The city of Knoxville's zoning ordinance regulates the type, size
of all signs in the City of Knoxville. Section 9 of City Ordinance
O-149-99, as amended, regulates sign construction design. The permit
and inspection process ensures that all signs comply with adopted
regulations regarding construction, placement, and size of signs within
the city limits. The zoning of the property regulates the placement
and size of signs. Zoning for a specific address can be obtained from
The Zoning Ordinance
is available online at the City's Code of Ordinances. Article 5, section 10. Is the code section for
Do I Need a Permit for My Sign?
Permits are required for all signs, permanent or temporary. A sign permit
is required prior to erecting or installing a sign.
Per City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance, Article 5, Section 10.A.24 as of June
1, 2001, off-premise advertising is prohibited in the City of Knoxville.
Billboards and advertising signs legally existing prior to this date
may be rebuilt in compliance with TCA 13-7-208. A non-refundable fee calculated for the production and installation
as follows: $50.00 base + $3.00 for each $1,000.00 or fraction thereof
How Do I Get a Permit?
For each sign, the applicant must submit:
A completed sign
2 Copies of a Site Plan to comply with Article 5, Section 10.K.4
of the City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance
2 copies of design detail drawings including layout and dimensions.
Per city Ordinance O-149-99, Section 9, 3108.3.1, signs 32 square
feet or larger and/or 25 feet in height must be signed and stamped
by a State of Tennessee licensed architect or engineer.
Applications are available at the Plans Review and Inspections Division,
City-County Building, 400 Main Street, Room 505, Knoxville, TN 37902.
Our office hours are 8a.m. To 4:30p.m. Monday through Friday. Applications
are also available online by following the above link. Applications
for sign permits can be submitted either in person, by mail or over-night
After review and approval, the sign permit, along with one copy of
all drawings will be mailed to you. The permit and drawings should
be on the job site at the time of inspection. If there are code deficiencies,
you will be advised of the corrections needed.
Electrical work associated with a sign requires a separate electrical
permit. All electrical work must be done by a City of Knoxville
Is an Inspection Necessary?
The sign inspector must inspect all signs. Ground signs require
footing and final inspections. The footing inspection is required
prior to pouring concrete and after the hole is dug and steel reinforcement,
if required, installed. The final inspection is required after the
sign is installed. Wall signs require a final inspection.