Nuisances in the City of Knoxville

The City of Knoxville has adopted a Nuisance Ordinance in the City Codewhich serves residents and visitors of our city. Title 4 Health & Public Safety, Chapter 7 Nuisances helps residents understand what nuisances are the City enforces abatement of the nuisance. Here are some common nuisances-

Property Maintenance

Any structure, or portion thereof, in any zoning district whose exterior wall surfaces are not maintained and kept in repair using materials compatible with the remaining undamaged wall surfaces and recognized as acceptable pursuant to city building codes are considered a nuisance. If these properties are left unattended for too long, they may become dangerous structures.

Broken Window

Snow in the Sidewalk

Property owners and/or occupants are responsible to clear sidewalks of snow, debris and/or any other obstructions. (It is also illegal to park on a sidewalk). Property owners and occupants have twenty four (24) hours after a snowstorm to clear the sidewalk of snow.

Sidewalk Snow Removal

Abandoned Vehicle

Title 5 Motor Vehicles & Traffic, Chapter 4 Abandoned & Junked Vehicles outlines the regulations for abandoned and junk vehicles. Abandoned vehicles are vehicles which have been parked illegally for periods of time in restricted areas. Junk vehicles are those with broken windshields, flat tires, or which are inoperable on public streets.

Junked Vehicle

Weeds & Tall Grass

Property owners are required to maintain their lawns which includes trimming weeds and tall grass. In developed residential, commercial and industrial zoned areas, weeds & grass must be kept below 8" inches in height. For undeveloped residential, commercial and industrial zoned districts, maximum height is 12" inches.


Debris & Junk Storage

It is illegal to pile, store or keep old machinery, junk, furniture, tires, household furnishings or appliances or component parts thereof, or other debris within the city.

Debris Refuse

Right-of-Way Maintenance

The property owner or occupants are responsible for the cutting of such growths on the abutting space between the lot line and the curb line or edge of the traveled way within the street right of way, whether in front of or along the side of the lot or parcel of ground, and one-half (1/2) of any alley abutting the property.

Vegetation in the Right-of-Way

To Report a Nuisance, the City has made the process very simple. To assist us, you can help provide critical information which will allow us to respond quicker to nuisances. When you report a nuisance, please include the following information-

  1. Create a Profile. The City's website allows you to create a profile and submit nuisances. By doing this, you are assisting the City to enforce the Nuisance Ordinance, and helping us maintain and improve the quality of our City.
  2. Identify the Nuisance. By familiarizing yourself with the CIty Code Title 4 Chapter 7 Nuisances you can understand whether a nuisance really exists. For example, weeds around residential homes aren't considered a nuisance when under 8" in height!
  3. Description. Be sure to describe the nuisance as clearly as possible. "Window," is not very helpful but "broken window on the south-facing side of the home," gives community service officers more information to work with.
  4. Date, Time and Location of the Nuisance. When you are reporting a nuisance, please include the date, time and location in which you observed the nuisance. This information is necessary to obtain as we begin working with the property owner to abate the nuisance.
  5. Include a Picture. The City must have documentation of the nuisance and a picture is worth a thousand words! You can easily upload a picture onto our website. While this may take a few extra moments for you, please remember that you're also saving taxpayer dollars when a Community Service Officer does not have to take extra time to obtain pictures.
  6. Submit Your Ticket. By clicking submit, the City will receive your ticket and we promise to work as quickly as we can to address the nuisance.

If you have questions about our Nuisance Ordinance, or identifying nuisances around town, please feel free to contact City Hall.