Knox County Tennessee

Knox County's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

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Knox County’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

The Knox County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance regulates development in and around Special Flood Hazard Areas, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in Knox County for general purposes of flood damage prevention and the protection of life, health, commerce, property and public funds that can be impacted by flooding.

In accordance with Section 1 of the ordinance, its purposes are to:

  • restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety, and property due to water, erosion, or damaging increases in flood heights or velocities;
  • require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;
  • control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers which are involved in the accommodation of flood waters;
  • control filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase erosion or flood damage; and,
  • prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert flood waters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands.

From a floodplain management perspective, the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance preceded, and is complimented by, the Stormwater Management Ordinance. Both ordinances regulate development in the floodplain but differ in overall objectives. The Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance was originally developed to satisfy Federal requirements for Knox County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by FEMA. Knox County continues to administer the ordinance specifically for that purpose. In addition to the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, the floodplain management requirements contained in the Knox County Stormwater Management Ordinance further strengthen Knox County’s floodplain management regulations beyond FEMA’s minimal requirements. In addition, the Stormwater Management Ordinance expands flood management regulations to unstudied streams and sinkhole areas, and secures the County’s participation in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS). 

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205 West Baxter Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37917

Phone: 865-215-5800
Fax: 865-215-5831

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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