Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

James A. Spencer

Committee Members

Cecilia Zanetta. Terri R. Shupp


In this study the perceptions and behaviors of participants in the Knoxville/Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) public hearings are examined. The participants used for the research were selected by examining frequency of visitation in the past five years. They consisted of neighborhood organizations, as well as lawyers who represented applicants. They responded to questionnaires and interviews given by the researcher to draw conclusions as to the common perceptions and behaviors displayed at the Knoxville public hearings. The research showed seven common themes existed. The participants (1) disliked repetitive applications, appeals, and variances, (2) preferred City Council over the MPC, (3) disliked the time and length of the public hearings, (4) perceived the MPC staff and neighborhood organizations did not have adequate representation, (5) perceived the MPC as not listening at times and not making decisions upon fact, (6) displayed unruly behavior at times during hearings, and (7) displayed a reoccurrence of developer vs. neighborhood organization perception. It was concluded that the underlying problem with the public hearing setting in Knoxville is the reoccurring dissonance the lawyers and neighborhood organization have regarding their perception of growth and development in the Knoxville area. As a result, the MPC is caught in the middle of the ongoing battle between the two sides.

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