as the city's so that it can get pushed forward sooner than later. Since it was wanted to be brought forward after all the policies plan was finalized. Thought we needed it done now and pushed forward to get it done. And the lighting will be alot stricter then the cities just for the same reason as the last posting. So the lighting is comming in next month's agenda. John Lamb wanted to get a better grasp on the regulations and specifics on the lighting. So the planning commission went ahead and passed it on with 2 public input and the full commission had a public input for it aswell. So now the last day of the night of the meeting people want to argue about and change it? Does not make sense to do that at the last hour.By all means bring up your comments and questions during the public inputs so that those changes can be done.

again mello any commercial

again mello any commercial property that is proposed, has to have screening from any residential. That has been in the regulations for years. Unsure if joe knew that is why i said it before. but I guess you overlooked that and want to talk about maryville's lighting

me thinks it is time to get

me thinks it is time to get the camera out and show a few of those so called 'screens'

please do

then you can call mr roger fields and show him and let him do his job.

Screening is more than visual

So the subdivision are protected and the farmers are forced to except more than their fair share of the back side of an outhouse. Screening is more than visual it provides wind breaks which traps litter left by customers. It's one reason I suggested trees or vegetation on all sides of each business, and in larger parking lots. Visit the new WalMart, mother nature keep that big lot clean by moving the plastic bags to the neighbors property.

As for the backside of buildings, I don't think they should look like the store front, but some visual standards should be required. Someone will be looking at it. If you don't require it now, it will be too difficult to ask for it years later, when the backside looks worse than a junkyard.

Except for industrial parks,

Except for industrial parks, communities should be looking at "form based zoning" for just about everything. I think this would go a long way toward heading off many disputes.

What's that?

RNeal, what is "form based zoning"?

The way I understand it,

The way I understand it, form based zoning regulates the structure and its appearance, not its use. It promotes more mixed-use development.

For example, you could have a zone that says structures may only be one story, require certain exterior apperance and features, no more than x sq. feet, allow for x amount of parking per structure, have these setbacks and utility easements, etc. Then you could have single family dwellings, a neighborhood drug store, a dress shop, or whatever, all mixed together as long as they conform and maintain the character of the area.

Another zone might allow up to three stories or up to a certain maximum height, more parking, etc., along with the other stuff. There you could put an office building, a business "campus", apartments, condos, whatever.

If I understand all that correctly. I first learned about it in relation to the South Knoxville Waterfront development plan. They have adopted form based zoning for that project. Here's a link to what they came up with.


From the intro:

"Form-based codes de-emphasize land use in favor of building form and typology. They encourage a greater mix of uses and housing types and place stronger emphasis on the design of the public realm. In addition, greater public participation in the coding process will enable all parties involved to have a better understanding of the outcome of future development. Form based codes are also more graphic-intense and easier for people to understand than traditional zoning.

The intent of these codes is to provide a blue-print for future development that allows for greater certainty in determining the outcome for growth. The Knoxville South Waterfront Vision Plan represents a possible vision for future growth. These codes are written to tailor future development in such a way as to assist in creating an environment that achieves this vision."

I see what you mean

So what does "form-based zoning" do to avoid nuisance enterprises within their mixed-use development? For example, some of what's going up on 411S is manufacturing, with all the requisite noise and pollution. Not a great mix with the existing residential and in some places, places a blight on the historic value of the area. This, in turn, minimizes the potential future tourist value.

I guess I'm asking whether there are ANY limitations on use?

I'm not sure how that works.

I'm not sure how that works. Mainly it's about mixed use. I guess there could be some light industrial, and maybe there are other noise and environmental regulations that can be used.

But I think mainly if you set design standards such that it wouldn't be cost effective for a light manufacturing outfit that only needs a basic steel building/warehouse, they will go somewhere else where it's allowed.

Planning commission has

Planning commission has tried to bring about a few changes in the zoning from the Hunter's Study aswell as from from the form based zoning that you referred to. But there was an outpouring from residents that did not understand and still ask for brownfielding and other commonsense changes. They think that all changes are bad for the community and do not see the long haul to 20-30 yrs down


They think that all changes are bad for the community and do not see the long haul to 20-30 yrs down

Well, all citizens just can't be as enlightened as you, JAC.

why knock it

why knock something that you don't know much about then? was just stating what hunter's and what other communities in other parts of the country have used to help spread sprawl and other issues that we have here today. Is that not what the residents have been saying for years? I know I have. And now we are trying to get that into the works. Just a shame that all is negative and can't see the positives to come out of it for the future.


What was it I was knocking?

Laser Part

      "5. Laser source lights or any similar high intensity light
      for outdoor advertising or entertainment is prohibited"

Does that mean, if one extinguishes another's ?Security? light, that is invading one's property, and shining through one's house; by using a Laser; they are in violation of the Regulation? That method of Laser use is Utilitarian, and does not fall under Advertising or Entertainment, IM not so HO.

On a 2nd, more National note. The US's major contribution to CO2 levels

IS the waste of Electricity. If the Customers were forced to buy Solar Powered ?Security? lights, wouldn't that help curb a lot of our transgressions, and help folks realize the real expense in burning Lumens all night long?

viva Evo Morales

a big question mark above us

"a big question mark above us"
Watt would that do? How do one upgrade to higherer standards. Are you the standard bearer or merely the walrus?

viva Evo Morales

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