Throughout the project, we’ll post questions and comments that have been submitted on comment cards collected at community meetings, sent via email or submitted via the website.

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Mla??!

I saw this acronym in the latest revision and wondered what it stood for (if not mother-in-law apartment...???)?

Staff Reply:

MLA stands for Minimum Lot Area

Lot Size Requirement?

Hello! Under Recode, what will be the minimum lot size requirement for a  duplex home in the most common residential neighborhoods?

Staff Reply:

Here are the minimum lot sizes for duplexes in several of the proposed residential districts:

    RN-1:  15,000 SF

    RN-2:  10,000 SF

    RN-3:   7,500 SF

    RN-4:   7,000 SF

    RN-5:   5,000 SF

    RN-6:   5,000 SF

Duplexes are special uses in the proposed RN-1 and RN-2 districts, meaning they would require Planning Commission approval. They are permitted uses in the other proposed residential districts. Please let me know if you have further questions.

Please Support Recode!

Hello All,

I am writing to express my support of the Recode Knoxville process and to urge you to adopt the recommendations. 

This has been a fully transparent and public process. Citizens have been given multiple opportunities to participate. I believe leadership on the process has operated in good faith and with transparency, reaching out to the public and gaining as much public input as is possible over almost three years. I have attended several of the meetings myself. 

I support the increased allowance of ADUs. I support the application of the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan being widely applied across zones, and not only applying to residential zones. This is necessary to help control the effects of severe weather events. I support the greater diversity of development this zoning update would allow and encourage, particularly relating to transportation corridors where greater density and mixed-use structures are desirable.

Staff Reply:

Recode Vote

I urge you to move forward with the Recode process on Monday. I am so sick of the fear mongering from those who claim to have had no public process for this vote. It feels like a coordinated campaign, most likely funded by those who have the most to lose from the new code, namely developers. Don’t let those who fear change deter you. 

Staff Reply:

Community Forum Response To Recode Draft 5--after May 14 And May 30 Special Called City Council Meetings -- July 11, 2019

To: Members of Knoxville City Council, Recode Knoxville, Gerald Green

From: Community Forum, Larry Silverstein, Chairperson

Subject: Community Forum Response to Recode Draft 5, as amended through the May 30, 2019, Special Meeting of Council

Date: July 11, 2019

Community Forum submits the attached comprehensive Response to Recode Draft 5 (cover letter and full response) (cover letter and full response), as amended during the May 14 and May 30, Special-Called Council Meetings, and as recommended by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission at the June 13, 2019, meeting.

Community Forum previously submitted its original Response to Draft 5 on May 27, 2019.

We urge City Council to postpone first reading approval of Recode on July 16, 2019. Progress has been made in addressing many important provisions in Recode since Draft 5 came out on May 1, 2019. However, the length of the Special-Called Council Meetings, coupled with the very late hour, resulted in some issues not being adequately addressed, and they require further consideration. Additionally, Council directed Planning staff to propose language to address other specific issues.

To date, we have not seen proposed language for several important issues, including the Hillside Protection Overlay.  We do not know whether or not we, or Council members will see updates before the July 16, 2019, City Council meeting.

It can be presumed from just the material contained in this Community Forum Response, that there likely will be many proposed amendments to be considered and voted upon on July 16, 2019. No doubt other amendments will be proposed that neither Council members nor the public are familiar with. It is likely at the meeting that there will be discussion about the latest maps which could lead to further changes that will need to be considered.

From past experience at the two Special Meetings in May, everybody realizes the difficulty of drafting important and substantive amendments on the fly and understanding the meaning and impact of the exact language of the amendment. This leads to confusion as to what is being voted on when there is not adequate time to fully understand the amendment or contemplate its impact. It is also extremely difficult for the public to offer input if it does not understand the amendment that is being considered.

Therefore, given that there have already been many substantial amendments made to the proposed Ordinance since May 1, 2019, members of City Council and the public deserve a reasonable amount of time to review Recode in its entirety, after it is further amended on July 16, 2019, and before it is considered on First Reading.

Throughout this lengthy Recode process, Community Forum and its individual members have repeatedly asserted both in writing and orally, that City Council must understand the rationale for any significant changes to the existing Zoning Ordinance. Further, City Council must fully understand the impact such changes would have on properties and neighborhoods. It is crucial that this analysis continues up until votes are taken to adopt this proposed Ordinance. City Council must conclude that all questions have been answered to their complete satisfaction, and they have received all the information necessary to make informed decisions.

City Council must understand that approving the proposed Ordinance is not just changing the law, but in many instances is significantly changing the entire zoning approval process from application, to exhaustion of appeals, and to final implementation of what has been approved.

The zoning Ordinance is law, and every word is important to the entire zoning process. The Ordinance language must be clear in order:

(A) for the city to be able to enforce the Ordinance;

(B)for the public to be able to comply with the Ordinance when making applications;

(C)for the public, particularly adjacent property owners and neighborhoods, to be able to understand the process for responding to applications;

(D)for the Planning Commission staff to be able to apply the Ordinance to the applications it receives and make its recommendations to the Planning Commission;

(E)for the Planning Commission to be able to consider the application, consider the staff recommendation, apply the Ordinance to the application, and vote on what comes before it; and

(F)for the City Zoning Administrator, City Council, BZA, and the courts to be able to handle requests for modifications and appeals provided for in the Ordinance.

Due to grandfathering, our city will have to live with any negative effects. For these reasons, every effort must be made to avoid oversights and unintended consequences. Providing reasonable time to reflect on the amended ordinance before voting on first reading, is important if errors are to be avoided.

Community Forum has worked extremely hard since Draft 1 went public on March 21, 2018, to carefully review the proposed Ordinance, to compare it to the existing Ordinance, to ask pertinent questions, and to make specific recommendations to improve the proposed Ordinance. We intend to continue this course for as long as it takes to get it right before it gets adopted. As our attached Response indicates in great detail, there is still work to be done. City Council must set the appropriate timetable.

We look forward to continuing the discussion on July 16, 2019, or at any time before the meeting at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum

7808 Sheffield Dr.

Knoxville, TN, 37909

693-1256

Larrys55@aol.com

Staff Reply:

Support For Wrapping Up Recode

Hello All,

I want to express thanks to the City of Knoxville and Knoxville-Knox County Planning, as well as Camiros and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, for undertaking the long and complicated process of updating our zoning code. I believe leadership on the process has operated in good faith and with transparency, reaching out to the public and gaining as much public input as is possible over the past 27 (?) months. I have attended several of the meetings. I have witnessed the City Council, City staff, and Planning staff take and respond to many citizen questions and concerns. That we have just completed reviewing the 5th ordinance draft and are currently reviewing the 4th map draft is a testament to the process and the effort that leaders are making to get this right, while at the same time acknowledging that it will be a living document. The revisions to drafts and maps result from community feedback and many people have engaged in the process. While it must be true that not every parcel owner in the City is aware of the Recode process, it is also likely true that many of the parcel owners have never paid attention to their zoning at all and will continue not to. That doesn't mean the process has been any less valuable and effective.

I hope that the ordinance will be approved before our City elections are held. I support the increased allowance of ADUs and appreciate that, in general, different neighborhoods have not been provided differing rights or privileges. I support the application of the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan being widely applied across zones, and not only applying to residential zones. This is necessary to help control the effects of severe weather events. I support the greater diversity of development this zoning update would allow and encourage, particularly relating to transportation corridors where greater density and mixed-use structures are desirable.

Thank you for your efforts and for listening to our comments.

Staff Reply:

Next Steps - Recode Knoxville Zoning Ordinance Update

Hello: I represent the Brick Industry Association, and just wanted to inquire what next steps are for the zoning ordinance update, and when it would go before the City Council for vote.

Staff Reply:

City Council members are reviewing the draft updated zoning map and will discuss the map at an upcoming workshop. Adoption of the draft ordinance and zoning map will be the next step, which may occur in August.

Zoning

I would like to suggest making the entire street from 804-840 N 4th Ave, Knoxville, TN 37917 to have C-N zoning, considering this seems the designation most of the street is being recoded to. With the current mixed zoning of industrial, commercial, and office all on the same street from the highway being put in beside the street, several buildings that are being recoded as residential are currently used commercially. For example, 820 N 4th has for some time been a bar/club/restaurant with a parking lot next door. Also, 817 N 4th is a parts business, whose building would be very difficult to use residentially. In fact, there are actually only two houses on the street that are being used purely as a residential home. Switching some of the street to residential will benefit far fewer houses considering the past allowable uses of the street. By making all C-N, it allows the mixed commercial use that has been established and would greatly help continue the improvements the street has been under in recent months. Thanks

Staff Reply:

Recode And Hillside Protection

Protect Hillside and Ridgetop protection in ALL zones. Don't let developers run roughshod over this,  where they will clear and grade property that will impose risks of flooding, eroding, and the destruction of our topography. The Planning Commission got this one wrong, caving to developers instead of protecting the environment. Please reject the Planning Commission's recommendation on Hillside Protection in Recode.

Staff Reply:

Hillside And Ridgetop Protection

I am writing in regards to the recent motion by the planning commission to remove the Hillside and Ridgetop protection ordinance from office and commercial zoned property. ALL property no matter the zoning should remain protected. There is absolutely no reason that only residential should be subjected to this ordinance, while developers flatten ridges and scar our hills. We must protect our areas natural features. Knox County does not need to follow in the footsteps of Sevier County and absolutely destroy the natural beauty that we are so fortunate to have. Mudslides, rockslides and flooding continue to get worse with these poor decisions made for greed. There are miles and miles of property already within zoning that can be used for more 1/2 empty commercial and office space if you need to build so badly. 

Staff Reply:

3817 Kincaid

This is a one BR duplex I own . How will recode affest it

Staff Reply:

The property at 3817 Kincaid is proposed for Office zoning by the draft map. Duplexes are a permitted use in the Office district. You could also convert the residential use to office use if you so choose.

Recode Updates

MPC made changes to Recode at their June 13, 2019 meeting before approving it and passing it on to City Council. When can the public expect the current version to be post?

Staff Reply:

Support

I support keeping the Accessory Dwelling Unit and Hillside Protection regulations in the new zoning ordinance. 

Staff Reply:

Statement Under Every Residential Neighborhood Districts

What is the definition of this statement: "Limited nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of the district may also be permitted.". This is under every single residential neighborhood district listed. Is this how the City is going to get around the roll-out of 5G small cell antennas in all the neighborhoods. Is it a coincidence that the City has decided to recode all of Knoxville right at the same time that 5G is being deployed? 

THOUSANDS OF MINI CELL TOWERS TO BE BUILT IN FRONT OF HOMES
5G will require the buildout of literally hundreds of thousands of new wireless antennas in neighborhoods, cities and towns. A cellular small cell or other transmitter will be placed every two to ten homes according to estimates. The purpose of this massive infrastructure build out of small cells, distributed antennae systems and microcells is to increase range and capacity in populated urban areas and prepare for the future 5G rollout. 5G frequencies will utilize higher frequencies that do not travel as far as the lower frequencies.
US state and federal governments are moving forth regulations which would make the right of way in front of homes as available sites for 5G transmitters – without consent of the property owners. In response, communities are protesting en mass as they do not want these transmitters built in front of their homes and communities want to be able to regulate the placement on right of ways. Some municipalities are taking the case to the courts with litigation.
5G WILL USE HIGHER ELECTROMAGNETIC FREQUENCIES
5G will utilize multiple frequencies from those currently in use for cell phones and wireless to higher millimeter frequencies.
Today’s cellular and Wi-Fi networks rely on microwaves – a type of electromagnetic radiation utilizing frequencies up to 6 gigahertz (GHz) in order to wirelessly transmit voice or data. However, 5G applications will require unlocking of new spectrum bands in higher frequency ranges above 6 GHz to 100 GHz and beyond, utilizing submillimeter and millimeter waves – to allow ultra-high rates of data to be transmitted in the same amount of time as compared with previous deployments of microwave radiation. Each carrier will use a different set of frequencies.
This will be worse than living next to a cell phone tower!

Staff Reply:

 

The limited non-residential uses permitted in residential districts include kindergartens, schools, and places of worship. The standards for wireless telecommunications facilities are found in section 9.3.FF and are those adopted by City Council approximately one year ago.

Statement Under Every Residential Neighborhood Districts

What is the definition of this statement: "Limited nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of the district may also be permitted.". This is under every single residential neighborhood district listed. Is this how the City is going to get around the roll-out of 5G small cell antennas in all the neighborhoods. Is it a coincidence that the City has decided to recode all of Knoxville right at the same time that 5G is being deployed?

THOUSANDS OF MINI CELL TOWERS TO BE BUILT IN FRONT OF HOMES
5G will require the buildout of literally hundreds of thousands of new wireless antennas in neighborhoods, cities and towns. A cellular small cell or other transmitter will be placed every two to ten homes according to estimates. The purpose of this massive infrastructure build out of small cells, distributed antennae systems and microcells is to increase range and capacity in populated urban areas and prepare for the future 5G rollout. 5G frequencies will utilize higher frequencies that do not travel as far as the lower frequencies.
US state and federal governments are moving forth regulations which would make the right of way in front of homes as available sites for 5G transmitters - without consent of the property owners. In response, communities are protesting en mass as they do not want these transmitters built in front of their homes and communities want to be able to regulate the placement on right of ways.  Some municipalities are taking the case to the courts with litigation.
5G WILL USE HIGHER ELECTROMAGNETIC FREQUENCIES
5G will utilize multiple frequencies from those currently in use for cell phones and wireless to higher millimeter frequencies.
Today's cellular and Wi-Fi networks rely on microwaves - a type of electromagnetic radiation utilizing frequencies up to 6 gigahertz (GHz) in order to wirelessly transmit voice or data. However, 5G applications will require unlocking of new spectrum bands in higher frequency ranges above 6 GHz to 100 GHz and beyond, utilizing submillimeter and millimeter waves - to allow ultra-high rates of data to be transmitted in the same amount of time as compared with previous deployments of microwave radiation. Each carrier will use a different set of frequencies.  
This will be worse than living next to a cell phone tower!

Staff Reply:

The limited non-residential uses permitted in residential districts include kindergartens, schools, and places of worship. The standards for wireless telecommunications facilities are found in section 9.3.FF and are those adopted by City Council approximately one year ago.

Mobile Home Parks

Btw....I READ in the MEDIA that Recode was not going to allow any more mobile home parks in the city, BUT I couldn't find any such wording in the new Code. Did I miss it? There is a STRONG argument for whatever is OMITTED in the Code is ALLOWED. Just fyi! Please dot your i's and cross your t's about intent. Put it in writing. All of it. 

Thanks!

Staff Reply:

Actual Parking Policy And Passes

Hmmmmm ...other than LAW dictated (before landlords can tow IMMEDIATELY), maybe THIS is another good reason for instituting an actual parking policy? And PASSES?

Can't catch em if you don't MONITOR. LOL

Having to report cars to the office for passes can expose a lot!

Police PATROL (per the annexed Plan of Services Agreement) periodically might help, too. Nothing like being SEEN.

Thanks!

Staff Reply:

Please Vote No On Recode

I sincerely request....PLEASE VOTE NO ON RECODE.

Not because an update of Zoning codes might not be needed, but because Camiros (and the city) has done a CRAPPY job!

I read it....if nothing else, it is shoddily written, has too many errors and omissions, and contains some things that just don't apply to down here.

A northern company was a bad choice. The South is just WAY too far behind. You can't jump that far like that.

And besides....first, why not try ENFORCING the codes we DO have? Might not even NEED to change too much!

Plus....more conflicts between laws/regs/codes is the LAST thing this place needs. There are enough! Sheesh.

Thank you.

Staff Reply:

Draft 6

Numerous changes have been made to Draft 5. With so many changes why is it not titled Draft 6 since that is what it is? Changing the format on how you report the last minute changes is too difficult to understand. Stay with the previous style of changes so citizens can review only the changes as they apply to the specific Article.

Staff Reply:

No Response From My Previous I Quiry

I received months ago a mailer about this re-coding effort. I responded to that mailer either by phone or email making clear that I wanted more information about what was going on and how it would affect my neighborhood. To date I have received no return phone calls or email from this project. I suspect that there has been very little participation from people in my neighborhood or general area of the city. Now I see on Facebook that this project is moving forward two final maps of re-coding. I must say to you that I resent an object to this strenuously. I wished to participate in this I contacted you but you never contacted me back. I had intended to try and find out what was going on so that I I could communicate to my neighbors. It seems now that my opportunity to do that and to involves larger numbers of people is past and there is nothing I can do about it. As far as I'm concerned, this is typical of the pool the way in which Knoxville government conducts its business. I would like a halt to activities moving this project forward and an effort on your parts to reach out again to communities to allow them to comment on what has been done thus far.This kind of thing makes me terribly angry. The city of Knoxville under takes this very far reaching projects and there really is very little ground level effort put toward them even very little ground level knowledge of what is happening that affect our daily lives. For example, my neighborhood evidently was Selected for the rollout of these new LED streetlights. Many of these lights are literally blinding and the lights are of a blue white spectrum, thus they induce a Waking phenomenon in people physiologically speaking because they are more of the blue white spectrum which causes a reduction in melatonin release in the body and causes people to be more awake. In the evening it is extremely important to have light in the red spectrum without blue wave link waking phenomenon in people physiologically speaking because they are of the blue white spectrum which causes a reduction in melatonin release in the body and causes people to be more awake. In the evening it is extremely important to use lighting in the red spectrum with out blue wave lengths present.Blue spectrum light interrupts peoples natural release of melatonin in their bodies thus disrupting The body's natural physiology that helps people go to sleep. This is all scientifically supported information. And it is also well known that Americans are particularly sleep deprived. Yet the city of Knoxville has launch this new lighting without so much as a notification to the people such that they could comment. In my neighborhood many of these lights are at such an angle to the pavement that they are literally blinding as one approaches. As the moth to the flame the eye is drawn to these piercing lights. Most people don't realize that it is possible to call the city and have these lights shielded. Anyway, this is just one of the latest examples of how Knoxville shows major initiatives down the throats of its citizens without a care in the world about what it will do to their lives going forward. I resent this I resent you the people who make this kind of thing happened and I wish you would stop.

Staff Reply:

Recode

NO.THIS IS NOT NEEDED. STOP TGIS GRABAGE.

NO. LEAVE THE CITY ALONE.

Staff Reply:

The Map Doesn't Work

The map doesn't work. It just "spins" without loading.

Staff Reply:

Landscape Bond Article 12

Please add the following amendment to Article 12. Thank you.

12.11 LANDSCAPE BOND
In order to ensure correct installation and maintenance of landscaping, a landscape bond will be required.
No certificate of occupancy will be approved before the developer or owner has posted a landscape maintenance bond guaranteeing all landscaping materials and work for a period of two years after approval or acceptance thereof by the City in a sum established by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission. The bond will be in the amount of 110% of the estimated cost of replacing and maintaining the landscaping required by these specifications, unless otherwise specified by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission. 
A. Performance
The developer or owner will be allowed six (6) months after a certificate of occupancy has been issued to install landscaping material according to the approved plan. This will enable planting to occur during optimal weather conditions and to ensure the availability of the approved materials. At the end of six months, the Zoning Administrator will inspect all required landscaping and certify that it has been properly installed and is in good health. If corrections are to be made the Zoning Administrator will notify the owner or developer. All unhealthy, defective or dead plant material will be replaced within three (3) months, at the end of which the Zoning Administrator will again inspect the landscaping. The bond shall be called if the required landscaping has not been installed or corrected by the end of this period, and the funds shall be applied to complete the landscaping work. Prior to release of a performance bond, a maintenance bond must be received by the City.
B. Maintenance 
Two years after a certificate of occupancy has been issued the Zoning Administrator will inspect all required landscaping and certify that it has been properly maintained. If no maintenance is required, the City will release the landscape bond. If corrections are to be made, the Zoning Administrator will notify the owner or developer and the bond company of any corrections. All unhealthy, defective or dead plant material shall be replaced within three (3) months. The Zoning Administrator will conduct a final inspection and if no further maintenance is required, the City will release the landscape bond. If deficiencies in the landscaping still exist, the bond shall be called and the funds shall be applied to complete the landscaping work.

Prepared by:
Scenic Knoxville
Trees Knoxville
The City of Knoxville Tree Board
The Knoxville Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
Sierra Club, Harvey Broome Group

Also endorsed by:
Town Hall East
Forest Heights Neighborhood Association
Community Forum
The Bearden Village Council
The Riverside 1 Condos
Historic Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Organization
Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood Association
Alice Bell Spring Hill Neighborhood Association
League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County
RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood Association

Staff Reply:

Wireless Towers

Well, with all these changes to the zoning and coding, this should make it easier for the City to put up those ugly, radiation-inducing, "cell" towers that they plan to roll out for 5G. Be prepared citizens of Knoxville, they will be everywhere and there will be no escaping them. We - humans, animals, insects, and plant life will be fried. People will be getting sick from the electromagnetic radiation EVERYWHERE. With all these changes, I'm sure somewhere in all the wording, it will be legal for them to put one in your yard. I see a class action lawsuit in the future!

Staff Reply:

Community Forum-- Response To Recode Draft 5, May 27,2019

Community Forum’s May 26, 2019, comprehensive Response to Draft 5 of Recode is attached. Our response follows Recode’s page order.

Many issues raised in this Document cover Articles 1-8 which were discussed at the City Council Special Meeting on May 14, 2019.  However, some items were either not discussed at all, or were not resolved during the Special Meeting.  City Council requested that the planning staff and/or city departments report back after further consideration and review of some issues.

Community Forum’s Response to Draft 5 addresses some issues that have been included in our previous responses to Drafts 1-4, but still need attention.  However, there are many issues regarding material appearing for the first time in Draft 5.  We look forward to discussing these issues at the May 30, 2019, Special Meeting.

Community Forum has members from many different neighborhoods in the City of Knoxville. Our members have attended many public meetings, City Council and Knox Planning meetings and workshops.  Our Community Forum members have participated in numerous meetings of our own neighborhood associations, and have often talked to residents of other neighborhoods about Recode.

One theme has arisen regarding single-family residential neighborhoods since the release of Draft 1 in March, 2018, and has persisted through Draft 5, May, 2019.

Many Knoxvillians like where they live.  They like their neighborhood and its character.  Many report having worked hard to support, strengthen, stabilize and improve their neighborhood. They are both financially and emotionally invested in where they live.  They want to keep what they presently have.  They do not think they should have to work hard, again, to keep, or get, what they have already worked to achieve. They believe they have upheld their part of the bargain as citizens of Knoxville.

They do not understand why there are proposed changes that neither they, their neighborhoods, nor their City Council members requested.  They are very frustrated because they have not heard a rationale or explanation for why these proposed changes are being made.  They do not know what problem is trying to be fixed in their own neighborhood.

They do not believe that Recode adequately addresses or acknowledges the differences among single-family residential neighborhoods or that it adequately distinguishes the urban from the suburban development pattern.  They note that Recode does, however, acknowledge and address differences among other development types.  They cite the amount of attention to detail and the increase in the number of zoning districts, sub-districts or intensity levels, for primarily non-single family residential development districts, downtown, and the commercial zoning districts. 

In contrast, Recode squeezes the majority of Knoxville's existing single-family neighborhoods, most of which are presently zoned R-1, R-1A, R-1E, into two zoning districts, RN-1 and RN-2.  To make matters worse, the proposed minimum lot area is 10,000 square feet for RN-1 and 5,000 square feet for RN-2.  That means that every single-family lot below 10,000 square feet in area suddenly falls under the new minimum lot area requirement of 5,000 square feet.  This proposed change will have a substantial negative impact on many of our neighborhoods that were developed under the decades-long minimum lot area standard of 7,500 square feet for single-family dwellings.  The minimum lot area change incentivizes the demolition of existing modest homes, the subdivision and reconfiguration of lots, and the introduction of development out of character with the remainder of the existing neighborhood development.  Replacement construction will provide less affordable housing than existing housing.

They find the Recode proposals for the residential zoning districts to be inconsistent with Camiros' July 2016, Response to the City's Request for Proposals, which states on page 11:  "In addition, distinctions will need to be made for urban versus suburban residential neighborhoods, as well as regulations for rural residential development.", and on page 14:  "Use should respond to established community values and habits.  Some neighborhoods are built around exclusive land use districts, while in other neighborhoods these relationships are more intermixed.  These differing characteristics should be integrated into the ordinance to assure desired patterns of livability and provide relative ease of review and approval." 

Many find the Recode proposals for the residential zoning districts to be inconsistent with the Recode Knoxville Technical Review & Approaches Report, which states on page 11:  "Residential districts should be refined to ensure that the character of Knoxville's neighborhoods is reflected in its residential district structure."

With that in mind, we request that you consider the following:

1.  Add additional single-family residential zoning districts.

2.  Add a single-family zoning district with a minimum lot size around 7,500 square feet. 

3.  Align the uses in the proposed single-family residential districts with the uses presently allowed in the existing zoning districts.

4.  Retain the existing Planned Residential Zoning District (RP-1, 2, 3) proposed for deletion in Recode.  Planned Residential zoning allows a variety of housing types and densities and is frequently requested.  Government can request RP zoning.  Only the owner can request the proposed Planned Development.

5.  Adopt zoning neutral maps.  Zone properties the zone closest to their existing zoning.  Use the adopted, long-standing, codified, participatory, comprehensive planning process to change the Sector Plan and One Year Plan and Zoning.

We urge you to take whatever time is necessary to end up with a Zoning Ordinance that will have the least negative impact possible on our neighborhoods throughout the City of Knoxville.

We would be happy to discuss the issues raised in our Response to Draft 5 at any time.

Sincerely,

Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum
 

Staff Reply:

Recreational Vehicles

I originally submitted this comment on 5/9, but never received a confirmation e-mail and it is not showing up on the website so I'll try again. 

My comment is in regard to trailers/RV's. The current code, Article V, Section 8 C, states that:

"On each lot, a total of two (2) (one (1) from any two (2) of the subsections listed below) of the following vehicles may be parked or stored per household living on the premises, and said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not exceed forty-five (45) feet in length or nine (9) feet in width; and further provided that said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not be parked or stored for more than forty-eight (48) hours unless it is located behind the front yard building line:

1.Recreational vehicle.

2.Hauling trailer.

3.Boat trailer."
In the proposed code 11.12 B

"Recreational vehicles must be located within the interior side yard behind the front building line or in the rear yard. If stored in the interior side or rear yard, the recreational vehicle must be located at least ten feet from any lot line and screened from view from any public right-of-way by a solid fence or wall. If the recreational vehicle is screened by an existing structure or landscape so that it is not visible from the public right-of-way, it is considered to meet these requirements. Temporary storage tents and tarps for recreational vehicles are not considered screening and do not meet these requirements."

I have a few concerns about the new code:

1. There appears to be no limit to the number, or size, of RV permitted, as long as it/they are properly screened from the public ROW. 

2. What about trailers that do not meet the Recode definition of a RV? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, etc.

3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?

Part Deux:

I agree that RV's should be located in the interior side yard behind the front building line or rear yard, but why ten feet from a lot line? A shed can be built five feet from the lot line, but a boat has to be ten feet from it? Why the ten feet requirement?

The screening requirement is overly restrictive for the entire city. There are many lots in the city that due to many factors (lot size, topography, access, etc.) it is impossible to locate the RV somewhere that is screened from view from a right of way. To comply with the new zoning code many property owners would have to pay to store their RV somewhere else, leave it as is and risk fines, or move somewhere that does not have such restrictions. The screening requirement should be removed from Recode and be left up to HOA's and the like.

Drive through most any neighborhood in Knoxville and you will see homes with boats and campers parked next to them, West Hills, Lincoln Park, Parkridge, Marble City, Sequoyah Hills. Across the entire city you will find examples of people storing their RV's on their property without screening. 99% of those are not any more of an "eyesore" than the cars and trucks in the driveway. A full size Sprinter type van with commercial logos all over is permitted without screening, but a boat is not? There are other examples like cargo and utility trailers that would not fit in the definition of Recreational Vehicle that would also be permitted.

Staff Reply:

Rvs

Dear Knoxville Planners,

Several people have asked me about RV issues in the proposed changes.  If you have a pop-up camper or other vehicle that fits the RV definition, could you still park it in your personal driveway under the proposed changes?  The people who have asked me (two different households) currently park their RVs in their driveways and have steeply sloped yards that would preclude them from parking them any other place.  

They say that the proposed changes are a solution looking for a problem, that if their RV is not bothering anyone, why should it be prohibited? A screen is pricey, etc.  

Can you help me understand this issue better?

Staff Reply:

We have received a number of comments about the proposed standards for parking of recreational vehicles in residential areas. The standards were drafted by the consultants, likely based on their experiences with other communities. I do know if RV parking is a concern in the City and will ask Peter to chime in on that question. If RV parking is not a problem, staff can propose a revision to the standards to make parking of RV's, boats, etc in residential areas easier.

Small Lots Of Record

Is there no longer a provision for Small Lots of Record in ReCode? If I want to build on a nonconforming lot (i.e. RN-4 with <50' lot width) would I need to seek a variance?

Staff Reply:

Yes. You would need to seek a variance.

Single Wide Manufactured Homes Taxation

Does Camiros realize that Tennessee TAXES ALL mobile homes, even those on LEASED land (such as in mobile home parks), as IF they were single family dwellings on permanent foundations? They are NOT licensed.

That might help. I would THINK that zoning regs and codes would need to conform seamlessly with taxing regs, especially property taxing regs.

Staff Reply:

Single Wide Manufactured Homes

On page 9-10, it says:

" H.  Dwelling - Manufactured Home 

Multi-sectional manufactured homes may be used as single-family detached dwellings provided the following development criteria are met:..."

What about SINGLE wide manufactured homes? Are they addressed somewhere else?

Staff Reply:

Manufactured Homes

They apparently deleted completely the non-conforming paragraphs about manufactured homes in Article 17, but they left in THIS:

'On Page 9-10, it refers to Nonconforming Manufactured homes being found in Article 16, when it was in Article 17.

"... 3. Nonconforming Manufactured Homes See Article 16 for regulations regarding nonconforming manufactured homes, including single-wide manufactured homes. ..." '

NOW, NON-CONFORMING MANUFACTURED HOMES ARE NOT FOUND IN EITHER ARTICLE! Neither 16 nor 17.

PLEASE DELETE number 3 on page 9-10.

They also left in the "skirting" type required on manufactured homes.... EVEN THOUGH IT DOES NOT APPLY DOWN HERE. (Page 9-10, 2b)

Okaaaaaay! But trust me, mobile home communities are REQUIRING many owners to replace their skirting this year! Good luck fielding all of THOSE requests to be allowed to replace vinyl skirting with just vinyl skirting again instead! Bwahahaha

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville - Did Not Make Change!

Single wide mobile homes are also still allowed down here on some land. Please take that into consideration.

Staff Reply:

Article 6

Hi, I’m interested in reading the following article: 

ARTICLE 6
    Increase rear setback for industrial uses when adjacent to residential zones to 50
But it shows the page as not found on the website. Do you know how I might be able to read it?

Staff Reply:

Hi, Erin. I'm not sure why you're having trouble opening that link. Try opening it here. If you still have trouble, please let us know. 

Typo On This Page

There is at typo on the submission page, "Use can this form to submit a comment or question for the project staff or send an email directly to recode@knoxplanning.org."

Staff Reply:

Adu's Are Not Evil.

Members Recode Team,

I want to encourage those who have worked so hard on this and I hope that your work is not in vain. Please no not let a small but loud section of the population bring down progress. People who have watched this grueling process know that pushing it down the road or starting from scratch won't help. I just hope that there is flexibility in this code to evolve and adapt to a growing city and that we are not subject to the groanings of a few small minded citizens.

I've noticed all of this fuss over ADU's and I am tired of it. I am appalled at the close-minded thinking that an extra unit will have a catastrophic affect on the community. In fact, it is that very thinking that will hold Knoxville back as we try to grow. 

Does it not seem strange that in a time where we have the means to support safe and clean density, we are scared of a density level that our city was built? Is it also not telling that the most beautiful and well-liked areas of Knoxville are the most dense? 

DENSITY IS GOOD. As a designer who has studied architecture and urban planning in depth and in many cities, it irks me that people who have no bases of study for which to make an educated decision are restricting something that will be good for communities and home owners. 

Please, do not let misguided fear hurt this city's future. 

As for the current draft, I believe it is in the best interest of the city to change the following: 

10.3.B.1 : "When there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of the building codes, the building official may grant modifications for individual cases." This was omitted and although I don't see a reason why someone might need to diverge from the building code, there should always be room for special circumstances.. Why omit this?

10.3.B.2 : This entire point should be omitted. 1. An owner of a duplex may have a good reason to add an ADU and this should not be restricted. 2. My goodness, "Must be owner occupied" What good does that do to the community? Are there not countless individuals in this city who survive off income from rentals? Much of this city's revitalization has been a result of enterprising folks who flipped houses not for themselves but for others. Knoxville owes the quality of it's urban neighborhoods to these folks. Who's right is it to base the urban growth of a city off of whether a property is owner occupied? Please don't incapacitate future growth by restricting things like this. 

10.3.B.4 : Lot size restrictions. There are countless historic lots of record in Knoxville that are smaller than 5,000 sf but have a small house on them that would support an ADU plus be true to historic and appropriate for future density. 

10.3.B.8 : Again, we should not be controlling the square footage of a dwelling unit. What if it has a basement or upstairs that are appropriately scaled to the main house? This is a foolish blanket statement that does not take into consideration the high number of smaller (historical) lots in the city. 

If ADU's are an issue of different parts of the city wanting different things, I see no issue with dividing the regulation into districts, if the western population is afraid of density, let them keep their malls, and parking lots and live with the raising obesity, depression, and un-satisfaction that has been proven to come from being disconnected from a tight community. As for the neighborhoods around downtown, please don't restrict their growth. 

Staff Reply:

May 14, City Council Meeting For Rezoning Article 1

Please advise if recode Knoxville, Article 1 will be the only article discussed on May 14, 2019?  Will all 18 Rezone Articles be discussed at a later date for review of public opinion?  Please forward the dates and Articles to be discussed for each future meeting for the 2019 Rezone Articles? Thank you for your prompt response!

Staff Reply:

All articles will be discussed at the May 14 meeting.

Landscape Bond

The following should be added to Article 12. LANDSCAPE

12.11 LANDSCAPE BOND
In order to ensure correct installation and maintenance of landscaping, a landscape bond will be required.

No certificate of occupancy will be approved before the developer or owner has posted a landscape maintenance bond guaranteeing all landscaping materials and work for a period of two years after approval or acceptance thereof by the City in a sum established by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission. The bond will be in the amount of 110% of the estimated cost of replacing and maintaining the landscaping required by these specifications, unless otherwise specified by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission. 

A. Inspections

1. Installation
The developer or owner will be allowed six (6) months after a certificate of occupancy has been issued to install landscaping material according to the approved plan. This will enable planting to occur during optimal weather conditions and to ensure the availability of the approved materials. At the end of six months, the Zoning Administrator will inspect all required landscaping and certify that it has been properly installed and is in good health. If corrections are to be made the Zoning Administrator will notify the owner or developer. All unhealthy, defective or dead plant material will be replaced within three (3) months, at the end of which the Zoning Administrator will again inspect the landscaping. The bond shall be called if the required landscaping has not been installed or corrected by the end of this period, and the funds shall be applied to complete the landscaping work.

2. Maintenance 
Two years after a certificate of occupancy has been issued the Zoning Administrator will inspect all required landscaping and certify that it has been properly maintained. If no maintenance is required, the City will release the landscape bond. If corrections are to be made, the Zoning Administrator will notify the owner or developer and the bond company of any corrections. All unhealthy, defective or dead plant material shall be replaced within three (3) months. The Zoning Administrator will conduct a final inspection and if no further maintenance is required, the City will release the landscape bond. If deficiencies in the landscaping still exist, the bond shall be called and the funds shall be applied to complete the landscaping work.

Scenic Knoxville
Trees Knoxville
The City of Knoxville Tree Board

Staff Reply:

Nonononono

STOP this stupidity! Leave the single family neighborhoods alone! The students/temporary residents have much of the urban area of Knoxville so leave working families alone in the neighborhoods they have made stable, safe, thriving, productive areas! Don't run the people, that have worked hard to make their communities better, out! We purchased in single-family, leave it the freak alone. Transient and multi-family residents usually do not have the same desire to maintain and improve upon and invest in (emotionally and financially) their neighborhoods. The area I am in is the Belle Morris area. We all know this BS wouldn't fly in a more affluent area such as Sequoya Hills and Farragut! So STOP messing with the more urban areas! These urban areas are now the safest, most stable, and valuable in modern history! How can you change the zoning of people's homes?!!. How is that fair and equitable?? They have purchased and invested in single-family areas and it is very unfair to change the nature of their neighborhoods by fundamentally changing the environment by re-zoning it ! I am from the Atlanta area where unbridled growth has ruined many established (safe, solid, stable) neighborhoods. Smart growth and planning is needed but the changes noted in Re-Code are not that. For goodness sakes, LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE! DO NOT RE-ZONE SINGLE FAMILY URBAN AREAS! Knoxville used to be a GREAT and AWESOME place to live. However, our government seems to think bigger, better, faster is better and we all know it isn't. Monkeying around with zoning by changing single family areas to multi family or multi residential will be the death-nail of this area. HOMEOWNERS are the key. The students don't stay, renters usually move on,. Market-square, downtown will slowly die. The revitalization of the Central Corridor will slow and eventually stop. Past is prologue. 20 years ago this area was the pits. Abandoned homes, high crime, etc. It's stabilized and thriving. Crime and traffic will increase and good quality caring residents will flee. Not being smart about growth and fundamentally changing the Knoxville Downtown urban neighborhoods will drive this place into the ground and drive good quality citizens to the nether regions. Stop it!

Staff Reply:

Thank you for your email. The Belle Morris neighborhood is proposed as RN-2 on the draft updated zoning maps. This is a single family residential designation that permits single-family residential development on lots with a minimum size of 5,000 square feet and also permits duplexes as a special use. Review and approval of duplexes by the Planning Commission would be required at a public hearing and neighbors would be notified of the hearing. The proposed zoning is equivalent to the current R-1A zoning of much of the neighborhood. Planning staff worked with the neighborhood association to preserve the single-family designation and to identify locations for small scale multi-family development on Cecil and Brown Avenues near the industrial area. Also, properties currently designated as multi-family and/or on which multi-family development is currently located were designated multi-family. The multi-family designations represent a small portion of the neighborhood. We appreciate the effort expended by the neighborhood association in working with Planning staff to develop the draft zoning map for the Belle Morris neighborhood.

Nelkorb@bellsouth.net

Generally, the Recode process has been responsive to much of the public's concerns.  However, there are enough changes, and enough items not changed that we thought would be, to warrant a slight delay in the Council's final decision process.  Government is held to a high standard.  It must not only be fair; it must also appear to be fair.  Please consider holding a public work session May 14th with the understanding that the First and Second Readings will be completed before the end of June.   This alleviates concern over the brevity of review time provided between the final document and City Council action while guaranteeing that it will indeed be finished in the near future.

Please consider these few remaining questions/comments I have:

1.     Clarify how building grade is determined when measuring building height as described in 2.4.E.1:    is it finished grade or original grade (I have seen grades intentionally raised)?  To measure height do you take the average of the grade along the base of the building's front or at various points along the buildings front?  Note that grade is defined for signs in the Sign Chapter.  Why not for development?

2.    Article 8.9.B has removed hillside overlay protection for nonresidential, stating that this complies with vesting provisions.  However, I cannot find a reason when reviewing Article 15.3.  And why have maximum land disturbance regulations been removed?

3.     An application for a wireless tower in Burlington was successfully defeated because it was required to have a public hearing and through that public hearing process Town Hall East Neighborhood Assoc. was notified.  Research discovered the tower was not necessary to provide coverage; it would have only improved existing coverage.  Town Hall East opposed the application and worked closely with the provider, resulting in a withdrawn application.  Draft regulations in Article 9.3.FF remove the public hearing process, allowing a tower to be permitted with no negotiation.  This is not good. 

4.    Effective public notice is the foundation of our public involvement process. Add a method to notice Zoning Code Interpretations in Table 15.1   How the Zoning Code is interpreted is important and should be shared with the public 16.9.      Include the registered neighborhood association in mailed notice referenced in 15.2.
  
5.    Require 15.2.D posted notice (aka signs) to be unobstructed, clearly visible from all traffic lanes and individually fronting each adjacent right of way.  There has been past documentation of signs posted behind telephone poles or mixed in with campaign signs.

6.    The Variance standards 16.3 have been reworded to fully support the premise that variances should be the exception.  Please add the additional criteria that the Applicant did not cause the reason a variance is now deemed necessary.    

Thank you very much for your patience and continued concern for the public process while also balancing the need to get things done.

Staff Reply:

Inequitable Distribution Of Recode Benefits

ReCode has fallen short of its promise. Parkridge / Park City and all of East Knoxville should be talking about the inequitable distribution of benefits under ReCode Map draft 4 (final version before vote).

As one example, I asked repeatedly for "open space" or similar land use designation on Chestnut Ridge / Adams Ave to maintain a forested buffer for Parkridge from Interstate 40 (a best practice in zoning, as "freeway" and "residences" are incompatible land uses and a buffer should separate them). While Parkridge did not get any such open space / forested buffer, multiple parcels along Interstate 140 (Pellissippi Parkway) in West Knoxville did.

As another example, churches in West Knoxville got zoned "Ag" while not a single church in East Knoxville was zoned "Ag." Not even the historic "Underground Railroad" site on Fuller Ave (which I specifically asked be protected with "Open Space" zoning), or Tabernacle Baptist Church on MLK that actually has a community garden. That means if a congregation "goes away" in West Knoxville, neighbors are left with Ag / Open Space. If a church "goes away" in East Knoxville, it's a free-for-all for private developers. 

Why the disparity?

Staff Reply:

Tree Mitigation Bank

We think it's important that Knoxville's zoning code includes a provision for a Tree Mitigation Bank. This Bank would garner additional funds for the COK to use for landscaping on public property. It would also level the playing field by insuring that all developers were responsible for the same costs for equivalent development. We propose the following amendment be added to Article 12. LANDSCAPE

12.10 TREE MITIGATION BANK

The Tree Mitigation Bank is established as an alternative to maintaining or planting required trees and landscaping as specified in the Tree Protection Ordinance and in Article 12 of the zoning ordinance. Costs will accrue to the applicant to the degree it is not possible to maintain, replace or plant required trees and landscaping. The Tree Mitigation Bank provides a method of compliance in circumstances when the on-site maintenance and planting of required trees and landscaping is not possible due to site constraints, or for the mitigation of violations.

Funds paid into the Tree Mitigation Bank will be used for the sole purpose of planting trees and landscaping on public grounds and rights-of-way. The City of Knoxville urban forester will administer the account and determine when and where trees and landscaping are to be planted.

A.  When a strict application of the landscaping requirements or the use of an Alternative Landscape Design would require unreasonable compliance, an applicant may request  permission to contribute to the Tree Mitigation Bank instead. Such situations could include water features, topography, lot configurations, utility maintenance zones, or unusual site conditions.

B.  To use the Tree Mitigation Bank, the applicant must submit a Tree Mitigation Bank request that includes a list of landscaping requirements unable to be met and the specific reasons why they cannot be met. The request must be submitted to and approved by the Administrative Review Committee. The Administrative Review Committee will determine the extent to which requirements cannot be met and contributions to the Tree Mitigation Bank can be substituted.

C.  Final permission to contribute to the Tree Mitigation Bank requires the Zoning Administrator's approval concurrent with the application process for the development.
 
D.  Required contributions are based on current economics and can be determined by referring to.... on the City of Knoxville website.

Prepared by:
Scenic Knoxville
Trees Knoxville
The City of Knoxville Tree Board
The Knoxville Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
Sierra Club, Harvey Broome Group

Also endorsed by:
Town Hall East
Forest Heights Neighborhood Association
Community Forum
The Bearden Village Council
The Riverside 1 Condos
Historic Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Organization
Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood Association
Alice Bell Spring Hill Neighborhood Association
League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County
RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood Association

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

To whom it may concern: 

I live in the Beau Monde subdivision within the greater confines of the Northshore Town Center (NTC). I have recently learned that it is proposed under the Recode Knoxville plan that the property just south of our subdivision boundary is to be changed, as part of the plan, to C-R-2 from its current designation of TC-1. While the impact of such a change may not seem to be significant, there are substantive changes that would negatively impact the "transition" areas currently enjoyed that buffer the heavy commercial areas that Publix, Target, the credit union building and a medical facility currently under construction from the less intense use of a residential area. Specifically, I have concerns that more intense commercial facilities could be built much closer to residences than under the current zoning designation and that such facilities could be built to a maximum height of 65 feet. Such development would make a mockery of the the transition area and would be deleterious to the current residents and potentially negatively impact property values.
We currently enjoy the environment of NTC's mixed use, new urbanism development and would hope that it continues to develop in a manner sympathetic to it's master plan. We would be very disappointed in our planning and political leaders if the zoning changes up for consideration resulted in new urbanism replicating the mistakes of old urbanism.
Thank you for you consideration of my concerns and for all that you do to make Knoxville such a great place to live. 

Staff Reply:

Map 4

Hello, I have been following the recode very closely, workshop and stakeholder meeting. This draft 4 of the map is very concerning, it is alllllll over the place. Lots in our neighborhood that are duplexes or converter duplexes have been rezoned as multi family R3 and R4, duplexes are in the R2 zoning. I was told part of the reason that recode was needed was to make what is on the ground match the maps, but there are lots of apartment building along Kingston Pk, they are all zoned as R1. The block across the street from me has been rezoned to R4, most of the block is taken up by a school, should it not be zoned for school (institutional) like all other schools? I checked the zoning for churches, its is all over the place from R1, R2, O, OS, Agr, which is it? Then part of Caswell Park was to be rezoned as R4, sense when did park land become up for grabs for multi family housing, if so there is alot of park land on Cherokee Blvd. I dont think this recode is now where near ready to be voted on. I have heard some say that it came be amended after its past, thats like building a house and the builder says that he will go back and fix all the structural issues AFTER the house is completed....totally asinine!

Staff Reply:

Revision Five

Good Afternoon,

We've looked through the recent revision. The following comments are respectfully submitted for your consideration.

Article 2 should include a definition of the term "mixed use".

Article 2 should include a definition of the term "interlock" as used in table 11-6.

Article 6.3 - Industrial zone setbacks: Has the rear setback exemption for sites with railroads been eliminated? Many forms of industrial buildings need to have direct access to rail service.

Article 11.1 - Off street parking applicability is rather confusing.

Article 17: Nonconformities: These transition rules are difficult to understand. I suspect consistent enforcement will be onerous.

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Process

I object to the use of the ReCode process by city employees to attempt to rezone city-owned land without due process. I support Marshall Stair's proposal to postpone a vote on this. The public has not had adequate time between the last update and the vote.

Staff Reply:

Community Forum: Re: Recode Draft 5--- 5-10-19

Community Forum has previously submitted comprehensive Responses to Recode Drafts 1-4.  Community Forum is currently preparing comments on Draft 5. 

However, the comments will not be submitted by the May 10, 2019, deadline.&nbsp; Draft 5 was made available to the public, on line, on May 1, 2019.&nbsp; It is impossible to provide meaningful comments in 10 days to over 400 pages of law, as well as to the new maps which only more recently became available.

As was stated in Community Forum&rsquo;s letter to City Council on April 29, 2019, we urge that consideration of Recode at the Special Meeting, called for May 14, 2019, be postponed to allow more time for City Council and the public to analyze and offer comments to Draft 5 and the latest maps.

Community Forum requests that there be future City Council workshops to discuss Draft 5, with its many changes made since Draft 4 came out in late December 2018.

It should be up to City Council to determine the future timetable for workshops, the date of a Special Meeting to consider Recode, and any amendments that may be offered to Draft 5.

Sincerely,

Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Process

I object to the use of the ReCode process by city employees to attempt to rezone city-owned land without following the proper process and ensuring transparency. I support Councilman Marshall Stair's proposal to postpone a vote on this. In addition, the public has not had adequate time to submit feedback between the last update and the scheduled vote.

Staff Reply:

Address

Several of the drafts I have looked at point to my property as the property to my left, a much small property. My home is 5212 Holston Dr Knoxville,Tn 37914, which is 8.78 acres, house/barn etc. This needs to be corrected. Thank you.

Staff Reply:

Proposed Zoning Map Error

Becky Wade, in a memo to the Knoxville City Council last night (May 7, 2019), stated that the erroneous designation regarding the East 5th/Myrtle Street land parcels would be restored to the original "Open Space" designation by this morning. I checked the website and cannot see that this was handled as stated. Can you please provide an update as to the restoration of the correct zoning designation for these parcels or show me the proper place to find that the correction has been made?

Staff Reply:

Recode - Rn-5 Residential Care Facility

Just wanted to be up-front with you that I'm not sure how I feel about the change allowing RN-5 to allow Residential Care facilities, even if it's a special use. Can you elaborate on why this change was made? The unfortunate reality is that much of North Knoxville had larger parcels redeveloped into Multi-Family developments in the 60's-70's (including right across from my house) and my fear is that given the profitability of Residential Care facilities, that this change could create incentive for owners to redevelop these buildings/complexes into Residential Care. 

My original hope was the opposite, that the RN-5 in allowing townhouse-type developments, that these properties would become less suburban and more urban. If we have to keep Residential Care facilities as a permitted special use, could we down-zone many of these apartment buildings to RN-4? My specific concern is 1722 Coker Ave, however that concern extends to all these property types in the middle of predominantly single-family neighborhoods.

Staff Reply:

Fire Hazard

I have attempted several times to post publications from the STATE OF TENNESSEE's official website concerning FireWise Landscaping, but someone keeps removing the attachments. Recode Draft Five's landscaping requirements conflicts with FireWise standards recommended by State of Tennessee Fire Marshall, TN Department of Forestry, University of Tennessee Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Forestry, and National Fire Protection Association. Landscaping is good, but should be well planned to ensure Knoxville is not the next billion dollar wildfire. Please do not remove this link to BurnSafeTN, and official site of the State Of Tennessee. http://burnsafetn.org/firewise_land.html

Staff Reply:

Park Land At E Fifth And Myrtle

I noticed that the park land on E Fifth at Myrtle was rezoned from OS to RN-3 in the transition between Draft 3 and Draft 4. In accordance with Article IV 2.4.2 and 2.4.3, it would seem to me that OS is a permanent desgination designed to protect park land from development. I believe it was passed in 2010 to protect park land in the Lakeshore area from a high density homeless facility. Ironically, that seems to be the plans for the park land on E Fifth. Can you please explain why and how this occurred, in light of the current City of Knoxville Ordinances?

Staff Reply:

3914 Papermill

Mr. Green,

The proposed zoning for a warehouse located at 3914 Papermill Drive is I-MU. The properties on each side of it have the proposed zoning of I-G and we back up to I-40/75. This stretch of Papermill has multiple properties with proposed zoning of I-G and think 3914 should have the same zoning to conform with adjacent parcels and business that could occupy the building/lot. The highest and best use for this existing industrial property would fall into the zoning of I-G.  Please consider updating this property with an I-G zoning. Thank you

Staff Reply:

Cu On Map Shows Unlimited Height

Hey guys- just wanted to make sure you were aware that the Current Draft's map shows that CU Form-Based code as having unlimited height (on the building height tab). Since this is not the case, and it varies based on the CU zone - you might be best off just not noting heights on that.

Staff Reply:

Lonsdale Area

What's going on with the Lonsdale neighborhood area? yall moving people out of the area to take over property? Y'all need to pay those with houses.. and not just come in a steal their land and houses...

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Good Afternoon,

I wish you the best on this project to make Knoxville a better place to live. I am hoping Recode Knoxville will somehow make it more difficult for my next door neighbor to continue operating an auto repair business out of his garage. I moved to the neighborhood in 2017 and am learning that numerous neighbors have reported this business. Unfortunately nothing has been done. Perhaps Recode Knoxville will help make a change.

Staff Reply:

My Neighborhood

I received a letter about this, but the instructions to check resining for a specific address do not work. There is no "map feedback" link that I see. I want to know what changes are proposed around me. It would be nice if your instructions matched the choices on the web page or were clearer if I'm missing something. This is what makes people hate government.

Staff Reply:

Sherrod Rd.

On March 25, 2019 I sent you the following.  I am resending it to make sure that you received it.

Recently I communicated with you about the zoning on the west side of Sherrod Road, north of Mimosa. I need to make some corrections. The east side of Sherrod Road is zoned R-3. The five feet on the west side of should be zoned R-2. I quote from a rezoning ordinance passed by the Knoxville City Council at a meeting on July 6, 1985 entitled &quot;An Ordinance to rezone property of Kern&#39;s Inc from R-2 . . .to I-3, east of Chapman Highway, west side of Sherrod Street . . . - MPC approved I-3 General Industrial District with a 5&#39; buffer strip at eastern portion to property (west of Sherrod St) to be eft in the R-2, General Residential District) (11-3) (5-U-82-RZ).&nbsp;

Below is my original posting on March 6, 2019

There is a five-foot buffer strip on the west side of Sherrod Road, south of Mimosa that was left in the R-2 zoning when the eastern portion of the Kerns property was rezoned in 1982. The current zoning map very clearly shows that the R-2 zoning extends to the west side of Sherrod Road. The recode map does not show this. This was done at City Council, July 6, 1982. This was done to prevent increased traffic on Sherrod should access to the Kerns property be allowed from Sherrod Road. Sherrod road is a narrow, winding road that cannot take anymore traffic than that of the residents.

Staff Reply:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I will pass this on to our GIS staff so that the map can be corrected. The change will be shown on the next draft of the proposed zoning map, which will be released in mid to late April
 

Staff Reply:

We received your initial email and continue to research this issue. A couple questions have arisen:

  1. The rezoning you noted was for the I-3 designation for the Kerns property. The property was rezoned to a South Waterfront designation as part of the South Waterfront code adoption approximately 6 years ago. Question: Did the South Waterfront designation (rezoning) maintain the buffer strip of R-2 zoning on the west side of Sherrod Road? We are still researching this question.
  2. It appears that the R-2 buffer strip on the west side of Sherrod Road was provided to prevent industrial traffic generated by uses of the Kerns property from accessing Sherrod Road. Question: Because the R-2 zoning permits multi-family development, can the proposed multi-family development planned for the Kerns property be prohibited from accessing Sherrod Road? Our research indicates that access to Sherrod Road for the proposed multi-family development cannot be prohibited as it is a permitted use in the R-2 zone.

Recode Workshop, Regarding Multi-family Zoning & Kta/kat

In preparation for the ReCode workshop this evening, please see the attached PDF signed letter

Staff Reply:

April 4th Work Session

Attached is a compilation of comments regarding administration and process of the Zoning Code which had been submitted in response to previous drafts. 

Thank you reading this and addressing it during the upcoming work session.

As you may know, I have had a 37-year career as a City Planner and currently live in East Knoxville.

I have participated in the rewriting of two zoning codes and am familiar with policy as well as development review and code enforcement.

Thank you for your time on this matter.

Very best

Sandra Korbelik, AICP

Staff Reply:

Comments From Knoxville Transportation Authority Regarding Recode Knoxville Plan

Please see the attached comments from Knoxville Transportation Authority regarding Recode Knoxville. Thank you!

Staff Reply:

Re: Recode Knoxville Updates

Don't we have a choice? Why Recode, Knoxville never did enforce the codes.

Staff Reply:

Recode

I hope your week is off to a great start. Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Organization sent a letter to the Mayor and Council last week on the subject of Recode and for some reason I did not copy you guys. My bad—you will find the letter which was officially approved by our board attached. Please enter it into the record and consider it’s request. 

Staff Reply:

Comment

Yesterday I submitted a comment which mentioned Sherrod Road north of Mimosa. It should have referred to Sherrod Road South of Mimosa. My apologizes for my mistake.

Staff Reply:

Recode Code Definitions

Where can I find detail information about the recode codes. The map only provides single word de-coding,

Staff Reply:

New Zoning Codes

Your map does not explain what the codes mean what is a RN2? I know the R is residential, but what is the significance of the N or the number 2?

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I support Recodeknoxville wholeheartedly. Please let us do what is right for our city by planning this way. We have the opportunity as our city grows and develops to improve even the air we breathe. Please support these changes for the benefit of all.

Staff Reply:

Recoding For Knoxville Question

I had a concern about the new recode regulations for Knoxville. I am concerned primarily with the work of artisans. I am wondering if these new zoning regulations would limit the ability of talented artisans from engaging in their art. As you are probably aware the work of artisans not only contributes to society in a major way, it can be a free speech issue as well. I would hate to see artists of meager means who are unable to afford moving to a zone that fits their skills be penalized. I am concerned about segregation of the artist community, which includes some poor and disadvantaged youth of all racial groups. We would not want zoning to keep these young people from obtaining a better life through art, due to zoning concerns. I am wondering if you would consider a special addendum to your zoning regulations to protect the artists in this city from the awful possibilities of segregation and discrimination that could occur in overzealous enforcement of zoning. There was a blacksmith at one time in the Mechanicsville area, who I don't think is currently working. But, I think of all the beautiful things he made, how he contributed to our city with his work as an artist. What if the zone had limited his ability to create such art? His life was improved by the income he was able to make, lets not let his legacy die and lets not limit our young people from becoming all they can be by engaging in those art skills with zoning regulations that limit their engagement in art. 

Staff Reply:

Thanks for your comments regarding providing opportunities for artisans to work in Knoxville and not limiting these opportunities through zoning. The proposed zoning update addresses this issue in two significant ways. The first is by allowing craft industrial, a use designation that would include artisans, in all commercial districts. The space limit for this use is 8,000 square and the designation and use permission are designed to allow opportunities for an artisan or group of artisans to have a space where they could produce and sell a variety of artisan made items. The second is by expanding opportunities for home occupations, which would permit a person to work in their home, provided the impacts of the work do not adversely affect neighbors. There are some limits proposed for home occupations - only one employee, occupy no more than 25% of the home, limited signage. Representatives of neighborhoods have requested that the limitations on home occupations be tightened to reduce potential impacts on neighborhoods. You may want to contact your Council representative to advocate for these provisions that would benefit artisans.

Zoning

Recently I communicated with you about the zoning on the west side of Sherrod Road, north of Mimosa. I need to make some corrections. The east side of Sherrod Road is zoned R-3. The five feet on the west side of should be zoned R-2. I quote from a rezoning ordinance passed by the Knoxville City Council at a meeting on July 6, 1985 entitled "An Ordinance to rezone property of Kern's Inc from R-2 . . .to I-3, east of Chapman Highway, west side of Sherrod Street . . . - MPC approved I-3 General Industrial District with a 5' buffer strip at eastern portion to property (west of Sherrod St) to be eft in the R-2, General Residential District) (11-3) (5-U-82-RZ).

Staff Reply:

Mu-sd Magnolia Avenue

I visited the MPC in January and they showed me the zoning plans for this area and how it would provide the opportunity for higher density use on these 50' lots. Now, reviewing what is allowed and the requirements within that zoning and their limitations, nothing but single family houses can be built on these lots. I own 1425 Woodbine Avenue, at the meeting we discussed building a smaller multi unit (condos) / townhouse development, but per the minimum requirements in the new zoning that will not be allowed. I am confused, does the City of Knoxville want people to redevelop its urban core or not? Unless I am missing something, which is very possible, it looks like it does not based on these zoning requirements. If I could get some insight into this, that would be beneficial as I have held this lot for potential development and now it looks to be worthless to me.

Staff Reply:

Building Limits

A new neighbor moved in to the house next to my daughter. He proceeded to build a shed on that ends right on their property line. Is this legal-thought there had to be a certain space between buildings.

Staff Reply:

8111 Gleason Dr Knoxville, Tn 37919

hi,
our property in the subject line is currently under C-6 zoning which is just a commercial zoning.

what would the new zoning mean for this property? (C-G-3?)
any changes  
i can find something that describes the new coding....pls send if that's easier

Staff Reply:

Empower

How does Rezone Knoxville affect residents who reside within the 37921 Empowerment Zone. Please do NOT reply with a host of terms which will require a Thesaurus to comprehend the nature of your response. Thank you in advance for your applied effort.

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I support recode knoxville...hope you will too as my representative

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I support Recodeknoxville wholeheartedly. Please let us do what is right for our city by planning this way. We have the opportunity as our city grows and develops to improve even the air we breathe. Please support these changes for the benefit of all.

Staff Reply:

Certified Address

I need a copy of a certified address (or whatever I need for building permit) for 204 kingwood dr 37918. thanks

Staff Reply:

Recode

For the past year, our community has been updated on RECODE by a handful of dedicated professionals/homeowners who work tirelessly attending meetings, and workshops to supply our community with the readers digest form of updates which has been a mammoth task to say the least. We thank and appreciate their dedication immensely because this whole process has been way too confusing for the average homeowner to comprehend. It's been stated that there has been 80 public meetings and workshops, most of us cannot attend due to a timeframe that interferes with work obligations. Why not communicate via US Mail earlier? Why not mail a survey on public opinion?? Finally homeowners get a vague letter mailed to their homes in February advising on the upcoming vote? Wow!

Staff Reply:

The Recode Of My Newly Built Home

Currently own a newly built, 2015, single family home at 6012 Blossom Rd. Zoned as Low Density residential. New Zoning turns it into Hillside & ridgetop protection. How do I get that changed to Low density residential once again?

Staff Reply:

Your property is currently designated R-1, low density residential, and is proposed to be designated R-1N, single family residential, a low density zone. A portion of your property is within the hillside protection overlay. Existing single family homes and lots of record are exempt from the density and grading limitations of the HP overlay, so your property would not be subject to the HP overlay.

Protect Orange R1-r3

Please protect our orange zone properties R1-R3. We need this in time of ever growing development, we are losing our communities, neighborhoods, inner-city schools to big business and developers. We need to know and care about our neighbors, our neighborhood children and schools. If we loose this we have lost out on a lot. I was born and raised in East Knoxville. I once lived in a house in Parkridge, when we moved to Burlington I thought we had moved to a mansion. We had an upstairs, downstairs, basement, lots of yard with fruit trees. I could walk to Fair Garden Elementary, stores on McCalla, Asheville Hwy and the Holston Shopping Center were plentiful. We could ride our bikes safely to the ballfield on Wilson Ave or Winona Ave. I have had the privilege and blessing of owning three homes in Northeast and East Knoxville, I worked several years in downtown Knoxville. This area has always been a special part of who I am and very dear part of my existence. I hear stories now of how hard it is for young adults to find affordable housing, buy a home to raise their children, families having to move in together to share expenses. I see how blessed I was and how difficult it would be if I was trying to raise children and buy a home.

Staff Reply:

Noise/recode Knoxville

I realize that Recode Knoxville does not address noise, but with the purpose of Recode Knoxville to create a more dense population in certain areas, are the appropriate groups working to better enforce current noise laws/regulations and/ or create new legislation for noise? 

I live on Kingston Pike and cannot believe how the noise level has increased over the last 5 years with the increase in population  due to the development of downtown. I'm not opposed to the multi-purpose development but I think for everyone to live together in close quarters noise is a major factor. 

In addition, vehicles without mufflers are harming our environment as well as our ears! 
If there is one thing our city can do is provide protection for the environment and its citizens.

Staff Reply:

428 And 424 E Scott Rezoning

Given the adjoining land use and conditions and the existing RP-1 zoning of these properties, I suggest that RN-5 is the appropriate zoning under the ReCode process. Thank you. 

Staff Reply:

Will Taxes Go Up?

We are at 8701 Unicorn Dr. Right now we are zoned commercial. The current proposal has us going to mixed use. Will that make the taxes for this property go up?

Staff Reply:

The tax assessment of a property is determined by the use rather than the zoning. The expanded zoning designation should have no impact on your taxes.

Recode Knoxville

To whom it may concern,
There is a lot about this recode Knoxville that I am unaware of. I would like to gain more insight as to what this entails and how my household will be affected.

Thank you.

Staff Reply:

I encourage to visit the website (RecodeKnoxville.com) to find information about the effort and to attend the City Council workshop schedule for 5:30 on April 4. The workshop will be about the 85th public/community meeting regarding the project.

Recode Communication Complaint

We received a first notice by mail last week of ReCode. Being a multiple property owner in the City of Knox, this has not been adequately communicated to us. This is wrong and unjust to change our property rights without proper individual notice in a timely manner. I am spending hours searching a website and other avenues trying to find out what this really means. This is being poorly implemented and needs to slow down and make proper individual notifications to each homeowner as to what this could mean. We do not understand what is happening and we are feeling betrayed.

Your amendment stating that proper and adequate notification in the two Knox News Sentinel articles is ridiculous! NO ONE READS THE PAPER!

Staff Reply:

Recode Is The Most Unprofessional Thing

Recode is the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen in Knoxville. It is ridiculous to end comments before we can read Draft Five.

Unless there are huge changes I will work to recall any City Council member who votes to approve this mess. It is so arrogant to think in two years you could redo fifty years of zoning.

The vast majority of people do not want the ADU's. The Mixed Use design is not ADA compliant. The changes to commercial property are idiotic. Your idea to restrict home business is a civil rights violation.

When you are in court with the many lawsuits that will come ask yourself, "why did we rush this"? Expect a lot of staff time to be tied up in court. Your arrogance earned that.

Fix this mess before it is voted on. City Council has no planning experience. Why did you pass on such an incomplete incomprehensible product?

Staff Reply:

Neighborhood Concerns

the old Bob Cawrse land on Rennoc rd and Tillary rd and Crawford is a big concern to the area that we life in. it was multifamily apartments.[ since torn down ] we are afraid of the owner putting in small houses for rental that will further deteriorate the area we live in. is there any protections in place for us homeowners to prevent futher deteration from future unwanted developement

Staff Reply:

I cannot locate the property you are referencing. Most of the property along Rennoc is proposed to be designated RN-2, a single family residential designation. I urge to continue to be involved in the process of updating the City's zoning code and to be involved with your neighborhood organization, as they maybe aware of any future efforts to rezone property in your neighborhood.

Definitioins Question About Legend

where can I read exactly what all the different designations on the map legend mean? For example, R-2, infill housing, R-5, ridgetop, historic overlay , etc…

Staff Reply:

There is a residential comparison chart and a commercial, office and industrial comparison chart that may help. Also definitions are found in section 2 of the draft code.

New Policies For Recode Knoxville

Please consider these suggestions for the new codes in Knoxville. Thank you.
Addressing affordable housing/tiny houses
Property owners can put a tiny house on their property if they are going to occupy the house.
This code must exclude/forbid major developments of “trailer parks” or track housing by large developers, that is, limit the number of units per acre.
Affordable housing must be encouraged and maintained.
Developments of over 5 housing units must include one affordable unit per 5 units that is a significant proportion of all developments must be affordable housing. Wording must exclude a developer setting up multiple licenses for developments of 4 units, that is write the code so that the obvious ways around the requirement are addressed. The affordable unit must be within one mile of the other units so as to spread affordable housing through the county and reduce the building of slum developments. The affordable unit must be deeded in such a way that it is owner occupied for a long time, 20 years or more, before it can put put on the open market. The affordable unit will only be available to buyers/families who are near the poverty line.

Sidewalks must be required in all new developments/construction and any substantial redevelopment projects.

All new developments must site houses/buildings so that solar collectors can easily be fitted.
Developments must include a certain number of trees per acre, the more the better. See above for solar siting.
All new developments must provide storm water abatement for all impermeable surfaces, roofs, driveways, streets, patio/porches etc.

New developments must offer ground source loops for heatpumps.

Up to 6 female chickens should be allowed as pets. Get rid of the present City code/ordinance regarding chickens and model it on the language used to address pot bellied pigs.

Short term rentals
owner occupied houses must be allowed to do short term rentals that follow common sense noise and nuisance norms. Absentee landlords must be discouraged from short term rentals in residential neighborhoods, that is they cannot own/operate more than 1 in any given neighborhood.

New developments must maintain wildlife corridors.

New developments must set aside right of way for greenways, walking biking trails. Ideally these would be off street and connect to the right of way in adjoining neighborhoods/developments.

Staff Reply:

Thanks for the suggestions; we will consider all that we can. Requiring set aside of affordable housing is prohibited by state legislation (talk to your legislator). Others, such as requiring sidewalks, are addressed by other City policies.

New Policies For Recode Knoxville

Please consider these suggestions for the new codes in Knoxville. Thank you.

Addressing affordable housing/tiny houses
Property owners can put a tiny house on their property if they are going to occupy the house.
This code must exclude/forbid major developments of &ldquo;trailer parks&rdquo; or track housing by large developers, that is, limit the number of units per acre.
Affordable housing must be encouraged and maintained.
Developments of over 5 housing units must include one affordable unit per 5 units that is a significant proportion of all developments must be affordable housing. Wording must exclude a developer setting up multiple licenses for developments of 4 units, that is write the code so that the obvious ways around the requirement are addressed. The affordable unit must be within one mile of the other units so as to spread affordable housing through the county and reduce the building of slum developments. The affordable unit must be deeded in such a way that it is owner occupied for a long time, 20 years or more, before it can put put on the open market. The affordable unit will only be available to buyers/families who are near the poverty line.

Sidewalks must be required in all new developments/construction and any substantial redevelopment projects.

All new developments must site houses/buildings so that solar collectors can easily be fitted.
Developments must include a certain number of trees per acre, the more the better. See above for solar siting.
All new developments must provide storm water abatement for all impermeable surfaces, roofs, driveways, streets, patio/porches etc.

New developments must offer ground source loops for heatpumps.

Up to 6 female chickens should be allowed as pets. Get rid of the present City code/ordinance regarding chickens and model it on the language used to address pot bellied pigs.

Short term rentals
owner occupied houses must be allowed to do short term rentals that follow common sense noise and nuisance norms. Absentee landlords must be discouraged from short term rentals in residential neighborhoods, that is they cannot own/operate more than 1 in any given neighborhood.

New developments must maintain wildlife corridors.

New developments must set aside right of way for greenways, walking biking trails. Ideally these would be off street and connect to the right of way in adjoining neighborhoods/development.

Staff Reply:

Mr. Laudeman,

Thanks for the suggestions; we will consider all that we can. Requiring set aside of affordable housing is prohibited by state legislation (talk to your legislator). Others, such as requiring sidewalks, are addressed by other City policies.

Poor Planning

Why in the world did MPC pass Recode when it is not complete? City Council can't fix this mess. Bring it back to MPC and fix it. My brother is an Architect in Atlanta. He told me we are much better off with our current zoning. He also said you will be sued by HUD if you build Mixed Use with the Recode design. How do you not know that? Very disappointed in MPC. You are not doing your job.

Staff Reply:

Recode

As a citizen of Knox County who will be affected by this vote who represents my voice? As a former Knox County Commissioner, I took my oath of office a a representative of not only my district but as a representative for everyone in our community. In doing so, I tried to vote to have a positive impact while at the same time diminishing unintended consequences as best as I could. With this massive rezoning of City parcels, there are more unintended consequences to this vote than benefits. In my opinion, there are serious questions that need to be answered; such as, if home businesses are not allowed, how does that impact home daycares, homeschools, and home churches? If higher density rates are the goal, has the school system, law enforcement, fire and other emergent service agencies been invited for input? If parking is recommended for behind the building in new mixed-use developments, how do Americans with Disabilities requirements impact this recommendation? Have property owners been properly noticed? How will these new codes be enforced? What will be the consequences-fines and/or liens? What are those amounts? What are the steps or processes in place for a property owner to object or oppose any enforcement? Where or how does one address their grievances? As a former Commissioner, I took zoning votes very seriously. Any zoning issue on the agenda, I would personally go and review the site, review the recommendations from MPC, and ensure that I was aware of neighbors/neighborhood viewpoints and impact. My vote was predicated on whether the zoning change would fit the community. I cannot square how any elected official could vote for such a massive rezoning without taking into consideration the impact could have on individual property owners. In closing, I will quote one of your fellow former council members, who in my opinion was a tireless voice for neighborhoods: "...What is broke?"-Barbara Pelot https://www.knoxtntoday.com/26429-2/ Barbara Pelot Thank you for this review of not only their workshop, but the disturbing consequences of the re-code movement. What is broke?? Knoxville's handling of zoning/re-zoning issues have been handled with tranparency and without out-of-town interference. We do NOT need or desire this manner of government over-ride of voter/taxpayer involvement. Listen to the "people". Workshops are worthless if they are merely for "show". 

Staff Reply:

605 Yarnell Avenue

I have looked at the City's master plan of the South Knoxville Waterfront and specifically at the Bell Tower Walk which is on axis with Atchley. My concern is that with the I-G zoning following the old rail tracks, the Bell Tower Walk will be limited in the future and the residential district above will be disconnected from the pedestrian friendly area below. As a designer myself, and stakeholder in the neighborhood, I think the SW-3 zoning should continue up Atchley Street at least to Yarnell Ave to reinforce the power of that axis and be in place for future development. Regardless of whether Atchley remains predominantly residential or the Bell Tower Walk eventually moves up the hill, having SW-3 would prevent an industrial development from cutting off the neighborhood from the riverfront or the Tower Walk from being visually terminated by industrial buildings. I think this will be especially important once the Rails to Trails path is installed and large groups of people are going to it right at that point. Finally, the river is visible up to Yarnell and there is a clear connection to what is the SW zone, I think the pattern already in the plan that has SW-3 on the North end of Atchley, should continue up the hill. Thank you very much! 

Staff Reply:

Thanks for your email regarding the need to extend the SW-3 designation up Atchley Street to Yarnell Avenue. One of the commitments made in undertaking the updating of the City's zoning code was that neither the text nor the mapping of the form districts would be altered. Having made this commitment, we must honor it. However, Councilmember Stephanie Welch has asked that the South Waterfront code undergo a comprehensive review following the adoption of the updated zoning code. This effort may get underway in early fall. Please keep in touch and get involved in that effort.

424 And 428 E Scott Ave

I believe RN-5 is the appropriate zoning for this property - given existing surrounding land use and conditions within proximity. 

Staff Reply:

On the staff draft of the next edition of the proposed zoning map, we have recommended RN-5 for this property. The next draft of the proposed map will be released in late April.

Riverside Recode

Hey, I think that the properties 2214-2226 Riverside and 0 Mohawk, 2217 Mohawk, and 2315 Birdsong would be appropriate for an infill pocket neighborhood as described in RN-4 guidelines.

Staff Reply:

Zoning Code

I own the building at 908 Tyson Street and note the zoning code is CG2. What does that mean? I couldn't find an explanation anywhere for the codes.

Staff Reply:

You can find a description of the commercial districts here: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft4/chapters/Article%205%20Commercial%20and%20Office%20Districts.pdf. Additional information regarding the updated zoning code can be found in the draft code here: https://recodeknoxville.com/library/documents/#draft

Draft 5

You need to know there have been private meetings to oppose Recode in court. While I was pretty keen on Recode even I have issues now. People do not want the ADU. Take them out. They aren't worth the bother. I liked the Mixed Use. Not now. You need to find a better design. It is clear you have ADA problems. Ignoring this will hurt everything. Why changed all the zoning? You could have just done Mixed Use and not have to have all this protest. It is unfair to end comments when no one has seen Draft 5. Why would you do that? You are begging for problems. Your PR is pathetic. So you want to make it worse? Why would you do that? It's clear all of you are sick of this project. Think how you will feel with multiple court cases. Send Recode back to the Planning Commission and get it fixed. You have no idea how much opposition there is. I attended a protest meeting in North Knoxville. There were statements that were quite severe. Like suing City Council members for ouster. I don't think you have a handle on how the public sees Recode. Good luck.

Staff Reply:

Ada Issues With Mixed Use

I would hope that Draft 5 has significant changes to the Mixed Use design. If not, I have no choice but to report you to the Federal Government. https://www.ada.gov In your madcap rush to get this done you have done a great disservice to all handicapped people who live in and travel to Knoxville. I wish each of you would understand the difficulty of being handicapped. I am very disappointed in what you have done. You should be too.

Staff Reply:

424 And 428 E. Scott Ave.

RN-5 is the appropriate zoning for this property given existing zoning of RP-1 and existing surrounding land use and conditions within proximity. Thank you.

Staff Reply:

Recode Is The Most Unprofessional Thing

Recode is the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen in Knoxville. It is ridiculous to end comments before we can read Draft Five. Unless there are huge changes I will work to recall any City Council member who votes to approve this mess. It is so arrogant to think in two years you could redo fifty years of zoning. The vast majority of people do not want the ADU's. The Mixed Use design is not ADA compliant. The changes to commercial property are idiotic. Your idea to restrict home business is a civil rights violation. When you are in court with the many lawsuits that will come ask yourself, "why did we rush this"? Expect a lot of staff time to be tied up in court. Your arrogance earned that. Fix this mess before it is voted on. City Council has no planning experience. Why did you pass on such an incomplete incomprehensible product?

Staff Reply:

New Policies For Recode Knoxville

Please consider these suggestions for the new codes in Knoxville. Thank you. Addressing affordable housing/tiny houses Property owners can put a tiny house on their property if they are going to occupy the house. This code must exclude/forbid major developments of "trailer parks" or track housing by large developers, that is, limit the number of units per acre. Affordable housing must be encouraged and maintained. Developments of over 5 housing units must include one affordable unit per 5 units that is a significant proportion of all developments must be affordable housing. Wording must exclude a developer setting up multiple licenses for developments of 4 units, that is write the code so that the obvious ways around the requirement are addressed. The affordable unit must be within one mile of the other units so as to spread affordable housing through the county and reduce the building of slum developments. The affordable unit must be deeded in such a way that it is owner occupied for a long time, 20 years or more, before it can put put on the open market. The affordable unit will only be available to buyers/families who are near the poverty line. Sidewalks must be required in all new developments/construction and any substantial redevelopment projects. All new developments must site houses/buildings so that solar collectors can easily be fitted. Developments must include a certain number of trees per acre, the more the better. See above for solar siting. All new developments must provide storm water abatement for all impermeable surfaces, roofs, driveways, streets, patio/porches etc. New developments must offer ground source loops for heatpumps. Up to 6 female chickens should be allowed as pets. Get rid of the present City code/ordinance regarding chickens and model it on the language used to address pot bellied pigs. Short term rentals owner occupied houses must be allowed to do short term rentals that follow common sense noise and nuisance norms. Absentee landlords must be discouraged from short term rentals in residential neighborhoods, that is they cannot own/operate more than 1 in any given neighborhood. New developments must maintain wildlife corridors. New developments must set aside right of way for greenways, walking biking trails. Ideally these would be off street and connect to the right of way in adjoining neighborhoods/developments.

Staff Reply:

Firewise Landscaping

Many cities have adopted FireWise landscaping codes to protect lives and property from wildfires. Well planned landscaping that conforms to FireWise guidelines will enhance properties and ensure a safe environment for citizens. FireWise standards are endorsed by the Tennessee State Fire Marshall. 

Recode Knoxville’s proposed landscaping codes conflicts with FireWise guidelines which will create a fire hazard across the city. The proposed codes should adopt FireWise and BurnSafe Tennessee guidelines. Attached are several brochures from the State of Tennessee highlighting some of advantages of FireWise Communities.

Staff Reply:

Definitioins Question About Legend

where can I read exactly what all the different designations on the map legend mean? For example, R-2, infill housing, R-5, ridgetop, historic overlay , etc... 

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

To whom it may concern, There is a lot about this recode Knoxville that I am unaware of. I would like to gain more insight as to what this entails and how my household will be affected. Thank you. 

Staff Reply:

Recode Communication Complaint

Can you summarize the differences between the old code for R-1 and the new RN-2 in layman’s terms for me?  The same with C-G-1 vs. C3 ?I don’t understand some of the verbiage and how it may impact things if different.Also, am I reading correctly that in EN all new primary dwellings must have a 2nd floor ?  (4.4) and that parking is only allowed behind a house ? (4.4 b.1). Also,can you describe what a corner side yard is 11.3 - d.Have there been any public discussions about people’s RVs no longer on side of house etc. ?  And, I noticed a comment on use that Drive-thrus would be allowed on Cumberland - is that different than the new code adopted?  I thought there was effort to get rid of the curb cuts and drive thrus. ?
Staff Reply:

Conflicts

ARTICLEs 10. 3 R 4 & 10.5 G. ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE:Electromagnetic interference from any operation of any use must not adversely affect the operation of any equipment located off the lot on which such interference originates. Electromagnetic transmissions are regulated by Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC assigns frequencies to numerous electronic operations. Anyone whose equipment receives interference from a permitted FCC frequency is responsible for shielding their equipment. Article 10.5 G should be deleted since the FCC has controlling authority.ARTICLE 10.3 R 4 states that no equipment or process may be used that causes fluctuations in the line voltage off the premises. Fluctuations in line voltage is the responsibility of TVA and KUB. Businesses have no control over voltage fluctuations caused by power demand exceeding supply and creating a slight low voltage, or power supply exceeding demand to create a spike in voltage. This should be dropped.
Staff Reply:

Hillside Ridgetop Protection Zone

I see from the map that my property and that of my two neighbors is almost entirely covered with the Hillside Ridgetop Protection Zone. What does that mean for us? Can we still cut and plant new trees? The property of one of my neighbors is entirely level. Why would it be included in the HP zone?
Staff Reply:
The proposed Hillside Protection standards would limit the density (# of dwelling units) and the land disturbance permitted in new developments. The limitation would be on new developments on property with a slope of more than 15%. The limitations would not apply to existing single family homes and existing lots of record, nor would they restrict the cutting or planting of trees. The notation of HP on the zoning map is an indication that the property appears to be in the hillside area and that review of the property's slope is warranted.

Home Based Business With Employee

With the recode of Knoxville, will employees be allowed to work at a home based business?
Staff Reply:
The proposed zoning code update would allow home occupations in all residential districts. Certain restrictions would be in place; only one employee other than residents of the home; no outdoor storage; no increase in noise, traffic; limitations on retail sales; and other standards to minimize any potential impact on residential areas.

Recode

Hello, I live in the 2400 block of E 5th ave.  I moved here 22 years ago and purchased a comdemined house and have spent many years and tens of thousands of dollars of money in restoring a 1895 victorian house.  I see that on the latest maps all of the south side of the 2400 block of E 5th ave is mapped to be zoned RN4.  I am not real happy with the possibility of multi family housing being build across the street from me.  We have also in the past years purchase a second condemined house on the same block and have restore it and use it as rental income.  If 20 years ago when I first came to Knoxville I would have not took the rise of purchasing and restoring two houses on this street if it was across the street from multi family housing.  It is extreamly unfair for the people that have come before and invested their time and money only to have the city to come along and start wholesale rezoning of their proprities which will end up decreasing property values.I am not opposed to higher density, but in the right areas.  These older neighborhoods were built with density in mind when they were established, so to impose more density will have catastrophic results.  Our neighborhood Parkridge is just now over coming the results of over density of the past when houses were chopped up into multifamily housing.  I heard a roamer of an idiotic plan that KTA/KAT was going to push a plan of extending multifamily zoning 1/4 from a bus route in order to increase bus riders.  I attended their last meeting and YES they voted to draft a proposal that as the city to do just that.  To arbitrarily carve out 1/2 swaths of the city just to make KAT more profitable is insane!I hope the city takes time to really study this new zoning issue.
Staff Reply:

Sw4 Zoning

As a new condo unit owner in the Southside Waterfront Neighborhood, I would like to express my interest in the Recode Knox project.  Gerald was a speaker today at the TNSA Development Symposium conference.  Very interesting.   With regards to the form-based codes I offer the following basic concerns from an owner's perspective and fellow planner:

  • 1. Form Based Codes - are they clear and predictable for the developer and landowner to understand what is and is not permitted?  Are they easy and flexible to developer while still maintaining basic zoning principles?
  • 2. How will the SW4 zoning district change or will it remain the same?
  • 3. How is homeowner/unit owner parking determined, guest parking, overflow parking on site and on street determined?  I ask because CityView has a parking problem.  The side streets are technically owned by the city and thus not our designated overflow parking areas controlled by HOA.  West Blount Avenue is also crowded.  If the undeveloped parcels on either side are developed then we will really have an issue, especially during football season.  Again, there is no guest parking on site.  When the riverwalk is completed and more used by the public, will there be a parking area or trailhead with parking for the public or will they also use the side streets currently used by CityView?  
  • 4. Sidewalks are fantastic, and we thank you.  However, still a need for at least 2 on site spaces per unit plus guest parking.  
  • Thank you for all that the city is doing to reinvest in South Knox and riverfront areas.  It is becoming more walkable, connected, safer and revitalized - one project at a time.
Staff Reply:
  1. 1. These are good questions and ones we need to evaluate - see below!
  2. 2. Neither of the City's form codes are being changed as part of the Recode effort. They will be incorporated as is. There has been discussion within the community and the City about opening up the SW code to reevaluate it's effectiveness in meeting the community's goals once the City's new zoning ordinance has been adopted. This would require significant public input.
  3. 3. There is public parking at Suttree Landing Park. I am not sure if the parking garage across from the apartments across Henley from you will be available for public parking. I can look into the City's plans for additional parking.
  4. 4. I am sure the issue of parking and the need for more of it in this district will be part of the reevaluation of the SW form code I mentioned.

Questions On Recode

Can you summarize the differences between the old code for R-1 and the new RN-2 in layman’s terms for me?  The same with C-G-1 vs. C3 ?I don’t understand some of the verbiage and how it may impact things if different.Also, am I reading correctly that in EN all new primary dwellings must have a 2nd floor ?  (4.4) and that parking is only allowed behind a house ? (4.4 b.1). Also,can you describe what a corner side yard is 11.3 - d.Have there been any public discussions about people’s RVs no longer on side of house etc. ?  And, I noticed a comment on use that Drive-thrus would be allowed on Cumberland - is that different than the new code adopted?  I thought there was effort to get rid of the curb cuts and drive thrus. ?
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. These documents summarize the difference between the existing zoning districts and the proposed districts:https://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Knoxville-Residential-Districts-Comparison.pdfhttps://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Commercial_Office_Industrial-Districts-Comparison_2018-12-1.pdfThe current EN standards include the provisions you noted and are being incorporated unchanged into the proposed updated code.Corner side yard is defined in Section 2.4.O.4.a.There has been discussion of the requirement for screening RV's with landscaping if parked where visible from the street at some of the public/community meetings.The Cumberland Avenue form code will be incorporated unchanged into the proposed updated code.

Zoning For Equipment Rental Business

My properties 6721 & 6727 Campbell Lane located off of Callahan Drive are currently zoned RN-1 and planned A-1. I am planning on having an equipment rental/sales business on these properties. which zoning should i seek? the property already neighbors another commercial property. thank you!
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. You are correct that your property is currently zoned A-1 (Agriculture) and is proposed to be zoned RN-1 (Residential Neighborhood 1). Under the existing zoning ordinance, a C-4 zoning would likely permit the use you propose. Under the proposed zoning ordinance, A CH zoning would likely permit the use. More details regarding the use would help better define the zoning you would need. It appears that a one year plan amendment and a sector plan amendment also would be required. Such a change may be challenging.

Will Taxes Go Up?

We are at 8701 Unicorn Dr. Right now we are zoned commercial. The current proposal has us going to mixed use. Will that make the taxes for this property go up?
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville December 2018 Copy (mistakes?)

In reviewing the December 2018 draft of the Recode Knoxville ordinances, I noticed the following:On Page 9-10, it refers to Nonconforming Manufactured homes being found in Article 16. It appears to be in Article 17....not 16. Correction needed?"... 3. Nonconforming Manufactured Homes See Article 16 for regulations regarding nonconforming manufactured homes, including single-wide manufactured homes. ..." Also on Page 17-2, what does that last sentence in the below paragraph even mean? "...If a single-wide manufactured home is replaced with a multi-sectional manufactured home, it cannot be replaced with a single-wide manufactured home...""...E. Nonconforming Single-Wide Manufactured Homes Existing nonconforming single-wide manufactured homes in any district may be replaced with a new single-wide manufactured home. The replacement single-wide manufactured home may be a larger square footage so long as the manufactured home meets required setbacks. In a manufactured home park, the can maintainsfollowing the setbacks are required: a setback of ten feet from all streets and/or access roads, there is a minimum 20 foot clearance between homes or for homes parked end-to-end, the end-to-end clearance is a minimum of ten feet, and there is a minimum of 20 feet from any permanent structure. When located on a single lot within a district, it must meet all the setback requirements of the district. If a single-wide manufactured home is replaced with a multi-sectional manufactured home, it cannot be replaced with a single-wide manufactured home...."Also, manufactured home in a park (here in Knoxville, anyway) is enclosed on the bottom by SKIRTING, not those permanent cement type enclosures that you have listed. Addition or clarification needed? Or are you changing that? It might be cumbersome on mobile home park owners to get PERMISSION each time they install a new home here. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Lighting Performance Standards

On behalf of Scenic Knoxville, I am submitting the following feedback about Lighting Standards for Exterior Lighting:Lighting standards discourage excessive lighting, minimize glare and light trespass, protect neighbors from the adverse impacts of stray light, create a safe environment in the hours of darkness, and contribute to ensuring dark skies where people can enjoy the beauty of the observing the stars and planets.The proposed Lighting Standards for Exterior Lighting (section 10.2) needs performance standards to address issues of light trespass onto neighboring properties. In particular, there needs to be a measurable standard for the footcandles allowed across an adjacent residential district property line.As written, the current section 10.2 only provides performance standards that:A. Require cut-off luminaire with a cut-off angle of 75 degrees or less that shields the light from an observer 3.5 feet above the ground at an abutting lot line, andB. Freestanding luminaires (i.e. a light pole fixture) are 15 feet away from residential lot lines, max height of 20 feet in non-residential, and 15 feet in residential districts.The issue is that there's nothing about the intensity - the brightness - of the light fixture and how much light is permitted to cross the property line (trespass!) onto a neighboring property. An example: under the current regulation, a very bright light pole could be installed in a parking lot for a commercial business that is adjacent to a single family residential property. The exterior lighting would be fully compliant if it was 75 degree cut-off, 20 feet in height, and 15 feet from the property line. However, an extremely bright light (say 10,000 lumen fixture) would still shine directly onto the ground 13.6 feet onto the residential property due to the 75 degree cut-off angle. That bright light would reflect off the ground (especially if it's a lightly-colored surface such as a concrete driveway) and onto the adjacent house.We would like to see the following outdoor lighting standards included in the code.Light Trespass. All outdoor luminaires shall be located, adequately shielded, and directed such that no direct light falls outside the parcel of origin or onto the public right-of-way. The total lighting on a property must not trespass (exceed) 0.5 footcandles measured at the property line.Implementation notes: This is the performance standard applied to the lighting plans submitted under 10.2.A.1, which requires lighting plans for all non-residential uses, multi-family, and townhouse developments. It is also the measurable performance standard that a property would be held to if a complaint is filed. No expectation is made that this is verified at night as part of the permit / inspection process.House Side Shields. Outdoor lighting fixtures closer to the lot line than the mounting height of the fixture, measured perpendicular to the lot line, adjacent to residential areas, shall have internal house-side shields. Implementation notes: House side shields are available for many fixtures. This is a requirements-input standard that the lighting design, required as part of 10.2.A.1, would include. It could be verified during inspection, and would be enforceable if a complaint is filed.Flood and Spot Lamps. Flood or spot lamps shall be aimed down no higher than 45 degrees to the horizontal (halfway between straight down and straight to the side) when the source is visible from any adjacent residential property.Implementation notes: Primarily a standard that can be enforced in the event that a dispute occurs with a neighboring resident regarding bright lights.Color Temperature: Cooler outdoor light sources (greater than 4,000 Kelvin) will be prohibited and warmer light sources (e.g.2,000 - 4,000 Kelvin) shall be utilized.Implementation notes: This is a requirements - input standard for the lighting design, and could be enforced if a complaint is filed.Additionally, the exception to the Outdoor Recreational Facilities (section 10.2 C. 3.) should have a performance requirement on how long the lighting can remain on after the event. An improvement would be to add text such as "The main lighting shall not remain longer than fifteen (15) minutes following the end of the event. A low-level lighting system shall be used to facilitate patrons leaving the facility, cleanup, nighttime maintenance, and other closing activities. The low-level lighting system shall not exceed three (3) foot-candles at the property line."Implementation notes: Probably complaint-driven, but gives guidelines for operations and for design of new facilities.
Staff Reply:

1511 Washington Pk Knox 37917

I need clarification please as to how Knoxville Recode will effect this property. This house was built in 1918 has been well cared for and was zoned commercial/resident long before I acquired it. It is not used as commercial property and has not been so in at least 50 years (if ever ?) Taxes are astronomical due to commercial zoning. I am an investor and it is my goal to make a positive impact in any community that I invest in. The struggle is real.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. The property at 1511 Washington Pike is currently zoned R-1A, single-family residential, and the proposed zoning isRN-2, single-family residential. The proposed RN-2 zoning is equivalent to the current R-1A zoning, You may want to inquire with the tax office regarding the classification of your property as commercial for tax purposes.

Rezoning Areas

what areas are being rezoned

Staff Reply:

Pelase check this website https://maps.knoxmpc.org/MapSeries/recode.html?appid=361f37427c0a44a8b4fbcea4f412a8d9 to identify the current zoning of property and the proposed designation. Please note that all zoning district designations will change but the development standards may have minimal changes.

Recode Knoxville - Mistakes Noticed

Oh....this is located on page 9-10, "H. Dwelling - Manufactured Home, 2. Specific Standards":
"...b.  A  perimeter  wall  of  solid  masonry,  concrete,  or  other  material  approved  by  the  Building  Official  must  be installed  around  the  base  of  the  dwelling....”
See what I mean?
It is normal and usual for just plastic type skirting to be put around the base of the dwelling.
Thanks!
Staff Reply:

Hillside Protection

I notice that a portion of my property, that includes about half of my house, falls within an area designated HP. I can't find any definitive resource regarding HP online, except references back to 2008-2011. I'm interested in what restrictions the HP designation will place, both on me as an established homeowner and on the newly developed apartment complex abutting my property. Can you point to a resource so we may understand what's about to happen to us?

Staff Reply:

The hillside protection standards would place density and land disturbance limitations on new development located on properties within the HP overlay (properties with grades in excess of 15%). The greater the grade of the property, the greater the limitations on density and land disturbance. The hillside protection standards would not apply to existing single family homes and existing lots of record, so your home would be exempt. As a developed project, the apartment complex abutting your property would not be subject to any limitations either. If the apartment complex proposed expansion (new buildings), the hillside protection standards might limit density (# of dwelling units) and land disturbance.

Eveything

I do NOT want my neighborhood rezoned. I do not want you to tell me that I cant hire anyone in my homebased business. I do not want you to pack as many people as you can into one spot. I do not want you to make all roads like Cumberland - that I avoid like the plague now. Just stop already.
Staff Reply:

Landscape, Lighting And Design Standards, Hillside

Hello -Just wanted to say that I support Scenic Knoxville's sensible suggestions for changes and improvements with regard to new commercial landscape standards, lighting standards, and design standards for single family homes. None of these standards are very onerous, and would make significant improvements over time. Also, I would like to see the Hillside and Ridgetop standards remain in commercial and residential zones.Thank you for your consideration and your time, energy and efforts to improve Knoxville!
Staff Reply:

Design Standards For Single Family

Recode Single Family Design StandardsScenic KnoxvilleEarlier drafts of Recode included minimal design standards for single family homes. We would like to see them included back into the Code. Similar standards are very common in the zoning codes of other cities. They encourage thoughtful planning, preserve community character, ensure that homes are compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, and they preserve, protect and enhance the city's historical, architectural and aesthetic resources. Design standards are what make people proud to call their house a home, and we believe everyone is entitled to feel this way, no matter what neighborhood they live in or whether they're a renter or owner.1. We would like to see the review and approval of all design standards specified in Recode come under the purview of Knoxville-Knox County Planning (formerly MPC) staff rather than Plans Review and Inspection. As professional planners we believe they're in the best position to carry this out.2. We would like to see the following standards included in the code.Single Family Dwellings1. On lots less than one acre in lot area, a dwelling must have a primary entrance from a façade facing the street. The front entry must be a dominant feature on the front elevation of a home and an integral part of the structure, using features such as porches, raised steps and stoops, and/or roof overhangs. 2. Windows, entrances, porches, or other architectural features are required on all street-facing facades to avoid the appearance of blank walls. 3. A 30% minimum transparency requirement applies to all street-facing façades and is calculated on the basis of the entire area of the façade.4. Front-loaded attached garages are limited to 60% of the width of the front building line or 24 feet, whichever is greater. Garage width is measured as the width of a garage door; in the case of garages designed with multiple garage doors, the distance is measured between the edge of the outmost doors.5. Front-loaded attached garages must be set back a minimum of five feet from the front building façade line. This façade building line does not include architectural features, such as bay windows or porches.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Standards

ENHANCED LANDSCAPING STANDARDS - Recode KnoxvilleMany great cities have landscaping standards that are much stricter than the ones proposed in Recode. We know from their experiences that these standards are not overly onerous either to carry out or to enforce. Knoxville can and should do this, too. There are numerous environmental, economic, aesthetic, health and quality of life benefits to enhanced landscaping. Recent flooding due to heavy rains is a reminder of the importance of preserving green space to absorb rainfall and stormwater runoff. This will become even more critical as the city increases development to accommodate a growing population. We believe the following standards should be included in the new ordinance. They would apply only to new development. None would apply to single family residential development.Interior Landscaping of New Parking LotsThe current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All new lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscape Bond:In order to ensure correct installation and maintenance of landscaping, a two-step Landscape Bond should be required. Other cities successfully employ this process.1. Performance Bond: This allows developers six months after issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy to install landscaping to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months to maximize reasonable growth conditions.2. Maintenance Bond: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and would include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, we don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping that has died. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In our experience, this often requires multiple follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen.Tree Mitigation BankRecode should include some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, or when it's not possible to fulfill the required landscape standards. The ordinance could specify that for each tree over a particular diameter that's destroyed or not planted as required, a value of the destroyed or unplanted trees would be established and the developer would pay the equivalent value into a mitigation fund. The city would use the funds for tree planting or landscaping projects on public property elsewhere. Kasey Krouse, Urban Forester, has agreed to administer a Tree Bank for the city. A tree bank will level the playing field so all developers are responsible for similar landscaping costs.Prepared by:Scenic KnoxvilleTrees KnoxvilleThe City of Knoxville Tree BoardThe Knoxville Chapter of the American Society of Landscape ArchitectsSierra Club, Harvey Broome GroupAlso endorsed by:Town Hall EastForest Heights Neighborhood AssociationCommunity ForumThe Bearden Village CouncilThe Riverside 1 CondosHistoric Fourth and Gill Neighborhood OrganizationKingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood AssociationBenefits of TreesTrees beautify our public spacesTrees increase property valuesTrees increase walkability by providing shadeTrees cool the ambient temperature up to 10? FTrees reduce air conditioning costsTrees promote ground absorption of rainfall and reduce stormwater runoffTrees reduce air pollution by absorbing pollutant gasesTrees block unsightly views and muffle noiseTrees encourage pride of placeTrees increase business revenue because shoppers stay longer in attractive and inviting commercial spacesBeauty is Good for People and Business
Staff Reply:

Duplex Lot Size

Please increase the lot size for duplexes to above 7500 sf. Most of our neighborhoods in the inner city have lot sizes of 50'x150. A duplex is too much building for that lot size and would decrease the chances of existing dwellings to convert to single family housing.
Staff Reply:

Rezone On Strawberry Planes Pike

How can I voice an opinion of this rezoning. This will really create driving issues ...... children on school buses. We have enough traffic in the area now!
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. I will pass your concerns on to the Planning Commission members.

Hillside Protection

I notice that a portion of my property, that includes about half of my house, falls within an area designated HP. I can't find any definitive resource regarding HP online, except references back to 2008-2011. I'm interested in what restrictions the HP designation will place, both on me as an established homeowner and on the newly developed apartment complex abutting my property. Can you point to a resource so we may understand what's about to happen to us?
Staff Reply:
The hillside protection standards would place density and land disturbance limitations on new development located on properties within the HP overlay (properties with grades in excess of 15%). The greater the grade of the property, the greater the limitations on density and land disturbance. The hillside protection standards would not apply to existing single family homes and existing lots of record, so your home would be exempt. As a developed project, the apartment complex abutting your property would not be subject to any limitations either. If the apartment complex proposed expansion (new buildings), the hillside protection standards might limit density (# of dwelling units) and land disturbance.

Recode Knoxville

Please! Vote this current Recode proposal DOWN, NO, REJECT!! Thanks
Staff Reply:

Project Update

are you building apts. or projects over a couple of streets from us. if you are, this concerns me greatly. hope you answer soon please....
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. Neither Knoxville-Knox County Planning nor the City of Knoxville builds apartments. I did a quick check of recent development applications and could find none for an apartment development in your area. If you can provide a location for the development you are referring to, I may be able to provide additional information.

Rezoning Areas

what areas are being rezoned
Staff Reply:
Pelase check this website https://maps.knoxmpc.org/MapSeries/recode.html?appid=361f37427c0a44a8b4fbcea4f412a8d9 to identify the current zoning of property and the proposed designation. Please note that all zoning district designations will change but the development standards may have minimal changes.

No House #

If there is no house # on lot, what does that mean?

Staff Reply:

I am not sure I understand your question. Do you mean there is no number on the lot as shown on the Recode proposed zoning map?

Meaning Of Zoning Codes.

The zoning change for my address goes from R-1 to RN-1. I know that R-1 means single family dwelling. What does adding the N do to that meaning? Also, if I wanted to subdivide my .97 acres and put a second dwelling on it, does or will my zoning permit that? I look forward to your response. Have a great weekend.
Staff Reply:

Climate Refugees

You mentioned that rezoning Knoxville is being done with climate refugees in mind. Please explain this statement.
Staff Reply:

Recode

When is the next meeting?
Staff Reply:

R1 To Rn-1

My property is proposed to move from R1 to RN-1. There are 2 dwellings on my property. Will the second dwelling be grandfathered into the RN-1? Is there anything I need to do to make sure it is grandfathered in? Thanks.
Staff Reply:

429 Noelton Drive

I put in my address in on your recode site & it came up with 5 apartments:429 Apt. 1, 429 Apt. 2, 429 Apt. 3, 429 Apt 4, 429 Apt 5This is a single family home with no apartments. There have never been apartments at this address. I have lived here almost 23 years. When I purchased the house, it was a single family home. Please correct. I don't want this to affect my taxes.Perhaps my property has been confused with 419 Noelton Drive which has 5 apartments. One of which was added without being permitted. Will this address still be allowed to have apartments under the new codes? I hope not. This house, divided into apartments causes parking and trash problems. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Details About New Zoning

Hello--I see by the latest map that the proposed zoning that includes my property may change to something called a hillside and ridge zone. Where can I read more about that details of that overlay?Thanks in advance for your assistance!
Staff Reply:

Rn 1 And Rn 2

I currently live in a R1 zoned neighborhood, per the recode map, the proposed new zone will be RN 2. What is the difference between RN 1 and RN 2?
Staff Reply:

Hillside Protection

I do not understand what hillside protection (code HP) means, as opposed to established neighborhood. (Code EN)
Staff Reply:

Notice To Knoxville Property Owners

Why am I getting this paper after the fact of all workshops are done and over with. Why am I getting this way after this is done. I received this letter on March 5, a little too late for people to know when actions have been done. Why didn't you send this out before everything started.
Staff Reply:

Hillside Protection Overlay

Our home at 5112 Mountaincrest and our attached undevelped lot at 5113 Ridgemont have the HP designation in the December draft. It appears on Section 8.9 that both properties would be grandfathered except that both lots would be subject to the maximum land disturbance limitation.Questions - 1. Please confirm that both properties would be grandfathered per 8.9.2. What % grade is assigned to each property?3. What constitutes "land disturbance"? I would like to understand how the draft language will affect the future use of our property at 5113 Ridgemont - could a house be built? If not, the value of the property would be greatly reduced.Thank you
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. The Hillside Protection overlay would not apply to lots on which existing single family homes are located or to lots of record, so both your lots would be grandfathered. You could build a home on the vacant existing lot. Properties must have a minimum grade of 15% to be considered hillside.

Omitted Rezoning

There is a five-foot buffer strip on the west side of Sherrod Road, south of Mimosa that was left in the R-2 zoning when the eastern portion of the Kerns property was rezoned in 1982. The current zoning map very clearly shows that the R-2 zoning extends to the west side of Sherrod Road. The recode map does not show this. This was done at City Council, July 6, 1982. This was done to prevent increased traffic on Sherrod should access to the Kerns property be allowed from Sherrod Road. Sherrod road is a narrow, winding road that cannot take anymore traffic than that of the residents.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I will pass this on to our GIS staff so that the map can be corrected. The change will be shown on the next draft of the proposed zoning map, which will be released in mid to late April.

Recode Knoxville

As usual, the things that would actually help Knoxville to thriive are ignored in favor political gain and control. Somewhere this foolishness has to stop.After discussions with others in my area, we would like to know which counsel members support Recode Knoxville and why. As of now, it appears that Knoxville has fallen in line with those who crush the backs of the citizenry for personal gain. I am truly discouraged with the leadership in the communiity in which I have grown up, lived and supported for so many years.Is there anything you people can do to actually help the people?
Staff Reply:

Zoning

Various comments protest prospective rezoning on the basis of the commenter's own judgment about how somebody else's property "should" be used--as enforced by law. For example, one resident states that the city should stop trying to "up-zone" areas eligible for historic or conservation overlay. In fact, the only person who should be deciding how a specific piece of property should be used is the owner of that property, the one with the right of use and control over that property. All zoning laws should be phased out.
Staff Reply:

Property At 5300 Chapman Highway

This property has been in my family over 70 years. Since the property up to Stone Road on Chapman Highway is zoned commercially, is there a possibility that our property would ever be zoned commercially. I have viewed your proposed zoning and it looks like the zoning laws will stay the same (residential) Do I have this correct? Thank you .
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. The property at 5300 Chapman Highway is currently zoned R-1, is in the midst of a residentially zoned area, and is approximately 1,000 feet from the nearest commercially zoned property. You are correct that it will remain residentially zoned.

Recode Of North-bound Lanes Of James White Parkway

Please do NOT recode the north-bound lanes of the James White Parkway! We do not need a linear park to replace the north-bound lanes of the James White Parkway. We need highway speed access to downtown and I-40, not more parks! It is deplorable that our city administration is choosing to destroy what our tax money previously funded (and for which several residents lost property through imminent domain purchase) to make South Knoxville the playground of the city. If you really want public opinion on this you would ask for a city wide vote on parks and bicycle lanes versus more sidewalks and better roadways!
Staff Reply:
The updated zoning ordinance does not address lane closure on James White Parkway. Your email will be forwarded to the City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department.

Recode Knoxville

I am vehemently opposed to "Recode Knoxville." There is nothing about this proposal that will help the citizenry. As a matter of fact, I will be hurt by these changes. I own almost 20 acres that I have depended upon to support my retirement. The changes will destroy the value of my property. As usual, the things that would actually help Knoxville to thriive are ignored in favor political gain and control. Somewhere this foolishness has to stop. After discussions with others in my area, we would like to know which counsel members support Recode Knoxville and why. As of now, it appears that Knoxville has fallen in line with those who crush the backs of the citizenry for personal gain. I am truly discouraged with the leadership in the communiity in which I have grown up, lived and supported for so many years. Is there anything you people can do to actually help the people?

Staff Reply:

Street Name

Original and established names for Holston Hills Sunset Roads either side of Chilhowee are Sunset Road East and Sunset Road West. The maps should read so accordingly. Hillside protection should extend completely from Sunset Road East to Marilyn Drive without omission. "Unit B" for address "5410" not only does not exist but on the map appears some distance northwest. "EN" designation for "Established Neighborhood," absent other description, would seem to comply with normal English usage and common sense.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Change

We are currently zoned R1 and with the latest map, it changes us to RN2. So what does that mean exactly and what are the differences from the R1 we currently are zoned.Thank you!
Staff Reply:
The proposed RN-2 zone is a single family residential district very equivalent to the existing R-1. The major difference is the proposed minimum lot size in RN-1 of 5,000 square feet, designed to accommodate lots in some of Knoxville's older neighborhoods. Please see the Residential District Comparison Table for additional information. https://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Knoxville-Residential-Districts-Comparison.pdf

Opposition To Manufactured Homes In En Zone

I am not pleased to learn that manufactured homes will be allowed in Holston Hills. 
Staff Reply:

Sidewalk Or Bike Lane

just received a letter from recode Knoxville. does any of this include a sidewalk or bike lanes in my area near adair park?
Staff Reply:
The zoning code does not address sidewalks or bike lanes. You can contact the City of Knoxville Engineering Department for information regarding sidewalk and bike lane construction.

Rn-1

What does zone RN-1 mean?
Staff Reply:
The RN-1 district is a single family district that permits one family dwellings on lots with a minimum size of 10,000 square feet. Two family dwellings (duplexes) are permitted upon approval by the Planning Commission as a special use. Please see the Residential District Comparison Table for additional information. https://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Knoxville-Residential-Districts-Comparison.pdfThanks for your email.

Current Use

I am wanting to confirm that if my property is rezoned to RN-4 from I-G, that I will still be able to use the property for I-G.
Staff Reply:
The RN-4 designation would not permit industrial use of the property. I have noted that you desire the property to be designated I-G and that designation will be reflected on the next draft of the proposed zoning map, which will be available in mid to late April.Thanks for contacting us regarding this matter.

Cross-references And Old Zone Rp-1

To Whom It May Concern:My address is going from RP-1 to RN-1.I don’t see any references to RP-1 in your cross-references.  Can someone elaborate?  So, there is not an Planned Residential any longer?  Or the commercial areas will have their own zone now?  So, there will not be any new commercial development on our RN-1 zoning?  (we hope).
Staff Reply:
Thank you for your email. The Planned Residential (RP) and Planned Commercial (PC) zones in the current zoning ordinance will be replaced by a Planned Development approval process in the proposed zoning ordinance. This approval process is found in section 16.7 of the current draft of the proposed updated zoning ordinance. All permissions, conditions, restrictions, etc approved as part of an existing Planned Residential or Planned Commercial development will still apply to those developments. The development of commercial uses in your RN-1 zoning is unlikely.

Rezoning Preposal Of The Cottage Neighborhood On The Corner Of Sutherland Ave And Tobler And Flanked On The East And South Sides By The Third Creek Trail

I am very much opposed to the zoning of this neighborhood being reversed from R-1 to R-2. This neighborhood of cottages has been intact as single family dwellings since it was built in the 1940’s. The property was formerly a dairy, and the land was carefully planned to host family homes. The streets were laid out in curves to give an expanded view, the foundations and chimneys where built on site, the windows manufactured in Cookeville, and the rest of the construction was prefabbed up north and brought to the site and put in place.This little neighborhood has been intact as home to families since it was created. Several years ago, when I moved into 3935 Briargate Ave., I found out that the neighborhood was zoned R-2. With help and encouragement from the Historic Association and some members of city council and the Bearden Council, several of us in the neighborhood, formed a neighborhood association to promote unity in the neighborhood, clean up the neighborhood and set about seeing about changing the zoning from R-2 to R-1. After several months of creating interest and good will in the neighborhood and lots of very hard work, we presented our request to City Council and the MPC - the request was voted on twice by and passed unanimously. To go backwards would be detrimental to this historic neighborhood and would set it up to be in jeopardy and undercut the sincerity of purpose to keep it intact. The little neighborhood association that began as seven hopeful neighbors in an open carport on the corner of Tobler and Greenleaf has grown into a full fledged association that meets regularly at the little Baptist church a little ways up Sutherland and has just elected the next roster of officers. This is progress that supports the best of Knoxville, and it would be a mistake to this area and the unity of this neighborhood to reverse the zoning back to R-2.
Staff Reply:
Thank you for your email. The RN-2 designation proposed for your neighborhood is a single family zone which restricts permitted uses to single family dwellings, with duplexes permitted upon approval by the Planning Commission provided certain standards are met. The proposed RN-2 zone is very similar to the existing R-1 zone.

Resining Questions

I recently purchased a home. The map indicates that it is going to be rezoned from residential to commercial. Is this going to change my taxes or affect my utilities in any way? Does it affect my property value?
Staff Reply:
Your property is currently zoned C-6 which is a commercial zone. The draft map proposes the property to be zoned single-family neighborhood (RN-1) which I presume is how it is currently being used. I hope this information helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Message

In regards to the recode project: 1. I am not in favor of allowing apartment buildings or duplexes or 4-plexes in existing ordinary residential neighborhoods. 2. I am not in favor of allowing overnight or weekly rentals of ordinary residences--- this should be allowed only in existing or future motels or hotels.
Staff Reply:

New Zoning Definitions

Where can you find the definitions and permissible uses for the new proposed zoning?  I can only find the old ones on Recodeknoxville.com.
Staff Reply:
You can find the current draft here.The current use matrix is here.

Auto Sales And Service Facility

I just built a auto sales and service facility on my property. The recode doesn’t appear to be for auto retail. Please review this and call me.
Staff Reply:
The designation proposed for your property on the draft map is IG (General Industrial). Given the use of your property, CH (Highway Commercial) would be a better designation. I will make this note on the draft map and the change will be made on the next draft map, which will be available in mid to late April.Thanks for contacting us regarding this.

3033 Fountain Park Blvd

I am reviewing the proposed zoning of my neighborhood (North Hills) and it looks as though a majority is proposed RN2 and the remainder is RN1. I am trying to understand the difference between the two and also understand why a small portion of North Hills is proposed to be zoned differently as RN1? Why is the whole neighborhood not treated the same? I own several homes in the neighborhood and 2 would be in the proposed RN1 and the other in RN2- right across the street. Looks as though the RN1 will be more restrictive with low density and RN2 will be low to medium. I have a garage at my home. If i decided to add an apt to the current structure would i be able to do that in RN1? Seems I would in RN2? I also have and extra lot next to one of the homes i own in proposed RN1. Would it be able to be developed in either zone? Seems setbacks would be similar. Im not looking at developing the lot but trying to understand the differences.
Staff Reply:
Thank you for your email regarding the update of the City of Knoxville's zoning ordinance. The RN-1 and RN-2 districts are very similar, with both being single family residential districts. The most significant difference in the two districts are the dimensional standards, with the RN-1 district having a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet and the RN-2 district having a minimum lot size of 5,000 square feet. Looking quickly at the proposed zoning map, it appears the RN-2 mapping is in an area of North Hills where the size of some lots is less than 10,0000 square feet. Garage apartments (accessory dwelling units) are permitted n both the RN-1 and RN-2 districts provided the standards for the accessory dwellings are met. Lots can be developed with a permitted use (dwelling, etc) provided the lot size and setback standards are met.

Spence Place

I own the property at Spence place in the Island home neighborhood.It is a through lot bounded by Spence place on the south and the Tennessee river on the north.My lot is 132 ft wide, 429 ft deep. The house is set back 40 ft from the road, the attached carport is set back 26 ft from the road. The east side set back is 5 ft for the carport and 50 ft on the west side.It seems to me It should be classified as RN-1 not RN-2.It seems to me that all of the parcels on the north side of Spence should have been designated RN-2 since they meet the size and set back requirements of RN-1.
Staff Reply:
The properties north of Spence Pl were included as RN-2 to have one consistent zone for the Island Home neighborhood. Due to your concerns, I have added a map comment based on your email so it can be reviewed for the next map draft. You may also add an additional map comment here. These comments take 24 hours to show up so you may not see it right away.

Map Feedback

Received your "Notice to Property Owners" dated 2-25-19 in which you provide a website to check on the zoning status of specific properties. recodeknoxville.com>participate>map feedback. There is no such tab! How about some transparency on this issue?
Staff Reply:
The tab is in the top right corner of the page. You can locate it directly here.If you still have trouble accessing the page please let us know.

Hillside Protection?

I own property on Sherrod Rd and it has the small green dots with Hillside and Ridge Protection.  What does that mean to the property owner?
Staff Reply:
The Hillside Overlay (HP) section of the code can be found on page 8-12 here.These regulations apply to all lots within the HP Overlay District with the exception of existing single-family homes (which yours appears to be) and existing lots of record for a single-family dwelling existing as of the effective date of this Code.If you have any further questions please let us know.

East Knoxville Commercial District

The parcel on Brooks Ave between 2110 and 2116 should be zoned commercial also. As proposed, it renders 2116 practically useless  for commercial purposes because of its size and being isolated. The same issue arises regarding the parcel between 2110 and 2116, because no one would place a residence between these two commercial parcels.To stimulate light commercial development, and avoid another vacant and blighted property which would result in negative valuations: This parcel should zoned commercial.
Staff Reply:

Property Zoning

We have owned our property in Fountain City since 1983. When we purchased this property, it had a rental unit, complete with separate utilities, and continues to be so to this day. We have rented out this small basement level apartment on numerous occasions during these years. Our neighborhood is zoned EN, and it appears from the matrix that this rental is not within the zoning requirements. Our home was built in 1946, and the earliest records we have found notes this apartment has been in use since the early 1950's. I would appreciate a clarification on this use.
Staff Reply:

0 Mohawk Ave

The properties 2214-2226 Riverside and 0 Mohawk, 2217 Mohawk, and 2315 Birdsong would be appropriate for an infill pocket neighborhood as described in RN-4 guidelines.
Staff Reply:

2220 Riverside

The properties 2214-2226 Riverside and 0 Mohawk, 2217 Mohawk, and 2315 Birdsong would be appropriate for an infill pocket neighborhood as described in RN-4 guidelines.
Staff Reply:

2218 Riverside

The properties 2214-2226 Riverside and 0 Mohawk, 2217 Mohawk, and 2315 Birdsong would be appropriate for an infill pocket neighborhood as described in RN-4 guidelines.
Staff Reply:

2216 Riverside

The properties 2214-2226 Riverside and 0 Mohawk, 2217 Mohawk, and 2315 Birdsong would be appropriate for an infill pocket neighborhood as described in RN-4 guidelines.
Staff Reply:

2214 Riverside

The properties 2214-2226 Riverside and 0 Mohawk, 2217 Mohawk, and 2315 Birdsong would be appropriate for an infill pocket neighborhood as described in RN-4 guidelines.
Staff Reply:

2222 Riverside Drive

The properties 2214-2226 Riverside and 0 Mohawk, 2217 Mohawk, and 2315 Birdsong would be appropriate for an infill pocket neighborhood as described in RN-4 guidelines.
Staff Reply:

401 E Scott

RN-4 is the appropriate zoning for this given existing use conditions of this property and proximity to other multi-family along E Scott.
Staff Reply:

319 E Scott

RN-4 is the appropriate zoning for this given existing conditions of this property and proximity to other multi-family along E Scott.
Staff Reply:

400 E Scott

RN-5 is the appropriate zoning for this property given existing use and conditions in immediate proximity.
Staff Reply:

424 And 428 E Scott Ave

RN-5 is the appropriate zoning for this property given existing surrounding land use and conditions within proximity.
Staff Reply:

Accessory Dwelling Units

I live in South Knoxville, and I want to voice my robust support for allowing accessory dwelling units on existing properties.
Staff Reply:

Min Lot Width Prevents New Housing In Rn-4

There is an issue with minimum lot sizes not matching existing lot sizes in the city. RN-3 and RN-4 are the densest residential zones near the corridors, and they are less dense than the historic city grid. There has been much talk about zoning by current use so that these houses will be conforming to the new code, but if you look at the only swathes of RN-3 and RN-4 just north of downtown and well within walking distance (surrounding Baxter @ Central and West end of Gill), the lot widths are 40', 42', 37', 30', (even 22'!) etc. Even in Fourth and Gill there are many lots less than 50' and are thus nonconforming. RN-3 and RN-4 both require 50' minimum for a single family. So as it exists, what appears to be the densest housing areas near downtown and within walking distance to jobs do not permit even single family development. I own a lot on Hinton Ave, on which I currently plan to build a duplex. With the current proposal, I could build no housing at all. I know of another planned development in this area, a quad-plex, which is currently permitted but would not be under the proposed ReCode. Even on this property, a block in from Central and over 60' wide, a maximum of only three units can be built. This result seems both counterproductive and contrary to the goals of your research. I have not reviewed this condition in other areas of the city, so please look closer at this issue elsewhere. It is difficult enough to find one lot for purchase in the area, so anticipating the combination of lots for greater opportunity is not viable. One solution may be to match the required minimum lot width with the existing grid in city neighborhoods, or allowing for an exception for historic widths. Another thought is that these areas near the intersection of Broadway and Central could become a commercial or I-MU district, which has no minimum width and now permits single-family, and matches the historic use of this area. Also, while checking the I-MU district for applicability in these areas, I noticed that single family and multi-family are permitted, but townhouses and duplexes are not. Is there a reason to dis-incentive the middle-density options?
Staff Reply:

Sw Parking Lots In Recode

We have lost the requirement that surface lots in the SW must be in the rear.  This was missing in the July draft.  I commented about it and it was included in the October draft.  Now it's gone again - compare page 11-4 in the Oct. and Dec. drafts.

This, as you know, is a major deal.

Honestly, I wasn't reviewing the current draft to see if corrections made had been unmade.  However, it looks like that kind of review is necessary.

Staff Reply:
Thanks for catching this. I will forward to the consultants and make sure they correct it and do a thorough review of the entire SW code.Regards,Gerald

Parcel 119dd003 / 0 Mars Hill

I own the parcel above and do not want it rezoned RN1. It borders a high traffic road so it will not support single family homes but will need townhomes or some other type of higher density product to be viable. We purchased the property under RP1 designation which allows for 23 units on this property. Rezoning as proposed will negatively affect value of the land.
Staff Reply:
According to the official zoning map of the City of Knoxville, the property at 0 Mars Hill Road is currently zoned RP-1 at less than 6 dwelling units per acre (see attached). The RN-1 designation would allow 4 dwelling units per acre, which would be a reduction n density. We will change the proposed designation to RN-2, which would permit up to 8 dwelling units an acre (an increase in density).Upon approval of the updated zoning ordinance, you may wish to consider requesting RN-4 designation for the property. This change would require a zoning amendment, a sector plan amendment, and a one year plan amendment.

Kub Comment On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Proposed Zoning Map

Per my voice message, we believe the property (Parcel ID 095KA01002) that we own at 2106 Mohawk Avenue should be shown as I-H instead of MPC’s proposed I-MU. This zoning would then match our adjacent MBW Water Plant current property zoning. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Established Form Base Code Changes

In attending several of the meetings, it was mentioned that there would be no changes to the Cumberland and South waterfront codes since they had both been newly created and publicly vetted. However, there have been changes and I feel the property owners should be alerted to those changes so they could see what impact it may have on development / investment plans. Why not leave them as they were? At quick glance it appears height, set backs and even sign ordinances have changed and I haven't had time to delve into all the details so it leads me to believe there is enough reason to send out postcard alerts to those affected so there may be more feedback since these areas where thought to be not changing at all.
Staff Reply:
Any changes in the form district code that may have shown up in the drafts were inadvertent and the result of trying different approaches to formatting the standards. We have incorporated the form district codes (Cumberland Avenue and South Waterfront) into one article, article 7, and are working to make sure all parts of the form district codes are included and unchanged. We likely will put the parking standards for the form districts in article 12, which has all parking standards, rather in the form code article.Thanks for your interest in the community and in Recode.

Rv Parking And "screening"

I've just reviewed the section regarding RV parking (at a residence) and wonder if anyone on the commission owns an RV? Although I do not store my 13'2" tall RV on my property as it won't fit, I have neighbors that can and do. Based on the requirement to "screen" RVs from public view (from the right-of-way) you are going to require VERY TALL FENCES/WALLS not to mention expensive. Are the commissioners the owners of fencing/wall companies??? The typical travel trailer is about 12' tall and would require at least a 12' tall fence/wall - either that or "hide" the RV in a storage facility (owner of those as well?) or sell it (RV or house). I'm fortunate to be able to afford such luxury of indoor storage, but I doubt the typical RV owner can or is willing to do so. My issue is more with what my(our) neighborhood is going to look like with, say at least half-dozen, homes with 12' tall fencing, just to hide their RV. I'm sorry, but I'd rather you hide some of the ugly cars from sight than a well cared for RV. Since my home is "down the hill" from a right-of-way street, my back yard can be seen from above and would require, by my estimation, a 40-50 foot tall fence/wall to "hide" an RV from view. I and others feel you are trying to weed out RVs and/or RV owners from Knoxville in an effort to beautify Knoxville residential areas. Again, I do not store my RV at home, although I would rather do so. I have thought about relocating to a home where I could expand and store the RV at home, and am now seriously considering it, HOWEVER, I am no longer looking in/around Knoxville or Knox County - our politicians have run me off. I'm glad Knoxville is looking to tell America that RVs, RV owners, and the like are not welcome here - I'll spread the word from a more RV friendly county. Regards!
Staff Reply:

Recode Text Changes

Attached are the comments from the City.

Staff Reply:

Map Draft 4 Comments - Belle Morris Community Group

Good Morning Gerald & ReCode team-My apologies that these comments were not sent on Friday, I had it all ready to go Friday evening and intended to send when I got home, but it managed to slip my mind over the weekend.Attached is a marked up ReCode map and diagram of Belle Morris and surrounding properties, noting our overall comments/requests/recommendations for each individual parcel within our neighborhood boundary (which is a fluid line at this point) as well as contributing properties along the neighborhood's edge. Our team has spent a great deal of time going through parcel by parcel, studying the historical condition of each property, it's vicinity to other zones, ownership on KGIS, as well as restoration/redevelopment potential as we see (and hope) the neighborhood progresses over the next 10-20 years.We hope that you might carefully consider our recommendations as you finalize the ReCode map. We have not gone through online and marked each of these parcels (for time's sake) however can do so if you are needing further explanation/detail on specific parcels.
Staff Reply:

Request For Postponement Of Agenda Item 5, 11-a-8-oa

It has come to our attention that the Community Forum has requested Agenda Item 5, 11-A-18-OA, Consideration of the Comprehensive Update of the City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance, be postponed from the January 10, 2019, meeting of the Planning Commission to the February 14, 2019, meeting. The Knox County Democratic Party Progressive Action Committee fully supports such a postponement for reasons similar to those outlined in the Community Forum letter. We urge you to make such a postponement.
Staff Reply:

Agenda Item 5, 11-a-8-oa

The board of Ftn. City Town Hall, Inc. agrees with and supports the request of Community Forum regarding Agenda Item 5, 11-A-18-OA- Consideration of the Comprehensive Update of the City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance. We are asking for a postponement from the January 10, 2019, meeting of the Planning Commission to the February 14, 2019, meeting.The last draft was only available online December 17, 2018, with hard copies available December 27, 2018. During this busy season of the year, it is not practical for neighborhood groups to be able to meet for extensive periods of time to discuss this important document that affects every parcel of property within the city limits. We could not possibly have written comments within the time period allotted, which was January 4, 2019.We certainly intend to offer comments as soon as possible.There are many substantive changes from Draft 3 to Draft 4. The time that Commissioners, the Stakeholder Committee, and the public has had for review has not been long enough for a thorough review.Please don’t vote to accept this document in its present form. We must get this right. Our neighborhoods are in great part what makes Knoxville so special. It is too far-reaching and too important to adopt and then “hope” we can amend the document in problematic areas to prevent damaging impacts to our neighborhoods and even commercial areas.Again, we are asking for Agenda item 5 to be postponed until the February 14, 2019 Planning Commission meeting.Sincerely,Board, Ftn. City Town Hall, Inc.
Staff Reply:

Landscape, Lighting And Design Standards

Hello Recode Team,My understanding is that stronger standards for landscaping and lighting are not being included because of enforcement concerns. I would like to suggest that MPC take over that role because it makes a lot of sense for them to do it.I hope you will reinstate design standards for residential areas as well.
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Map And Draft 4 Text

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 3 and ReCode Text Draft 4.

We would especially like to point out our recommendation that the Planning staff seek out&nbsp;more&nbsp;lots to designate as RN-3 or RN-4, focusing on lots within a quarter-mile of core and local bus route stops that have no structures and/or that&nbsp;have non-historic structures that were built more recently, for example since 1980. We would be happy to partner with you and neighborhood groups to find such lots suitable for RN-3 or RN-4, and we look forward to following up with you about this.

Below is the list of PAC members that ratified this comment submission:

Emily Gregg - KCDP Chair & TNDP Executive Committee Member

Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee Member

Michael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee Member

Sylvia Woods -PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member; Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member

LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member
Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team Member

Moira Connelly - PAC Steering Team Member

Matt Sterling - PAC Member


Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.

Staff Reply:

0 E Fifth Ave Is Not Community Garden

I have commented on the last two maps without response and hope to receive it this third time. The empty lot (0 e fifth Ave) next to 2080 e fifth Ave is incorrectly labeled as the Parkridge Community Garden. The garden is across the street in the open lot, which has been given the correct proposed zoning for such a space. As the owner of the incorrectly labeled lot, I am concerned about liability on my property if something were to happen to someone who mistook it for public use.
Staff Reply:

Recode Timing Is Way To Fast

Why is the comment period so short and over the Holidays? Is Donald Trump now our Mayor and we'll just push this through lickety-split while no one is watching? I've read a few comments on draft #4 with its over 700 changes and one theme appears over and over and over again: there hasn't been enough time to read it! This isn't Congress, this isn't the Trump Administration--this is LOCAL. We need more time to discuss such huge changes. An H1 effort in Parkridge spanned FIVE YEARS of continual meetings, planning, debates, door-to-door knocking, mailers, flyers, everything short of writing it in the sky with an airplane (which Councilman Brown insisted would still result in someone saying they never heard about it) and yet it was smacked down by Mayor Rogero for needing "more discussion time". If FIVE YEARS isn't long enough for a neighborhood of a few hundred acres, how is the measly 7 months this has been public (since the June 2018 release of the maps--everything before that wasn't very useful for the public) long enough for a city encompassing 104.2 square miles? The obvious answer is that either the public doesn't know what it wants and the City needs to tell us what we want or the public wants something contrary to what the Mayor, Mr. Lyons, and the political/developer machine want.What's the rush? Parkridge was told that we have plenty of time to go block-by-block over many years to protect affordable housing; Knoxville already has a zoning code that's worked well enough for 50 years so there's no desperate need to install a zoning code. City Council didn't have a problem pushing the Parkridge H1 off onto a new Council but now the excuse for the rush is so that the next council won't have to deal with it. A project this monumental should take place over several sitting City Councils. I am saddened that is has become just a political plum for an outgoing administration.
Staff Reply:

Rn-2 Density

Though patches of RN-3 and RN-4 now occur on the map in the outer rings of downtown, most existing neighborhoods remain RN-2. I feel these neighborhoods should be zoned a higher density, like RN-3. However, if they are to remain RN-2, I believe they should permit duplex development by right. I suggest RN-2 AND RN-1 be modified to permit duplex development because they would allow increased (from that currently proposed) housing opportunities. The ReCode team has consistently proposed lower density in these neighborhoods than is currently permitted, which counter-acts many well-researched studies demonstrating that the "missing middle" housing is at the core of our nation's housing crisis. If this code is to be sustainably productive, it should permit some "missing middle" opportunity in these neighborhoods (Mechanicsville, Oakwood/Lincoln Park, etc).
Staff Reply:

Please Do Not Zone Historic Eligible Blocks Higher Density

On the 1400 block of Woodbine, a few of the "last" shotgun houses in Knoxville still stand. Zoning these RN-4 invites demolition. There has been a request to please avoid placing higher density zoning on areas eligible for historic districts, because higher density base zoning could create an incentive to demolish historic single family homes where H or NC zoning has not been enacted. The 1400 block is eligible for H or NC overlay, as per the 2016 MPC Study on Edgewood-Park City Historic District. Please see: http://www.preserveparkcity.org/2018/07/historic-zoning-saves-workforce-housing.html and http://www.preserveparkcity.org/2018/09/knoxville-lost-first-black-neighborhood.html.
Staff Reply:

Plans Review By Mpc Staff

Due to staffing levels devoted to the review and enforcement of zoning codes, the review of plans and their subsequent enforcement is a heavy lift for many municipal governments. Like most cities, Knoxville has opted to reduce this burden by reducing standards and operating on a complaint driven system. Another option would be to reduce the burden by allocating some of these responsibilities to qualified MPC staff. MPC staff already review design guidelines in certain zones. They are also willing to take on the review of landscape plans.This would make it easier to restore basic design standards for single family dwellings and for landscape standards to be upgraded to include more landscaping in smaller parking lots, a 2-year landscape bond and a tree bank.
Staff Reply:

Recode Effect On East Knoxville

I hope that MPC and the City really think hard about how this recoding of Knoxville will ultimately effect the people that live on the east side(Park City).Just to create density for the sake of more housing may do more harm than good. East of downtown has at this time very little to offer anyone that is low income.There are few jobs and the ones that are available are minimum wage, which at the rate of cost of living two people making minimum wage can not afford housing. There are no grocery stores, its a food desert, unless you have your own transportation. And now that St Mary's has closed there is no medical provider on the east side of town. And none of this is going to change because for any business to locate in any area they are going to look at the median income, so if the city keeps concentrating low income in the 6th district we are not going to attract any future businesses. The city and county need to spread out the low income density across the area so these people will have the availability to be able to help themselves out of their current situations. there was a study done to test the effect of the zip code inwhich you were born, born in a poor zip code you are pretty much doomed.MPC and City, think long and hard about what your are about to do, the effects will last for decades!
Staff Reply:

Recode, Zone Map

I attended the last work shop on 1/3/19 for the recode, I do have some issues with the latest draft. My area has been rezoned back to RN2, but the lot size for a duplex has been lowered from 10,000 sqft of lot space to 7,500 which is the standard size lot in most historic neighborhoods. I do not have an issue with someone wanting to build a NEW duplex that would fit into the character of the neighborhood. But my fear is that we will go back decades inwhich every foot of building space will be converted into "living" area, porches and balconies, will be converted into bedrooms and bathrooms as in the past. We here in Parkridge have spent years trying to over come this exact same type of over crowding and destruction of the historic fabric of our neighborhood. With only small portion of Parkridge protected by a historic overlay and no in fill housing guidelines, we would be damned to repeat our very bad past history. Parkridge would is better suited for RN3 like other historic neighborhoods like 4th and Gill.Also on a technical note, I noticed that under the minimum interior side setback has been changed to a minimum of 20', on a 50' wide lot, as in most cases in historic neighborhoods that would limit the buildable area of 30' wide. I think as it stands now, the minimum is 5', and minimum of 12' combined.
Staff Reply:

Very Old Houses & Multifamily Zoning

While the current Recode map is improved, there are some issues that still need to be addressed in the oldest neighborhoods (those with houses 100± years old). If houses in these neighborhoods are slated to be made into multi-family units, there MUST be required oversight from professionals who have demonstrated knowledge with older home construction. It is in no one's best interest to continue to demolish houses that become condemned because of "renovations" made by using construction techniques that are not adequate or appropriate for these older homes. The current flurry of "renovation" activity by "flippers" in these neighborhoods (Parkridge is one example) is showing that City codes enforcement is not able to prevent structural damage to older homes. There already is a proposed lawsuit because the exterior walls are collapsing on a house in which the framework was compromised by removing load bearing walls and collar ties.Not only is this problem frightening for the new occupants/owners of such unsafe houses, it is frightening for the older neighborhoods that have struggled to rebound from serious blight created by derelict and condemned houses. The history of neighborhood decline that led to condemnation and subsequent demolition of many older homes was directly related to dividing these older homes into multiple apartments. The structural integrity of houses often was compromised by cutting holes in floor joists and rafters for the sake of running multiple pipes, vents, and wiring to accommodate multiple bathrooms, kitchens, and HVAC systems in houses that originally were built without these kinds of modern conveniences - even for one family. Floor plans also were changed to make apartments, porches were enclosed (even sleeping porches, aka balconies), and additions tacked on to make additional rooms. Anyone who has seen, or worked on, one of these houses knows that there either was little to no oversight from codes enforcement, or adequate codes did not exist when such changes were made.A requirement that before a building permit is issued, an architect or engineer (or both) has to sign off on any plans that propose dividing a house that was constructed as single family home and is 80 or more years old, or is a contributing structure in a National Register of Historic Places District, is one way these problems might be lessened. There simply MUST be a process for someone with demonstrated knowledge about older house construction to review plans (including a site visit) proposed for the substantial changes that have to be made to safely create multiple apartments in these very old houses. In addition, there is a need for opinions from two engineers as to whether or not one of these old homes has to be demolished. Very few of them were built with the kinds of foundations that are used today and some are being unnecessarily demolished because some engineers do not know about the older methods.
Staff Reply:

I-mu Should Not Be For Old Buildings Only

Section 6.1 of Draft 4 says that the I-MU zoning district is intended to allow a mix of light industrial uses and a variety of compatible commercial as well as residential uses. Great! But the draft also says that "this mix is intended to promote the reuse of older, character-giving structures that may no longer be suitable for their original industrial purposes " I hope that I-MU can be used for other settings as well.. A mix of craft industrial with commercial and residential may be desirable outside of downtown Knoxville in buildings intentionally designed for this purpose,
Staff Reply:

Fire Safety And Ada

Just finished a quick reading of Draft Four and I noticed several issues that conflicts with fire safety and American with Disabilities Act.After the Gatlinburg Wildfire, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, TN State Fire Marshall, TN Division of Forestry, U.S. Forrest Service, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the National Park Service are all promoting FireWise community planning to reduce wildfires. The current draft mandating landscaping is in conflict with FireWise standards, putting many residents in danger. A few examples of dangerous conflicts are:Requiring far too many trees near residential home. FireWise minimum standards states that trees canopies should be separated by a minimum of 10' to reduce fast spreading canopy fires. Shrubs should be separated by two times their height and if under a trees canopy by three times its height. These distances are based on a flat plane. If structures are located up slope from the landscaping the distance increases as the slope increases. The requirement that townhouses have landscaping along foundation and to screen outdoor equipment is a high risk. If the equipment malfunctions or sparks it could quickly set a wildfire. After the Gatlinburg Wildfire there were several seminars in the area on planning a FireWise Community. Many of the state and federal departments listed above provided presentations. While the state didn't seem ready to mandate FireWise at this time, it was understood that insurances companies may cancel some policies in high fire risk locations. In mixed-use districts the new codes mandates commercial on the first floor while restricting residential to the second floor or above. There are no requirements for elevators therefore the handicapped and seniors will be unable to live in that district. Draft Four has more than 700 changes, I stopped counting after 700. While many are single word changes, sometimes it major changes to a specific zoning. In December, MPC postponed hearing the new ordinance for 30 days. It's scheduled for January 10, 2019, that's 28 days. MPC also notified the public by email on December 20, 2018 that Draft Four was posted. With comments closing on January 4, that allows the public exactly 15 day to read the proposed ordinance and make comment, while many are spending the Christmas holidays with family.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping

I support the effort to "raise the bar" in ordinances concerning landscaping and development, specifically as they apply to requiring developers to landscape parking areas and to contribute toward a mitigation fund or tree bank. I understand that staffing limitations make enforcement difficult, but having it on the books is at least a first step toward being a good steward. Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Comments On Recode Draft 4

Please see the attached letter addressed to Gerald Green for our comments on Recode Draft 4.

Staff Reply:

Os-1 Status In Recode

The language supporting OS-1 (Open Space Preservation District) is still being dropped from the current ReCode draft 4 ordinance. This is a mistake. Attached are detailed comments on this issue. 
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Over the past days I was reviewing the 4th version on Recode and would like to ask why Materials are excluding from being used in zones?  I strongly disagree with any exclusion of materials.  Having just worked on a project in Muscle Shoals, AL recently there was a material exclusion and it was going to cost the owner 40% more for his typical building by changing material.  We went in front of City Council and they understood our issue and allowed the material. 

How do you think Sequatchie Concrete Services on Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville would feel if CMU is exclude as a material in the city they do business in? Or what about other companies located in Knoxville that makes a forbidden material are you wanting them to leave the area? That doesn’t make planning since.  If you want better design this isn’t the way to go about it. 

I ask that you exclude any building material references in the new zoning ordinance.

Staff Reply:
The restriction on materials was proposed by the consultants assisting with the zoning code update based on their experience in other cities and research done by them. We are still revising the materials restrictions to further reduce and clarify the restricted materials, with input from AIA-ETN. Please note that the restrictions are only for the facade that faces a public right-of-way and only in certain zoning districts. In the downtown district, the Downtown Design Review Board can waive the restriction on materials. In the other districts in which materials are restricted, they can still be used for up to 25% of the facade. Our goal is to ensure the ability to use a variety of materials in all structures.--Response from original poster:I appreciate your response and I have spoken with John Sanders the AIA representative and he was the one who told me to reach out to you. Limiting materials is not what a zoning ordinance should encompass. The Ordinance does not get updated very often as you can see with our current one. For example, you want to exclude plastics from commercial zones. I am the chair for the School of Architecture Dean’s Board, did you know we printed a House out of plastic? It won several awards nationally see the link https://web.ornl.gov/sci/eere/amie/. This technology will only grow. My point is materials constantly update and change, just look at the plastic house. Let architects decide the proper materials not planners.

Community Forum- Re: Request For Postponement Of Agenda Item 5, 11-a-8-oa

Community Forum requests that Agenda Item 5, 11-A-18-OA, Consideration of the Comprehensive Update of the City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance, be postponed from the January 10, 2019, meeting of the Planning Commission to the February 14, 2019, meeting. Please see the attached file for full comments. 
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Map And Draft 4 Text

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 3 and ReCode Text Draft 4. We would especially like to point out our recommendation that the Planning staff seek out more lots to designate as RN-3 or RN-4, focusing on lots within a quarter-mile of core and local bus route stops that have no structures and/or that have non-historic structures that were built more recently, for example since 1980. We would be happy to partner with you and neighborhood groups to find such lots suitable for RN-3 or RN-4, and we look forward to following up with you about this. Below is the list of PAC members that ratified this comment submission: Emily Gregg - KCDP Chair & TNDP Executive Committee MemberAllie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee MemberMichael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee MemberSylvia Woods - PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member & Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team MemberMoira Connelly - PAC Steering Team MemberMatt Sterling - PAC MemberPlease let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Code

This may be unrealistic, but I would like to see solar cells erected over parking lots before anyone goes out and covers potential productive farmland with them. I envision a grid of 16 - 20 ft tall poles, the whole thing stabilized with guy wires anchored around the perimeter, supporting solar cells to provide shade in the summer, and power without the need for additional distribution infrastructure. A solar farm elsewhere requires maintenance to keep down and kill vegetation that otherwise would take over (or else you have to pave the thing), and lines and right-of-way to bring the power into the city.
Staff Reply:

Beauty

I fear that beauty is often removed from development plans because of cost. However, the most beautiful developments include the original trees and have thoughtful landscaping. Knoxville has too many rows of houses that look all the same and often you can see how the hill was cut down to clear space for those developments. Now is the opportunity to keep natural features and make green space a part of the original design plan for residential and commercial development. Of course developers want to make the maximum amount of money and will cry that they can't provide affordable housing or development without cutting down all the trees, flattening the hillsides, and making new houses out of ticky-tacky. But their concerns are not more important than the citizens who live here and love this town and want to keep the natural beauty retained. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

C-g-2 Zoning Comments

I've been looking at several soon to be C-G-2 properties with an eye on building a dance studio and a recording studio. I appreciate the idea of changing from setbacks to build to lines to make the construction more pedestrian friendly and more attractive. There were a couple of things, though, that I noticed and wanted to comment about.First Floor Fenestration:The 50% fenestration between 2 and 10 feet on the front is potentially burdensome. While windows are desirable for retail and even office, they can cause security and privacy issues for other types of businesses. The added expense of windows, just to cover them up for privacy, or find ways to prevent sound leakage is a bit much. The 35% on the frontage, as it is for other commercial types seems more reasonable.Building Materials:Excluding steel siding, except as an extra decorative element (of 25%) discounts its advantages as a siding. Steel is 100% recyclable, and it doesn't require much (if any) painting for regular maintenance, and it doesn't rot or crack. Forbidding metal as a major siding choice makes sense for, say, a 4 story apartment building, but there are other types of structures (like dance studios or recording studios) that benefit greatly from having high ceilings and large open spaces. A single story of between 14' and 20' would be the norm, and metal would be a good choice for more than a decorative element of the facade. I've seen multiple buildings of about that height in the area soon to be zoned C-G-2 (on Martin Mill) that have textured concrete block on the first 5 feet or so, with metal siding the rest of the way up, and I think it looks great. Maybe allow a larger percentage of metal, say, 50%? Or possibly allow metal on structures under 25' high if there's something else used on the first 5'? Design over 100 feet (notes included in diagram not on chart):There are certain architectural elements that are required to break up walls over 100'. "Color Change" is listed in the B section of the diagram C-G-2 DISTRICT DESIGN STANDARDS on page 5-7, and it isn't listed on table 5-2.Build to lines for small properties bordering multiple streets:This is an area where there might be some unintended consequences. I'm looking at some commercial properties that are long and skinny (50x200), and are bordered by Martin Mill, Drinnen, and a very small street (no more than a driveway, really) called Brady. It's my understanding that this would require a build-to to within 20' each of these lines. I'm wondering if some more guidance could be given in an instance like that. Could this be an instance of having a required build-to to no more than TWO of the property lines?
Staff Reply:
Jonathan,Thanks for some very good comments. I will forward them to our consultants so that they can be considered and discussed as we prepare the next draft of the ordinance.Thanks for your interest in the Recode project.

Recode Draft 4 And Sw

Hello everyone, I've only had time to do a quick review of the SW portion only because of the holidays, but I want to thank all involved for addressing my previous concerns.  Right now I'm only seeing two thing that give me heartburn. We seem to have lost the 70' river buffer again (not in draft 2, in draft 3, not in draft 4) unless you've moved it and I can't find it. The parking maximum for SW2-SW4 has been changed from 2/1000 sq. ft. (in the original code) to 3/1000 sq. ft.  I consider this a major change, which we were promised wouldn't happen. Thanks for all your hard work on this effort.  It's been needed for a long time.

Staff Reply:

The most recent draft from the recode website on page 7-12, Table 7-3: 'SW Subdistricts Dimensional Standards' has the building line of 70' from normal pool.

Need Better Exterior Lighting Standards - Section 10.2

Hello,The Lighting Standards for Exterior Lighting (section 10.2) needs performance standards to address issues of light trespass onto neighboring properties. In particularly, there needs to be a measurable standard for the footcandles allowed across an adjacent residential district property line.As written, the current section 10.2 only provides performance standards that:A. Require cut-off luminaire with a cut-off angle of 75 degrees or less that shields the light from an observer 3.5 feet above the ground at an abutting lot line, and B. Freestanding luminaires (i.e. a light pole fixture) are 15 feet away from residential lot lines, max height of 20 feet in non-residential, and 15 feet in residential districts.The issue is that there's nothing about the intensity - the brightness - of the light fixture and how much light is allowed to cross the property line - to trespass - onto a neighboring property.As an example: under the current regulation, a very bright light pole could be installed in a parking lot for a commercial business that is adjacent to a single family residential property. The exterior lighting would be fully compliant if it was 75 degree cut-off, 20 feet in height, and 15 feet from the property line. However, an extremely bright light would still shine directly onto the ground 13.6 feet onto the residential property due to the 75 degree cut-off angle. That bright light would reflect off the ground (especially if it's a light colored surface such as a concrete driveway) and onto the adjacent house.There needs to be a measurement that can be standard. Examples for the light trespass levels allowed along residential property lines are:Huntsville: 1.0 footcandleNashville, Minneapolis: 0.5 footcandleGreenwich, CT: 0.1 footcandles for property lines of residential zones, 0.5 for business zonesBrookfield, CT, Pittsboro, NC: 0.5 for residential, 1.0 for commercialAsheville, NC: 0.5 footcandles for all districts (and a very comprehensive lighting ordinance at https://library.municode.com/nc/asheville/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH7DE_ARTXIDEDEST_S7-11-10OULIST)Another good reference are the LEED guidelines for light trespass here: https://www.usgbc.org/credits/ss8The Town of Matthews has a well-written lighting ordinance: https://matthews.municipalcms.com/files/documents/UDOChapter609OutdoorIlluminationindividualsection1318115409101317AM.pdfSome suggested improvements that provide measurable, enforceable standards that address light pollution issuesLight Trespass. All outdoor luminaires shall be located, adequately shielded, and directed such that no direct light falls outside the parcel of origin or onto the public right-of-way. The total lighting on a property must not trespass (exceed) 0.5 footcandles measured at the property line.House Side Shields. Outdoor lighting fixtures closer to the lot line than the mounting height of the fixture, measured perpendicular to the lot line, adjacent to residential areas, shall have internal house-side shieldsFlood and Spot Lamps. Flood or spot lamps shall be aimed down no higher than 45 degrees to the horizontal (halfway between straight down and straight to the side) when the source is visible from any adjacent residential property.Color Temperature: Cooler light sources (e.g. 5,000 - 6,000 Kelvin) will be prohibited and warmer light sources (e.g.3,000 - 4,000 Kelvin) shall be utilized.The exception to the Outdoor Recreational Facilities (section 10.2 C. 3.) should have a performance requirement on how long the lighting can remain on after the event. An improvement would be to add text such as "The main lighting shall not remain longer than fifteen (15) minutes following the end of the event. A low-level lighting system shall be used to facilitate patrons leaving the facility, cleanup, nighttime maintenance, and other closing activities. The low-level lighting system shall not exceed three (3) foot-candles at the property line."
Staff Reply:

Draft 4

Finished reading draft 4. Looks good in particular I very much like the practical changes in Table 4-1: Residential District Dimensional Standards. Thanks
Staff Reply:

Thank You From Claiborne Pl

Thank you for changing our street to RN-2 in draft 3 of the map. I can breathe a sigh of relief for my little house.
Staff Reply:

Justice

About Bring Back the Orange (BBtO), I have heard Mr. Green state "Their intentions are good, but the understanding of the issue is lacking." I also lack understanding, but I want to be clear that whatever I'm missing in the details, I am firmly in support of the principles of transit-oriented development, second to development that reduces the need for the movement of people in the first place (including mixed use). I don't know enough about the various pro and con arguments about the specific recommendations put forward in the KAT comments on the second draft, but they sound great to me, and I think everyone should be able to add an ADU if the size of the lot allows.Generally, I don't get wrapped up in the details because I think that MPC is staffed by professionals who want the best for Knoxville and know more than I do. I would be dismayed to think that MPC would cave in to pressure from residents who don't know any more than I do, who want to keep things the way they are. Change is necessary for many reasons, but not least because of past injustices that have led to segregation by income, class, and race, and the associated problems of disinvestment in poor areas. Please be firm in your commitment to the principles of resource efficiency; sustainable, walkable, transit-oriented development; compact development to accommodate population growth; design for mobility options (complete streets). Our top priorities must be reducing miles traveled and planning for climate change. We cannot let neighborhood character preservation take over the conversation.
Staff Reply:

Czimmerman@advantagetn.com

Please halt any zoning change to allow multi level structures in residential areas, like Clairborne st in Edgewood park neighborhood. The only way these structures can be built is to tear down some beautiful vintage houses along Claiborne tp make room for these structures and parking lots. This is a horrible idea to change the code to allow this. This code is very unfriendly to areas that are not designated historic zones. Those areas are protected from tiny lots & tiny buildings too. Isn't this discrimination to allow code changes like this in non historic zones? This density model needs to stay downtown where those who want density can live. Others like me prefer to have more green space from my neighbor.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your interest in Recode. In response to your comment:Please halt any zoning change to allow multi level structures in residential areas, like Clairborne st in Edgewood park neighborhood. The only way these structures can be built is to tear down some beautiful vintage houses along Claiborne tp make room for these structures and parking lots. This is a horrible idea to change the code to allow this. This code is very unfriendly to areas that are not designated historic zones. Those areas are protected from tiny lots & tiny buildings too. Isn't this discrimination to allow code changes like this in non historic zones? This density model needs to stay downtown where those who want density can live. Others like me prefer to have more green space from my neighbor. The Claiborne Place neighborhood and most of the Edgewood Park neighborhood, with the exception of existing multi-family developments, are designated RN-2 (single family residential zone) on the 3rd draft of the proposed zoning map. One of your neighbors (sorry I cannot remember her name) attended some meetings and also emailed to make us aware of the desire for single-family designation for the neighborhood. Thanks for your concern for your neighborhood.

Adu Clarification

"An ADU may be located only on a lot with one single-family dwelling. One of the dwelling units must be occupied by the owner of the property."Does this apply to the use of an ADU once it has been built or is it just a requirement to be met in order to obtain a building permit? The wording seems unnecessarly vague. Also, what power does the City have to enforce this? What are the potential penalties for violating the code? How will the city handle a situation where there is a violation and the renter has a binding contract to occupy the premise?
Staff Reply:

Community Forum-- Request For Deadline Extension For Responses To Recode Draft 4 And Maps Draft 3-- 12-19-18

Community Forum requests that the deadline for comments to Recode Draft 4 and Maps Draft 3 be extended from January 4, 2019, to at least February 1 or February 15, 2019.  Furthermore, we request that any decision regarding an extension be made quickly so that interested citizens can plan their holiday schedules.

Draft 4 to Recode and Draft 3 of the Maps went on line on Monday afternoon, December 17, 2018.  The document is 287 pages long, and hard copies are not yet available.

We are concerned that the stated deadline for submitting comments for Draft 4 is January 4, 2019.  There are two holidays and only 18 days between the December 17, online release of Draft 4 and the January 4, 2019, deadline.   This timetable is not practical and makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for the public to review Draft 4 of Recode and Draft 3 of the Maps, and to submit comprehensive responses.

Community Forum, to date, has submitted timely and comprehensive responses to each Draft of Recode, totaling 55 topics, plus updated responses on the 14 original topics identified in Draft 1.  We have made important contributions to this entire process.  This is particularly true since March 21, 2018, when the first draft became available. Our Responses and extensive participation at public meetings and workshops have brought attention to many issues, both small and large, and have resulted in positive changes.

Most recently, we submitted a Response to Draft 3 on October 31, 2018, the original deadline for responses to be considered in preparation of Draft 4.  Our response covered 23 topics, but was produced in a very rushed manner to meet the deadline, which was less than two weeks after we had a hard copy to work with.

The deadline was then extended to November 16, and we continued our review of Draft 3.  We submitted a Supplemental Response on three additional topics on November 16.  Continued review resulted in a second Supplemental Response on three more topics on December 5.

Our very quick on line review of Draft 4 shows an incredible amount of additions, deletions, and modifications from Draft 3.  There is red and blue ink on many pages.  It will take considerable time just to note the differences from Draft 3, not to mention the time required to compare changes from previous drafts and changes from the existing Ordinance and other documents.  We need to determine whether our previously submitted topics have been adequately addressed in Draft 4.  To produce a comprehensive written response on many new topics, similar to what we have done previously, will take considerably more time.

A January 4, 2019, deadline for comments to Draft 4, is just not realistic, if the objective is to allow adequate time for meaningful input.   We urge that a more reasonable date of no sooner than February 1, 2019, be set to receive comments from the public.  The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on January 3, 2019.  There are no other workshops or public meetings currently scheduled, to the best of my knowledge, to discuss what is in Draft 4 before the January 4, 2019, deadline.

The Community Design Center’s workshop is tentatively scheduled for February 1, 2019, with a snow date of February 5, 2019.   I would expect that there will be many very important comments submitted on Draft 4 after that workshop.  That alone would be a strong reason to set a comments deadline of February 15, 2019.  It would seem prudent for City Council to delay holding its workshops until after revisions are made to Draft 4.  The content of Recode continues to be a moving target with substantial changes appearing in each succeeding Draft.

Community Forum wrote to City Council on October 9, 2018, to share our concerns about the existing timetable that had Recode going to MPC in November for their recommendation, and to City Council in December for their consideration of adoption.  See attached.  That letter followed remarks that I made at the September 20, 2018, City Council workshop.  At that time, the public had not even seen Draft 3.  Thankfully, a consensus was quickly reached to change that timetable.  Since that time, two more drafts to Recode and the Maps have been made public.  There has been much public discussion and input since then, and that must continue.

It is clear that there is still much more work to be done by all who are involved with this massive undertaking to replace the Zoning Ordinance.  An orderly process is required and cannot be rushed if we are to avoid total chaos going forward.  The current timetable needs to be changed immediately.

Community Forum looks forward to working with City Council members and others, as we work together to produce a Zoning Ordinance that will have the support of the citizens of Knoxville.  To achieve that objective, there must be meaningful community input and extensive discussion and debate on very specific topics.

Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request to extend the deadline for submitting comments to Recode Draft 4 and Maps Draft 3, and so that we can all have more time to observe and celebrate the upcoming holidays.

We look forward to a timely response to our request.

Sincerely,

Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum

Staff Reply:

Sw1 Removing Edu. Facility From The Last Draft

I hope the input to remove the educational facility from SW1 at the north neighborhood meeting was addressed in this last draft to MPC. Each SW 1 area has a school near or just outside of the areas. SW 1 only protection is to solely be residential as in the vision plan.

Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I think it is ridiculous that you would change the rules for boat storage. It is already very hard to find a place to keep your boats and doing this affects lower income people substantially. Leave this up to the HOA's. If they think it is a problem, then let them address it, and RVs. Also, this seems to be a little short sighted when your consider all of the boat manufacturers that are headquartered in and around Knoxville. Seems like we would do everything in our power to support this industry and jobs. Making boat ownership increasingly difficult does not support this industry. I see no problem with the way the laws are now.
Staff Reply:

C-g-2 Code / Multi-tenant Housing Numbers

I have a question regarding multi-tenant housing numbers. According to the code C-G-2, how many people can reside in an apartment of the same family-last name? If not the same family-last name?Thank you.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your interest in the Knoxville zoning code update. In response to your comment:I have a question regarding multi-tenant housing numbers. According to the code C-G-2, how many people can reside in an apartment of the same family-last name? If not the same family-last name?Zoning ordinances can address the development density (number of dwelling units per acre, etc) but generally do not address the number of persons, related or unrelated, who can reside in a dwelling unit. The proposed update of the City of Knoxville zoning ordinance does not establish a density (number of dwelling units per acre) cap in the C-G-2 zone. Density in this proposed district would be addressed by building height, lot size, need for parking etc. The building code does establish standards for minimum square footage per occupant.

Industrial Zoning - Max Height

Hello,I'd like for MPC to consider increasing the max height for industrially zoned land. As you are aware, all of the industrial land in the City of Knoxville is essentially improved. City's that don't have land for more development are starting to build multi-story industrial facilities. With the rise of e-commerce and same day delivery, there will be an increasing need for more warehouse distribution in the center of the population (vs suburbs or rural). Please read more here: http://product.costar.com/home/news/shared/1569932383.
Staff Reply:

1200-1222 West Fourth

Please consider zoning 1200-1222 West Fourth to CG2 to match that of adjacent parcels and permit same purpose development.
Staff Reply:

Parcel Id: 094fg002

Please consider zoning 1005-1001 University Avenue (parcel ID: 094FG002) to neighborhood commercial. This parcel contains a non-conforming commercial building currently, and a neighborhood commercial zoning would allow for better development along a major thoroughfare in Mechanicsville.
Staff Reply:

Community Forum -supplement 2, Recode Draft 3-- December 5, 2018

Attached is Supplement 2 to Community Forum's comments on Recode Draft 3

Staff Reply:

Rv Parking

I do not believe that a city should be a HOA. Restricting RV parking to the side yard is, I assume, because of how it might look to a neighbor. I can say that a beautiful Winnebago is prettier to me than someone's Hummer or minivan or fancy car. It can't be for obstructing views, because your language indicates that if it's screened then that is just fine. So what I'm hearing is that if you have a ton of money it's okay, but if you are middle class you can't have the same pleasure of going out camping for the weekend. Please rethink this legislation and provide some reasonable opportunity for all to have the ability to welcome rver's to their properties. I'm currently caring for a family member for a month while they recover from surgery. Your 7 day requirement and not allowing me to hookup to public utilities would make it difficult to keep my cats warm and housed in the RV, while caring for my family.
Staff Reply:

Multi-family Housing

Put back the Orange! Multifamily housing should be a prominent part of our city's future - multifamily housing tends to be more affordable, it is environmentally more responsible than building more suburban sprawl, and it allows for density levels that do more to support walkable communities and thriving neighborhood businesses. Taking out multifamily zoning would be a step back for Knoxville; 21st-century cities NEED residential density.
Staff Reply:

Policy On Rvs

I've lived in Knoxville most of my life. I grew up there, my parents live there, and a lot of my family, and I'm a land owner. Together we all own about 50 properties through Knoxville, and we are all adamant RVers.There's no greater way to get out and explore the country in my mind, and some of the best times of my life were travelling with my family throughout the country, which is why it is so painful for me to see so much animosity towards the RVing community.And I get it. A lot of RVs are unmaintained, and sometimes they are used by people whose only other option is to live on the street. It's an aesthetic thing where you don't want a shanty town, but that is changing.Millenials are moving towards tiny houses, tiny houses on wheels, and more and more jobs are becoming remote as we become a more and more digital society.This is especially true in California, where I am typing this right now actually for the weather. People are trending more and more toward a mobile lifestyle, and I have to say, it's quite amazing to be in your 20's travelling the country with a mobile office.So, this is why I'm asking to reduce the prejudice towards RVs in legislation. In my humble opinion, RV laws should be lessened, not tightened, and this will keep Knoxville on the cutting edge, like so many of the improvements that have been made already. There are so many good things in the Recode Knoxville that I'm excited about, which is why it is so devastating to see the laws towards RVs.If certain HOAs want to ban RVs or make them covered, I can understand that, but I ask that you please not make that a city law. In fact, it would be great if more areas and parks were designated to allow RVs and street parking.This will bring in tourism and attract people who are curious about living in Knoxville, but need to see more before they make the move.All in all, I think it will draw a diverse crowd of interesting people that add so much color to the city and the cities I've seen. There are lots of artists, photographers, videographers that I've met who travel the country in an RV or a conversion van who are very friendly and interesting people and generally avoid cities with a less than friendly attitude towards RV/van tourists.But if there must be restrictions, I would propose they be applied to older, not well maintained RV's. For instance maybe have a special permit required for RV's over 15 years old, which is what a lot of RV parks do anyway. There are retro and restored RVs that are older and still look really good. Have sections of public land dedicated for RVers so they don't crowd the streets. Allow RVs on commercial property, so there are more appropriate places for them to go, and maybe, if it's a problem require privacy fencing be built around it.As I said, many of the "trendy" cities are becoming more and more tolerant of a mobile lifestyle, and from what I've seen and experienced, it doesn't seem to have an adverse effect on the city. In fact, on the contrary, it seems to give the city new life kitsch value that has become the signature of Knoxville. In the past day, I've met 3 artists and one content creator "van life-ing", and one worked for a company called "outdoorsy.com" which operates almost as an AirBnb for RVs. The opens up a whole new tourism market that would otherwise be nonexistent, and Knoxville could be a part of that, just as one example of the creativity and diversity RVs/vans bring to the table.So, it is my utmost hope that the new ordinances for RVs will be completely redone if not removed, and I know I'm not the only one.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Recode Knoxville Map Draft 2 From Historic Park City In East Knoxville

Certain groups argue Parkridge and other center city neighborhoods should be zoned for higher density use-by-right rather than higher density use-on-review.Because center city neighborhoods are established neighborhoods, what is actually being argued is that Parkridge and other center city neighborhoods should be re-designed from historic, single-family designs to new, multi-family designs.In effect, higher density use-by-right in Park City National Historic District invites demolition of affordable historic workforce housing to build new, more expensive housing.This outcome was in fact predicted by the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission in 1960, when then-director Joe B. Whitlow told the Knoxville News Sentinel that "[w]hile much of the area will be reserved for continued residential use...the current tendency is to build larger houses on larger lots.... we have many applications for two or three lots to be re-subdivided into one lot," adding, "[a]s a result of Urban Renewal, the city will eventually gain in taxable property."Demolitions and new infill projects of the 1960s slowed as federal funding for urban renewal schemes ended. But private developers have continued the work of clearing and re-building older neighborhoods, one house at a time rather than blocks at a time.Absent prohibitions against demolitions and absent design guidelines that protect older, established neighborhoods, older homes are squeezed and abused until demolition to build new, more profitable projects becomes the most attractive path. This scenario has played out time and again in Nashville and in Knoxville.The board of directors of the Park City Preservation Alliance (PCPA) respectfully requests that MPC avoid placing higher density zoning on established neighborhoods eligible for historic districts. Further, the PCPA encourages the MPC to plan for greater density in areas of Knoxville with access to jobs, healthcare, schools, and other basic services sorely lacking in areas of concentrated poverty in Knoxville's center city neighborhoods.For more, please see the detailed history from the Park City Preservation Alliance linked here: http://www.preserveparkcity.org/2018/11/recode-map-draft-2-recommendations-for.html
Staff Reply:

Minimum Lots Sizes In Rn-2, 3, 4 For Multi

Since the majority of lots in the RN-2, 3, & 4 areas do not meet the minimum lot sizes in RN-2, 3, & 4 for multifamily 2-4 units, the new zones should reduce the minimum lots sizes. Existing lots should be able to be developed with 2-4 unit buildings with the new zoning.
Staff Reply:

Current Zoning Proposal Violates Tennessee State Law

Good morning -More on PRB-1.  I will direct your attention to Tennessee code 6-54-130 as amended. (a) A municipality, including a city and lesser incorporated area, or a county may not enact or enforce an ordinance that does not comply with the ruling of the federal communications commission in “Amateur Radio Preemption, 101 FCC 2nd 952 (1985)” or a regulation related to amateur radio service adopted under 47 CFR part 97.(b) If a municipality adopts an ordinance involving the placement, screening or height of an amateur antenna based on health, safety, or aesthetic conditions, the ordinance shall:(1) Reasonably accommodate amateur radio communications; and(2) Represent the minimal practicable regulation to accomplish the municipality’s or county’s purpose.The current zoning proposal, as I outlined in my original message of August 10 below is in violation of PRB-1 and Tennessee state law.  
Staff Reply:

Fourth & Gill

Hope you are holding up well under the buzz saw that is Recode. Attached is a scanned copy of the letter I hand delivered to you last week. Please feel free to distribute as desired.
Staff Reply:

Food Policy Council - Recode Knoxville Comments

I've attached the official comments from the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council regarding ReCode, please let me know if anything needs clarification. Thanks for all your work on this!
Staff Reply:

Rn3 And Rn4 Designations

Thank you for the very informative meeting last night (11/26), it is apparent that many hours have been spent on this project. I am the VP of Edgewood Park Neighborhood Association (EPNA), and we currently have 7 apartment complexes and 1 condominium complex within our boundaries. In addition to these, there are several duplexes and quads interspersed. My opinion is that EPNA is currently maintaining a neighborhood with a plentiful supply of multi-family homes and I ask that we don't add any more.However, as an Atlanta transplant, I see the value of mixed-use projects along our corridors and I endorse them with your wise oversight. Same goes for the many industrial spaces that are vacant.Thanks for your efforts, I personally understand your struggles.
Staff Reply:

Single Family Dwelling Design Standards And Interior Landscaping Standards For Recode Knoxville

Please re-instate design standards for single family dwellings (on lots of one acre or less) that were recommended in an earlier draft of ReCode. Raising the standards would make a substantial difference in the aesthetics of new neighborhood development. Landscaping requirements for parking lots is another area of concern. It appears that some of the proposed landscaping requirements in ReCode have now been deleted. Please consider how important landscaping is to the appearance of large areas of asphalt! A good example of landscaping done well is the WestTown Mall parking area. Many years ago a local woman with vision, Maria Compere, advocated for the planting of many trees around the perimeter, in the medians, and other areas of the parking lot. Without her determination on this issue, the Mall would not have the beautiful mature trees that it now has - something which has helped to soften and beautify the hard edges of the rectangular-shaped buildings. Please consider the importance of improved landscaping requirements and consider the Landscape Bond provision which would require 2 years of proper care by the developer, once trees and other vegetation are planted. The Bond would insure that plantings would receive adequate care, so they can get established and thrive. Improved ReCode standards is Knoxville's BIG chance to improve the look of our city for a long time to come. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

T 5.1 Applied To Map

C-G-1 should be used in areas near existing residential with the height limit of 40'. We don't want new commercial to be much higher than adjacent residential so use C-G-1 as a transition between residential and C-G-2.
Staff Reply:

Roof Design

T 5-2 and T 6.2 (maybe other places?) Roof design in the table eliminates roof surfaces that produce glare. This is not well defined or described. For a low slope roof, we should want, encourage or even require a roofing material with a Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of at least 78 to reduce Urban Heat Gain and increase energy efficiency. To achieve this with a membrane roof, one will need to use a white or possibly tan roof. On low slope roofs we need to allow white. On steep slope roofs > 2:12 we may want to encourage a much lower SRI of at least 29. I suggest removal of the "reflective roof surfaces that produce glare are prohibited."
Staff Reply:

Landscape 12.1 E

12.1 E Naturalized plants include the sub-category of invasive plants according to USDA and NRCS. We should simply require native plants, period.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Standards

Graduated interior landscaping for parking lots between 5,000 & 20,000 sfLandscaped break every 10 spaces (vs 15) for lots greater than 20,000 sfTwo-tier bond process to ensure landscaping survives6-mo. Planting bond2-yr maintenance bond
Staff Reply:

Residential Design Standards – Single Family

Restore design-standards for single family residential.  These are not overly onerous to comply with or to enforceMany communities require these and more
Staff Reply:

Adus

Require dedicated parkingMore stringent standards for detached vs. attached ADU’sRestore minimum lot size to 7500 sf for detached ADU’sMaximum number of bedrooms for detached should be 2 bedroomsOwner occupancy of primary dwelling
Staff Reply:

Waterfront code SW2 isn’t supposed to be only residential. Please review SW vision document & drafts language for consistency.
Staff Reply:

Rn-2

R-2 “right” should be retained in older, poorer neighborhoods like Vestal, rather than go to RN-2 “special use” by permit, which could require impractical design criteria.
Staff Reply:

Adu

Please consider taking ADU issue off the table & get the basic ordinance passed.  Then re-visit ADU’s later.
Staff Reply:

South Waterfront Districts

SW-1 should still be listed in residential district ??? tableSouth Waterfront districtsPg. 7-37.5SW District std.A.  Subdistricts established1.  SW-1 subdistrict (residential only) please add insert2.  SW-2 subdistrict add (residential only)Pg. 7-5B.  UsesOn 1. C.  the subdistrict SW-1 should not be allowed in SW-1 as educational facilities, preschool/kindergarten is traffic & more cars than allowed as an example for an office during the meeting.Only signage allowed in SW-1 is house address & also in SW-2 no electronic signs are allowed stationary or on vehicles!
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

If the zoning changes to allow extra residencies in an existing residence, will there be any oversight on how the rental properties are run?   Ex. If you have Section 8 housing voucher, your proposed space is inspected before signing the lease and biannually after that.  If I am not using a voucher, how will I not be taken advantage of by a terrible landlord who keeps a house in terrible condition, but I can’t afford anything else?
Staff Reply:

-Areas to be developed or redeveloped as commercial zoning – should be required to develop parking, lighting, landscaping & sidewalks.- With respect to allowing an area to be developed outside it’s current zoning classification – I prefer to allow up zoning – don’t allow down zoning.-Areas to be developed or redeveloped as commercial zoning should have requirements as far as parking, landscaping, sidewalks & lighting.-Why do you need to know our ethnicity?-I would prefer the ability to upzone in densely commercial areas (such as Chapman Hwy) but not down zone (such as from commercial to industrial).
Staff Reply:

I really appreciate the change being proposed for my home/lot section of the neighborhood.  It is, in effect, a ‘down-zoning’ from R-2 to RN-2.  My neighborhood, South Haven, has a lot of variety in housing choices – multi-family to single family which I appreciate.  However, I don’t want all small, relatively affordable, single family houses to disappear, just because the lots are less expensive & may be easier to develop large, multi-family housing on.  Thank you!
Staff Reply:

4th & Gill

Please review the concept that there are many multi-family houses in 4th & Gill.  As an example when I search under my address at 1015 Luttrell St. 4 apartment units show which has no been the case since 2005.  Also if you search 1003 Luttrell or 942 Luttrell St. the database shows multiple apartment units which has not been the case since 1990-92 time frame.  In the early 80’s 4th & Gill worked with MPC to change our zoning from R2 to RIA to encourage the development of single family restored properties in the emerging historic district.  We have made tremendous progress since that time.  The proposed change to RN4 puts us back to where we were zoning wise 30 years ago.  RN-2 as originally proposed in earlier drafts is the appropriate zone for the Fourth & Gill historic district.  Place multi-family on the corridors on the edges.
Staff Reply:

Letter From Parkridge: Recode

Dear MPC,This letter is sent to you on behalf of the Parkridge Community Organization. Our neighborhood encompasses a large area of East Knoxville, bounded by Magnolia to the South, Hall of Fame to the West, Cherry to the East, and i-40 to the North. At this month's neighborhood meeting, neighbors discussed their concerns regarding the latest Recode draft, specifically the sections proposed as RN-4 and the proposed zoning on Magnolia of CG-2.Everyone in attendance agreed on one matter. We feel strongly that the proposed allowable building heights of 70 feet for the zoning along Magnolia Avenue and small portions of Fifth Ave. are inappropriate. Allowing buildings over the height of 40 feet will directly effect how residents along this corridor enjoy their homes and are able to continue using yard spaces for gardening, recreation, and privacy. CG-1 is a more appropriate zoning. CN appears to be the most appropriate zoning since there are residential buildings and homes along Magnolia Ave. Again, let me say everyone in attendance agreed on this matter.There are varied thoughts and opinions on the proposed zoning change to RN-4, which is in areas that are primarily single family homes with a mix of historic multifamily dwellings and converted duplexes. A few neighbors spoke in favor of the Bring Back the Orange campaign promoting more RN-4 zoning to increase density and affordable housing options. While we all agreed more affordable housing is needed, many residents are concerned that this zoning could actually make our neighborhood less affordable by encouraging real estate developers to take advantage of the neighborhood's proximity to downtown. Those who disagree with the proposal are also concerned about parking, citing the distance they currently have to park from their homes along Fifth Ave. as a problem they face now and the issues that have already arisen because of this. Many who disagree with the proposal of RN-4 stated they would have little issue if the area had a zoning design overlay to protect Knoxville's largest National Register district.Please reconsider the zoning for our neighborhood.Thank you,Lynne RandazzoPresidentParkridge Community Organization
Staff Reply:

Design Standards

I was disappointed to see that design standards had been removed from the Recode proposal. Most other cities have design standards for single family homes. What was initially proposed is not unduly burdensome and really makes a lot of sense to maintain the beauty and compatible development in our community. Design standards protect existing homeowners as well as new developments. Please consider reinstating design standards for single family homes and other residential zones.Further, I would like to see stricter landscaping standards codified in Recode as endorsed by Scenic Knoxville and other organizations and individuals.
Staff Reply:

Landscape Standards

LANDSCAPING STANDARDSMany great cities have landscaping standards that are much stricter than the ones proposed in Recode. We know from their experiences that these standards are not overly onerous either to carry out or to enforce. Knoxville can and should do this, too. There are numerous environmental, economic, aesthetic and quality of life benefits to enhanced landscaping. We believe the following standards should be included in the new ordinance.Interior Landscaping of Parking LotsThe current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscape Bond:In regard to compliance with Landscape Ordinance requirements, based on discussion with those professionally qualified to understand both the value of proper landscaping for any development and the challenge of achieving compliance, a two-step LANDSCAPE BOND should be include. The city of Chattanooga successfully employs this process.1. PERFORMANCE BOND: This allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months and to assure reasonable growth conditions.2. MAINTENANCE BOND: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and would include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional, such as a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, we don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping that has died. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In our experience, this often requires follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen.Mitigation Fund or Tree BankRecode should include some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, perhaps along the lines of how TDEC operates its stream and wetlands mitigation program. In the case of tree protection, the ordinance could specify that for each tree destroyed over a particular diameter, X number of trees of 2" caliper have to be planted; or, a value of the destroyed trees could be established and the developer pay the equivalent value into a mitigation bank, with the city using the funds for planting or landscaping projects.
Staff Reply:

Various Aspects Of Recode

LandscapingI would like to wholeheartedly endorse the call by Scenic Knoxville for stricter landscaping standards in the new zoning code. Parking lots are a necessity, but the kind of visual ugliness they introduce into the urban scene can be ameliorated by islands of vegetation and the plantings help to balance out the negative environmental effects of the automobiles parked there. Likewise their recommendation of Performance and Maintenance Bonds is sound, since without such guarantees there is no protection against substandard installation work or neglect of maintenance. Last year Town Hall East secured an agreement with Dollar General that they would install landscaping at their new store of Boyds Bridge Pike. They spent money on installation but do not seem to have expended a penny on upkeep since then, and crabgrass obscures the low growing shrubs. Transparency.I am concerned that issues surrounding notification of neighbors for use on review that have been raised by the Community Forum and League of Women Voters have not been resolved in a way that insures the greatest transparency and a required degree of community participation in reaching a decision.Accessory Dwelling UnitsPlease continue to push for the automatic right to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit as included in Draft 3. Owner occupancy of one of the units would be an acceptable limitation.Thank you for your hard work in this process.
Staff Reply:

Recode Koxville Comments

Interior Landscaping of Parking LotsThe current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscape Bond:A two-step LANDSCAPE BOND should be included. The city of Chattanooga successfully employs this process.1. PERFORMANCE BOND: This allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months and to assure reasonable growth conditions.2. MAINTENANCE BOND: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and would include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional, such as a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, we don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping that has died. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In our experience, this often requires follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen.Mitigation Fund or Tree BankRecode should include some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, perhaps along the lines of how TDEC operates its stream and wetlands mitigation program. In the case of tree protection, the ordinance could specify that for each tree destroyed over a particular diameter, X number of trees of 2" caliper have to be planted; or, a value of the destroyed trees could be established and the developer pay the equivalent value into a mitigation bank, with the city using the funds for planting or landscaping projects.Storm Water SystemsGenerally, and specifically as pertains to Chapter 7.G. Storm Water systems should be required to conform to TDEC's MS4 NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Runoff, i.e., developments should retain the first 1" of rain within the site.Hillside ProtectionRecode should include at least a reference to the city-adopted Hillside Protection Plan.
Staff Reply:

Commercial Areas

I suggest that all new commercial buildings be required to be LEED Silver certified in order to be constructed. This requirement would follow other major cities in creating green standards that other cities will soon emulate. I would also encourage amending section 10.3 K to encourage/mandate the use of renewable energy in supplying power to electric vehicle charging stations.
Staff Reply:

South Waterfront Form-based Code

Allowed uses in the SW2 in draft 4 do not include commercial. This is contrary to the SW code and would represent a major change. We were told before ReCode began that NO CHANGES would be made to the South Waterfront Form-Based Code. Although the narrative in the SW2 section of the SW code does suggest that acceptable uses include single-family, two-family, townhouse, and multi-family dwellings, in no place does it forbid commercial use. The intent of the South Waterfront Code was to have as much mixed use as possible. SW-1, because of the wishes of the existing neighborhoods, was the only district that was residential only.The South Waterfront parking requirements (page 11-5) represent major changes from the code. The SW code was intended to discourage overbuilt parking areas and so listed parking MAXIMUMS ONLY.Draft 4 adds minimums for the SW district. It increases the maximum in SW3 and SW4 from 2/1000 sq. ft. to 3/1000 sq.ft. The minimums in some of the residential categories in draft 4 are actually HIGHER in the SW table than in the general parking standards. For example, the minimum in the SW district is 2/du for three-bedroom residential but in the general code it is 1.5/du. ReCode needs to keep it's promise and go back to the original code and eliminating parking minimums all together.The original Hillside/Ridgetop Plan specifically excluded the SW district. In ReCode the hillside/ridgetop zoning standards should also apply in the South Waterfront Code. Commercial areas should be included in the hillside/ridgetop standards but I don't see that in draft 4. I know developers are pushing back on this, but it's something that is really important and needs to be included.
Staff Reply:

Residential Design Standards

Basic residential design standards for single family homes were included in Drafts 1 and 2, but deleted in Draft 3 without explanation. (9-12, J)Design standards insure quality construction, protect property values, preserve community character, promote the aesthetics of neighborhoods and enhance quality of life. They attract new residents to the neighborhood. They make people proud to call their house a home. Everyone deserves to be proud of where they live.The following standards should be restored for single family dwellings:p. 9-12J. Two-Family DwellingsThe following do not apply to two-family dwellings where a NC or IH Overlay District is in place.1. On lots less than one acre in lot area, a dwelling must have a primary entrance from a façade facing the street. The front entry must be a dominant feature on the front elevation of a home and an integral part of the structure, using features such as porches, raised steps and stoops, and/or roof overhangs.2. Windows, entrances, porches, or other architectural features are required on all street-facing facades to avoid the appearance of blank walls.3. A 15% minimum transparency requirement applies to all street-facing façades and is calculated on the basis of the entire area of the façade.4. Front-loaded attached garages are limited to 60% of the width of the front building line or 24 feet, whichever is greater. Garage width is measured as the width of a garage door; in the case of garages designed with multiple garage doors, the distance is measured between the edge of the outmost doors.5. Front-loaded attached garages must be set back a minimum of five feet from the front building façade line. This façade building line does not include architectural features, such as bay windows or porches.
Staff Reply:

Rn-4 Puts E. Fifth Ave.'s Nrhp At Risk

This comment pertains to E. Fifth Ave. in Park City, which is part of Knoxville's largest national register of historic places. I want to see increased density in this area, but without design guidelines to protect our historic structures, I believe RN-4 is an inappropriate zoning as it leaves the historic homes vulnerable to demolition and inappropriate alterations and the community with little voice for development of empty lots. I would fully support RN-4 if H-1 were also put in place. I would also support H-1 guidelines that provide an easy path for multi-family infill housing.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Thank you for taking comments! I have only been able to attend one meeting, and have only quickly reviewed the draft - so I have limited comments to offer...but I appreciate being able to do so. I think mixed use makes sense in many areas, especially when run-down commercially zoned buildings could/would be a viable option for housing - hopefully that doesn't mean traffic jams for neighborhoods or trashy parking/eye sores. It would be nice if green-scaping were required for more of the commercially zoned buildings and multi-unit residential buildings. I love sidewalks, trees, and small businesses. and...this may be more of a side-note, but the abandoned Walmart/Shoe Shoe/Cato strip malls with massive parking lots distress me...they are everywhere, I know, and other businesses try and come in to the space, but it still just leaves a sad crater in the areas where they land. ...that and all the easy money/check into cash joints littering Chapman Highway & Broadway, keeping folks in a debt spiral... can we zone those out of all areas, all towns...everywhere? ! :Thank you for the space to comment!
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments from Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association for Draft 3, Map 2
OLPNA recognizes the need for the updated zoning codes and looks forward to the benefits. We appreciate the reestablishment of the Infill Design Housing Guidelines that impact several inner city historic neighborhoods, including our own.We have concerns regarding several segments of the zoning code which include residential, commercial and industrial parcels.Thank you for your attention to these details,Deborah ThomasPresident, Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association
Staff Reply:

Feedback On Recode

Attached is a document with my comments regarding recode.

Staff Reply:

Comments On Commercial Zoning At N. Fourth And Hall Of Fame

I had a chance to look at the CN-2 and CG-2 guidelines. It does look like the C-2 would be more appropriate to the buildings on North Fourth as it allows for a setback. But both zonings require 50% of the first floor to be glass. I realize you can address this in the historic zone, but what about the [eligible for designation as historic] houses next to the Karm store if they undergo major rehab? Has this been discussed?How is the setback determined since the chart says between 0' and 20' in Commercial zones. Will historic zoning prevail in H-1?Consider CN-2 for Sassy Anns at 820 N. 4th because it was a former restaurant.Why SW-1 on one side of Scottish Pike and SW-2 on the other at location east of Railroad tracks?
Staff Reply:

Community Forum's Supplemental Response To Recode Draft 3-- November 16, 2018

On October 31, 2018, Community Forum submitted its initial response to Draft 3 of Recode Knoxville. It included Comments on 23 topics. The deadline to submit comments on Draft 3, for consideration for Draft 4, was subsequently extended until November 16, 2018.

Attached, is Community Forum's Supplemental Response to Draft 3, which contains Comments on three additional topics numbered 3.24, 3.25. and 3.26. These topics involve Accessory Structures and Uses, Outdoor Storage of Commercial Vehicles, and Outdoor Storage of Recreational Vehicles.We would be happy to discuss these additional Draft 3 topics, along with any of our previously raised topics, at any time.Sincerely,Larry Silverstein, Chairperson

Staff Reply:

Article 12: Landscaping

Most large to medium cities have stricter landscaping standards than what Recode is proposing. Those standards are not difficult to enforce. Stricter landscape standards will be a benefit to Knoxville economically, environmentally, and socially.Native and Drought Tolerant species should be required, not encouraged. No one does the "encourage" line items. The line has no teeth.All parking lots over 5,000 sf should have perimeter landscaping requirements.Lots of 10,000 sf or greater should have interior landscaped islands.A mitigation fund or tree bank should be required. If existing trees of a certain caliper are destroyed in development, X number of 2" cal. trees need to be planted on site or given to the city for planting.A landscaping bond similar to Chattanooga's should be required.
Staff Reply:

Good Landscaping And Design Standards For Neighborhoods

People definitely care about good landscaping and design standards where they live. These have been omitted and they are important. A house needs to be seen as a house from the street--windows, porches, other details. Front loaded garages need to be limited to 60% or less. We are a city that wants good design, landscaping, lighting that shows we care. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Landscape Plan Requirements- Existing Plant Material

As a landscape architect, I applaud the efforts to revise the code to define and require additional landscaping. I would suggest review and reconsideration of the wording related to documenting existing landscape materials under 12.2, B, 2.: "The location, quantity, size, name, and condition, both botanical and common, of all existing plant materials on-site, indicating plant material to be retained and to be removed."In practice, a surveyor often determines the locations and size of large existing trees and provides their common names. A landscape designer visits the site to determine the condition of existing significant plant material to be removed or included in the landscape design with the knowledge of where grading, structures, utilities and paving might occur. In the strictest interpretation of the requirement above, the landscape plan must reflect every existing plant on site prior to any design work. A typical undeveloped site in eastern Tennessee might contain more than a thousand individual plants and more than one hundred species, many of which are invasive and/or contain insignificant weeds. Similarly, a previously developed site will likely contain numerous 'insignificant' smaller plants and weeds and each would need to be surveyed in order to document their location. Surveyors do not generally recognize all species of shrubs, ground covers and grasses. A landscape architect might suggest relocating a building or revising the grading or paving layout to preserve a tree, but would not likely do so to preserve existing shrubs, ground covers or perennials. A specialized environment like a wetland or prairie might be a different story.If the intent is to document significant trees that are proposed for removal or which might be preserved to contribute to the landscape, I would suggest omitting the word "all" and revising this item to reflect a minimum tree size. Such wording might include; "The location, quantity, size, name, and condition, both botanical and common, of existing trees equal to or greater than 2" in caliper." It should be noted that including "all" plants or individual shrubs and/or other minor plants will require a surveyor and landscape designer to prepare a plan of existing conditions with detail (obtained at a significant cost) that might or might not be relevant to meeting the overall intent of the Landscape sections within the code. Such documentation might add a cost of a few thousand dollars per acre to survey small trees or $15K-$30K to survey trees, shrubs and ground covers depending on the wording and how many data points are required.Please review and discuss the intent of item 12.2, B, 2 and revise the wording of this item accordingly.Thank you for your consideration and all of the work thus far to improve our surroundings.
Staff Reply:

Downtown Island Airport Zoning

Downtown Island Airport (KDKX) has been operated as a General Aviation airport since 1938. The zoning of this parcel as an "Airport District" will acknowledge current use, as well as protect the ability of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority to continue aviation-related development and use on the site.Development within the FAA's Part 77 Object Identification Surfaces associated with Downtown Island Airport (KDKX) should be controlled. Penetrations into these surfaces by man-made structures or trees can be hazardous to air travel, and development in these zones should be monitored and controlled by use of an Airport Overlay Zone. This overlay zone will protect the viability of the airport as a business development asset for the City of Knoxville and as a regional resource. Airport Overlay Zones can encourage compatible uses in the areas near the airport as well as control height of structures and vegetation. The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority will work to generate a map and language depicting a proposed Airport Overlay Zone.
Staff Reply:

Comments On (mostly) The Sw Section Of Recode, Draft 4

At a recent public meeting for the ReCode Draft 3 at South Doyle Middle School. I brought up these same specific points about the SW parking requirements and SW2. At that meeting I was told again that SW Code was not supposed to change and that if these problems were in the 3rd Draft, they would be addressed. I provided a written comment card stating the same to make sure there was record of the comments. I've also replied to the comment sections of ReCode website with Rachel's points below. From what Rachel has said and what I've been able to review it doesn't look like these issues have been addressed. Please carefully review the SW Code and it's requirements and include them in their entirety into the final ReCode draft, as was promised at the beginning of the ReCode process.
Staff Reply:

Comments On (mostly) The Sw Section Of Recode, Draft 4

First, thanks for addressing my last round of comments on the South Waterfront code section. Almost all of my concerns have been fixed. However, I noticed some changes in draft 4 which caused additional concern.Allowed uses in the SW2 in draft 4 do not include commercial. This is contrary to the SW code and would represent a major change. Although the narrative in the SW2 section of the SW code does suggest that acceptable uses include single-family, two-family, townhouse, and multi-family dwellings, in no place does it forbid commercial use. The intent of the Vision Plan (and later the code) was to have as much mixed use as possible. SW-1, because of the wishes of the existing neighborhoods, was the only district that was residential only.The SW parking requirements (page 11-5) are, charitably, messed up, and represent major changes from the code. The SW code was intended to discourage overbuilt parking areas and so listed parking maximums only.Draft 4 adds minimums for the SW district.It increases the maximum in SW3 and SW4 from 2/1000 sq. ft. to 3/1000 sq.ft. (Presumably, this would also include SW2 when commercial use is allowed).The minimums in some of the residential categories in draft 4 are actually HIGHER in the SW table than in the general parking standards. For example, the minimum in the SW district is 2/du for three-bedroom residential but in the general code it is 1.5/du. I prefer to see going back to the original code and eliminating parking minimums all together, but if they are going to be included, they certain should not be higher in the SW district than anywhere else.There is no separate dwelling- multi-family classification in the SW table. In the general code, the parking minimum is 0.67/bedroom for developments rented by bedroom. This is omitted from the SW requirements, which is a pretty big omission. Again, I'd be happy to see minimums go away in the SW section, but if they are to stay, this omission must be fixed.The original Hillside/Ridgetop Plan specifically excluded the SW district. I'm assuming that since we're codifying this now, the hillside/ridgetop zoning standards will also apply in the SW. If not, they should.I was under the impression that commercial areas were going to be included in the hillside/ridgetop standards but I don't see that in draft 4. I know developers are pushing back on this, but it's something that is really important and needs to be included.Finally, since I know you mostly only hear things people DON'T like, let me lend my full support for ADUs in all residential neighborhoods.Thanks again for the opportunity to comment.One additional comment. I am not comfortable with moving the streetscapes section of the SW code to an appendix, especially one I'm not yet seeing. What exactly does that mean?One more thing and I'm done: Site plan review should also be required in the SW2 district (section 15.5.C.2a in draft 4).
Staff Reply:

Bwk Article On Recode Knoxville

Staff Reply:

Clairborne St

I am very much against the proposed RN-4 zoning for Claiborne Place that would allow low rise multi family structures. If allowed, these buildings would be out of character for that street as there are mostly bungalows with beautiful architectural features. The only way these multi family structures could be built is to tear these beautiful historic homes. The Edgewood Park Neighborhood is doing a wonderful job of preserving & revitalizing this area, so it would be most helpful if the City would encourage our effort to stand with us to preserve homes/areas like Claiborne Place . If this zoning RN-4 is kept, the incentive would be to tear down these unique houses. My family and neighbors want to do all we can to protect the beautiful structures in this area- these type structures are why our area is so desirable! We need your help to make it RN-1.
Staff Reply:

Public Review Period

The public currently has access to Draft 3 of the ordinance and map with an understanding that MPC workshops are being held in November to make changes to that draft. I think it is in the interest of transparency, due process, and the public benefit to allow at least 3 weeks for the public to review a subsequent draft before the MPC votes to push the recode plan to City Council. In addition, I believe it's both reasonable and necessary to offer 3 public meetings during this 3 week period for the public to ask questions and voice concerns about the next draft.
Staff Reply:

Infill Housing Feasibility

Good Morning,We all know the importance of quality Infill, so I wanted to share some information regarding the role ReCode will play in providing it.This is an attempt to further identify potential issues & outcomes so we can collectively work towards better solutions for Knoxville.First, you'll find illustrations showing the feasibility of different types of Infill that would be allowed in each residential zone.Followed by potential solutions suited for the existing lot sizes we have available.Thanks for your commitment & contributions to this process. Reach out with any questions or feedback.
Staff Reply:

Zoning

I am a property owner living in fountain city. My wife and I personally love the idea of being able to attach a handicap assessible unit to our garage to help our aging, disabled parents and friend. My father-in-law is getting to point where he can't walk anymore and our close friend is already wheelchair limited. Them living near friends and family is extremely important to all of us. That's why we hope the city council would not only consider but approve of the zoning that would make this possible.
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments

Sky Ranch Airport (3539 Alcoa Highway) retains its AG zoning (currently AG-1). It needs to change to something that allows airports (currently only I-H).
Staff Reply:

More Use/map Comments

Today’s issue: The Use Matrix does not include Educational Facilities- primary or secondary or Government Office/Facility as uses allowed in the INST zone.  This is not consistent with the INST Purpose Statement or with the proposed zoning map. There is an easy fix: make a few more Ps on the use matrix in the INST column. On the other hand, some government facilities are more industrial. Most of the City public works facility is proposed as I-H (though some is I-G), as are the two KUB wastewater treatment plants and the City solid waste facility. The County Public Works facility on Baxter, the KUB shops on Middlebrook, and the KAT shops at Fifth and Jessamine are zoned I-G. I think these facilities should have industrial zoning, but for the sake of consistency, the TDOT facility at the Strawberry Plains Pike exit, the KUB water plant (Sandis Lane), the National Guard facility on Sutherland, and the County Parks shop at the end of Booth Street should be zoned similarly (I would suggest I-G). And there are probably a few more out there.And if we take this approach, the INST Purpose Statement should be revised to exclude these industrial institutions:  “The INST Institutional District is intended to accommodate federal, state, county, and municipal governmental operations with the exception of those operations that are industrial in nature, and campus institutional uses…”
Staff Reply:

Recode Fourh & Gill

Hello. I have lived in Knoxville for 8 years and in the 4th and Gill neighborhood for the last 6. I rent a house currently with my young family, and even though we don't own a house here, I still feel a part of the neighborhood community. I love the small close feeling I get living in this neighborhood, and it is definitely the best part of its charm. It's not just the architecture but the people who live inside it, and make it home. I know that if we recode our neighborhood to have more townhomes etc, we will loose our connectedness to the people we live around. I don't want that. My neighbors don't want that either. I have lived all around in my life, from metropolitan inner city to rural small towns and the suberbs. What we have here in this neighborhood and the surrounding Old North is unique, and should be preserved for future families and individuals. It keeps Knoxville feeling small while it grows, while still being connected to the city. We need more of this, not less. The breakdown of community itself has lead to many problems in cities around our country, and will continue here in Knoxville unless this is stopped. Please do NOT vote to recode our neighborhood!
Staff Reply:

Rv's And Trailers

My comment is in regard to trailers/RV's.The current code, Article V, Section 8 C, states that:"On each lot, a total of two (2) (one (1) from any two (2) of the subsections listed below) of the following vehicles may be parked or stored per household living on the premises, and said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not exceed forty-five (45) feet in length or nine (9) feet in width; and further provided that said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not be parked or stored for more than forty-eight (48) hours unless it is located behind the front yard building line:1.Recreational vehicle.2.Hauling trailer.3.Boat trailer."In the proposed code 11.12 B"Recreational vehicles must be located within the interior side yard behind the front building line or in the rear yard. If stored in the interior side or rear yard, the recreational vehicle must be located at least ten feet from any lot line and screened from view from any public right-of-way by a solid fence or wall. If the recreational vehicle is screened by an existing structure or landscape so that it is not visible from the public right-of-way, it is considered to meet these requirements. Temporary storage tents and tarps for recreational vehicles are not considered screening and do not meet these requirements."I have a few concerns about the new code:1. There appears to be no limit to the number, or size, of RV permitted, as long as it/they are properly screened from the public ROW. 2. What about trailers that do not meet the Recode definition of a RV? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, equipment trailers, etc.3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?
Staff Reply:

Center City Neighborhoods

I would like Parkridge to get whatever zoning more affluent, less diverse historic center city neighborhoods seem to be allowed to lobby the city for without being accused of being racist or classist. I'm all for increased density but do not understand why we have to sacrifice our historic districts for it? Aren't there plenty of other places "orange" could go that are still convenient to transit and jobs and yet perhaps just on the borders of our national registered historic districts? A very small percentage of the total area of Knoxville is taken up by these districts. I also think people who live in these neighborhoods and professional planners should be the ones to make these decisions, not whatever political group or developer thinks they have the best solution for neighborhoods they may not even live in (that may be based on extremely biased information). There are already much smaller lots here and quite a lot of multifamily housing as well as outbuildings that could be converted into ADUs, probably more than a lot of other neighborhoods in Knoxville. I do not believe opening up these center city historic neighborhoods to even more multi-family will allow for more affordable housing, but more luxury type apartments, which I'm not sure anyone but the developers want to see. I chose to live where I live because after decades of renting I wanted a historic home in a diverse historic neighborhood with the ability to walk and bike more and drive less and not contribute to more urban sprawl. Yet I wanted to be able to have a garden but not waste fossil fuels on a huge and pointless lawn. I am sure a lot of my neighbors were also motivated to buy or rent where they did for a a lot of these reasons and I think it is pretty sad to change the zoning in a way that could change the character of their street, the lighting in their yard, their parking and traffic situations all because other folks think East Knoxville should "do as we say and not as we do." But I guess it's the wealthier less diverse less dense neighborhoods that get to tell the other neighborhoods that they are the ones responsible for our housing crisis. It's easy to be dismissive and call someone a "NIMBY" but I'm fairly sure most everyone has opinions of what goes into their backyard, whether it's a luxury apartment complex or a sewage treatment plant etc. That happens when you invest your time and money into your home and neighborhood and actually have to live with the consequences of other people's decisions. I trust that our leaders and professional planners can come up with solutions that can preserve our nationally significant historic districts AND increase density and offer more affordability.
Staff Reply:

Recode Draft Oct

Main items that concern us the most in our neighborhood are1. ADUs in ALL residential zones and the sizes of ADUs allowed, as well as the fact that neither home ust be owner occupied. We've been told in meetings with MPC that people for and against ADUs are equally divided, but after talking with many (over 10) large neighborhood groups across the city- I have yet to find one neighborhood group in support of ADUs. Please let us know which neighborhoods like this idea and then let's see what kind of compromise could be reached. We think ADUs destroy the fabric of established neighborhoods, increasing the density and defeats the purpose you are trying to achieve. Homes will be more expensive with a second home on the property and it is doubtful those homes will be rented to the people who you are trying to help. In essence, with property values raised- the people will be forever renters. From our research ADUs tend to work better in walkable neighborhoods with reliable close transit. Neither one of those criteria are met in many of our neighborhoods. Also, by opening it up to ALL residential districts, you have nop idea how many ADUs will be built- we can't write an ordinance on "I don't think that many people will actually build an ADU"- which is what we have heard at at least 2 meetings. Additionally, most cities have quite a few restrictions regarding ADUS, they are limited to certain zones, and especially the largest size (1200 square feet) is a much smaller requirement in other cities.2. Home occupation definition-"any commercial activity carried out for economic gain..." and (10-9 P) the removal of standards and permitted and prohibited uses from existing ordinance.3. Removal and changes in wording in MANY definitions4. We were told that "RN-1 and RN-2 are EXACTLY alike except for lot size" but that isn't accurate. RN-1 for 2-family home -requirement of 15,000 sq ft in lot size and in RN-2 for 2-family home-requirement is 10,000 sq ft. In a lot of neighborhoods homes with 10,000 sq ft are being lumped together with 5,000 sq ft lots. By right, the 10,000 sq ft lot could be subdivided and then a second home plus 2 ADUs could be built and all four homes could be rentals with no requirement for homes to be owner occupied.submitted for Tazewell Pike-Beverly Station Neighborhood (presently R-1 NC-1 overlay)
Staff Reply:

Support For Adu's And More Multi-family Housing

Knoxville needs more affordable housing! I think there is a myth that multi-family housing units bring down property values (a racist/classist belief to begin with) and the assumption is people in expensive neighborhoods will somehow rise up if an apartment building or a duplex is too close to their fancy house. I live in a fancy neighborhood in the Rocky Hill area and I want other families to be able to afford to live here too and send their kids to our excellent elementary school. I support multi-family units in this area, I support ADU's, I support duplexes built on a single lot, I support allowing developers to use vinyl siding to lower costs. My $300,000 house has vinyl siding on three sides - it looks very nice it would be fine on the whole thing.When a multi-family unit was proposed a 2-3 years ago on Wallace there was backlash and complaints of how terrible the traffic would be. Those units went in and traffic is fine but those units are still outside the price range of most families. We need options.I am a homeowner and I want to live in a city that supports all citizens and provides opportunities for lower income families to have options. Give Knoxville more orange!
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments

Here are a few more notes on the last version of the zoning map.Rule High (1901 Vermont) is proposed as RN-2, currently R-2. The Sector Plan says CI. It has not been an operating school since 1991 but is still owned by the County. I would suggest a zone that would allow redevelopment with mixed use or denser residential, maybe RN-3 or RN-4. I suspect that the school would not be salvageable, but townhouses would be cool.There is an oddball industrial area of about 35 acres at 117 and 119 Stone Road that was once a marble quarry. It seems unlikely that it would find a new industrial use. The Sector Plan says LDR. Part of it is currently a car repair shop or something similar with a residence; the rest is idle. I would suggest a zone that is more compatible with the low-density residential of the adjacent area, and it seems like a good opportunity for a housing development. I have no idea what the property owners would think of this idea.1601 Beaumont is a grocery store in RN-2 (currently R1-A). Looks like it should be neighborhood commercial (C-N).
Staff Reply:

Draft 3

Can a variance apply to definitions?Table 14.1 Application SubmittalsAdd Infill, Downtown DesignTable 14.2 NoticeVariance - include mailed notice.Administrative Modification- include posting a sign and mailing notice to contiguous property owners. - This provides transparency,- Allows the Zoning Administrator to knowledgeably decide compliance with Section 15.4.E.3. "without substantial detriment to public health, safety, and welfare, and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the Zoning Map and this Code." How can there be a decision regarding public welfare without notifying the public?- If there is strong concern by the neighbors, then the application should be forwarded to a hearing body.And remaining Zoning Approvals that should require notice are:- Infill Housing -- Downtown Design - - Site Plan Review (when applicable)-Signs posted for a hearing- should be clearly visible to the adjacent right-of-way and by both directions of traffic. Signs should be posted on each right-of-way. I have a photo of a sign posted directly behind a light pole and of a sign posted amidst similarly sized campaign signs.163.F Extension of Walls for Nonconforming Single-Family and Two-Family DwellingsAllowing a building wall of the principle structure to be extended horizontally or vertically when it encroaches in a minimum setback is unfair to the adjacent neighbor and should require a variance hearing. Such expansion creates a sense of crowding and loss of privacy, denigrating the purpose of light, air and open space inherent in requiring setbacks. It also attacks the purpose and foundation of the variance process as it: 1) fails to establish whether the existing intrusion is legally nonconforming, 2) fails to provide any evaluation standard and public process 3) potentially exacerbates an existing annoyance with no recourse to the impacted party, and 4) does not provide an appeal process. It also contravenes Section 16.3.D Nonconforming Structure.Accessory Dwelling Units- per today's joint MPC/CC work shop discussion there are at least two ways to provide notice alerting second generation owners of property with an ADU: 1) file notice on the property title that the Accessory Dwelling Unit may have specific ownership regulations which need to be checked in the Knoxville Zoning Code and 2) property owners are supposed to declare known encumbrances in a declaration when listing the property.Why are kennels limited to Agricultural Districts? They should also be included in some of the Industrial and possibly commercial zones if they do not directly abut residential.Home Occupation and Day Care- why is limited Day Care not considered a home occupation? Child Care, tutorial lessons, and accountants/taxes are classic home occupations involving visitation. Visits to Home Occupations should be controlled to protect the neighborhoods sense of place. However, garage sales should be limited to avoid a constant "flea marker" commercial use. The restriction of 25% floor area is easily enforced through a simple code check.Cell Towers should not be permitted in Neighborhood Commercial Use as the NC purpose is to serve and blend with residential. And Burlington commercial area should be zoned neighborhood commercial.
Staff Reply:

725 Sterchi Ridge Way

The new zoning proposed in the areas surrounding Sterchi Elementary School will negatively impact our north Knoxville community. The school is already over crowded and students are attending classes in portables. The last portable taking the place of the basketball court. The influx of this multi family housing units will also create more traffic and commuting issues in the already backed up areas of merchants and cedar lane. It's important for our community to grow and flourish but also take care of it's already established residents and their children. By adding these multi family units and bringing in a possible 700 housing units it would change the Sterchi community and school for the worse. People move to this area to have a sense of community and I hope the city of Knoxville and MPC will understand the importance of listening to established residents on how these changes will impact them.
Staff Reply:

Overall Views On Recode

I am happy that the city has embarked on this endeavor. The country is beginning to move away from the outdated development patterns of the last 70 years. We need to plan and work for an increase in residents over the next several decades. As population increases so does median income, productivity, and economic opportunity. We should hitch our sails to urbanization and a return to city living. But we must do this in an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable fashion. I think Recode is one of the best opportunities to achieve these goals. I am happy to see the goal of increased density across the city and more specifically along our corridors. I am a strong supporter of the ADU's in all zones idea. With strong building and size standards this is a way to add residential units within our constrained borders without having to dramatically change anything. My back window overlooks Magnolia Ave and sadly right now it is all sprawl. I have a proper view of probably 400 parking spaces that sit at average capacity of less than 5% when you consider overnight hours. We need to come up with creative ways to share parking on our corridors in order to support more intense, around the clock activity. Mixed use is another change that I whole heartedly support. The idea of apartments over retail is long-overdue. We have limited acreage in our city and the only way to continue to grow is up. My biggest concern with this whole process is the blanket alteration of neighborhoods like mine on E 5th Ave without the protections that will allow, no force! development to conform to the current aesthetic standards. I am not a stickler for keeping everything exactly how it is now, but I want to see better protections for historic structures and the prevention of demolition of our remaining beautiful housing stock. Lastly, I think that the whole city needs to be more inclusive to increased development. I see large stretches of Kingston Pike that were not upzoned for more intense development. This is and will remain one of the employment centers of the region. We need to allow for more intense development and density along Kingston Pike to attract more residents and use it as an economic springboard to a higher standard of living and upward mobility.
Staff Reply:

Adus

Standards for detached vs attached ADUs should be more stringent.The primary dwelling should be owner-occupied.There should be dedicated parking required for ADUs. Many city streets will not handle additional street parking well. On many narrow residential streets, when cars are parked on both sides of the street, it's not possible for a fire truck to pass through, setting up a dangerous situation. Street parking is also unsightly and more dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians.Minimum lot size for detached ADUs should revert to 7500 sf (or higher) as specified in Draft 1.The maximum number of bedrooms allowed should be 2.It's important to determine if the infrastructure can accommodate an additional dwelling before a permit is issued.
Staff Reply:

Residential Design Standards

In the first two Recode drafts, minimal design standards for single family homes were included (see p. 9-12, Section 9.3.J). These were inexplicably dropped from the third draft. These standards are not onerous to comply with or to enforce and should be put back into the ordinance. Many cities include design standards in residential neighborhoods, demonstrating that this is feasible.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Standards

Many great cities have landscaping standards that are much stricter than the ones proposed in Recode. We know from their experiences that these standards are not overly onerous either to carry out or to enforce. Knoxville can and should do this, too. There are numerous environmental, economic, aesthetic and quality of life benefits to enhanced landscaping. We believe the following standards should be included in the new ordinance.Interior Landscaping of Parking LotsThe current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscape Bond:In regard to compliance with Landscape Ordinance requirements, based on discussion with those professionally qualified to understand both the value of proper landscaping for any development and the challenge of achieving compliance, a two-step LANDSCAPE BOND should be include. The city of Chattanooga successfully employs this process.1. PERFORMANCE BOND: This allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months and to assure reasonable growth conditions.2. MAINTENANCE BOND: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and would include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional, such as a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, we don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping that has died. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In our experience, this often requires follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen.Mitigation Fund or Tree BankRecode should include some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, perhaps along the lines of how TDEC operates its stream and wetlands mitigation program. In the case of tree protection, the ordinance could specify that for each tree destroyed over a particular diameter, X number of trees of 2" caliper have to be planted; or, a value of the destroyed trees could be established and the developer pay the equivalent value into a mitigation bank, with the city using the funds for planting or landscaping projects.Thank you.Scenic Knoxville
Staff Reply:

Rn4 In Fourth & Gill

I'm just writing to express my support for having higher density zoning in the Fourth and Gill neighborhood. I understand the concerns of some of my neighbors regarding multi-family housing and its impact on our existing historic single family homes. Certainly, there could be some blocks that are zoned RN2 to provide more protection, but I would encourage all empty lots within the historic district to remain RN4 (or RN 3 at a minimum). Additionally, areas that border the historic district or lie in between the district and major roads like Broadway, Central and 5th Avenue should be RN 3 or RN 4. Our neighborhood already has great examples of townhomes and small multifamily buildings that really add to the character and the diversity of residents that live here. Let's continue that tradition.
Staff Reply:

Rn 4 Fourth & Gill Neighborhood

Thank you for working to update the code. Many of the revisions are needed and welcome. However, I strongly object to the change to RN 4 for the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood. I have lived at 722 Luttrell St. since 1991. I love my neighborhood - the people, the old houses, the green spaces and large trees. We cannot have more density in living spaces or more traffic on our streets and maintain the integrity of our neighborhood. In the past we had a problem with people speeding down Luttrell St., but the calming circle on Caswell and Luttrell has slowed the traffic. Speed on Gill Ave. is still a problem (at least 2 dogs have been killed), and I understand that it cannot be slowed because it has to remain open for emergency vehicles. More families with small children have moved into our neighborhood, which is wonderful. We must work for fewer cars on our streets instead of increasing the traffic. We also must save the small green spaces that we have. They are used for play by children and dogs. Don't open our neighborhood to developers who want to make a buck at the expense of our neighborhood.I agree that there is a crucial need for more affordable housing. I represented low income clients on housing issues when I worked as a staff attorney with Knoxville Legal Aid. The need is even greater now than in the past. My house has a rental apartment in it, which it had when I bought it.My apartment has been a Sec. 8 unit, and it worked out well for both my tenant and for me. I am also pleased to tell you that the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood has a Housing Cooperative owned and managed by low income people. The Housing Cooperative was established in the 1980s when gentrification came into our neighborhood. There are 7 houses with 12 units in the Coop. In addition, several people in the neighborhood rent a room or apartment at below market rent in their homes. As a possible solution, I suggest that the City of Knoxville work with HUD to provide an incentive to home owners all over the City to make their rental units subsidized (Sec.8), which will increase the affordable housing available in Knoxville.I also suggest that the City explore increasing/expanding public transportation and make buses available for all (without charge) so that all people can travel freely throughout our City, and even expand the transportation throughout Knox County.
Staff Reply:

Old North Knoxville Zoning

It has been brought to my attention that there have a few buildings in the Old North Knoxville district that look as if the should be zoned more appropriately for their use. 1) 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density2) 428 E Scott- We would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.3) 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

Fences

Article 10.3-J, 2(a): From five feet behind the front building line forward to the front lot line and in the corner side yard, privacy fences and walls are limited to 42 inches. Open fences do not have a limit.Consider increasing from 42" to 48". Most standard "low" fences are 48". Also, masonry coursing works quite well with 48" but not with 42".RELATED:Also, consider revising definition: (Fence - Open. A fence that has, over its entirety, more than 50% of the superficial surface consisting of regularly distributed openings.) The 50% value is representative of wrought iron type fences, but a typical wooden picket fence has 30% of the superficial surface consisting of regularly distributed openings. I think the intent here would be to allow such fences.
Staff Reply:

Opposed To Zoning Change

The latest draft has changed the zoning of the neighborhood I live in, Fourth and Gill, from RN2 to RN4. I very much oppose this and do not feel RN4 is appropriate for our neighborhood based on the majority of the use of the homes now and lot sizes. I request that we be put back to RN2.
Staff Reply:

Recode, Zone Map

I am very disappointed in the latest zoning map for my street, it has gone from RN-2 to RN-4 which will allow for multi family structures. All of fifth Ave is on the National Resister and and is already has a mixed use of single family homes along with some originally build multi family homes. Actually there are already 16 multi family homes along Fifth Ave, not counting the number of houses that have been converted to multi family homes. Parkridge has been undergoing years of reclamation from a multitude of chopped up rental houses owned by absentee land lords, which led to the blighted condition of just a few years back. Now the city is wanting to reintroduce the same conditions on this fragile neighborhood that almost led to its demise years ago.When this whole recode thing started the majority of the neighborhood residents were ok with ADUs on owner occupied proprieties, but to come now and shove multi family housing structures down our throat is a little more than disheartening, coming from a 20+ resident that has restored 4 condemned houses and has been involved in my neighborhood and city.
Staff Reply:

Fourth & Gill

With all respect and gratitude to my neighbors who have worked so hard for so many years to make this neighborhood what it is, and to fix up and restore the beautiful old houses in Fourth & Gill, I'm a fan of mixed use urban neighborhoods. I would like to see zoning that encourages diversity by including affordable housing options, and small businesses. I am also hopeful that the rezoning will encourage green space within this dense urban area, and make it a priority to encourage native plant varieties for beauty, connection to place and more diversity of the non-human kind.
Staff Reply:

Naacp Recode Comments

Please see attached.NAACP Housing Committee
Staff Reply:

Proposed Zoning Change Near Sterchi Elementary School

Hello-We live near Sterchi Elementary School where a developer is building apartments on property that is being considered for a zoning change to allow a higher density/acre.Our neighborhood cannot support additional students at Sterchi school or cars on Cedar Lane and Merchant Road.Please reject the option of rezoning this property.
Staff Reply:

Adu Design - An Architect's Comments

Hello!I am a Knoxville-based Architect who has designed and developed several Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) projects in various cities throughout the country over the past decade. I have the following recommendations for the current draft ordinance in regards to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs):10.3(A)(4) : Increase the maximum height allowable for ADUs. Limiting the maximum height for all detached accessory structures (including ADUs) to 18' will effectively limit all ADUs to a single-story structure, which limits their feasibility on denser, urban lots near downtown, where they are needed most to positively affect housing variety and affordability. One alternative commonly used around the country is simply to limit the height of an ADU to that of the primary structure. This approach maintains the existing scale of residential development within neighborhoods, without limiting the ability to develop 2-story ADUs where they are appropriate and comply with all other development standards.10.3(A)(6) : Align the maximum building coverage for a single accessory structure with the maximum GFA allowed for an ADU.This provision is in practical conflict with several others. For example, on a 12,000sf lot, the maximum gross floor area (GFA) for an ADU would be 1,000sf (per 10.3(B)(7). But if the maximum height for an accessory structure is limited to 18', there is no feasible way to construct a 2-story ADU (see above). So if the maximum building coverage for a single accessory structure on that lot is limited to 750sf, the property Owner would only be able to build a 750sf ADU, missing out on 250sf of buildable area that would have been allowed otherwise.10.3(A)(7) : Allow the footprint of an accessory structure to equal the footprint of the primary structure.The previous ordinance drafts limited the footprint of a single accessory structure to the footprint of the primary structure. Draft 3.0 has reduced that to 75%. The total maximum building coverage on a lot and the maximum GFA of an ADU are already restricted by other provisions. For new development, this actually encourages builders to increase the footprint of primary structures to allow the possibility of maximizing the area of a potential ADU or other accessory structure.10.3(B)(7) : Eliminate the relationship between allowable GFA for an ADU and the GFA of the primary dwelling.Imagine two existing single-story houses adjacent to each other on identical 7,500sf lots. Existing House A = 1,600sf GFA. Existing House B = 1,000sf GFA. Based on the lot size and all other development standards, each Owner should be allowed to build an 800sf ADU. But if the GFA for an ADU is limited to 40% of the GFA of the primary dwelling, the Owner of House B would only be allowed to build a 400sf ADU on their property (which would make the project practically infeasible). If an ADU meets all other development standards, there is no logical reason to limit its size based solely on the size of the primary dwelling.Summary:On a cost-per-square-foot basis, ADUs are expensive to build. The reality is that they are a very niche building type that is not utilized often unless market forces make an area so unaffordable that ADUs present a viable alternative. In the jurisdictions where I have worked professionally, less restrictive design guidelines for ADUs did not result in a huge increase in the number of ADU projects permitted, they simply made ADUs feasible.The draft design guidelines, as written, are restrictive enough to discourage ADU development in downtown Knoxville. I believe that ADUs are a highly effective tool to sustainably increase density and stabilize housing costs as cities grow. I strongly encourage MPC and Camiros to reconsider these restrictions and to work toward creating design guidelines that are more likely to encourage ADU development in downtown Knoxville.
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Text And Draft 2 Map

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 2 and ReCode Text Draft 3. Below is the list of contributors and/or ratifiers of these comments: Core Drafting and Research Team:Elizabeth RowlandMatt SterlingMoira ConnellyIdea/Feedback Contributors:Michael DavisSylvia WoodsRatified Final Draft:Linda Haney - KCDP Vice Chair Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee MemberMichael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee MemberSylvia Woods - PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member & Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team MemberMoira Connelly Matt SterlingLouise SeamsterPlease let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Elizabeth Rowland
Staff Reply:

Proposed Changes From Rn-2 To Rn-4

I am requesting the committee reconsider the proposed changes from RN-2 to RN-4 for the 4th & Gill neighborhood. We are a strong community with diverse housing options with the current RN-2 destination.The increases in allowed square footage from 10,000 square feet for 2 family to 40,000 square feet for multi-family would drastically change our neighborhood. I suspect there are developers already eyeing available properties to build new buildings. Or perhaps there are already plans to buy existing houses, tear them down, and build these 40,000 square foot structures. Yet our neighborhood multi-family housing that has been vacant for 20+years.Many people have worked hard for over 40 years to restore the 4th & Gill neighborhood to its former beauty and strength. A grand-father status could be given to the existing multi-family homes maintaining the current square footage designation. This would maintain the character of our neighborhood.
Staff Reply:

Building Zoning Suggestion

It has come to my attention that two buildings in the Old North Knoxville neighborhood look as if they should be zoned more appropriately for their use,1) 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density2) 428 E Scott- 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that I think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street.3) 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned
Staff Reply:

Rezone Request To Match Current And Best Uses Of Residential Properties

Hi- I'm writing to request rezoning of property based upon current density established within an R1A district. Specifically, 400 E Scott is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density. It is not zoned appropriately in current map draft.Due to precedent established, I would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that I think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street. Specifically 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue- These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott because they are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

Rv's And Trailers

My comment is in regard to trailersThe current code, Article V, Section 8 C, states that:On each lot, a total of two (2) (one (1) from any two (2) of the subsections listed below) of the following vehicles may be parked or stored per household living on the premises, and said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not exceed forty-five (45) feet in length or nine (9) feet in width; and further provided that said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not be parked or stored for more than forty-eight (48) hours unless it is located behind the front yard building line:1.Recreational vehicle.2.Hauling trailer.3.Boat trailer.In the proposed code 11.12 Recreational vehicles must be located within the interior side yard behind the front building line or in the rear yard. If stored in the interior side or rear yard, the recreational vehicle must be located at least ten feet from any lot line and screened from view from any public right-of-way by a solid fence or wall. If the recreational vehicle is screened by an existing structure or landscape so that it is not visible from the public right-of-way, it is considered to meet these requirements. Temporary storage tents and tarps for recreational vehicles are not considered screening and do not meet these requirements.I have a few concerns about the new code1. There appears to be no limit to the number, or size, of RV permitted, as long as it/they are properly screened from the public ROW.2. What about trailers that do not meet the Recode definition of a RV? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, equipment trailers, etc.3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?
Staff Reply:

Home Occupation

Regarding Home Occupation and Quick Pick and Retail Goods Establishment:A smart attorney told me years ago that you cannot be restrictive by being permissive.The definition of Home Occupation is: "Any commercial activity carried out for economic gain by a resident, conducted as an accessory use in the resident's dwelling unit.""Retail Goods Establishment" is indeed a use listed in the Use Matrix. So too is "Personal Service Establishment" (beauty shop, tailor) and "Office." Just as, I assume, Recode contemplates "Personal Service Establishments" and "Offices" be allowed to operate as a Home Occupation, I think "Retail Good Establishments" would also be allowed to operate. However, all must operate within the standards for Home Occupation.The list of permitted and prohibited home occupations in the existing ordinance is helpful.I honestly think a quick pick would be allowed under the proposed ordinance.I'm also referencing a letter on a home business operation. Please see the paragraph at the end of page 1: "The actual business of the company---mechanical repair and services---is being done elsewhere, off site. If clients were dropping off equipment at this address, the equipment was being work on in the garage, and then being picked up by a client at the home after repair, that would classify as a business being run at this address. However that is not the case. The multiple inspections by Plans Review have confirmed this..."The last paragraph on page 3 acknowledges "occasional employees", etc.Never mind the fact that "Contractor's office..." is a permitted use in C-3.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

Ive seen that there are a few buildings in the Old North Knoxville district that look like they could be zoned more appropriately for their location.
  1. 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density
  2. 428 E Scott- I think 428 E Scott should be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.
  3. 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

Old North Knoxville Zoning

It has been brought to my attention that there are a few buildings in the Old North Knoxville district that look as if they should be zoned more appropriately for their use.
  1. 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density
  2. 428 E Scott- I think 428 E Scott should be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.
  3. 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

Rezone Knoxville Properties

Hello! It has been brought to my attention that there have a few buildings in the Old North Knoxville district that look as if they should be zoned more appropriately for their use. My thoughts and recommendations are explained further below:
  1. 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density
  2. 428 E Scott- I think 428 E Scott should be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.
  3. 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

South Knoxville Rezone

My husband and I are building a house in South Knoxville on Atchley Street that will be our primary residence. I have heard about the city's master plan of the South Knoxville Waterfront and specifically the Bell Tower Walk which is on axis with Atchley. My concern is that with the I-G zoning following the old rail tracks, the Bell Tower Walk will be limited in the future and the residential district above will be disconnected from the pedestrian friendly area below. As a stakeholder in the neighborhood, I think the SW-3 zoning should continue up Atchley Street at least to Yarnell Ave to reinforce the power of that axis and be in place for future development. Regardless of whether Atchley remains predominantly residential or the Bell Tower Walk eventually moves up the hill, having SW-3 would prevent an industrial development from cutting off the neighborhood from the riverfront or the Tower Walk from being visually terminated by industrial buildings. I think this will be especially important once the Rails to Trails path is installed and large groups of people are going to it right at that point. Finally, the river is visible up to Yarnell and there is a clear connection to what is the SW zone. I think the pattern already in the plan that has SW-3 on the North end of Atchley, should continue up the hill. I appreciate the effort you all are going to and the energy everyone is putting into improving our city!! Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Rezone E Scott

It has come to my attention that two buildings in the Old North Knoxville should be zoned more appropriately for use.
  1. 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density.
  2. 428 E Scott- 428 E Scott should be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.
  3. 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Knoxville is rapidly growing and I believe this is an excellent space to put higher density apartments in due to the surrounding businesses and developments. It is in great proximity to the mountains, downtown, and campus and would attract a lot of working people looking to maximize their potential in Knoxville. I hope that this is helpful in your processes and meetings. Thanks!
Staff Reply:

Recoding Buildings In North Knox

Hello! I live on Gratz Street in 4th and Gill with a few other tenants.It has been brought to our attention that there have a few buildings in the Old North Knoxville district that look as if the should be zoned more appropriately for their use.
  1. 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density
  2. 428 E Scott- We would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.
  3. 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
We hope our comments help! We just want what's best for this community we love!
Staff Reply:

Recoding North And South Knox

I have a few requests for specific areas of Knoxville. First, I would like to see more small homes (some might say tiny homes) built close to the city on existing home lots on the south knox waterfront areas. These small lots once held a large number of trailers, and would now be better suited to have small homes on each lot, as they would be affordable, make sense in the small space, and be easily accessible to downtown for the hip and urban youth of today. Second, we could use more high density housing in old industrial type buildings. Converting these spaces into modern lofts seems to be the norm, and it is cleaning the neighborhood up in a way that conventional apartment complexes do not. It would save the current structures and facades, and allow more dwellings inside a current space. Such as at 428 E Scott. It would great for it to be zoned RN-6 to hold a larger number of small families and singles that work and want to play downtown. Also, at 400 E Scott it should be also zoned RN-6 level as it already has something like 24 units in such a small area. I have lived in both South and North Knox for many years, and am concerned that if we do not allow things like small houses on small lots and multi-family high-density housing in old reclaimed industrial sites, we will lose many people to West Knoxville, where it looks like every other town in America. Let us keep Knoxville with the charm it currently has, and keep its residents closer to downtown so they can live, work, play, and spend their money downtown. We will all prosper because of it.
Staff Reply:

Claiborne Place Rezoning

The houses along Claiborne Place in the Edgewood Park Neighborhood have a lot of character. Unfortunately, they don't have the historic overlay to protect them. Please rezone the houses along Claiborne Place to RN-2. These houses also add to the serenity of the park, the library, and the senior center. I don't understand how allowing higher density housing along this street would preserve the character of these houses and the neighborhood.
Staff Reply:

Old North Knox

As I've been looking into this situation, I've noticed a few properties along E Scott Ave in Old North that could be more appropriately zoned.400 E Scott Ave is currently being used as though it were zoned RN-6, so it should be zoned as such due to its density.428 E Scott Ave seems like a great opportunity to promote more dense development and land use, if it were also zoned as RN-6319, 401, and 424 E Scott Ave are multifamily residential scenarios, and the properties should be zoned as such. This will encourage smarter development in this neighborhood, as the area continues to grow in popularity.
Staff Reply:

725 Sterchi Ridge Way

Please do not change the zoning on the parcel at 725 Sterchi Ridge Way to allow 27 units per acre. The apartments being built there are of poor construction. The added population density would be a burden on the neighborhood. The school is already beyond capacity. There are no services in the neighborhood and public transportation is poor. I find it hard to believe that anyone who is not on the developer's payroll would think that this is a good idea.
Staff Reply:

725 Sterchi Ridge Way

My comment regards the properties in north Knoxville near Fountain City at 725 Sterchi Ridge Way and the adjacent parcel with the address "0 Sterchi Ridge Way." The current zoning is RP-1 (1-6 DU/AC) which allows a maximum of 6 Dwelling Units per acre. The proposed zoning is RN-5 which will allow a maximum of 27 units per acre. This property, totaling 29+ acres, is owned by an Alabama-based real estate management company and will definitely be developed. In fact, some apartments have already been constructed and my understanding is that more are on the horizon to equal 130 units. These higher-density apartments have apparently been allowed on RP-1 zoned land by taking into account the total acreage and concentrating the allowable number of units for the ENTIRE property in one small section. This interpretation of the regulations was obviously cleared by someone, but it is far from following the spirit of the current zoning which aims to establish a residential area with much lower density. It appears to the careful observer that the owner is biding time, waiting for a likely zoning change to build out the rest of that acreage with more than four times the amount of units that are currently allowed. I understand the need for multi-family, affordable housing in Knoxville. I am not opposed to having such housing near my home and neighborhood. There is already quite a bit of "RN-5" type housing around the Fountain City area. My concern regarding this particular property is that the proposed zoning is significantly denser than today's zoning. Based on 29 acres, the current zoning allows for 174 units or dwellings on the property. The proposed zoning, if maxed out, would allow 783 dwellings or families. The neighborhood school, Sterchi Elementary, (separated from this property by only a private drive) is already considerably overcrowded. The school is using multiple portable units to try to accommodate the students. The latest was placed on the outside basketball court. Auxiliary services like speech therapy are being conducted in the hallways. If 600 or more additional families live on that 29 acres, education at Sterchi Elementary will clearly suffer.I am also very concerned about the impact on traffic. Long lines of vehicles back up on Cedar Lane/Merchants Drive heading west toward I75 and east toward Broadway during every morning and evening rush hour. To avoid sitting through two or three rounds of the traffic light at Merchants and Central Avenue Pike, I make sure to leave my house by 7:00am. Other neighbors try to avoid that congested on-ramp altogether by going down Inskip Rd./Bruhin Rd. and jumping on I275. But that too gets backed up if you get there after 7:25am. The introduction of 600 or more households to this area will exacerbate the already frustrating tie-ups. As I said before, I anticipate that this property will be developed further. I ask those who will ultimately decide to take the proposed RN-5 designation off the table, and replace it with one that will result in a more appropriate number of dwellings for the area. Please apply a designation that will enhance our neighborhood without choking the traffic and over-extending the elementary school.Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on this!
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Draft 3

I agree with Recode Knoxville's goal to "help define the pathway toward construction of more affordable housing through out the city".What I do not agree with is the dramatic change of zoning for the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood between Draft 2 and Draft 3. Why? What changed? Nor do I agree with apparent targeting of the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood to carry the weight of the solution. The ENTIRE Neighborhood is Orange--no other neighborhood in the city --North, East, South or West, inner city or suburban, reflects this amount of change. Seems the "affordable housing through out the city" got overlooked. There is need for more information, explanations and rationals, discussions and public input.
Staff Reply:

Sw-3 On Atchley Street.

I own two empty lots in South Knoxville at 2308 Atchley Street that I plan to build a primary residence on one of. I have looked at the City's master plan of the South Knoxville Waterfront and specifically at the Bell Tower Walk which is on axis with Atchley. My concern is that with the I-G zoning following the old rail tracks, the Bell Tower Walk will be limited in the future and the residential district above will be disconnected from the pedestrian friendly area below. As a designer myself, and stakeholder in the neighborhood, I think the SW-3 zoning should continue up Atchley Street at least to Yarnell Ave to reinforce the power of that axis and be in place for future development. Regardless of whether Atchley remains predominantly residential or the Bell Tower Walk eventually moves up the hill, having SW-3 would prevent an industrial development from cutting off the neighborhood from the riverfront or the Tower Walk from being visually terminated by industrial buildings. I think this will be especially important once the Rails to Trails path is installed and large groups of people are going to it right at that point. Finally, the river is visible up to Yarnell and there is a clear connection to what is the SW zone, I think the pattern already in the plan that has SW-3 on the North end of Atchley, should continue up the hill. Thank you very much!
Staff Reply:

Rn-6 In Old North Knoxville

It has been brought to my attention that there are some lots in the Old North Knoxville neighborhood that could be zoned more appropriately for their current use. 1) 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density2) 428 E Scott- We would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.3) 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.I appreciate the effort you all are going to and the energy everyone is putting into improving our city!! Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Question About Previously Approved Planned Districts

My question/comment concerns Section 1.4.G. Previously Approved Planned Districts. I did not find Planned Districts in the definitions so, please update that. Also, I did not see a PD overlay included in the map or referred to in the 3rd revision. Will that be developed to identify these areas?
Staff Reply:

Building Zoning Suggestion

It has come to my attention that two buildings in the Old North Knoxville neighborhood look as if they should be zoned more appropriately for their use,1) 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density2) 428 E Scott- 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment. Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that I think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street.3) 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zonedThanks,
Staff Reply:

Rezone Request To Match Current And Best Uses Of Residential Properties

Hi- I'm writing to request rezoning of property based upon current density established within an R1A district. Specifically, 400 E Scott is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density. It is not zoned appropriately in current map draft. Due to precedent established, I would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that I think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street. Specifically 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue- These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott because they are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

1) 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density2) 428 E Scott- We would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment. Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that we think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street.3) 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned. (RN-4 supports smart, higher density redevelopment in a residential area.)
Staff Reply:

E Scott Apartments

Hi, I've heard that the businesses are moving out on East Scott and would like to put in a plug for making the building RN-6 for nicer residential apartments that would attract downtown lovers to our neighborhood. Thanks!
Staff Reply:

Zoning Comments

Please consider rezoning of the following buildings in the ONK neighborhood in order that they be more appropriately zoned for their current and/or best uses.1) 400 E Scott- This property has 24 units on a 24,000 sq ft lot and should be zoned RN-6 due to density.2) 428 E Scott- I propose that the commercial building at 428 E Scott be zoned RN-6 to support high density residential redevelopment at the same level as 400 E Scott.Additionally, there are several existing apartment houses on the same street that are not zoned appropriately for their current uses:401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue should be zoned RN-4 to support their current multifamily use Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Re-zoning In Fourth And Gill Neighborhood

Such a drastic change in zoning across the whole neighborhood would be de-stabilizing and be a real set-back to the progress that has been made over the past 35 years. I would argue against changing the zoning to RN-4 across the entire neighborhood and advocate for keeping RN-2 for most of the neighborhood. Having a strong residential neighborhood so close to the urban center, surrounded by other types of zoning, is a rare gem. It should be nurtured and supported, not subjected to large-scale zoning changes.
Staff Reply:

What?? Keep 4 & G Zoning The Same

I am a relatively new resident of 4 & G, having bought an extreme fixer-upper in July of 2017. It was rental for years and in horrible shape. I've now spent about $100,000 and it's a credit to the neighborhood. I do not want the neighborhood's zoning to change to higher density. The whole history of these close in neighborhoods is simple - they were prominent, they declined and now they have come back or are coming back. A big part of the decline was the changing of large single family residences into multi-unit. During the last couple of decades, that has been reversed, restoring the neighborhood to its original pattern of human settlement. DON'T LET'S GO BACK. Everytime I have lived anywhere where there's been a problem house, it's typically been rental and with "young people" who like to party and drink. I want to live in a quiet residential neighborhood. I don't want to have to fight for parking, listen to somebody else's music at 1:00 a.m. I live here, I vote, I have invested - keep our zoning the same.
Staff Reply:

It has come to my attention that two buildings in the ONK neighborhood look as if they should be zoned more appropriately for their use,1) 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density2) 428 E Scott- We would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that we think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street.3) 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned. (RN-4 supports smart, higher density redevelopment in a residential area.)
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Attached are the comments I (thought) were submitted to Recode Draft 1 but it scrolling through all the public comments I see it didn't take. So I thought, what the heck I'll just submit them again though some are now outdated. Consider it submitted for your reading pleasure. I'm drafting comments on application process which will be submitted by Oct 31st.
Staff Reply:

A Strong Link Between Transit And Affordable Housing Makes For A Healthy City

I received a message making the following points which seem to make a lot of sense to me:The City should zone RN-4 one-quarter mile along KAT's core and local street bus routes. This would permit by right the development of small multifamily housing (2-8 units) throughout the city. Benefits of this will include:
  • Developing more affordable rental property opportunities throughout the city. 53% of Knoxville are renters, and the number continues to rise
  • Reducing the pressures of displacement within the Central City by increasing the housing supply throughout the city.
  • Growing a stronger bus system by increasing density along bus routes.
  • Responding to the need to reduce everyone's carbon emissions through greater reliance on public transportation.
  • Increasing access to opportunity by building small multifamily housing near where people work
Please consider the comments above during the Recode Knoxville process. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Hillside Protection Overlay

Can detail be provided on how specifically slope should be calculated for the purpose of determining Hillside Protection requirements?For example, should the slope be calculated from the lowest to the highest point of the lot, regardless of location? Or from the center of the rear lot line to the center of the front lot line? How specifically will this be evaluated and enforced by the city?For reference, I am asking because I am purchasing a vacant lot that falls under the Hillside Protection Overlay, and trying to understand what due diligence needs to be done surrounding this.Thanks for any advice you can give.
Staff Reply:

Rn-4 Zoning Concerns

As a homeowner on Chicago Ave, I strongly oppose the zoning of RN-4 on my street, and throughout my neighborhood. I invested into my home with the understanding that my neighborhood would remain primarily single family housing; the proposed re-zoning would allow apartments up to two parcels away from my house. Please rezone this area back to the original zoning.
Staff Reply:

Rn-4 Concerns In North Knoxville

I strongly oppose the proposed RN-4 zoning throughout North Knoxville, and specifically in the Belle Morris neighborhood. I have invested significant amount of time, energy, and money into refurbishing my home on Coker Ave from a condemned house that sat empty for 12 years. The answer to the creation of multi-family housing is not the destruction of single family homes, many of which are historically significant, but rather the expansion of multi-family housing along commercial corridors or on industrial properties that were historically commercial or residential, and the utilization of residential space above commercial. Please rezone these parcels to RN-2 (or to match the surrounding RN zoning).
Staff Reply:

Recode Of 4th & Gill

We are very surprised by this decision to change 4th and Gill from from Single Family/Duplex (as we are now) to allowing Multi-family and Townhouses. We are in a historic district and have all worked hard to make our neighborhood a desirable place to live. It has been a lifelong commitment for many people in our neighborhood. It seems very random that only our area was selected for this change. Old North Knoxville and many other surrounding areas continue to keep the same zoning they had before. Maybe this change was made in error or maybe it was just made at random but it doesn't seem to be very thought out at all. We would appreciate more information on why this change is happening and the benefits and/or reasons for the change.
Staff Reply:

Recode

We need more affordable housing in Knoxville. Please vote to zone RN-4 one-quarter mile along KAT bus core and local routes. This will permit by right the development of small multifamily housing (2-8 units) throughout the city.
Staff Reply:

More Multiunit Housing Please

Please zone RN-4 one-quarter mile along KAT bus core and local routes. This will permit by right the development of small multifamily housing (2-8 units) throughout the city.
Staff Reply:

I am against the rezoning proposal because it dramatically increase the traffic on cedar lane and further overcrowding of sterchi elementary. It would also reduce the property values of single family homes in the area.
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments

Some random comments.Suggested editsOn the Use Table, the OS Parks and Open Space zone includes cemeteries, marinas, and golf courses and other private uses that are not necessarily recreational. Not all of these uses are captured in the description in 7-2. I suggest editing the description to include all of these various uses.Funeral Homes and Crematories are now separated on the Use Table, but still lumped together in the Definitions.Map commentsSomeone will probably catch this, but the only zone that allows airports is I-H (which seems appropriate to me), but Island Home Airport is zoned INST on the draft map.Probably a moot point since we have limited regulatory authority over them, but is INST the best zone for the National Guard facility on Sutherland? Because of the outdoor storage of equipment (and maybe indoor storage of munitions), seems to me like an industrial zone might be more appropriate.It seems inappropriate to locate C-N zones adjacent to other commercial zones. This has been cleaned up on Sutherland, but the intersection of Dutch Valley and Bruhin is a patchwork of commercial zones, including C-N. There is a large patch of C-N on Woodland next to C-G-2 and INST. I don't know if there are other places like this.Just My OpinionsMore of the districts that abut the river could allow marinas as special uses. RN-1 (maybe), I-H, AG, O, OP, C-H, and INST should be considered.The Definition of marina can be interpreted to include docks for individual houses (boat docking or storage with no size threshold). If that is the intent, they need to be allowed in RN-1 since they are already plentiful in some R-1areas. If that is not the intent, the definition needs to be tightened up a little to include a minimum size.Can we do something contextual with maximum heights, such as adjacent zone, topography, view shed, shade shed? This might help sell the idea of taller buildings to those who are dubious about the idea.It seems like you should be able to put a multi-story office building in an O zone. Even when used as a transition/buffer adjacent to a residential area, 3 or 4 stories might be appropriate depending on context. The current regs allow 45' non-residential buildings in O zones, so the new 35' requirement is going backwards.I think the 35' height limit is too restrictive in many cases.Townhouses in RN-6 and RN-7 (and maybe RN-4 and RN-5) should be allowed to go to three stories (45'?). Three-story townhouses are common in other cities and seem entirely compatible with a zone that allows 65' multi-family dwellings.Also, consider three-story dwelling-over-business in C-N, depending on context.C-G-1 and C-H-1 have 40' max height. Is that enough for 3 stories, or just enough for an assertive facade or high ceilings?
Staff Reply:

Recode - Adu's

I am a resident of West Hills writing to address the current draft of the recode Knoxville.A. I whole heartedly support the efforts to expand mixed use development that allows residential area above ground floor commercial property. I especially appreciate the value that mixed use development can have by bringing residential development to spaces that might otherwise have rolled up and been dead after business hours. Indeed, it was mixed use development that helped to restore the downtown to the thriving area that it is now. If similar mixed use (commercial below/residential above) growth can spread from the downtown, east, west, north and south along major arteries that would, indeed, be in the best interest of all within the city.B. I have great concern regarding the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU's.) as the code is written currently. I am not completely opposed to the ADU's, but I do feel that they must have requirements that allow protections for neighborhoods and neighbors. My concerns are outlined below.As written, Recode Section 10.3.B would allow an accessory dwelling unit to be built in every residential zone in the city. As is, a home owner could convert a two-car garage to a rental apartment; the main living space of a house into a rental unit, and add a detached ADU to the lot as a third rental. How would the potential lack of off-street parking (resident cars not fitting in the driveway) impact neighborhood traffic or neighborhood safety relating to emergency vehicles travelling through the neighborhood? How would such a change in density impact water/sewer systems? What about houses not on the city sewer system, but rather with leaching fields? Do trailers meet the designation as an ADU? What recourses would neighborhoods and property owners have if such rental situations became nuisances?C. As written the Recode Section 10.3.B provides no protections for neighborhoods with regard to the possible disruptions that might arise based upon the addition of ADU's as rentals to neighborhoods. Observations & Suggestions:1. While the provision of ADU's as proposed does not provide for owner occupancy, the current code for Air B&B's does. It makes no sense that codes for ADU's would not provide the same protections for neighborhoods and homeowners that the codes for Air B&B's do. A cities' code system is a reflection of its values and should be consistent across the policies of all city units.2. ADU's in Knoxville should be allowed only if the home is owner occupied. At the most recent West Hills neighborhood feed back session it was stated by a city recode representative that it assumed that most or all ADU's would naturally fall into this category. If that is indeed anticipated, then codify this as a requirement. An owner-occupied clause provides protections, enabling a neighbor or neighborhood to address a problem situation through the court system if needed.3. City lots with ADU's should provide adequate off-street parking for both the primary residence and ADU occupants. This should not simply be assumed, but written into the city code.4. "Supporters of owner-occupancy, which is also required in Seattle and Washington, D.C., assert that the requirement promotes community stability and property maintenance." Stanford University Study: https://law.stanford.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2018/03/infranca_25_stan._l._poly_rev_53.pdf5. The fact that many cities have placed specific guidelines on ADU's is well documented and easy to research. Examples from 11 cities are listed below. Why isn't Knoxville following their lead?For example:
  • Nashville allows ADUs only where duplexes are permitted.
  • Atlanta allows them only in duplex and multi-family zones with 750 sq. ft. max.
  • Decatur, Georgia, limits ADUs to 300 to 800 sq. ft., and to no more than two occupants.
  • Franklin, Tennessee, limits ADUs to 800 sq. ft., under the same roof as the house, and two occupants, with off-street parking; detached units only on 2+ acre lots with special use permit.
  • Memphis/Shelby County allows only 700 sq. ft. ADUs on lots from 10,000 sq. ft. to 1.5 acres; larger acreage can have bigger ADUs; must supply parking space.
  • Salt Lake City requires an affidavit that home and/or ADU is owner-occupied and prohibits them where there is an existing home occupation or business use.
  • Leadville, CO - ADU are allowed, but if they are as rentals, must rental duration must last at least 30 days.
  • Philadelphia, PA - Allows ADU's limited to 800 square feet, and requires owner occupancy.
  • Santa Cruz, CA - ADUs are allowed in designated residential zones as long as the property owner inhabits either the main house or the ADU.
  • Austin, TX - Allows ADU's. Austin requires two spaces for a detached ADU, in addition to the two spaces required for a primary dwelling.
  • Denver, CO - Allows internal or attached ADUs, as well as detached ADUs, Owner occupancy of either the ADU or the primary dwelling is required.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning In Knoxville

I would like to have more information on the rezoning in Park City in Knoxville and when public meetings will be held.
Staff Reply:
Information on the zoning designations for Park City can be found at this site: https://maps.knoxmpc.org/MapSeries/recode.html?appid=edbdccdfac0b46749541d854bb19d8e8. You can locate the property you are interested in by address, find the proposed zoning designation, compare the proposed designation to the existing designation, and leave a comment. Three community meetings were held last week, including one at Payne Avenue Baptist Church, and two community meetings are scheduled for this week. A community meeting was held last evening at Overcoming Believers Church and a community meeting will be held this evening at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Additional information about upcoming meetings and about the updating of the City's zoning code can be found at https://recodeknoxville.com/.

Zoning Concerns

Hello--I'd like to submit my concerns about the lack of multi-family home zoning (R-3 and R-4) in the ReCode Knoxville plan. In their place, almost all proposed residential zoning is single-family. Single-family zoning restrictions are intrinsically linked with redlining, gentrification, greater environmental impact, reduced walkability, reduced access to parks and schools, and inhibition of the commercial centers (like grocers and pharmacists) that make neighborhoods both desirable and accessible. Single-family zoning also reduces the options available to renters, who are a quickly growing demographic across the millennial, Gen X and Gen Z generations. As Knoxville looks for ways to retain the young professionals graduating from the University of Tennessee and other local schools, maintaining access to the kinds of "middle housing" that yopros find desirable (i.e., duplexes or courtyard apartments--not the massive complexes that college students are looking for) will be key in keeping future leaders local. Renting is also a vital option for vulnerable populations such as single moms and refugees, many of whom may not meet the credit score requirements of large housing vendors, or who should have more options besides government projects.In general, it's important for the health of cities and communities to provide the zoning to support "middle housing" market demands. The 1930s zoning code supported this, which is why neighborhoods throughout North Knoxville in particular have Depression-era duplexes and small apartment buildings--all of which are nearly constantly rented, emphasizing their desirability. Doubling the lot size requirements for R-1 and R-2 zoning is acceptable, but the new R-3 and R-4 zones must be more heavily utilized to compensate.While the formatting of these messages doesn't allow me to provide in-line links to the research that supports these claims, I'm happy to provide a bibliography.
Staff Reply:

Works For Me

At this time, I have not seen anything Recode-wise that I disagree with. We live in the Dogwood Elementary school area, and I agree with the zoning on the map (I think it was RN-2?). I lived in Atlanta for 9 years, and in my opinion, had Cobb and the surrounding metro counties done this very thing in the 1990s, Atlanta would not be the hellish Mad-Max-esque traffic sprawl wasteland that it is. As cities grow, especially around downtown, density WILL increase. So, why don't we plan for it now, so we won't be scrambling 20 years in the future? I want and need drivability, but I also want less pollution and walkability. I think we can have both.I'm also not scared by fear-mongering good ole boys who keep crowing that Recode is gonna take our cars and prop'ty away! Good grief.Thanks for your time.
Staff Reply:

Thank You

Hi Recode Team,I am a REALTOR(R) who has been a silent participant in only two of the 67 meetings you have held. But I have interacted with the website weekly and I wanted to reach out and say thank you. You have a hard job and you know very well not everyone will not be pleased, however, when answering questions through the presentation and Q & A tonight, you all did a fantastic job explaining your good intentions for our city.Being a Knoxville native who has lived on small islands and in large cities, came back to my hometown with a different perspective on community growth. I understand what you are doing and have seen what poor planning can do. Our city will definitely benefit and once the vision begins to come to life, I think we'll see a shift in the mindset of those concerned about change. The fact of the matter is that change is here and you are doing a great job preparing our city to be the best it can be! Inner city to the suburbs, you all are going to make a purposeful difference for the future of Knoxville.Thanks again for advocating for all the citizens in Knoxville and embracing public feedback during the process. I am excited to see what is next.
Staff Reply:

Open Space District Definition

Either definition of OS needs to change (Special Purpose Districts section, https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft3/chapters/Article%207-Special%20Purpose%20Districts.pdf), or you need to keep the two separate OS2 (park and open space district) and OS1 (open space preservation district) definitions and zones from the existing code.There are multiple cemeteries and historic sites (Sheildstown Cemetery, Temple Beth-El Cemetery, Odd Fellows Cemetery, James White Fort, Fort Dickerson just to name a few examples) that are important for archaeology and anthropology; these and other sites should not be defined as supporting the "passive and active park and recreational needs of the city." Cemeteries and battlefields are not "recreation sites." The new definition in ReCode is a step down in sophistication from the existing OS-1 (OS-1 open space preservation district) definition: "This open space preservation district is established to provide areas in which the principal use of land is devoted to the preservation and protection of recreational and conservation open space." The existing Open Space Preservation District also supports accessory structures, such as caretaker cottages found at Bethel Cemetery.It makes sense to zone cemeteries and other sites important to archaeology and anthropology as OS, but merging the definition of OS-1 with OS-2 to create a new definition of OS that is clearly centered on "recreational needs" is both a mistake and a step backwards for Knoxville.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning Of Fourth And Gill Neighborhood

I thank the committee for their continued efforts to overhaul Knoxville's aging zoning. I also thank you for addressing the many concerns and questions raised in this process.I write to voice a concern, shared by many of my neighbors, about the most recent revision of the Recode, in which Fourth and Gill was changed from an R2 to an R4 zone. The neighborhood is a unique historic neighborhood that has been revitalized through the efforts of homeowners and developers. These individuals have worked diligently to restore houses that were separated into apartments back into single-family dwellings, and have met with much success. By keeping the neighborhood zoned R2, for single-family home and duplexes, this continues to encourage the ongoing trend to maintain houses and restore them to their historic configurations. While there are still some houses that are divided into apartments and multi-family dwellings, this is increasingly not the case for the neighborhood. We, the home owners in Fourth and Gill, want to discourage the division of historic houses and encourage the decades of effort made to restore the many century-old houses in the neighborhood.For these reasons, I respectfully ask the committee to change Fourth and Gill back to an R2 zone, for single-family homes and duplexes.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Incorrect Zoning

The two properties at 1702 (Parcel 082PG001) and 1704 Washington Ave. (Parcel 082PG002) are shown as R4, but should be R2 as the properties do not contain multiple units.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I do have concerns as to the RN4 coding will play into the H-1 overlay process......not sure what the multi-family /townhouse would look like in relation to our H-1 overlay or is that something that would not pertain to an H-1 Overlay area ??
Staff Reply:
Any proposed multi-family or townhouse projects within the Historic District Zoning Overlay (H-1) would reviewed by the Historic Zoning Commission for compatibility within the streetscape, as are all new construction projects within the district. Depending on the immediately surrounding context, these structures may take on the appearance of existing multi-family buildings, or may have the appearance of a single-family structure.

Rn-4 In Belle Morris, Along Coker Avenue

As homeowners on Coker Avenue who have spent a great deal of time, energy, and money restoring our historic 1920 single family home; we oppose the proposed RN-4 zoning directly across the street from our home, as well as RN-4 'spot' zoning along Coker Avenue on top of current single family homes, duplexes, or homes split into apartments. Because we don't have the protection of a Historic Overlay, we are extremely concerned that the allowance of Multi-Family and Townhouse developments will give developers and landlords the incentive to knock down unprotected historically significant single-family homes (or duplexes) to build inappropriately scaled and historically insignificant multi-family developments. We are not opposed to current or new duplexes along Coker Avenue or in Belle Morris (which are allowed in RN-2), and in fact welcome the diversity. We also do not oppose any current single family homes that have already been split into apartments after the home was originally constructed, however do not support the allowance of that home being knocked down or substantially renovated in order to create more apartments. In single family neighborhoods where homes have been split into apartments, we would suggest RN-2 zoning on these structures which allows the current apartment configuration, but encourages restoration to single family residences if substantially renovated. Within all urban neighborhoods, RN-4 zoning placed on current single family homes, duplexes, and single family homes that have been split into apartments is a step in the wrong direction - please rezone these parcels to RN-2 (or to match the surrounding RN zoning).Rather than increasing multi-family housing by decreasing single-family housing we need to be expanding multi-family housing along commercial corridors or on industrial properties that are no longer utilized and were historically commercial or residential. We believe the new commercial and office code's allowance of multiple stories of residential use above commercial use should also adequately provide Knoxville with ample multi-family housing opportunities, if not better encourage their development directly along our urban corridors.
Staff Reply:

Historic Fourth & Gill Neighborhood

To MPC StaffThe Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Board of Directors opposes the proposed revision of our neighborhood zoning as found on the 2nd draft map of Recode Knoxville and would request that MPC staff revise the mapping and return to a recommendation of RN2 for Fourth & Gill as depicted in the first draft map. This request comes after an almost unanimous vote by the Directors. We feel that RN2 most closely reflects our current R1A status and would like to transition to the new code in that fashion. We have also asked neighbors to respond directly with comments to your website. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Staff Reply:

Keep Us Rn2 And Not Rn4

In the first draft, 4th and Gill was designated RN2. Now we are RN4.Many of us have spent a lot of time, energy, and money to return apartments back to their original status of single family homes. I would hate to see RN4 work against everything we've done to this point.
Staff Reply:

4th And Gill

As a homeowner in the 4th and Gill area, I would like to change the neighborhood back to RN2 which is similar to our current R1A code. We are working to preserve the historic homes and the RN4 and single-family homes. We have a historic overlay and very few open lots so the potential for RN4 use is not appropriate in this area.
Staff Reply:

4th And Gill Zoning

I really believe we should keep the 4th and Gill neighborhood zones for single family and duplexes. Ours is a unique neighborhood that would be lost if it is flooded with apartments and condos.
Staff Reply:

Recode -4th And Gill

Hi. I have owned a home in 4th and Gill since 2002. My husband and I bought the house when the neighborhood (and frankly all of downtown) was more blight than not. In fact the house directly next to us was abandoned (and frequently used by a local prostitute to conduct business) and the house on the other side of us was 5 apartments run by a local slumlord. Still we took a chance on the neighborhood because the houses had so much character and the proximity to downtown was delightful. Over the last 15+ year we have invested MORE THAN TWICE what we paid for the house back into the house - updating the interior and completely rebuilding the beautiful 2 story carriage house that was in our backyard. The neighborhood has grown with us, and we are so proud of what it has become. Houses that used to be cut up into many apartments have slowly, but steadily, been turned back into single family homes, and kids are abundant in the neighborhood again.If RECODE Knoxville was to convert our zoning to multi-family/townhouses, we would lose so much of the momentum, and frankly, the equity we have put into this neighborhood. In addition, the streets are already FULL with cars, and there simply is no more room for additional parking/cars that would be associated with additional residents.I implore you NOT to move us backwards.Thanks
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

As a resident in 4th and Gill neighborhood, I do NOT want re-zoning to allow for multi-family and townhomes. The neighborhood has undergone years of renovations and rehabilitation and is largely owner occupied and I feel that allowing multi-family/townhomes will jeopardize our property value and neighborhood appeal
Staff Reply:

Rezoning Of 4th And Gill

I am a resident of the 4th and Gill neighborhood. The residents have worked hard to restore this beautiful old neighborhood of single family homes. We vehemently protest the approval of this area for townhouses and multi-family units.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning 4th&gill

please do not rezone the 4th and Gill neighborhood to allow for Multi-family dwellingsthank you,
Staff Reply:

4th And Gill

As a 4th and Gill resident, I prefer the original zoning plan for Single Family/Duplex (as we are now) and do not support allowing Multi-family and Townhouses.
Staff Reply:

Recode: 4th & Gill

I strongly object to the rezoning of the Fourth and Gill neighborhood from "Single Family/Duplex" to "Multiple Family/Townhouse". Many individuals and families have been working/investing for decades to build the fabric of this neighborhood into a strong, tightly knit community. I, for one (and I know many agree with me), would like to keep it that way. From a pragmatic standpoint, we don't have the parking to support this new zoning anyway. Thank you for your consideration.
Staff Reply:

4th & Gill Zoning

I strongly oppose recoding the 4th & Gill neighborhood to allow for the conversion of homes into multi-family units and townhouses. I am concerned that this will negatively affect the historical integrity of our neighborhood.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

I don't understand the reasoning in rezoning the entire 4th and Gill neighborhood from R-2 to R-4. I can understand the logic of multifamily zoning along corridors to act as a transition into established neighborhoods, as I see being done on Magnolia on the new map, but not the rezoning of an entire neighborhood. I also don't see that type of rezoning in surrounding historic neighborhoods, so why 4th and Gill? We worked long and hard many years ago to become R-1A, or R-2 as it is called in the Recode. This would be a huge step backwards, in many eyes. Please reconsider this decision.
Staff Reply:

Draft 3/map Draft 2 Comments Deadline

I hope that you will consider extending the deadline for comments on the recent drafts. I have reviewed the ordinances, attended events and contributed comments on the previous drafts, and I find the ReCode work to be very important. I would like to review and comment on the recent draft but I will be traveling from the 20th-30th, leaving little time for me to review and comment, and I will be unable to attend any of the community meetings. I realize this may be a personal issue I will need to work around myself, but I write because I may not be alone in finding the timeline for these comments to be very short. Thank you.
Staff Reply:
MPC staff realize that the time to submit comments in order for revisions to be recommended in the third draft of the ordinance and presented to the Planning Commission at their Nov 8 meeting may be challenging. We also realize that the involvement of the community and your comments are important. While we may not be able to include comments received after October 31 in the first compilation of comments for presentation to the Planning Commission, MPC staff will continue receiving comments and adding them to the list of comments for consideration as revisions to the draft ordinance are made. We anticipate receiving comments, and revising the draft ordinance and map, until the ordinance and map are adopted.

Adus And Owner Occupancy

I would like to see the matter of an owner-occupancy requirement for ADUs given more discussion, at the very least for EN, RN-1, and RN-2 neighborhoods. Previously we have been told that this is not enforceable, but many other cities do enforce this requirement or at least have it on the books. Not doing so opens up our neighborhoods to opportunistic developers who may or may not care about the impact they have on neighbors. Citizens who chose to make the biggest investment of their lives in the city did not expect their beautiful "single family dwelling" neighborhoods to be potentially doubled (or more) in density by a mere stroke of the pen. In my opinion, this issue alone should be put to a referendum, but I understand this is highly unlikely. I make this appeal here to ask that you please give further thought to allowing the taxpayers a little more control in protecting their investment in this city, both monetary and sentimental.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Proposed Residential Zoning Changes

I am writing as a long-time resident of the West Hills Community. I have lived in West Hills for more than 50 years. I value the historical and cultural significance of our community and am hoping you will take steps to preserve our zoning.Please don't allow my neighbors to build structures for alternative housing in their back yards. Please don't allow my neighbors to park their motor homes in their driveways.Please don't open us up to greater housing density.West Hills is an important part of the West Knoxville community. We need your help in preserving the continuity of our well-kept neighborhood with its large spacious lots, mature trees and play areas.Thanks for your help!
Staff Reply:

Lot Size Distribution (by Width)

In the presentation used at the City Council worksop, the distribution of residential lot sizes by square footage shows that most lots are conforming based on minimum area. Although this is great, it does not tell the entire story of how many lots will be non-conforming. Can you please put together a distribution of lot sizes by width? There are many lots in the inner city that are smaller than the minimum 50' width. Many homes in Beaumont, Mechanicsville, Lonsdale have small lot sizes, and homes that use a very large percentage of the lot width. With the required side setbacks in the draft, we are setting ourselves up to build skinny homes that do not fit the neighborhood, and also result in less incentive to build on smaller lots because. I suggest something that looks at, for currently existing lots, allowing minimum side setbacks of the primary structure in residential areas, to take into account the average of the blackface. Or make setbacks a % of the lot if the width is within 35-50'. Something that will reduce the number of nonconforming lots when taking into account width. These type of lots are in some of the poorest of our neighborhoods and we can't afford to create disincentive to invest in new structures. Not everyone will have the time/money to jump through hoops of BZA to get setbacks waived on small lots.
Staff Reply:

Camper

Will we be able to have our 16 foot camper parked in our driveway? Also, is the land in front of our house going to be developed, it's full of sink holes. One final question, is Rohar Road going to be extended, right now it's a dead end. We like the way our street is now. Thank you for reading my comments.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your interest in Recode and for your questions. You will still be able to park your camper in your driveway but you may have to screen it with landscaping from the street. The development of the land in front of your house is dependent upon the desires of the property owner. If the owner did desire decide to pursue development of the property, all applicable standards would have to be met. The zoning ordinance does not dictate nor does it propose street extensions. The City Engineering Department may know if there are plans to extend the street.

Public Comments From Business Owner

Hello, I recently attended a meeting and am following up with some comments. My family and I work, live, worship, and attend school in the vicinity of the Magnolia corridor. I have a few suggestions below based on our experience of living life, operating a business, and owning commercial property in the area. I greatly appreciate your consideration of "industrial craft" designations. We looked for a year before finding an affordable building for our business size. In two months we have already added two full time positions and plan to add more within the year. We would be classified as industrial craft and would have been unable to afford (and didn't need) anything in an industrial park. At the same time, our business is in high demand. There are construction projects in Knoxville that cannot find highly skilled workers to meet their demand. Not considering the needs for skilled trade businesses and workers, would be detrimental to Knoxville's economy. The final document should consider how the zoning code affects businesses employing highly skilled workers (especially those with 1-10 employees). I would like to see lot coverage in the downtown neighborhoods increased from 30% to approximately 50%. I believe many existing single family parcels and the historical development pattern more closely resemble a 50% lot coverage. I know a number of people who have been prevented from building accessory structures such as sheds because of the 30% limitation. However, their neighbors have the original shed or carriage house and in combination with their principal structure, the lot coverage is at least 50% if not more. I support allowing accessory dwelling units. The infrastructure for high density is already in place and it should be taken advantage of. I believe parking concerns can be mitigated through limitations. On my street, we have several houses that have only one or two cars with two dwelling units on the lot. We also have a SF house with 7 cars (it has been this way for 10 years). This is an enforcement issue. Lastly, I wonder how the new zoning regulations will affect schools. Funding for urban schools should not be decreased due to "publicly funded sprawl." I hope that this zoning code does not overextend schools that are already at capacity and not supporting schools that are under capacity. I know this is a large, complicated, multifaceted issue, but still it's one to consider.I appreciate the time and effort placed in this process and look forward to the final product in a timely manner.
Staff Reply:

Apartments And Infrastructure

When new apartment complexes, subdivisions, or other large projects are considered, PLEASE take into account the existing infrastructure. I live off of Bluerass Road in west Knoxville. In the past couple of years, we have had a large subdivision put in on Mourfield Rd, which caused damage to that road (small, 2 lane, no shoulder, windy, and steep), and caused us to go from only having power outages in weather situations to having weekly and occasionally daily power outages while they were building that subdivision. Now there is an apartment complex going in on Emory Church Road that is causing even more issues. We have frequent power outages during construction. Emory Church Road is not a large enough road to accommodate the traffic. The road has almost been destroyed by the construction equipment, and they are in the process of adding a traffic light because of the increase in traffic. That traffic light project has been TERRIBLE. My child attends preschool at West Emory Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Emory Church Road and Westland Dr. The project took over 2 months, rules were not followed, the parking lot was destroyed and partially blocked for nearly a month, and the workers were just plain rude. The light still isn't up, but the turn lane on Westland has been re-painted to accommodate when the light is in effect, making it very difficult to turn left onto Westland. All this to say....the infrastructure should have been addressed BEFORE any of these projects were approved and started. The LCUB substation on Westland Dr. needs to be larger to accommodate the new buildings so that existing customers didn't have to experience 2 years of frequent power outages. The roads should have been widened and supported before construction equipment destroyed them. The light should have been installed before construction on the building projects began.
Staff Reply:

Section 10.3 & 10.4 - Accessory Structures And Uses

I believe that there should be more consistency between section 10.3 (F) CARPORTS and section 10.3 (N) GARAGE, DETACHED. First, does section 10.3 (F) apply to detached carports only, or attached and detached carports? Clarification there would be beneficial.Second, why must a carport be set back from side lot lines 10 feet whereas a detached garage requires no setback from side lot lines? I would think application of setbacks for these structures would be consistent with each other. It may be that each could be addressed in a consistent manner with regard to Table 10-1, Permitted Encroachments as unenclosed porches (similar to a carport) and sheds (similar to a detached garage).Thanks
Staff Reply:

Streetscape Section In The Sw District

The entire streetscapes section has been deleted, with a note that it "should" be moved to the subdivision ROW standards. What if any plans have been made to do this? I acknowledge that this section has problems, but a better solution would be to leave it in Recode and then come back and rework it as needed rather than to just delete it with a vague promise that it will go elsewhere.
Staff Reply:
The streetscape standards section of the SW District has been deleted from the zoning. It addressed things like ROW width, movement type, design speed, pedestrian crossing time, curb radius, etc. These are things that ultimately don't belong in the zoning code, and should be incorporated into the subdivision ordinance. More specifically, the recommendation is that they should be moved to the streets and right-of-way standards in the subdivision, where these types of elements are already being addressed (Section 3.04 of the City/County Subdivision Ordinance, for reference).The subdivision ordinance would need to be amended to include these standards.

Recode Knoxville "bring Back The Orange!"

Bring back the orange in our core neighborhoods by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards to encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve.
Staff Reply:

Recode's Impact On South Waterfront Form-based Code

I am writing you with dismay about how the current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville handles the long studied, community-based, community-requested South Waterfront Form-based Code. I participated in the public discussions and feedback as part of the Round 1 of Recode Knoxville. At that time I was told explicitly in a public meeting in regards to a question about the current, existing form-based codes used in Knoxville that there wouldn't be major changes to current form-based codes used in Knoxville, only clean-up on the edges where ideas hadn't solidly been hammered out in the code.The current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville does not appear to hold to the statement made at that meeting. I'm concerned to see major changes being proposed, including some that go against the very intent of what the SW code was set-up to accomplish.Form-based code districts should be dealt with individually if any changes are made. That's the very nature of form-based districts. They're customized, specialized and unique. The form-based code for each district is meant to "fit like a glove" to address the particular development opportunities for that district, and has to be handled accordingly at every step. That clearly includes revisions. A board, sweeping update to the entire Code, such as Recode Knoxville, is not the appropriate place to dig into the guts, the thrust of the South Waterfront Form-based Code and muck around.The South Waterfront Form-based Vision Plan and Code included months of work and community involved meetings. The community was engaged in the process and had embraced the adoption of the code at it's completion. The public was endorsing an urban, pedestrian-friendly connected community that provided public access to the river. Below are a few examples of how the 2nd Round of Recode Knoxville glosses over these facts and preverts the intention of the South Waterfront Form-based Code:The prohibited-use section has been deleted. We need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial. This is critical to a successfully grown community where people want to live and engage.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities go against the intent of the South Waterfront Form-based Code's goals of an urban, pedestrian friendly, community with a sense of place. Gated communities negatively impact connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the South Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The off-street parking section has been deleted and replaced with a reference to the general parking section in the Recode document. Unless that section includes a prohibition on parking lots in the front, which I doubt, this prohibition needs to remain in the code. Front parking lots are not part of an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code deletes the different parking max/mins for each of the seven South Waterfront districts. We need those in the South Waterfront code because parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use in a form-based code.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are not what the South Waterfront code intended to build an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Superblocks have a negative impact on connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer has been deleted. This was strongly supported by the community and well-vetted before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted. If we are treating the South Waterfront streetscapes like all other streetscapes in Knoxville, then the South Waterfront will lose it's opportunity to be a unique district with it's own pull and character to help strengthen and diversify Knoxville. This section need to remain.
Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I have a concern which was identified in the first draft of the RECODE Knoxville that could impact West Hills. The concern is regarding the changing of the zone for the area on Middlebrook where Tennova was to build. The recode Knoxville seems to be a backhanded way to change allowed land usages without input from impacted neighborhoods. Several other concerns with the recode draft include:- Less restrictive Accessary dwelling unit (ADU) requirement in residential neighborhoods.- Zoning changes without specific notice of changes.- Expanded allowable land uses in certain zones.- Increased administrative challenges for impacted citizens and neighborhoods to challenge proposed changes to allowed land use.- A rush to obtain city council approval of the recode to meet an arbitrary project schedule at the sacrifice of resolution of identified issues.I am opposed to the changing of the Zoning of the hospital property from “Office" to "Office Park” for the reasons identified above.
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

To follow up on our meeting two weeks ago, we have attached a revised draft of the ReCODE language concerning Mobile Food Unit Parks. Most of the revisions came from combining the previous MPC draft ordinance and the ReCODE public draft v2.0. We also removed any redundancies and brought the terminology in line with the City's existing MFU Ordinance.The only substantial changes we have suggested are:1.) Removing the min/max lot size requirement from the MPC draft ordinance. The maximum number of MFUs per parcel should sufficiently regulate the density of MFUs and the types of lots that would be viable.2.) Removing the requirement for MFUs to leave the park at the end of each day from the ReCODE draft. The existing MFU ordinance already requires MFUs parked on private property to leave each day, and does not require MFUs to visit a commissary. The only instance where an MFU could legally remain on the private property where it operates would be at a permitted MFU Park, which will have been reviewed, inspected, and permitted by the office of Plans Review and Inspections. There will be a designated operator on site during all hours of operation to address any concerns or complaints. The health, safety, and welfare concerns of each MFU's food service operation are already regulated by the Health Department. We feel very strongly that the ability to offer longer term leases to individual MFUs within a permitted MFU Park is critical to their financial viability. 3.) Adding a requirement for all MFU Parks to provide shore power for all MFUs. We feel like this has been incredibly successful in eliminating any neighborhood concerns about these types of projects becoming a nuisance. Eliminating mobile generators keeps this use much more in line with the other uses permitted in commercial zoning districts and the development cost of providing the power should not be prohibitive. Please review and let us know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks again for taking the time to hear us out.
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

To follow up on our meeting two weeks ago, we have attached a revised draft of the ReCODE language concerning Mobile Food Unit Parks. Most of the revisions came from combining the previous MPC draft ordinance and the ReCODE public draft v2.0. We also removed any redundancies and brought the terminology in line with the City's existing MFU Ordinance.The only substantial changes we have suggested are:1.) Removing the min/max lot size requirement from the MPC draft ordinance. The maximum number of MFUs per parcel should sufficiently regulate the density of MFUs and the types of lots that would be viable.2.) Removing the requirement for MFUs to leave the park at the end of each day from the ReCODE draft. The existing MFU ordinance already requires MFUs parked on private property to leave each day, and does not require MFUs to visit a commissary. The only instance where an MFU could legally remain on the private property where it operates would be at a permitted MFU Park, which will have been reviewed, inspected, and permitted by the office of Plans Review and Inspections. There will be a designated operator on site during all hours of operation to address any concerns or complaints. The health, safety, and welfare concerns of each MFU's food service operation are already regulated by the Health Department. We feel very strongly that the ability to offer longer term leases to individual MFUs within a permitted MFU Park is critical to their financial viability. 3.) Adding a requirement for all MFU Parks to provide shore power for all MFUs. We feel like this has been incredibly successful in eliminating any neighborhood concerns about these types of projects becoming a nuisance. Eliminating mobile generators keeps this use much more in line with the other uses permitted in commercial zoning districts and the development cost of providing the power should not be prohibitive. Please review and let us know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks again for taking the time to hear us out.
Staff Reply:

Taxes

How will the recoding affect taxes? Will they go up, even if we choose not to construct an ADU on our property? Will our current infrastructure be able to handle the increased usage of ADUs in residential neighborhoods? How will this affect property values in neighborhoods? What kind of standards will these ADUs be held to? There are quite a few questions that this website doesn't answer
Staff Reply:

Comments On South Waterfront Portion Of Recode, Version 2

First, thank you all for all the hard work on Recode. Knoxville has needed this for quite a while and I'm delighted to see it finally moving forward.I'm a resident of south Knoxville and a former member of the South Waterfront Advisory Committee who was very involved in the creation of the South Waterfront Vision Plan and Code. For weeks, I've had various people tell me that Recode wasn't going to make major changes to the SW code, so I've really not paid much attention to that section of the proposed new code. However, after reviewing Recode version 2, I'm very concerned to see that there are indeed major changes being proposed including some that violate the entire spirit of what the SW code was intended to accomplish.The creation of the Vision Plan and code included months of work and more meetings than I can count. The community was very engaged in this process. A lot of south Knoxvillians were originally wary of the entire endeavor but by the end of the process had embraced the adoption of the code. They were endorsing an urban (rather than suburban), pedestrian-friendly (rather than car-centric) connected community that provided maximum public access to the river. Most of my concerns about changes relate to these goals.
  • The entire first section on prohibited uses has been deleted. Granted, we wanted a form-based rather than a use-base code, with maximum mixed usage. But we need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities are not urban, they are not pedestrian friendly, they don't create a sense of community, they negatively impact connectivity, and depending on where they are located they may diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the south Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The entire section on off-street parking has been deleted and replaced with a reference to the general parking section in the Recode document. Unless that section includes a prohibition on parking lots in the front, which I doubt, this prohibition needs to remain in the code. Front parking lots are not urban and they are not pedestrian-friendly. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code presumably deletes these differing standards as well. We need those in the SW code because since it's form-based, parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter at 1400 feet has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are absolutely not what the Vision Plan envisions. Again, superblocks are not urban, they're not pedestrian friendly, they have a negative impact on connectivity, and depending on their location could diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer (measured from the riverbank) has been deleted. This was thoroughly debated before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted, with a note that it should be moved to the subdivision ROW standards. What if any plans have been made to do this? I acknowledge that this section has problems, but a better solution would be to leave it in Recode and then come back and rework it as needed rather than to just delete it with a vague promise that it will go elsewhere.
  • The SW5 and SW7 front setbacks have been changed. I personally am okay with this change but it's one the community should be aware of.
  • The entire signage section has been deleted. Perhaps most of this is covered adequately in the new sign ordinance which was adopted after the SW code. But again, the community should be aware of this and there should be a point by point comparison to make sure that nothing crucial has been deleted
Finally, I plan to share my comments with my south Knoxville neighbors who may not be aware of what's proposed. I also strongly suggest that a meeting in south Knoxville should be scheduled to go over all the proposed changes to the SW code since these are indeed major changes.Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange!

Bring back the orange in our core neighborhoods by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards to encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville -- Op Zoning Districts 10-8-18

Hi:I am a resident of West Hills and frequently travel on Middlebrook Pike, Weisgarber, and Lonas.In looking at Draft 1 of the proposed Maps for Middlebrook Pike, Weisgarber, and Lonas areas, I noticed that there are many parcels with a proposed OP (Office Park) zoning district. This includes the large parcel of vacant land which Tennova had planned to build a hospital, vacant parcels across Middlebrook Pike, and other nearby parcels that are either vacant land or have already been developed as offices. The Recode Use Matrix, Article 9.2 shows the Permitted Uses for the OP zoning district. OP includes Eating and Drinking Establishments, Retail Goods Establishments, and Food Truck Parks, among other things as Permitted Uses. Gas Stations are allowed as a Special Use. These uses are very different from what is presently allowed in Office zoning districts in our existing Ordinance.These types of developments would increase traffic considerably, and add additional noise and bright lights which will adversely affect West Hills properties which are adjacent to or nearby the Tennova property, and will adversely affect many West HIlls residents and others who use the already heavily traveled Middlebrook Pike/Weisgarber corridors.Office zoned properties have long been used as a buffer between residential and commercial properties and that should be maintained for these type properties under Recode.Therefore, I request that Eating and Drinking Establishments, Retail Goods Sales, Food Truck Parks and Gas Stations be removed as Permitted Uses or Special Uses in the Office Park zoning districts. In addition, Eating and Drinking Establishments should be allowed only as Accessory Uses to serve the employees and clients of that office building, along with standards that the restaurant not be a free-standing building. It should only be accessible from within the building.Thank you for your consideration.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange !

Bring Back the Orange Zones in our core neighborhoods, particularly close to the KAT bus lines, by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards that will encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

Please don't rezone Parkridge. I am a victim of domestic abuse. I need affordable housing that is not in the unsafe housing projects.
Staff Reply:

Add More Orange To The Map!

We need more affordable housing options around downtown and creative thinking to make more healthy density a reality. Sustainable households are more important than boom and bust cycle property appreciation schemes.
Staff Reply:

We Need More Options For Affordable Housing!

Bring Back the Orange! in our core neighborhoods by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards to encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange!

Bring Back the Orange! Our City NEEDS this and I know it can be done with good design and scale of development.
Staff Reply:

Increasing Housing Density

I want to see far more density in this zoning Recode. We need far more housing, especially within the 4 mile radius of downtown. Increasing building heights, and adding ADU's in existing neighborhoods is vital in order to achieve this. Moving to single family only perpetuates segregation within our city. Thank for your efforts, but we.need. more. Housing options!
Staff Reply:

More Housing Choices For Knoxville

Bring Back the Orange! in our core neighborhoods by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards to encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

Affordable housing is at crisis point for many people in Knoxville. Homelessness is on the rise in our city due to a lack of affordable housing. "Bring Back the Orange! in our core neighborhoods by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards to encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve."
Staff Reply:

Article 5.1.a Office Zoning District Purpose Statement

There appears to be no accommodation for in patient services related to behavioral health/temporary incarceration in the definition of the Office District. Yet, the area that includes the properties owned and operated by Helen Ross McNabb at 3343 Dewine Road appears to continue to be defined as Office. Is it reasonable to assume that these activities will not be considered appropriate in Office districts in the future. If so, what District will they be permitted in?
Staff Reply:
This property is being proposed as Institutional on the second map which will be available for review mid week.

Article 4.1 Purpose Statements

At the end of every Residential Neighborhood Purpose Statement is the sentence: Limited nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of the district may also be permitted. I can not find anywhere in this draft where the elements that make up the "character" of the district are defined nor the weight that would be applied to each of those elements when/if a permit for a nonresidential use is applied for. Such a broad statement with no definition is exactly what citizens fear and have been accustomed to as uses that do not appear to be compatible encroach into residential and non-residential zoning districts alike. Character, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. If you are unable to define it, you are not afforded the luxury of making up the rules as you go along!
Staff Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review the draft ordinance! The character of each district is defined in multiple ways within the ordinance:
  • The purpose statement for each district, which identifies the intent of the regulations, and outlines a general character for each of the districts through descriptive language like “exhibiting a predominantdevelopment pattern of single-family homes on relatively large lots and with generous setbacks,”(RN-1) or “comprising a heterogeneous mix of single-family, two-family, townhouse, and multi-family dwellings.” (RN-5)
  • The dimensional standards for each district, which establish the physical parameters for development in the districts, and as such are probably the most explicit means of defining the character of each district.
  • Design standards (where applicable), for the EN district, or for pocket neighborhoods in the RN-4 add further detail to the character of those districts.
  • Site Development Standards, Use Standards, Landscape, etc. All work together to further define character â€" through lighting standards that vary based on location and district, to accessory structure regulations that acknowledge the physical size of lots, use standards with varying applicability by district and lot size, etc.
Finally, when we’re talking about nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of these districts, the things permitted as compatible are uses like parks, community centers, daycare homes, etc. If there’s anything that potentially has greater impacts, they have been made special uses, which would necessitate review to ensure that they meet the approval standards for a special use. The allowable uses for each district can be found in this section. If you have any further questions or comments please let us know.

Kcreason@dogwoodarts.com

Bring Back the Orange
Staff Reply:

Bring Back R3 And R4

Hi,I recently was reviewing the prosed recode map and I have some great concern over the removal of the orange on the map. Duplexes and multifamily complexes create affordable housing and without them, it will greatly hurt our city. Fixed supply with growing demand will increase property values to the point where they are no longer affordable. This will hurt 2 groups in particular. Those new to the work force graduating college and the creative class. College students graduate from UT every semester and consider staying in our city and calling it home. The city is trying to attract new businesses to our town. It creates jobs, brings in new tax dollars and helps all in our city thrive. Without affordable housing for the new work force, many will consider a new city to move to and without that work force, businesses will find our city less attractive to call home. Our amazing creative class also needs a place to call home. We have embraced the maker's city branding and would like to create a space for creatives and makers. They need affordable housing close to their businesses downtown and R3 and R4 do that. Please consider bringing back the orange to the map.
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments From The Knoxville Area Association Of Realtors

City Council Members:Please find attached materials outlining feedback from our association and our residential and commercial Realtor members.1. ADU memo - MLS stats and research on other municipality's ADU ordinances and experiences2. Missing Middle Housing - a global issue in Recode residential zones where current R-2 zones have been downzoned to proposed RN-2. Current R-2 should be rezoned to proposed RN-5, as stated in the Recode Residential Comparison Chart, to keep existing uses available in those areas. Also, the Recode map needs to be looked at critically across all residential zones in Knoxville to return these middle-housing opportunities to those areas (A local example included in the handout is the Magnolia corridor where current R-2 was downzoned to RN-2.).3. Keep Knoxville Affordable - a handout I received from Matt Sterling, with input from other groups who are concerned about downzoning and lack of affordable housing (not govt subsidized housing, but rather, housing a larger segment of our population can afford). Population projections suggest that the larger Knoxville/Knox County area will need to add (conservatively) upwards of 3-5 housing units per day to meet these growth needs. 4. Residential Top Issues - compares the proposed RN districts and asks the question why do we have 7 residential districts? (this is not meant to be a comprehensive list but some of the most important issues)5. Commercial & Industrial Top Issues - a bullet point list of key issues found in commercial, industrial, and other non-residential zones (this is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but a list of the most important issues we've collected from the active Realtor and developer community). Also, the Use Matrix in Section 9.2 should be looked at more closely to ensure we are not creating a greater number of nonconforming uses in these zones. Many comments I have received concern not where Recode Permits or allows Special Use, but where it does not allow either of these. Look at the blanks, where there is not a "P" or "S" use listed, ask why that box is blank and should it be filled; what problems are we creating by leaving out "P" and "S" uses in various zones? The design standards in Recode are protective enough that areas around commercial development will be protected, the building and lot will function well and have an acceptable appearance no matter the use inside the structure, to a large extent.Recode is quite an undertaking and I appreciate your tireless work on this project. Sorry for sending this so close to the workshop time; informational gathering for Recode has been a tremendous effort as I know you are aware. I am happy to address any concerns and questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me anytime.Best,Jennifer Roche, JD, RCEGovernmental Affairs DirectorKnoxville Area Association of Realtors609 Weisgarber Road, Knoxville, TN 37919
Staff Reply:

The Lack Of Duplexes

In response to the general consensus circulating... "If duplexes aren't being built, the market doesn't want/need them, so why are we trying to allow more of them?"For R1: Duplex allowed on Review w/ lot size minimum of 15,000 sq.ft.Most R1 neighborhoods are typically auto-oriented (non transit friendly) & suburban with larger homes on larger lots. The need for duplexes in those areas is low and naturally their occurrence is low. The assumption that the market signals are influencing the development of duplexes is likely true in most suburban R-1 zones.On the contrary, Oakwood, a walkable & transit-friendly neighborhood, is a mixture of R1 (IH-1) & R2. Lot sizes range from < 5000 sq.ft. to 7500+ sq.ft. A new duplex would require multiple lots, therefore they aren't done. There are however, many older duplexes that exist currently as represented by the"checker-board" of R1/R2 on the current zoning map. Building new would require up-zoning, special approval, and variances... therefore they aren't being built. For Oakwood, the market's need & desire has no way to respond because a duplex is, by-default, prohibited.[Moving forward RN-3 more appropriately represents the development pattern of Oakwood, and would allow more by right development & less special use approval for duplexes.]- - -R1-A: Duplex permitted by right w/ lot size minimum of 10,000 sq.ft.This district is well represented in our central-city neighborhoods. It is specified as"low to medium density" but"nearly 70% of lots [Zoned R1-A] do not meet the required 7,500 sq.ft. minimum lot area." (pg. 12 ReCode Technical Review Report) So although a duplex IS permitted on paper, it is prohibited in practice... as we see with Old North. Old North is another walkable & transit friendly neighborhood, with the the majority of lots being under the 10,000 sq.ft. required for a duplex. Again, the market's need & desire is unable to respond because a duplex is, by-default, prohibited.An abundance of multi-family structures at various scales exist currently in most of our R1-A transit friendly neighborhoods. These areas need a closer look and a smaller paintbrush to more appropriately zone them to reflect the development patterns that currently exist within them. We must ensure that our central-city neighborhoods are not a static ecosystem, but rather a dynamic one. We must ensure they're able to evolve over time, not radically, but incrementally.. to ensure they're meeting the needs of those who are currently there as well as those who will be there in the future.- - -R-2: Req'd lot size is 7500 sq.ft. for the first dwelling + 1500 sq.ft for each additional dwelling. Therefore a duplex would require 9000 sq.ft.This district is "medium-density" yet still not conducive for a duplex. "50% of the lot sizes within the R-2 district do NOT meet the required 7500 sq.ft. minimum lot standard." (pg. 12 - ReCode Technical Review Report) so very rarely would we see 9000 sq.ft. available for duplex construction. Again, duplexes aren't (and cannot be) built without special circumstance or multiple lot aquisitions, at which point it's more favorable to build two single family homes.A duplex is Small-Scale Development 101... an incremental step towards meeting the demand for housing within our transit-friendly neighborhoods. They're as easy to build & finance as a single family home (from a codes & lending standpoint). A duplex even provides opportunity & incentive for owner-occupancy, empowering more folks to invest & live in the neighborhoods they love. A duplex easily blends in with it's surroundings and provides housing opportunities at a scale that currently isn't available (and hasn't been allowed) within our transit friendly neighborhoods.The lack of recent Duplex construction/conversion is not based on market trends, citizen desires, or lack of profitability. This deficiency is directly tied to our present Zoning & Lot size requirements. To move Knoxville in a positive direction, it's imperative that we allow this age old tool of incremental development to be used once again within our transit friendly neighborhoods. ...and do so without a 2 space per unit parking minimum!Thank you for the consideration,
Staff Reply:

Application Of Rn-3 + Rn-4

As noted on page 13 in the Technical Review Report,The purpose of the RN-2 District is to, "accommodate development of single family homes on mid-size lots, with specific standards for duplexes as special use."The purpose of the RN-3 District is to, "accommodate single & two family residential development on smaller lots; multi-family permitted as special use."- - -In Draft 2, the minimum lot size for RN-2 was reduced to 5000 sq.ft. (respectively, a small lot size) to reduce the amount of non-conformities.Rather than more accurately representing many of our existing R-2 neighborhoods with RN-3, these neighborhoods were down-zoned and a special reduction in lot size was made to "make them conform" to a zoning designation that does not well represent what we see on the ground (a mix of single + two family dwellings as well as small-scale multi-family permitted as special use).A better reflection of the true development pattern & lot size of many of our current R-2 neighborhoods would be the application of RN-3.As written, this creates more instances requiring special use approval and limits by right development, both which are in direct opposition to "help facilitate more by-right development [and] reduce reliance on special approvals." (Technical Report Pg. 11)
Staff Reply:

Recoding Residential Areas

Question-Why are some areas within the same are are coded R! and others are coded R2. My property is located on Michaels Ln and is coded as R1. What is the difference between R1 and R2 coding codes?
Staff Reply:

Lighting Standards - Lumens At Lot Line?

10.2 - Exterior Lighting only specifies that fixtures must be a 75 degree cut-off luminaire and shield the light source from an observer 3.5 ft above the ground along an abutting lot line.This doesn't regulate the intensity (lumens or footcandle) of the light that comes across lot line. Intense lighting (say a couple of candlepower) would cross the lot line at a 15 degree down angle and then reflect off the ground surface. Even grass reflects that light some, but other surfaces such as a light concrete would significantly reflect the light up. This would put the burden on the adjacent lot owner to install non-reflective surfaces within the 13.5' area next to the lot line that a light source crossing 3.5' above the ground at the lot line would reach.By neglecting to specify a light intensity that crosses the lot line, another issue is caused. There is nothing that prohibits a brightly lit interior light source of a building from emitting light out and not being considered a luminaire. There's also nothing that prohibits a bright wall (say the lightly colored metal wall of a Dollar General store) to have a wall-pack light installed on it that reflects off the wall and causes a great deal of light trespass to adjacent lots.The ordinance should specify light trespass standards for all districts, not just SW districts.There needs to be a definition for "luminaire" in the definitions section as well, to ensure that it includes all exterior lighting, and not just luminaires mounted on poles. Example: wall mounted lighting, floodlights, etc. should be explicitly included in the definition.
Staff Reply:

Put Back The Orange

Here in the fall season with the Vols trying to get into the spirit for winning games, the Metropolitan Planning Commision is taking away the color orange from the community. One of the major problems in Knoxville - in Knox County - and in all communities across the country affordable housing is the major need for all cities and counties. By limiting so drastically the areas where multiple housing buildings can be be built, the Commission is building into the local community more homeless families and more families less able to afford the bare necessities for their families.Pleas think twice - then three times - then delay for a month and think again about how your decisions may affect the people living in Knoxville. Do you really want to make decent housing unavailable for more families in Knoxville and Knox County in the years to come. I hope that is not your desire.Thanks
Staff Reply:

Recode

I am concerned that the new map has less affordable housing when more is needed. Please reconsider and add the orange areas back.
Staff Reply:

Broadway Corridor Task Force - General Comments

The Broadway Corridor Task Force respectfully submits our general comments/requests regarding the Zoning Code below. We have compiled a formal document (which may be more legible with diagrams and text formatting) that also include our parcel and/or "area specific" comments which have been submitted/requested within the Draft 1 map over the past few weeks. We will send this complete document via email this evening (September 20th), once complete. Thank you, James Ryan & Kyle Anne Lang, BCTF Co-ChairsCOMMENTS OF SUPPORT:We support:- The allowance of mixed-use (residential over commercial/office) along the Broadway Corridor. - Build-To-Zones along Broadway in order to encourage a more 'urban edge' along the corridor, as well as force parking to be located at the side, or more preferably the rear of buildings.- Current landscape buffering requirements between commercial and residential properties. - Commercial Design Standards (especially in relation to the Broadway Corridor)- CN designation for properties along E Woodland, across from Physician's Regional Medical Center. (904 E Woodland; 1034 E Woodland)- CN designation used as a buffer between high density (and/or DK zoning) and single family residences, as well as appropriate pockets along a commercial corridor.- Reduced parking requirements for pedestrian-oriented zones (however request additional reductions, see below)GENERAL COMMENTS: Parking Requirements related to Transit and/or Transit Oriented DevelopmentIn addition to current parking requirement reductions as associated with C-N and certain C-G zones, we would ask MPC and Recode to consider a parking reduction for developments within a certain distance to a public transportation stop/center (IE the Broadway Shopping Center) to encourage more Transit-Oriented and Mixed-Use Development.? Office Space Inconsistent Setbacks, Change to C-G-2Office zoning along Broadway (and other urban corridors) should have minimum front, side, and rear setbacks that match adjacent Commercial parcels. C-N, and C-G-1, 2 and 3 all allow no minimum front setback or 0' - which would create strange conditions along corridor where one parcel may be Commercial and an adjacent one Office. This would not allow for a consistent 'urban edge' along the street, where one building may have a 0' setback, and then the adjacent building is required to step back 15' just because it is Office zoning. In looking further into the differences between Office and C-G-2 zoning, we see no reason why Office zoning is necessary along Broadway, and even noticed some non-compliance with proposed Office Zoning (for example, Independent Living facilities zoned Office that does not allow this use). Therefore, we request all currently proposed Office zoning along Broadway be zoned as C-G-2. In general, the BCTF questions whether an Office zone is a redundant zone to the new OP zone, since Offices are a compliant use within the C-G zones.If for some reason this change is not possible, we suggest an Office Zone subsidiary for urban corridors (such as O-2 or O-Urban) that has no minimum front setback, to allow for office zoning adjacent to C-N or C-G parcels to have the same setback, as well as allow no minimum interior side setback to allow for zero-lot lines when adjacent to Commercial zoning. We also request that the build-to zone match any neighboring property - in Broadway's case, generally C-G-2 - therefore a 0' to 10' build-to-zone. Potential allowances could/should be made for existing churches and historic residences that have been converted to office functions - however this may need to require historic overlays.Affected Office Properties Along Broadway (and Woodland):815 N Broadway; 215 Bearden Place (current use noncompliant as office); 901 N Broadway; 949 N Broadway; 826 N Broadway; 830 N Broadway; 834 N Broadway; 1207 N Broadway; 1216 N Broadway; 1303 N Broadway; 1323 N Broadway; 2909 N Broadway; 3101 N Broadway; 3111 N Broadway; 3127 N Broadway; 818 E Woodland; 1306 N Broadway; 2921 N BroadwayInstitutional ZoningCurrently institutional zoning does not have a 'build-to' requirement, and requires a 20' front and corner/side setback. This creates a similar condition to the above-mentioned Office zoning setbacks. For institutional parcels within an urban area or along an urban core (such as N Broadway) we request an institutional zone that has no front setback, but a 'build-to' requirement that would force new construction to align with the building face of adjacent C-G or Office properties. This would also force parking to occur behind or to the side of a building, as opposed to in front of it.Additionally, the Task Force has reservations related to the allowance of Homeless Shelters on Institutional-Zoned parcels. Due to the nuances related to N Broadway with relation to the Homeless, we request that Institutional Properties along N Broadway (especially the current Physician's Regional property) prohibit homeless shelters. Height Restrictions & Step-Back RequirementsWe believe maximum building height should be less related to zone (as in O, C-G, C-H), but where a parcel is located on the map, IE distance from downtown. In general, we would recommend that the maximum building height remain taller (or unlimited) downtown, and then step down outward from downtown accordingly.We recommend adding a height restriction to CG-3, perhaps 85' with review process if requesting over 85' and 130' maximum with review. The gap between C-G-2's 70' maximum height and C-G-3's unlimited maximum height seems too extreme. An intermediate is necessary, while limiting the unlimited height restriction to DK zones seems more appropriate.We request C-G-2 (or anything above 4-5 stories, or an appropriate height) to have a 'step-back' requirement, similar to the Cumberland District - whereas any floors above a certain height are required to step back. This will avoid the 'tunneling affect' along the corridor, and is similar to what larger cities like New York City enacted.I-MU Design StandardsI-MU should require Commercial Design Standards when redeveloped as mixed-use properties. Not allowing such standards would create a loop-hole for I-MU properties developed as mixed use as opposed to CG or DK zones. We recommend landscape screening requirements for commercial and/or office zones where the rear of the property abut a residential district. We recommend requiring infill commercial to align with existing building frontage/datum established by existing urban (pre-1950s) development.Parking Requirements related to C-G-2 and C-G-3Currently proposed is parking requirement reductions for pedestrian-oriented zones, which we agree with. However currently there is a 10% parking reduction for C-G-2, and a 20% parking reduction for G-G-3. We have requested and agreed with current proposals for C-G-2 along N Broadway namely due to the reduced height restraint - which is more in-keeping with a pedestrian oriented zone as opposed to unlimited (or taller) height restraints. If anything, these taller buildings will require more parking to serve their uses adequately, so it seems the reduction percentages are backwards - in that C-G-2 should allow a higher reduction than C-G-3, or it not at least the same.Therefore, we request C-G-2 allows for a 20% parking reduction to be equal to C-G-3. If this is not possible, we would request a separate C-G-3 subsidiary zone that maintains the higher parking reduction, while creating a lower height restriction.Homeless Shelters within C-G ZonesWe request the removal of Homeless shelters from the C-G zones, believing that their allowance within C-G and C-R zones is sufficient, if not more appropriate.Floodway Overlay ZoningThe current 'Floodway Overlay Zoning District' is noted as being "established to meet the needs of the streams to carry floodwaters of a 500-year frequency flood," however the map overlay district does not reflect the 500-year flood plain. We ask that you update your map to show the accurate 500-yr flood overlay (see below) to allow current and future property owners an accurate representation of where they will be able to construct new buildings and/or renovate existing structures that may be within the 500-year floodplain. Because a large portion of properties along the Broadway Corridor are within the 500-year floodplain, we ask the MPC, ReCode, and the City of Knoxville to create and/or utilize any possible zoning or administrative tools to allow for redevelopment within the flood zone, or at least more effectively communicate to property owners the restrictions they are faced with.As a result of potential miscommunication between the City, FEMA, and property owners, many are easily confused regarding current regulations, since their properties may have been constructed before the 500-yr floodplains (and therefore current restrictions) were established.
Staff Reply:

Recode Second Draft Comments

Section 5.4: Design Standards- Issue: What does 'substantial repair or rehabilitation' mean? "The following design standards apply tosubstantial repair or rehabilitation meant to remedy damage or deterioration of exterior façade"- Remedy: more clearly define when design standards would come into play; define 'substantial repair or rehabilitation'Table 5-2: Commercial Site Design- Issue: Surface parking location requirements are incompatible with current and reuse/redevelopment of many lots in O, C-N, C-G-2, C-G-3 districts (ex: L-shaped commercial strips, businesses that need loading/truck facilities on the rear of the lot). "Surface parking may not be located between the principal building and the front lot line. Parking must be located to the side or rear of the principal building [in O, C-n, C-G-2, C-G-3 districts]."- Remedy: Remove this as a requirement and instead use it as a possible incentive in Section 5.3.B and other incentive sections. Staff has recommended incorporating current parking requirements without change; this would be a significant change.8.4 Hillside Protection Overlay Zoning District- In order to facilitate reuse and redevelopment of small-scale and larger-scale commercial/industrial areas, apply this overlay only to residential zones.Table 9-1: Use Matrix- Issue: "Bar" and "Restaurant" were combined into "Eating and Drinking Establishment" and "Restaurant" was removed as "P" in O and C-N districts. This will transform numerous restaurants from "P" to "S" in C-N (ex: Plaid Apron in C-N, Sequoyah Hills neighborhood) and create nonconformities in O district. It could create more pushback when an "Eating and Drinking Establishment" is requesting "S" in C-N in the future.- Remedy: Remove "Eating and Drinking Establishment" and reestablish "Bar" and "Restaurant" as separate uses.- Issue: "Medical/Dental Office" was downzoned from "P" to "S" in C-N. These are currently "P" in C-N.- Remedy: Return to "P" use in C-N.Parking and Landscaping- Please keep with staff recommendation that existing parking and landscaping requirements be incorporated into Recode, and that the landscaping bond be removed.15.D.3.h Planned Development- Issue: More clearly define "affordable housing" set-asides.- Remedy: Provide a threshold of rental or purchase price based on existing market and population data or government guidelines. Do not require "affordable housing" to be government-approved/subsidized.16.2.D Nonconforming Use- Issue: "Discontinuation or Abandonment" as it currently reads is unclear and does not reflect general market conditions for reuse and redevelopment of real property.- Remedy: Provide a definition for "Discontinuation or Abandonment", increase "six months" period to at least 18 months to reflect commercial property general market conditions, and add in a language that being "actively marketed for lease or sale" is not considered "Discontinuation or Abandonment".Thanks for considering my comments. This is not an easy task.
Staff Reply:

Recode Project

I am concerned that zoning districts which allow for affordable housing have deceased in the new rezoning plan. I especially would like to see more areas which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map. This type of housing avoids problems associated with huge housing profects. The RN3 and RN4 units foster more personal and close knit communities and allow for residents to be a part of regular neighborhoods. These units are also a good size which provide smaller developer companies opportunities to build them. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Regarding commercial buildings along the main corridors, glass should be highly transparent on the main floor, and non-residential use should be either required or highly encouraged using whatever zoning tools are available. The buildings should be at least built in such a way as to allow non-residential use on the main levels in the future.Required materials should be durable and sustainable. No vinyl and especially no vinyl windows.I do not think the use of paint colors should be addressed in the code (see 5.4B). There are plenty of examples of monochromatic buildings that are beautiful and interesting because of varying types of building materials, etc. In fact, the new apartment buildings at the south end of the Henley St. Bridge (not the orange and gray one, the one across the street on the east side) vary in color so much that from afar it looks very busy, even though the colors are not bold. Furthermore paint colors can be changed and thus shouldn't be considered a part of the structure.Bike racks should be required for commercial and multifamily residential.Multifamily courtyard apartments such as common in Chicago on city corners should be allowed (there are actually also many examples of these in Fort Sanders and East Knoxville) in high and moderate density neighborhoods, with high quality of materials (brick mostly) and good form so it is a contributor to the neighborhood fabric.Thanks to MPC for all your work on this.
Staff Reply:

Put Back The Orange

Put Back the Orange, Put Back the Orange, Put Back the Orange...we need more - not less - affordable multi-family housing in Knoxville. Put Back the Orange.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back! Add The Tan!

We need MORE affordable housing in Knoxville, particularly RN3 and RN4! We have over 20,000 of our families paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. I'm hopeful that as our community leaders, you recognize we clearly have a crisis in affordable housing in our community. Instead of being a responsive, conscience-centric approach, the new proposed map from the ReCode process appears to actually reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville!! Please, please redesign the map! Let's Recode in a manner that honors our community and seeks to serve all of our citizens. RN3 and RN4 would encourage more affordable housing in already-existing neighborhoods, which would be a GOOD approach. Thank you for including the Orange along the more accessible corridors, however we still need more of the higher-density zoning, too. Knoxville is a wonderful place to live, let's make that true for all of our families.
Staff Reply:

Proposed Rezoning

Put the orange back in!! We need more and not less.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Some Survey Questions

Not just new but renovated buildings along any corridor should be required to have a buffer whether trees, bushes, or a well maintained attractive fence. Alley ways between buildings and residential are usually unkept. Some vegetation, trellis work or partial fencing could help between residential and other uses. Strict regulation of noise from both music, parties or food trucks generators, commercial docks and smoke from any source that intrudes into residential should not be allowed.There are some reuses that should not be allowed in old buildings. But, a restaurant is a more intrusive use than a warehouse just in looking at the operating hours. While a homeowner may work during the day and not notice a warehouse during the day. The restaurant business hours of operation occur during the residents evening down time or kids bedtime. Anytime alcohol is part of the picture there is high likelihood of loud voices and inappropriate language. Lighting is becoming an issue as added street lighting occurs along with signage and lighting added as decoration at night. Car noise, fumes, and parking with people coming and going is intrusive to a family quiet time so operating hours should be restricted. The type of business is very crucial to residential stability.The reuse of an existing building should fit with the neighborhoods character. This does not mean there should be a bar on every corner. No industrial. Enough parking to stop parking carryover on to residential streets. if code requires a building height of 4 stories there should be a clause that 4 is a recommendation but if development wants less height say 2 story that would be allowed, but not higher. Supporting infrastructure, sidewalks are the developer's responsibility since many want TIFs or PILOT breaks for 20-30 years at taxpayer expence on pensions, road maintenance and other services.ADUs and STR should be restricted to only homeowner occupied with off street parking. in EN, RN-1, RN-2, and SW-1. With no subletting greater than the allowable number on the lease per unit or fire code/ occupancy limit.
Staff Reply:

Recode: Draft 2 Comments

Bring back the Orange by better utilizing the newly created RN-3 & RN-4 (as well as RN-5 where appropriate) districts that more appropriately represent the existing development patterns of the neighborhoods where it was removed. Projected population growth will necessitate "Orange" neighborhoods along corridors & with access to transit.This is inline with ReCode Section 1.2 Purpose statement - to promote economic development that balances the needs of current & future economy; utilize existing infrastructure & resources. Down-zoning current R-2 to proposed RN-2 reduces options for medium density redevelopment and doesn't reflect the existing development patterns. This reduction also further promotes financially irresponsible development patterns, leading to more sprawl, traffic, and infrastructure expenses without increasing the tax base to support it. This reduction goes against the vast amount of experts that have been brought into our community as speaker. (i.e. Joe Minicozzi, Chuck Marohn, Jana Lynott, Jeff Randoph, and more). Dwelling Design Standards: Single & Two-FamilyAs written, we're moving in the right direction. Standards MUST be objective & easy to understand and navigate. There are still some subjective wording within the standards that should be clarified. A Design Standard "Checklist" would be helpful. The Downtown Design Review Board could be used as a model to be duplicated for areas with Historical significance comprised of unbiased professionals.ParkingToo restrictive for Duplex (as written requires 2 spaces/du = 4 spaces). Requirement should consider number of bedrooms I.e. Duplex w/ a 2 bedroom unit + 1 efficiency unit. How does the code interpret a 40' single-width driveway.. 3 spaces? Need more clarification for what will actually be required to meet residential parking space requirements.ADUsAs written, Lot area minimum of 5000 sq.ft. is excellent & best practice. As written, Allowing attached or detached is excellent & best practice. Side setback of 8' and rear setback of 10' are too restrictive for small lots. In areas where ADUs are most needed (in or near transit-oriented development) residential lots often range from 50 x 100-150 feet. A 10' setback requirement makes detached ADU placement extremely challenging on small lots. In walkable urban neighborhoods, setback requirements should be kept to a minimum to enable detached ADU development: 5 feet is a reasonable setback requirement for such lots. As written, ADU setbacks are more restrictive than the setback for other comparable accessory structures, such as garages. Setback regulations for detached accessory structures may also consider tiered standards based on the detached structure's height, to protect light and air for adjacent lots. Basic design standards such as no low windows or doors are allowed within the sides of the structures that are within 5 feet of the property line. This nuanced, tiered setback approach protects neighboring properties' light, air, and privacy while affording smaller lots the same development entitlements as larger lots. It is the same development standard that applies to garages and other accessory structures.Limits to Max gross floor area.Capping ADU size is useful at responding to market needs for smaller dwellings. A reasonable cap should be smaller than the primary structure. However, adequate cap size would allow for two people to comfortably live. We need to ensure that ADUs can be at least up to 600 sq. ft. Many cities have a floor area ratio between the main house and the ADU that restricts the ADU to 300â€" 400 sq. ft. That does not work for someone who is fifty-five and has lived in a single-family home for decades. 300-400 sq.ft. doesn't work for a couple who is going to have a kid and going to live a normal life with friends and family that come and visit. A home that is 600 sq. ft. can function as a real home by the standards of what people want & expect from a home. The cap SHOULD NOT be tied to the existing floor area ratio of the primary structure.For example, a standard 800 sq.ft. post-war cottage (abundant in our urban neighborhoods) shouldn't be restricted to a 320 sq.ft. ADU. With current building codes not allowing sleeping lofts, it's quite difficult to adequately provide all that is necessary for a dwelling within such a small space. The cap SHOULD BE tied to Lot Size (as written) not to exceed the primary dwelling. A 600 sq.ft. ADU should be allowed on a 5000 sq.ft. lot even with an 800 sq.ft. primary structure. The 40% cap of primary dwelling should be removed from the code.Omit or clarify the subjective statement #9. The ADU must be designed so that the appearance of the primary structure remains that of a house.As written, no additional parking requirement is excellent & best practice.
Staff Reply:

Climate Knoxville Recode Knoxville Comments

Climate Knoxville submits comments and background information on the current draft of Recode Knoxville.Louise GorenfloClimate Knoxville
Staff Reply:

Please find the attached position letter from AIA East Tennessee. We would appreciate your consideration on these issues.John Sanders, FAIARecode Knoxville Advisory Committee Representative for AIA ETN
Staff Reply:

Comments For Todays Recode Workshop

Hello, please include the attached letter from Town Hall East, Inc. Board of Directors in today's workshop packet. Thanks!Sharon DavisTown Hall East, Inc.
Staff Reply:

Put Back The Orange

To whom it may concernI am a resident of Knoxville and spend a lot of time in east Knoxville. I am really glad to see the work being done on Magnolia but I am definitely against changing the zoning along Magnolia to single family. I think this will create many hardships for people living in this area and even impact transit service.Thank you for taking this into consideration.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Recode Knoxville

Having looked over the Recode book available at the library, here are my comments, in order of the numbers at the bottom of the page.4.4 EN zone - requires more than one finished floor, this ignores retirees who want to be in an estate type neighborhood and seek one level living. I understand specifications of more than 4 wall sections but feel 6 is a sufficient minimum if the variation is visible from the street.5.26 SW3 - Do not remove the section about "existing buildings will be encouraged for reuse". This is consistent with the march 2003 Vision Plan "feeling like a Main street and serving folks on both sides of the river, providing a place to buy a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, meet friends for coffee..." "small markets and shops..." (page 30). I like the eclectic nature of the businesses on Sevier Ave and fear that new construction would have rents so high they would only house chain establishments. 5.27 SW2 - Your draft shows a minimum of 0 and maximum of 10 for the front setback. There is a section of SW2 on Scottish Pike east of the railroad that fronts onto a SW1 zone. A development with these setbacks would harm the "small town neighborhood atmosphere" found in SW1. I am requesting that the front build-to zone be changed to a minimum of 15' and a maximum of 20' in this area. The minimum build-to frontage is much higher than the other zones and should be reduced to 50 or 60%.8.3 NC district. I am glad you retained this as well as the historic overlay. 9.6 and 9.7 - I am very concerned about restrictions on vinyl siding to 15% for townhouse and apartment developments. Furthermore the materials on the front must wrap around to the sides. We need affordable housing for people to buy or rent without being restricted to subsidized housing. New construction is a way to provide energy efficient unsubsidized housing but it needs to use affordable materials. The effect of these restrictions is that entry level multi housing will be constructed outside the city limits, furthering traffic congestion. I have heard people say that supply and demand will create affordability. My mailbox is filled every week with letters and postcards from flippers wanting to turn affordable housing into unaffordable housing. If aesthetics are a concern along the corridors, that can be addressed in the corridor plans. 10.4 ADUs - I am generally in favor of ADUs but there are valid concerns about ADUs in the RN1 district. I am OK with ADUs in the EN district as these are owners most likely to have a housekeeper, caregiver or au-pair. I am fine with ADUs in the RN2, RN3, etc districts but they need to be counted as an additional unit and parking issues need to be considered, will there be enough street parking, etc. 12.4 to 12.6 - I like trees in parking areas and would prefer 1 tree to 20 spaces as opposed to 1 tree per 30 for the interior rows. The requirement of an island being exactly the size of a space is too restrictive, better to specify a minimum s.f. per tree in an island. Peremeter trees are good, I am concerned about shrubs on the peremiter making a parking area feel less safe. Groundcover in the islands is likely to look ratty and should not be required. Installation sizes of 4' evergreens and 1.2" caliper will give the trees a better chance of survival.12.9 - I like very much that you are encouraging existing trees to be saved.- 20% is a big change in grade. That needs to be redefined. Thank you for your consideration
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Please put back the orange. Keep it. We need flexibility for affordable housing. I wish everyone could have the option of single family dwellings. However that is not possible nor wanted. We need zoning maintained for duplexes, four plexus, etc. as well as developments with 100's of units for affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Park City Preservation Alliance

The Park City Preservation Alliance (PCPA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the places, stories, history, and culture of the people of, in, and near Historic Park City, Tennessee.The PCPA Board of Directors have agreed on the following recommendations for ReCode:1. OS-1 should be retained as an option to conserve historic, archaeological, and cultural values of open space, rather than merged into the new OS that does not reflect these important land uses.2. The Historic Zoning Commission should be granted authority to allow variances for rehabilitation and habitation of documented historic accessory structures that may be non-conforming under new zoning ordinances.3. The Historic Zoning Commission should be granted authority to allow variances to permit re-building of the foundations of lost, documented historic accessory structures to allow future, code compliant construction of habitable accessory dwelling units.Sincerely,Park City Preservation Alliance Board of DirectorsPresident, Greta SchmoyerVice President, James WaldrupTreasurer, Ed StricklandSecretary, Tanner Jessel
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments - Broadway Corridor Task Force

Good EveningThanks again for meeting with Kyle and me a few weeks ago to discuss ReCode and its affect on the Broadway Corridor. As you may have seen, we have been submitting map-related comments over the past few weeks. However as we discussed in our meeting, we compiled a document with all of our general code and map-related comments, and attached that document to this email.If possible, would you mind having someone on your team go through the attached document to make sure each of the comments (specifically, the map related comments) were submitted and/or taken care of? We spent a good amount of time getting all of these comments together and they developed over time so some of our previous comments may need to be updated, and we would hate for some of the comments to be lost (it became hard keeping track of what was submitted, and what was not).Thanks again for all of your hard work in coordinating this effort, and we apologize that we are submitting these comments right up against the deadline! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me.Sincerely,Jimmy RyanKyle Anne LangBroadway Corridor Task Force
Staff Reply:

Comments On Public Draft Version 2.0

We have evaluated the current draft and respectfully submit the following comments regarding office development in the City of Knoxville:The document would be easier to navigate if all the office districts were collocated; preferably in the commercial district.Clinics and medical office buildings should be a permitted land use within the OP district.Thanks for the opportunity to comment,
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 2 Text And Draft 1 Map

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 1 and ReCode Text Draft 2.Below is the list contributors and/or ratifiers of these comments: Core Drafting & Research Team:Elizabeth RowlandMatt SterlingMoira ConnellyIdea/Feedback Contributors:Michael DavisBryan Hill CharLee HowardRatified Final Draft:Linda Haney - KCDP Vice Chair Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee MemberMichael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee MemberSylvia Woods - PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member & Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team MemberMoira Connelly - PAC Steering Team MemberMatt SterlingLouise SeamsterBryan HillWe'd also like to bring to your attention a Democratic Television (DTV) episode that we did explaining ReCode Knoxville to viewers.Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Elizabeth Rowland
Staff Reply:

Adjacent Average Grade

Please review the calculation of Adjacent Average Grade, used in defining building height in section 2.4D1. The calculation of this grade is ambiguous and Peter Ahrens suggested at a recent Recode meeting to submit a comment for MPC staff to shore up this definition. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Draft 2 Ordinance Comments

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following is a list of comments submitted by a Neighborhood Focus Group composed of neighborhood leaders from many different areas within the City:1. The existing draft permits Day Care Homes in all residential districts. Since no specific standards are provided regarding this use, it appears that regulatory control of these businesses is by the State of Tennessee. We would like to see the draft include local standards for Day Care Homes in the ordinance and not let the State dictate the intensity of this use. Furthermore, we would not permit day care homes that allow more than 6 children not related to the owners. (Article 2.3)2. Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.3. Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section from “consider” to accurately reflect the public’s intent to align these changes to the land use plans.4. For non-residential reuse properties, off-street parking is not required. They are not required to have on-premise parking. We recommend that MPC work with the Codes Department to address this issue, especially in older neighborhoods where there is no driveway or garages and residents are dependent on street parking for their vehicles.5. Planned Developments (Section 15.7): For neighborhoods which includes a multi-family development within its boundaries, traffic from these developments can create issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.6. Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): We were apprehensive of allowing ADUs as a right in all residential neighborhoods. We unanimously agreed that allowing a detached ADU as a “special use” as opposed to a use by right would alleviate the concerns of the group and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. We support this change to the zoning ordinance. Furthermore, we feel like allowing ADUs on lot sizes of 5000 square feet is too small, and recommend the lot size be increased to a minimum of 7000 square feet.The following is a list of participants: Rob Glass - Harrell Hills (Northeast Knoxville), Jennifer Reynolds - Timbercrest (West Knoxville), Molly Conoway - Oakwood Lincoln Park (North Central Knoxville), Amy Midis - Forest Heights Neighborhood (West Knoxville), Anna Compton - Cumberland Estates (Northwest Knoxville)Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Forest Heights Neighborhood Comments: Draft 2

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following are recommendations submitted from a Focus Group from Forest Heights Neighborhood. Thank you for your commitment to this project: Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): Like many residents across Knoxville, the FHNA Focus Group was divided on the issue of whether ADUs should be allowed as a use by right in all residential districts. A majority of the group does not feel there will be many detached ADUs constructed in our neighborhood, and those homeowners who choose to add them will be situations where the homeowner would use the ADU for a dependent family member. The members of the focus group who oppose the ADU would be accepting of allowing the detached ADU being a “special use” as opposed to a use by right. Allowing these as a special use would alleviate the fears of our neighbors and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. Therefore, we ask MPC to consider changing the ordinance allowing only detached ADUs as a special use in all residential districts.Flagpoles (Section 10.3K): The current draft allows three illuminated flagpoles at a height of 35”. We propose limiting the number of flagpoles to 1 per residence at a maximum height of 18”.Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. Our current R1-E zoning ordinance allows by right, home offices but not home occupations. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.Bed and Breakfast (Section 9.3B): The ordinance allows one parking space for each rented guest bedroom. It does not allow for off-street parking in front of the building. We appreciate these conditions, however, if a homeowner has 5 bedrooms available to rent, but only 3 parking spaces, the business will be restricted to renting only 3 bedrooms. How can codes enforce that only three bedrooms are being rented? Can the code’s department enforce a restriction on off-street parking being used by the operator’s guests? The Codes department has had little involvement in this area since there is only one bed and breakfast currently operating within the City. We request that the Codes department research further how to enforce restrictions on the number of rooms allowed to rent.Animals for Control of Invasive Species (Section 9.4A): We inquired over 5 years ago about the use of goats to control a steep section of our neighborhood where Kudzu has taken over and is impossible to control. This was not possible at the time, and we hope by adding this section into the zoning ordinance, it will give our neighbors a feasible option to control the kudzu on their property.Commercial properties along Kingston Pike in Bearden have new standards promoting parking in the back of the building. Our group supports the concept of parking being behind the buildings. It promotes slower traffic and more walkability in Bearden. In addition, in most cases, it is more attractive looking at a building than an empty parking lot!Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section to accurately reflect the public’s decision to align these changes to the land use plans.Planned Developments (Section 15.7): Our neighborhood includes a multi-family development within its boundaries. Traffic from this development has created issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. This development is aging and will need to be redeveloped within the next twenty years. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.Submitted by: Leslie Badaines, Jarrod Chapman, Amy Hathaway, Joe Hickman, Jim Pryor, Amy Midis, John Ulmer, and Martie Ulmer
Staff Reply:

Proposed Zoning Changes: Connectivity With Environmental Compliance, Opportunities For Blighted Properties, Green Spaces, Ridge Tops, And Established Neighborhoods

By and large I am in support of the efforts to implement form-based code in the City. It seems the design standards as they read for the more dense areas of our city are geared towards encouraging the development of great urban spaces. It is visionary, and by and large I am supportive. I do hear the criticism regarding Affordable Housing, Accessory Dwellings, Environmental Overlay, and the Public Input Process. I hope the MPC takes these concerns to heart and considers how the changes will impact specific neighborhoods in each of these cases. Some questions:Can Ridgetop Protection get codified in this 'round? This is just guidance now, right? Can the new code also include provision for commercial areas on hillsides that are unsuitable for development? Can hillside preservation be incentivised? How lot size will impact development on steep slopes is still unclear to me. Along similar lines, where are the incentives for LID (Low Impact Design) and how might the code be coordinated with stormwater regulations/incentives for LID?Is there adequate provision for accommodating innovative land use of blighted properties? (Side lots, abandoned lots, community gardens, pocket parks, etc)Can you quantify in GIS the land area within the new classifications that can potentially be used for multi-family housing or affordable housing? How does this compare with the existing code? I think Mixed Use would incorporate some of the 'orange' that appears to be eliminated in the draft, but I am unsure since this may relate more to developer incentives (still relatively 'black box'). What exactly happens to Sector and Community Plans? And related, the public input process? I understand the MPC's interest in streamlining/efficiency, etc...it just seems once something leaves MPC with blessings it doesn't get much revisit from Council or Commission. I am often discouraged by how routine the Sector Plans are amended to accommodate development. Can you diagram the proposed public input process for the "new" code?Thank you again.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Requirements

Several recommendations were made regarding landscaping requirements in response to the first draft, but unfortunately they weren't incorporated into the second draft. Adequate landscaping provides numerous environmental, economic, health (physical and mental), aesthetic and social benefits to a community.We would like to see the following provisions included in the new ordinance:Interior Landscaping of Parking LotsThe current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot. Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscape Bond:In regard to compliance with Landscape Ordinance requirements, based on discussion with those professionally qualified to understand both the value of proper landscaping for any development and the challenge of achieving compliance, the two-step LANDSCAPE BOND makes a lot of sense. The city of Chattanooga successfully employs this process. 1. PERFORMANCE BOND: This allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months and to assure reasonable growth conditions. 2. MAINTENANCE BOND: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional, such as a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, I don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In my experience, this also requires follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen. Mitigation Fund or Tree BankRecode should include some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, perhaps along the lines of how TDEC operates its stream and wetlands mitigation program. In the case of tree protection, the ordinance could specify that for each tree destroyed over a particular dbh, X number of trees of 2" caliper have to be planted; or, a value of the destroyed trees could be established and the developer pay the equivalent value into a mitigation bank, with the city using the funds for planting or landscaping projects.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Lack Of Affordable And Accessible Housing

Put back the orange! and prioritize poor and working class people.
Staff Reply:

Deb33immel@gmail.com

Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association Recode ConcernsDraft 2 text, Draft 1 MapSeptember 17, 2018Oakwood and Lincoln Park (OLP) are historic trolley-line suburbs originally developed in the early 1900s with single-family homes. The streets are narrow and many lots do not have driveways. As a result, streets are further constricted by on-street parking. With the majority of lot sizes ranging from 5000-7500 square feet, RN-2 is clearly the most suitable designation for this area, particularly for the interior section of the neighborhood. OLP currently has a diverse mix of Single-Family and Multi-Family housing that will be grandfathered in with the new code. With the new Mixed Use Zoning along commercial corridors, more Multi-Family housing can be accommodated along the neighborhood perimeter. Zoning designations such as RN-3 or above in existing small lot neighborhoods have the potential to cause more parking and traffic issues, as well as worsening storm-water problems. Some streets already experience storm water issues, such as East Springdale Avenue, Banks Avenue, Henegar Street, and Watauga Avenue at Freemason Street. Additionally, it was noted over 12 years ago that the corrugated metal culvert west of Central Street has a limited life span. Increasing density without upgrading infrastructure will further stress our aging storm-water systems. Please see the Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Plan at https://archive.knoxmpc.org/plans/smallarea/ow_lp2006.pdf, page 22). OLPNA board members are in agreement with the Neighborhood Advisory Council Focus Group that a 5,000 square foot lot size is too small for ADUs. This could be changed to 7,000 or 7,500 square feet minimum lot size. Many OLPNA members have expressed concerns about ADUs in general, with one neighbor suggesting ADUs belong only on owner-occupied lots as a best practice. Neighborhood members are also concerned about the timing of the next phases of the Recode project. While Recode has been discussed for many months, it was only recently that the maps came out for comparison. It is important that the hearings regarding Recode not go before the governing bodies of MPC and City Council during the holidays when there will be minimal public interest or input. Since the original focus of Recode was commercial, with a later addition of residential codes, it is time to slow down the process so that residents of Knoxville may be fully informed going forward. Thank you for the extension of the comment period and your consideration of the above concerns.Sincerely,Deborah Thomas President, Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association
Staff Reply:

Multi-family Housing In The Rezone Plan

Bring back the orange in the Knoxville rezoning map. More ability to provide affordable housing is needed - not less.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Put Back to Orange
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

If you cannot tell by the current homeless crisis in this city, the elimination of multi-family housing is definitely not what we need. The new zoning code needs the same or more amount of space for these types of dwellings so that we may be able to get people off the streets and into a home. Put back the orange.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back

Knoxville needs more affordable housing. Do not change the zoning.
Staff Reply:

Difficulty In Determining Actual Change And Objection To This Proposal

I represent the Norwood Homeowners Association. At the meeting of 9/18/18 the general discussion centered on the effort to gerrymander Zoning changes to allow developers to increase apartments in already over represented areas. The changes appear to be intended to limit input of concerned persons whom will be living among these changed areas. As an attorney I am aware that once the zone changes to allow the project, developers will not be limited or controlled. Indeed the number one issue is that promises made at the MPC level by developers are not enforced by MPC with no mandatory finish dates. Highlighting problems is the inconsistent application of variances based on personalities vice rational defended process. At this time my organization is not supporting the changes as the entire effort to create "affordable housing" is undercut by zones designed to maintain high cost housing and focus apartments to limited areas which are deficient in infrastructure, roads, utilities, and schools.As imperfect as the existing system is, the citizenry has some concept of the process. This new program appears to be an effort to ultimately limit ability of small individual tax payers to object to damage to their ownership rights. This is the unsaid result of an apartment complex constructed beside your home, all the intended outcome as stated at this site.
Staff Reply:

New Knoxville Recode Map

I am concerned about the current proposed rezoning map. It looks like there is a lot less area allowing multi-unit dwellings. I can understand why people might object to huge apartment buildings and massive development, but where are the RN3 and RN4 zoning areas. Buildings with small numbers of units would fit into neighborhoods very easily, without changing their character. They would also allow more houses that could be affordable to hard working people whose wages are closer to the minimum wage.
Staff Reply:

Put Back The Orange

And also add the other 2 Re-Code areas for multi-family, low cost housing. Too many people are unable to find affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress of eviction. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040. The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange.

Knoxville needs more, not less affordable housing. Please restore the orange zone.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Affordable housing creates diverse neighborhoods. Diverse neighborhoods create a vibrant, diverse city where people are respected regardless of skin color, sexual identity, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs and other individual differences. Please, put back the orange.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange

Knoxville needs more affordable housing, not less. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress of eviction. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040. The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back

Due to the amount of homeless people in our communities, I ask that you do a second draft of the map that includes more opportunities for affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back

It is well known that we are not just in need but are desperately in need of affordable housing in Knoxville. Please put the Orange Back on our map to increase areas for affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

I am concerned that multi-family housing is being decreased in the Recode process and encourage city council and the MPC to redesign the map and Put the Orange Back.
Staff Reply:

Comment On Rezoning

I am concerned that it appears that areas for multi-family housing is being greatly reduced. In a city that is struggling with affordable housing for everyone, it seems that this is counter-productive. Please allow more room for multi-family housing, not less.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Requirements

I strongly support very rigorous, mandatory landscaping requirements. This is a wonderful NPR podcast that outlines the public health and safety benefits of green and trees: https://www.npr.org/2018/09/10/646413667/our-better-nature-how-the-great-outdoors-can-improve-your-life.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Regarding ADU's, I know enforcement of ordinances is not the purview of Recode, but I am in favor of ADU permits being granted *only* to owners who occupy the primary structure. I understand they may sell to someone who will lease out the entire property, but I do believe that initial barrier will prevent many issues.Regarding the South Waterfront, this zoning has not been revisited for about a decade. While I agree with the vast majority of the provisions in that code as they stand and would like it adhered to, what we are seeing is "zoning by variance" where developers are requesting variances because the ordinance is so, in their opinion, outdated, and the City is granting these variances for the same reason. This undermines the public process that should exist. If numerous variances are going to be granted at will on every project, then the entire code needs to have another look and a new code adopted.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange!

I am very concerned about the proposed recode of the MPC. The proposed changes will make it even more difficult for moderate income folks to build affordable housing. It is unacceptable for folks to spend 50% or more on housing in our community. Thank you for giving my concerns serious consideration.
Staff Reply:

More Affordable Housing

The recode should include More Affordable Housing.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Thank you for your work on the zoning maps. However, I am concerned that we are seeing less areas that allow for affordable housing in our city. The lack of affordable housing is becoming a crisis in Knoxville, and here at Cokesbury United Methodist Church we are interacting with families every day who are struggling to find affordable places to live. Please reconsider the zoning and allow for more areas of "orange" for affordable housing of various types to be built.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I'm concerned about the proposed rezoning's effect on affordable housing in Knoxville. Thank you for your efforts to increase businesses and mixed-use. However, I'd like to see more of the urban neighborhood and general residential classes (RN-2, RN-3, RN-4, and RN-5), especially near major roads. The people who can afford to live in a single-family residence are also the people who can afford one or more cars to get them where they need to go. They can live in the suburbs. There needs to be multiple family units near the KAT bus routes. Please put back the orange. Thanks.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing Rezoning

I see the upcoming recommendations for rezoning as very disturbing for the city. How can we keep affordable housing for so many in Knoxville who need it? The changes will make a great deal of trouble for many who barely make it in their current homes. If evicted, which is unfortunately often, where would they go? What could they do for their children? THINK ABOUT THAT, not the opportunity for more expensive residential areas. Also remember that there are many places for expanding the city, particularly out west.
Staff Reply:

Recoding

BRING THE ORANGE BACK !
Staff Reply:

Recode New Zoning: Put The Orange Back.

Put the Orange Back, please. Knoxville needs more affordable housing, not less. Too many families in our community are paying 50% or more for their housing monthly. This ratio is unacceptable and puts these families at high risk of homelessness. Please revise this proposal.
Staff Reply:

More Affordable Housing

Knoxville needs more affordable housing. Recent surveys indicate that 21,000 citizens of Knoxville pay more than 50% of their income for housing. The people who live and work in our city deserve affordable housing. If we can't get employers to pay a wage that allows people to afford their housing, we can certainly provide opportunities for housing through other means. Put the Orange Back!
Staff Reply:

Proposed Recode Map

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040.The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to return some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Established Neighborhoods

Please leave the Codes as is for Established Older neighborhoods. I am opposed to the Recode proposal.These established neighborhoods define Knoxville and would be horrible for that to change.They give character and define much of he history of Knoxville.The Recode proposal would destroy this history. Many folks move to Established Neighborhoods for the coding it now has. The coding and lot sizes and architect style attracts folks to these locations.A Recode is not good.
Staff Reply:

Multi-family Housing Zoning

Knoxville needs to be zoned for more affordable, multi-family housing.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Please, we need affordable housing! vote for help!
Staff Reply:

Institutional Bias?

Dear MPC Members:Few are aware that they inadvertently employ institutional bias, so when I look at the proposed changes, I am afraid that unwitting, unintended biases against those who desperately need decent, affordable housing will prevail for too long a period of time. Since it has been a near-50-year zoning period prior to this recoding effort, likely what happens now will be adversely affecting, and clearly, evidently, perhaps cruelly marginalizing those most in need of decent housing opportunities. A family with two minimum-wage-earning adults able to actually work 40 hours per week, has an annual income about $36,440 less than the median family income. Financial advisors say to spend only 25-30% of your income for housing monthly. That means $628-$754 per month for the most basic housing available. That leaves just about $400 per week (at 4.3 weeks per month) for food, transportation, minimal medical expenses, possible day care, school supplies, and clothing. Forget about entertainment, books to read, trips to the Great smoky Mountains: survival is all that is possible and there are very few, if any decent abodes for a small family that are just $628-$754 per month. The map I just saw of where and how much "ORANGE" appears on your map is shocking and just plain wrong. Please, please, please!: Let us NOT keep the NEXT generation trapped in the loop of poverty and feeling that one must always live at the base of the housing pyramid. Please, please, please, PUT BACK THE ORANGE and do not be guilty of keeping generations marginalized by unintended bias. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Reconsider The Recode

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County’s most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress of eviction. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040. The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Downtown Island Airport

Yesterday I became aware that City of Knoxville is doing a project called "Knoxville Recode." If I understand, this is a project to update the zoning ordinances for the city. If this is true, I would like to talk with you or whomever would be the proper person to ensure Downtown Island Airport has an "Air Overlay Zone" identified in the update. Has Downtown Island Airport already been considered in the project? If not, the Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to have proper planning and zoning around their facility. This project seems to be the right time to add an Air Overlay Zone in the ordinance.
Staff Reply:

Draft 2 Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the second draft of Recode Knoxville. Many of the regulations in the proposed code succeed in streamlining the permitting process and providing design flexibility. The proposed code should also: protect and promote residential character; establish a transparent, interactive development review process; and ensure that our overall community is attractive.Ensure that existing and proposed residential development promotes a sense of community.1. Home Occupation - in addition to the proposed regulations there should be a size limit (25% of habitable floor area) and a limit on public visits (by appointment only which can be achieved by not advertising the address). There is no restriction on the number of public visits. No stipulation as to adverse impacts (noise, light, smell, vibration)2. Day Care Homes - the standards in the existing code should be maintained. As written there is no limit on # of children and no requirement to maintain residential appearance or character. 3. Kennels - the typical limit of five dogs/cats prevents residential animal hoarding. As proposed, there is no limit.4. Accessory Dwelling Units - as written, this standard will entice investors to bid on properties, construct a second dwelling unit, then rent both units out thereby driving up the market price of residential property and degrading the stability and social fabric of neighborhood community. This escalating value of real estate lessens the availability of affordable/workforce houses. By requiring the homeowner to live on the property, the home owner has a revenue stream (helpful for moderate or low-income families) or lodging for family or caretakers, close control of the property, an on-site contact for neighbors should complaints arise, and disincentivizes rapid increase of market rates (investors would not want to live on the property).5. Multi-family - provide simple design standards to avoid a shoe box appearance; such as façade modulation, variation in texture or color, and porches/balconies/decks.6. Consistency - EN has a minimum lot size of 22,000 sq. ft. per Table 4-1. EN with a HP overlay has a minimum lot size of 7,200 sq. ft. (6 du per acre) Table 8-1. "Table 8-1: Density and Land Disturbance Limitation establishes the maximum residential density ." Why would HP allow greater density?7. Garage Sales - how frequently can an owner have a garage sale until it becomes a business?Establish a transparent, interactive development review process.1. Expand the flow charts to include appeals.2. Require posted signs to be clearly visible by two-way traffic on each right-of-way contiguous to the property.3. The required 12 days for sign posting should not include holidays as people are more likely to be away.4. Provide notice to neighborhood associations.5. Special Use Conditions should also be able to address use impacts such as hours of operation, noise, etc.6. Provide mailed notice of applications for Administrative Decisions to contiguous property owners and post a yard sign.7. For Special Use approval note that this does not set a precedence.8. For Variance Approval Standards add: The Applicant did not create the situation; and, Other options involving a lesser variance has been considered.9. Extending nonconforming walls should require a variance processEnsure that our overall community is attractive.1. Cell Towers should not be a permitted use in the Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District. This district is "intended to provide for an environment of integrated residential development and small-scale commercial and service uses, predominantly serving nearby residential neighborhoods." Town Hall East was able to successfully deter a proposed cell tower in the Burlington commercial center due to notice of public hearing process.2. Increase the likelihood that required landscaping will survive either through a two-year landscape maintenance bond or irrigation.
Staff Reply:

Re-code Comment

As a Knoxville resident living in a transitional area that is undergoing gentrification, I am very concerned about the future of racial and economic diversity in our neighborhoods. It is absolutely imperative that any zoning changes resulting from the recode process accommodate the need for increased housing density that would be necessary to preserve socioeconomic diversity.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Map

Put back the Orange, but not just for expensive high rise condos, build more affordable housing!
Staff Reply:

Re-zoning

I am alarmed to see the proposed reduction of land that can be used for multi-family housing development. We are already facing an affordable housing crisis in Knoxville and can ill-afford to lose the ability to develop additional multi-family units.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

PUT BACK THE ORANGE. Knoxville needs more multi family housing not less. You are prioritizing higher income folks and not pushing Knoxville to be a city that prioritizes the vast need for affordable housing. I've been to meetings and you are always citing comments from West Hills or Sequoya Hills, or Fountain City and not referring to comments made at the Urban League meetings from Burlington residents from East Knoxville residents and you actively tell them you are not recording their comments despite the fact that a forum or meeting could be their only way to provide a comment. PUT BACK THE ORANGE and stop excluding low income folks' comments.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Please put back the orange! More, not less, affordable housing is needed. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Housing Unfairness

Please: "put the orange back" in your planning process!
Staff Reply:

Put Back The Orange

Put Back The Orange.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I commented earlier on my objections in the new codes proposal. At that time, I was not aware of the proposal to reduce the minimum lot size to 5000 square ft. It was well hidden even when I was looking for it after it was called to my attention. This would open the door to rampant tear downs and small new subdivisions in Sequoyah Hills and some other neighborhoods. You would make this more financially attractive thus destroying the beauty and consistency of neighborhoods and take away our ability to oppose it. Part of the recoding seems to be against maintaining the integrity of existing neighborhoods. I am told it would make it easier for BZA and MPC reducing variances, etc. One size cannot fit all and you are paid to do these jobs by we, the taxpayers. Please reconsider this. I failed also to object to unlimited heights on the Scenic Hwy, Kingston Pike. I believe the current standard is adequate and we do not want a tunnel down the pike like Cumberland Ave. What you done there is a tragic mistake not only visually, but making negotiating traffic nearly impossible. I hate to think of ambulances trying to get in after struggling recently to get to an appointment at Ft. Sanders! Thanks for extending the comment period.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Put back the orange
Staff Reply:

Downtown Residential Uses

Hello,Thank you for your effort.I am concerned that the proposed code seems to totally override existing residential uses downtown.Section 5.2.B. of the code states that multi-family dwellings are allowed only in the DK-B subdistrict of downtown?? Am I missing something? There is multi-family dwelling all over the downtown area. (Very little housing exists in DK-B, incidentally.) Encouraging people to live downtown has been a cornerstone of economic development for the past two decades. It's a key of how creative people and academics choose to relocate to Knoxville. What happens to the hundreds of families who live in proposed DK-W, DK-G, and DK-H sub-districts? I am a resident just north of downtown in The Mews Development on Magnolia, where I live with my husband and toddler. In the current plan, our development will be zoned DK-W. (Search 110 W Magnolia.) Prior to moving here, my husband and I lived for 10 years in a mixed-use development on Summit Hill drive--now proposed as DK-G. I'm just really confused. Thanks for any clarification you can share.
Staff Reply:
The wording of this provision of the draft zoning code update is a bit confusing. The intent was to limit single use residential buildings to certain sub-districts of the downtown, requiring mixed use (residential and commercial, etc) in all other sub-districts. There has been a good bit of discussion with regard to restricting single use residential buildings in any area of downtown, and the standards for this likely will change in the next draft. At any rate, the wording will be clearer!

Put Back The Orange

More multi-family housing is needed in Knoxville . . . Put back the ORANGE!
Staff Reply:

Comments On Recode 2 From City Of Knoxville Tree Board

The Knoxville Tree Board has had an opportunity to review the second draft of Recode Knoxville and we appreciate your incorporating some of our past comments in the redraft. Below are the comments that the Tree Board is providing on the second draft. The Tree Board looks forward to working with you on incorporating these comments as Recode moves forward. We have also had an opportunity to review the technical comments provided by Knoxville's Urban Forester and fully support these comments.City of Knoxville Tree Board Comments for Recode Knoxville Draft 2 1. Article 12 still needs to have an individual within the green industry (Landscape architect, Certified arborist, horticulture specialist, etc.) review plans and insure compliance. This is a position that many communities such as Nashville and Chattanooga has in place. The purpose of having this position is not to ensure aesthetics of the landscaping but to minimize costs of having to replace improper landscaping, ensure the economic and community benefits of landscaping are achieved through the design, and prevent unnecessary costs to utilities and the City from improper designs. This position allows engineering and building inspectors to review items of their expertise and allow the landscaping being review by the right professional as well. 2. 12.2.D Alternative compliance measure should include measure to allow mitigation or compliance off site if determined significant hardships exist to get compliance. This is likely something that all parties would agree to and is not considered any additional regulation or reduction in regulation. Many communities allow developers to pay into a bank to have trees or landscaping installed in alternative locations to meet the public and environmental benefits of landscaping.3. Section 12.9 should have similar language as the Tree Protection ordinance in defining the Tree Preservation Zone. 4. 12.9 Focus of preservation should be about groups of trees and not individuals. See purpose of this entire zoning code. Article 1.2.G "Preserve open space and natural areas, reduce traffic congestion, utilize existing infrastructure and resources, and preserve quality of life". 5. 12.9.B should allow for 100% of the screening to be form existing trees if conserved. This would allow for groupings of trees to be preserved on sites, while still meeting the objectives. Need to stop thinking only about aesthetics. 6. 12.9 How do you ensure survivability if bonds are being removed from the Article. If landscape is not bonded, can bonding requirement be shifted over from other parts of a development to ensure compliance?7. Is there any reference to the Tree Protection Ordinance? This should occur as there are also requirements within a development that occur in the TPO that all need addressed and overlap this zoning code.
Staff Reply:

Discrimination

Put back the orange!
Staff Reply:

Strengthen Our Outdoor Lighting Ordinance

Knoxville and our surrounding neighbors would greatly benefit from a stronger lighting code. Light pollution obscures the natural beauty of our skies and wastes so much energy. Let's position our city as a leader, not only for our local regain but in the Southeast as well, protecting the night skies and reducing energy consumption by including stronger restrictions in the outdoor lighting section. As we continue to develop the Urban Wilderness, this facet of our zoning code is something we must consider.One of the best model ordinances is the Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code, a model ordinance proven to reduce light pollution and energy use. Help Knoxville lead our region in reducing lighting pollution! The Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code can be found here: http://www.flagstaffdarkskies.org/WPdev/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CBL-POLC-standard-v2.0.pdf
Staff Reply:

Housing

Put back the Orange
Staff Reply:

New Zoning Recode

Please consider the impact recoding the Knoxville new zoning code upon low income housing and families. A diverse Knoxville will be a healthy Knoxville for all. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I am very excited about, and completely support, this effort. Communication of over-arching goals needs to be stronger: Maybe you need a preface or rationale that isn't there. Rationale for ReCODE KnoxvileThe population in Knoxville and Knox County is projected to grow by 30% in the next 20 years: does this mean 30% more sprawl? 30% more roads? Knoxville needs to have new ways of accommodating growth, with more diverse residential and housing options. Current zoning codes are outdated! Right now in a neighborhood center such as Fountain City or Bearden, a four story mixed use building with a ground floor commercial use, such as a restaurant or hair salon, and upper level condos is against the current zoning codes. The big change in ReCODE Knoxville is to allow "mixed use" buildings (with commercial tenants and residential units) on specific "nodes" or "corridors" in existing Knoxville neighborhoods.ReCODE Knoxville also allows for a much greater diversity of residential and housing options: mixed use commercial and residential zones in exisiting neighborhood centers, smaller minimum lot sizes in some areas, accessory units (granny flat, loft rental) in some areas, and more flexibility in set-back and encroachment requirements for some areas. Explain why form based codes are a good idea? COMMENTS ON THE PUBLIC DRAFTPage 1-1 Purpose:ADD: "Provide for a greater diversity of residential / housing options"Page 5-1 C-N: Neighborhood Commercial Zoning DistrictCould you call this C-N: NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL MIXED USE ZONING DISTRICT? (or even MU-N: Mixed Use Neighborhood Zoning District). "Commercial" is a single-use concept, with subset definitions, from the 1950's zoning approach. Mixed use is the BIG MESSAGE, C-G: General Commercial Zoning DistrictCould you call this C-G: GENERAL COMMERCIAL MIXED USE ZONING DISTRICT? (or even MU-G: Mixed Use General Zoning District) "Commercial" is a single-use concept, with subset definitions, from the 1950's zoning approach. Mixed use is the BIG MESSAGE, Page 5-13 MaterialsThis is highly problematic. I think other architects will weigh in on this, The majority of new structures are based on panel systems, with insulated aluminun panels, terracotta, innovative cement-based materials, innovative synthetic materials. Are these "metal sidings? exposed aggregate / concrete / Plastic .Review process:I have been a member of the Downtown Review Board and feel that the workshops and approval process has resulted in a flexible approach to interpreting basic standards and in improving the quality of permanent new structures in our downtown.I support MPC Staff Review for ReCODE Knoxville . However, I believe that the staff should be empowered to refer some decisions to a "Mixed Use Review Board". Further, ALL projects that exceed $4,000,000 or 4 stories for neighborhoods or commercial centers (C-N / MU-N or C-G / MU-G) should be mandated to present to a "Knoxville Mixed Use Review Board"---This is NOT the Downtown Review Board, but similar. Based on my experience on the Downtown Review Board, this will result in better projects. Any perceived "delay" because of the time needed for these reviews should be understood in the context of approving new construction that might easily last for the next 30-50 years. Another few months for review insures good decisions for the long term. There is so much detail in the proposal, it is hard for the average citizen to understand the big picture and the implication of all the detailsSPECIFIC SITESKingston Pike corridor in BeardenThe "anchors" of the Kingston Pike corridor in Bearden, Western Plaza and the intersection with Northshore, should remain as CG-3.The area south of Kingston Pike (Ashes Wine, Krogers, Aldi's, Talbotts, Buddy's BBQ, etc, should remain as CG-3The area north of Kingston Pike between the "nodes" of Western Plaza and Northshore, should be CG-2. These properties about low scale development along Sutherland Avenue. Most of Sutherland Avenue is now CG-2, and this area should be as well.
Staff Reply:

Nothing Less

PUT BACK THE ORANGE!
Staff Reply:

Recode

Bring back the orange. The proposed map doesn't allow for affordable housing and increased density.
Staff Reply:

Accessory Dwelling Units

I would encourage you all to share more information on the recode site about the future issues we are facing. With independent studies about likely population growth of our City (not the county) if we assume the status quo. Make sure a majority of the people agree there is a problem before you ask us to approve your solution. Many of the proposed solutions will promote increased density that is is apparent but we should not assume that is a goal of the residents of this city.My immediate issue is with ADU. If allowed they should not be allowed without the owner living on the property. If that is not enforceable then they should not be allowed.
Staff Reply:

Excessive Bureaucracy

I wish to address the vague terms used throughout the draft and the authority of MPC to decide on a case by case basis how these restriction apply. Modern technology can measure noise, light, and other environmental conditions with precision. Throughout the draft, noise, glare, vibration, and other environmental conditions are restricted based on "what is detectable by normal senses outside the lot or unit." Knoxville should follow most modern cities by measuring noise limits using decibels and light limits measured by lumens or foot-candles. Another issue is the micromanagement of building design. Throughout the draft, commercial and residential building are restricted by: building materials permitted, location of primary entrance, minimum windows required, garage location, and much more. Residents located in a Historic Overlay are hampered by the bureaucracy of a government board instead of a community association. Great historic cities such as Charleston, SC and Savanna, GA are sustained by community associations using deed restrictions, not government bureaucracy. Primary entrances for residents in mixed use zones must face the primary street while parking must be located in the rear of the building. Property owners should have the option of locating entrances to satisfy tenants desires. Carrying groceries from a back parking lot to a front entrance can be a struggle for residents, especially during severe weather. A minimum amount of transparency (windows) is required on front facade of buildings. This conflicts with energy conservations standards which recommends window size be based on building orientation to the sun. Some businesses may desire an interior view much different from the outside.In closing, our codes need updating, but more time for public vetting would ensure the system will work. Spending a year to draft over 200 pages behind closed doors and expecting the public to review it in a few weeks is unreasonable.
Staff Reply:

Tazewell Pike-beverly Station Neighbohood Draft 2 Comments

These comments are submitted regarding the second draft of Recode Knoxville. Please refer to the attached letter.We agree totally with the comments and recommendations of the Community Forum and are providing an additional copy of those as well.Sincerely,Jamie Rowe
Staff Reply:

Recode And Successful Transit

Amy and Gerald,Please see the attached comments regarding the current Recode proposal, and my thoughts on its potential impact on successful transit service in Knoxville. Let me know of any questions.Thanks very much-Belinda Woodiel-BrillDirector of Communications and Service Development,Knoxville Area Transit
Staff Reply:

Fountain City Town Hall Letter Re: Recode

Good morning,Please find attached a letter on behalf of Fountain City Town Hall regarding ReCode Knoxville. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and as always for the work you do on behalf of the Knoxville community. Kelly EllenburgBoard Chair, Fountain City Town Hall
Staff Reply:

Loss Of Open Space Preservation District (os-1) In Recode

It appears OS-1 is being dropped from ReCode. I think that means we are losing a valuable type of zoning that conserves cultural landscapes and archaeological sites. OS-1 is notably different from OS-2 and what it's being replaced with (OS). While OS-1 so far primarily been applied to golf courses and interstate medians, it has a lot of potential that someone not coming from a historic preservation / natural resources conservation perspective would miss. It is not as restrictive as a "Natural Area" and not limited to parcels of 1 acre or more. It is also appropriate for and compatible with low-density residential parcels that intersect the hilltop protection overlay, such as the home I live at on Chestnut Ridge. Current definition from Municode - note item 5 in bold (my emphasis added):This open space preservation district is established to provide areas in which the principal use of land is devoted to the preservation and protection of recreational and conservation open space. The district is intended to preserve, and enhance land as permanent open space that contributes to the creation of a network of lands that provide safe and enjoyable areas and routes for non-intensive recreational opportunities, is protective of natural resources, and is compatible with surrounding land uses. The district is consistent with and intended to implement the Park, Public Institutional, Open Space and Environmental Protection land use classifications of the Knoxville - Knox County General Plan 2033 , or its successor documents.B. Permitted principal and accessory uses and structures. The following uses shall be permitted in the OS-1 (open space preservation) district:1.Horticulture, floriculture, forests and woods, community gardens.2.Houses.3.Recreational open space, such as parks, playgrounds, golf courses and country clubs, cycling, hiking and equestrian trails, parkways, hunting preserves, camps and resorts, fishing lakes, and greenway and blueway corridors.4.Conservation open space, such as watershed protection areas, public water supply points, lakes and reservoirs, wildlife management areas, and significant natural areas.5.Historic and archeological sites.6.Accessory buildings, structures and uses.7.Wireless communications facilities, subject to the provisions of article V, section 20.OS-1 is entirely appropriate for cemeteries and other archaeological sites. The new "OS" drops out recognition of the value of landscape conservation and archaeological sites.The new "OS" zone combines the "old" OS-2 primarily intended for parks (and incompatible with housing, and indifferent to archeological sites or cultural and scenic landscape values):The OS Parks and Open Space Zoning District is intended to create, preserve, and enhance public open space to meet the passive and active park and recreational needs of the City. The OS District provides for both improved and unimproved park and recreation lands. Facilities may include, but are not limited to, structures or other active, playoriented facilities such as playgrounds, recreational fields, ball-fields, sport courts, and dog parks, cultural facilities such as museums and libraries, and associated accessory facilities such as recreation and community centers, park administrative offices, and restroom facilities.Source: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft2/chapters/Article%207-Special%20Purpose%20Districts.pdfYou can see below there is an improvement where "OS" has been applied to Cemeteries in Park City (incidentally, some cemeteries such as Shieldstown Cemetery at 1933 Linden Ave, Stephens Cemetery at 1405 McCalla, Vance Cemetery on Bethel, Good Citizens Cemetery at 830 Addison, ad Eastport Cemetery off Wilder Pl on Fuller have been forgotten (Eastport is not marked in KGIS Parks layer, although an "underground railroad site" at 1021 Fuller is. I can individually comment on those using the "feedback" utility on those specific parcels (I in fact already commented on the Shieldstown lot) but it will take quite a lot of work and I thought it would be easier just to talk to you about these parcels.It's possible to look at the "Parks" map on KGIS to find all these hidden parcels / historic sites. It looks like Temple Beth-El cemetery at Linden and Winona has both H1 and OS zoning, but the underground railroad site at 1021 Fuller only has H1. Even with the new OS zoning, as currently defined its utility seems centered on parks and ball fields. It drops out the earlier language and uses from OS-1 concerning landscape and natural area and archaeological site preservation. While it goes without saying a cemetery is not a ball field, the new zoning code should not try to merge these two distinct land uses (see below - Dr. Walter P Hardy Park merged with Mt Calvary Cemetery, Bethel Civil War Cemetery, Potters Field Cemetery, and Odd Fellows Cemetery.I'd like to get your thoughts on this and possibly run it by Carol Evans with Legacy Parks and maybe other environmental conservation oriented civic groups.I have submitted feedback on my own home (zoned RN2 in recode and intersecting the hilltop protection overlay) the following comment:Parcel is in the hilltop protection overlay should be zoned OS-1 under the existing code, "The district is intended to preserve, and enhance land as permanent open space that contributes to the creation of a network of lands that provide safe and enjoyable areas and routes for non-intensive recreational opportunities, is protective of natural resources, and is compatible with surrounding land uses. " An OS-1 equivalent should be made available to conserve natural resources in the hilltop protection overlay while also permitting existing uses and compatible uses as permitted under existing OS-1.This also relates to Chestnut Ridge's history as "Chestnut View Park," important to African American heritage, and to the scenic values of our forested ridgetops.I feel this is something Park City Preservation Alliance can formally offer a position on. Ideally, a join statement with other conservation-oriented groups could be formulated. However, I wanted to run these initial ideas by you as I feel there is a strong connection between OS-1 and cultural resources and landscape values that are connected to historic preservation. I believe it would be a mistake to merge "OS-2" focused on recreation and "OS-1" that has the potential to reflect landscape, cultural resource, and historic preservation values. OS-1 has not been used to its full potential; the full potential will be lost if it is merged with OS-2 as "OS" in ReCode.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Comments And A Request For More Debate

Mr. Green,Attached please find follow-up comments to your August 24th meeting with members of Fountain City community organizations and a request for more debate on Recode Knoxville. We on Gibbs Drive and others throughout the Fountain City community look forward to working with MPC staff and city representatives on producing the best possible zoning ordinances for Knoxville's future.Sincerely,Gibbs Drive Historic Neighborhood Association
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Dear MPC and recode Knoxville officials,I just heard that the "comment period" has been extended.I wanted to make it clear that our neighborhood and many others who have written are asking for the "entire process", the "timeline" of going before City Council etc. is what we are asking to be slowed down. It will take much more time than a "few extra days" to make sure neighborhoods are informed and able to make suggestions.I am trying to read as many pages as possible daily, but we have only had this hard copy for about 2 weeks.Please, let's don't rush this process. The city should have the best interest of residents as a priority, and it is NOT in our best interest to push this through before neighborhoods have had time to read and digest this material.Additionally, we call your attention to 2 articles written by Nick DellaVolpe on August 27th and August 29th for knoxtntoday.com that detail some very important issues about recode.Jamie RowePresident, Tazewell Pike-Beverly Station Neighborhood Coalition
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I am concerned with the speed that this is moving forward and I have not been able to attend any meetings. I am opposed to in the proposed code is the idea of removing planned zones and allowing developers to negotiate with MPC staff without a public process. This should not be allowed to happen. This feels like it is being railroaded through without enough discussion or explanation to the public.
Staff Reply:

Recode Concerns

I am concerned with the speed that this is moving forward. Due to traveling for work, I have not been able to attend any meetings but based on what I have read, I think it needs further discussion and input. Some specific areas of concern I have include: removing the requirement to comply with long range and other plans, especially removing the Hillside plan requirements from zones other than residential. There are many areas in the city where slope is a concern on industrial and commercial sites and I am opposed to removing the Hillside plan from these zones. Also, it should not be up to legislative discretion as to whether or not to comply with the plans. This will cause a great deal of difficulty for anyone trying to appeal a zoning or Use on Review in court. Another area of concern is accessory units - these should be required for either the main home or the accessory unit to be owner-occupied. While I am supportive of the idea, I believe it is a necessity that the person renting out the accessory building be living on the property. Another area I am opposed to in the proposed new code is the idea of removing planned zones and allowing developers to negotiate with MPC staff without a public process. This should not be allowed to happen.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

Please help us to preserve the Kesterwood, Oak park, Gibbs Road area from changes in the current zoning. The Jacksboro pike Corridor has deteriorated to the point where I will no longer walk the area. I cannot allow my grandchildren to be on bikes without me outside watching them. Section 8 housing, homelessness, and crime have escalated to the point where I no longer recognize my neighborhood. I have lived on those two streets for 22 years and now feel unsafe. Theft is rampant and prostitutes stroll the area between the firehall at Essary to the overpass on Old Broadway. Please help save our neighborhood and preserve property values. Please!! Thank you!!
Staff Reply:

100 Block E Glenwood R-2 To Rn-?

I own a house at 131 E Glenwood Ave currently zoned R-2 as are most of the houses in the 100 block of E Glenwood Ave on the north side of the street. The proposed zoning is RN-1 which is not comparable to R-2 and harmful to comforming duplex owners in the block. I request MPC consider rezoning to a more comparable R-2 zoning such as RN-3 RN-4 or RN-5. Surrounding comparable properties that justify RN-3 to RN-5 zoning:Directly across the street is Brownlow Loft Condos proposed to be RN-5 104 E Glenwood - a boarding house with several different residents each renting rooms and sharing a kitchen and bathrooms109 E Glenwood - a multifamily apartment house with several different apartments - 4 or more131 E Glenwood - a duplex125 E Glenwood - a duplex short term rental - the basement apartment is primarily rented on AirBnbThank you for your consideration.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back

- Return to the proposed zoning map all areas zoned for multifamily housing in the current zoning map.- Reduce zoning constraints on housing types or change to more flexible zoning ordinances to allow by right a variety of housing choices while maintaining neighborhood character.- Allow by right in low-density residential zones duplexes, three-flats, and small four-unit buildings within single family areas. Such modest increase in density potential immediately opens up huge development potential without threatening the existing character of neighborhoods.- Develop standards for new construction that ensure new housing types are compatible with existing housing.- Revise the Recode zoning map to provide opportunities to build small multifamily housing (2-8 units) by right (RN-4):o On and near transit corridors.o As a transition from commercial to single family zones.o In areas with a significant presence of existing small multi-family housing.o On vacant land.- Promote dynamic new centers that provide a mix of land uses, including affordable housing, that are aligned with moving our city toward public transportation, walkability, and accessibility to jobs, retail, recreation, and amenities. Adopt development standards such as site design requirements and buffering requirements that allow residents to live in closer proximity to their jobs, transportation system and markets.
Staff Reply:

Draft 2.0 Of Knoxville's Proposed Zoning Code

September 13, 2018Dear City Council Members:We are writing on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC), an organization with more than 200 members. Our comments address Draft 2.0 of the proposed zoning code, using the League's adopted principles and positions as their basis. We don't address Draft 1 of the zoning map, other than to say that technically it is well-done and easy to use. LWVKKC supports this much-needed zoning code update, with its streamlined reorganization and concise presentation of complex material. The League also supports two key goals implicit in the proposed code: (1) addressing the growing need for affordable housing in Knoxville, and (2) encouraging less reliance on personal vehicles for mobility.Nevertheless, LWVKKC has two significant concerns with the proposed code: (1) Although affordable housing and vibrant, stable neighborhoods are supposedly part of the vision for Knoxville, some measures in the proposed code - unless revised - may work against that vision. (2) In an effort to achieve greater administrative efficiency, short shrift is being given to citizen's right to know about and comment on land use decisions that affect them.Our specific comments are summarized below. Detailed versions of these comments are attached, organized by the articles in which they occur. ______________________________Hillside Protection Overlay. The HP Overlay should apply to all types of districts - residential and non-residential - as it did in the 2011 Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan adopted by City Council. Infill Housing Overlay. To foster affordable, compatible housing in older neighborhoods scattered around the city, we should keep the Infill Housing overlay.Accessory Dwelling Units. To add to the stock of affordable housing in Knoxville while minimizing disruption of stable neighborhoods, ADUs should have two restrictions: (1) their use as short-term rentals should be prohibited, and (2) in EN, RN-1, and RN-2 neighborhoods, they should be limited to owner-occupied properties. Required Notice of Public Hearings and Meetings. Required notice of a public hearing/meeting should include information on how to submit written comments.Administrative Modifications. The Zoning Administrator should send notice of a request for an administrative modification to abutting and adjacent property owners, allowing them 10 business days to comment before the decision is made. Immediately after the decision is reached, they should be advised of (a) the decision made, and (b) their right to appeal it. Planned Developments. Neighborhood associations, business associations, potentially affected property owners, and other members of the public should get notice of the proposed project early in the process, as soon as a concept plan has been developed. Their opportunity for comment should not be limited to the preliminary plan stage. They also should get notice of the staff review for "substantial compliance" prior to MPC's review and approval of the final plan. __________________________While still a work in progress, the proposed code is an important step forward. Thank you for all your effort on this monumental task.Sincerely,Linda MaccabePresident, LWVKKCMary EnglishLand Use and Environment Chair, LWVKKC
Staff Reply:

Community Forum's Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 2, 9-13-18

Community Forum is an organization with representatives from many City of Knoxville and Knox County neighborhoods.On May 10, 2018, Community Forum submitted its initial response to the First Draft of Recode Knoxville. It included material on 13 topics. On May 17, 2018, we submitted additional material on our Topic # 14 regarding the Office Zoning District. On August 14, 2018, Community Forum submitted a Response regarding standards for Approval of Rezoning in Article 15. That topic is also covered in this response. See Topic 18.Attached is Community Forum's September 13, 2018, response to the Second Draft of Recode Knoxville.Part 1: Includes material on 11 New Topics, numbered 15-25. Part 2: Includes material to Update the 14 topics, numbered 1-14, covered in our May 10 and May 17, 2018, responses to the First Draft.While we have not repeated in Part 2 everything previously submitted, we wish to call to your attention once again these very important issues which have largely not been addressed in the Second Draft. An example is the proposed entirely new concept of Planned Development and the process for using it. In our May 10 comments, we devoted 9 pages to this subject, and no changes have been made since the First Draft, and there has been no public discussion of it that we are aware of. We have received no response on this topic or on many others.For your convenience we have also attached a Compilation of our previous submissions.We wish to reiterate our earlier stated position regarding our support of Recode Knoxville. We have attended many public meetings, City Council workshops, and Stakeholder Committee meetings. Our members have talked with many members of the community, especially in our own neighborhoods, but also in others. We are doing our best to inform others about what is being proposed and what it means for our community. We are urging that others become engaged in the process. Our objective remains the same: to work with others to improve the proposed Ordinance, by comparing it to our existing Ordinance, and examining the impact proposed changes will have on our neighborhoods.We would like to discuss at your convenience, these issues as well as some non-policy, technical issues which we believe are also very important. It would be much more efficient to attempt to resolve any differences of opinion on these issues before the Third Draft is issued, and rather than having to try to do it when the entire proposed Ordinance comes before MPC and City Council in the future.Sincerely,Ms. Sue Mauer, ChairpersonLarry Silverstein, Secretary-Treasurer
Staff Reply:

16.2 Nonconforming Use, D. Discontinuation And Abandoment

D. Discontinuation or Abandonment If a nonconforming use is discontinued for a continuous period of six* months**, the nonconforming use terminates automatically. Any subsequent use of such land or structure must comply with all regulations of the zoning district in which the structure or land is located. * strike "six" and insert "18"insert ", and is not actively marketed,"Add definition for "actively marketed" to 2.3 Definitions sections:Property is marketed continuously online through professional multiple listing services (example, Realtor.com, FlexMLS, Knoxville Area Associaton of Realtors Commercial Information Exchange, LoopNet, Costar, Zillow, etc) and/or signage indicating that property is for sale or lease.
Staff Reply:
MPC and City staff will work with our consultants to make the changes noted to the non-conforming use section and the addition of a definition for "actively marketed".

Apartments

If the zoning for an existing multi apartment house is R-1A, will the new zoning of RN2 prohibit the house from being used as a multi apartment building?
Staff Reply:
If the apartment building were legally established (obtained required zoning and building permit approvals), it can continue to operate, could be maintained, could be sold or leased, etc. It likely could not be expanded - more dwelling units created or additions made to the building.

Recode

This is way too complicated. The sheer length of the Design Standards alone will drive away development and prolong the ability of staff to make timely decisions.I find it hard to believe that we're going to have Design Standards for single-family housing and fences now. The 34 pages of Design Standards has already run off a potential developer for a small M-F project in an O-1 zone. This is not realistic and the design standards being used work in high-density, heavily populated urban environments, where the additional cost can be justified by higher prices and rents, but not in this market. Nice job Knoxville...nothing brings a booming economic expansion to a grinding halt like new regulations...and right now, it is just painting a picture of uncertainty. No one can move forward with purchases for new developments, because they're unsure of what they may get hit with, when it comes time to develop the property.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I heard that the developers will fight back about design standards. Please hold strong because the city needs to be more beautiful to match the surrounding hills and valleys. I encourage trees and landscaping at all new projects, less parking and parking in the BACK of buildings, buffers between buildings and between roads and buildings or parking, open spaces in all zones, and required landscaping.I believe affordable housing is important so I encourage duplexes in residential zones. ADUs should be allowed with proper setbacks and design standards. Vinyl should be allowed because it is a cheaper material. I support re-use of existing buildings including allowing offices in residential homes and other mixed-uses. I'm very glad to see the hillside/ridgetop included in this draft and want it kept and perhaps strengthened. I want sidewalks required in new developments. I want alternative transportation encouraged because I cannot currently walk easily to any store, especially on Chapman Highway. I want commercial zoning on the main arteries in Knoxville to have design standards that will increase the aesthetics of the city. We have way too many cheap looking strip malls and individual stores with large parking lots that are seldom used.I am concerned about the variance and approval process. It looks like the Zoning Administrator has a lot of power to make final decisions. I want community and neighborhood input to be seriously considered when changes are needed to this new zoning. I heard that massage services were forced out of my neighborhood years ago and I think that type of service should be allowed. For my Lake Forest neighborhood, I don't understand why the minimum lot size is suggested to be increased to 10,000. I like our small lots. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Affordable, Multi-family Housing

Bring back the Orange!!!
Staff Reply:

Adus

I'm concerned about maintaining the existing character of residential neighborhoods. I'm particularly concerned about detached ADUs. I think the requirements for detached ADUs should be much stricter than those for attached or incorporated ADUs. The minimum lot size should be triple or 4 times as large. I also think the maximum dwelling size proposed should be smaller than 1000 sq ft and the maximum number of bedrooms allowed should be one or two rather than three. A minimum of one additional dedicated parking space should also be required.I understand the need for additional affordable housing in the city, I think that existing ADUs should be grandfathered as they are more likely to be used for affordable housing. New construction of detached ADUs is less likely to become affordable housing and more likely to become short term rentals. This would change the character of the neighborhood and might reduce the property values of adjacent properties. More research Is needed to determine if this has happened in other cities before these are allowed.Many older neighborhoods have homes set further back on the property. I think over time these older homes will be torn down and rebuilt closer to the front of the property to accommodate construction of an ADU in the back. Although some of these ADUs might become affordable housing and some will house family members, many will become short term rentals.Changing the setback and additional ADUs will change the existing character of the neighborhood.Increased density can be achieved through other means, such as through mixed used.
Staff Reply:

Comment Period

Please consider leaving the comment period open until, at the very latest, after the Five Points meeting in October. Neighbors need to time to review the map and learn about zoning changes. I think it would be beneficial to wait until after the holidays to bring it before City Council.
Staff Reply:
The reason for the comment deadline is to enable City and MPC staff and the consultants (Camiros) to address comments through revisions in the next draft of the updated zoning ordinance, which is scheduled to be completed in early October. The schedule for the completion of the zoning code update is stipulated in the contract between the City and Camiros, which was approved in December 2016 and states a completion date of October 2018 for the project. While the work of Camiros likely will be completed in the near future, there is no mandated schedule for adoption of the updated zoning ordinance. Public comment will be encouraged and welcomed throughout the adoption process, which includes public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council. These comments will undoubtedly result in revisions to the proposed zoning ordinance and zoning map as they move through the adoption process.Although there is a deadline for comments to enable them to be addressed in the next draft of the updated zoning ordinance, please know that all comments are important and will be accepted and addressed as staff continues to identify needed revisions to the draft ordinance.

Comments

p. 5-2 C. #1 run-on sentence (FYI)general question: Can we require sidewalks for new and/or redesigned commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings?p. 5-24 D. 5. b. "period of up to one year" Why do they need a whole year? If the problem is the wrong season or bad weather for planting or perhaps the plants aren't available, having up to one year is excessive. I believe six months is adequate, which roughly equates to two seasons. I was imagining if I lived across the street from the new construction that had a whole year to put up vegetation buffers, and I waited through all the seasons without any forward progress. p. 8.8 8.5 C. Is it customary to use the 500-year flood levels as the standard for how new construction might contribute to flooding now? Why not use a more recent standard, such as 100-year? p. 9-3 A. 3. "Animal care facilities must be located?" The sentence needs to be corrected.p. 10-6 G. Since you are referring to a city code, you may want to keep the same language found in the code (domesticated chickens, henhouse, chicken pen). Personally, I call them "backyard chickens" and a "coop."
Staff Reply:

Recode Schedule

I would like to see the comment period extended for this phase. There is still a meeting scheduled in October for the Five Points Community. I think neighbors need more time to view the maps and learn about zoning. I am also concerned about the timing of the passage of Recode. I do not think it should be going to City Council until after the holidays.
Staff Reply:

Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Association

KP-SHA board has adopted the following positions on the ReCode proposals. KP-SHA represents one of the oldest established neighborhoods in Knoxville. We support the maintenance and improvement of the residential qualities of the Kingston Pike-Sequoyah Hills community, including immediately adjacent areas of Knoxville.KP-SHA bylaws mandate cooperating with governmental units and civic organizations to further community interests, maintain the integrity of the Scenic Highway concept, promote appropriate zoning and deed restrictions, and oppose community deterioration and development of multi-family dwellings.The ongoing ReCode initiative offers many positive opportunities for Knoxville's future growth and development. Members of the neighborhood and the KP-SHA Board of Directors are actively participating in the ReCode process. However, some of the changes in ReCode appear to threaten the character of the KPSHA neighborhood and raise concerns that are important to the KPSHA community.The following positions identify these concerns and represent the views of the KP-SHA Board of Directors:- The KP-SHA neighborhood should retain the existing character of the present R1 zoning definition as a low density, single family neighborhood.- The KP-SHA area should be considered for EN (Established Residential Neighborhood) zoning.- The KP-SHA neighborhood should be zoned to exclude the introduction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).- The KP-SHA neighborhood should be zoned to exclude the introduction of two family dwellings (duplexes), regardless of lot size.- Zoning along the Western Plaza to Northshore corridor should not allow unlimited height buildings.
Staff Reply:
In response to comments regarding the proposed unlimited height in the CG-3 zone, staff will be recommending a maximum height of 120 feet for the CG-3 district and the CG-2 district has a proposed maximum height of 70 feet.Staff is not recommending new EN districts as part of the zoning code update. The neighborhood could ask for this designation following the general code update. In response to such a request, MPC and the City would evaluate the request and the appropriateness of that designation for the neighborhood. Duplexes are permitted through a use on review by the current R-1 zoning of the neighborhood; the change with the proposed zoning would increase the minimum lot size required and add design standards for duplexes. Staff has heard a mix of comments regarding ADU's and this will be an issue on which City Council will have provide direction.

Concern About Adus In Sequoyah

I am very concerned about the ADU and duplex provisions in the recode project relative to the Sequoyah Hills area where I live. I believe that these provisions will in the long term have a substantial negative effect on the character of the neighborhood and associated reduced property values. On-street parking increase is very negative and a special concern. I support the Sequoyah-Kingston Pike Neighborhood Association position on the recode in our area.thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville 2nd Draft

I have reviewed the 2nd draft of recode Knoxville and think that there is a need to bring a couple of technical issues to the forefront. These are specific technical issues that I have identified and may cause issues during the regulatory phase for both those who have to review the policy and those implementing the policy on their projects. I understand that according to the “Policy Issues” document that it is proposed not to change or increase any more landscaping requirements, but these items listed below should be simple technical items that need addressed to make the code work.The following are items for amendment in Article 12. Landscape Public Draft 2.0 that should be considered.12.3.A.3 The use of species native or naturalized is required. Drought tolerant species are encouraged. I would suggest that this reads “The use of native and drought tolerant species are encouraged.” Invasive species are addressed in the following line and the recommended species list has trees that are not native but are also considered non-invasive. By keeping the line as is, we eliminate many of the plants on the recommended species list and move towards more difficult regulatory policy. “Naturalized” species in the green industry and in ecology tends to have more of an “invasive” meaning (such as the Bradford pear) and should be eliminated. This should place emphasis on native but still allowing those non-invasive exotics to be used in tough environmental conditions.12.3.B.2 No plantings may be installed to impede waterflow. This doesn’t make sense and I don’t know where to begin. The main reason to have landscaping is for water quality and quantity control. I read this and it seems to be counterintuitive to the purpose of landscaping code. If a stormwater concern, maybe best to be addressed in a stormwater regulation and probably already is. My recommendation would be to remove.12.4.A Need to delete the word “diameter.” This section is strictly discussing caliper which is a measurement of diameter and those in the landscape industry should understand. The last part of the section “ANSI accredited Horticultural Standards” should read “American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1)”12.9.C.1 Within the drip line of any protected tree, there may be no cut or fill over a four inch depth unless a qualified arborist or forester has evaluated and approved the disturbance. This sentence disqualifies the entire section of “Preservation”. If 4 inches is graded or filled the tree dies. You may be able to disturb about 20% depending on the species, health, etc. but allowing up to 4 inches of either grade or fill is completely off from any literature or peer-reviewed research. First, we need to define the “Tree Protection Zone” of a tree (see next comment). The sentence should read “Within the tree protection zone of a tree, there may be no cut or fill material unless a Certified Arborist has evaluated and approved the disturbance will not impact the health of the tree. The term “forester” needs to be removed as it is a very general term without any professional credentials or experience to back up an understanding of tree preservation.12.9.C.2….and no closer than 6 feet from the trunk or one-half of the drip line, whichever is greater. This again is not accurate and not enough to preserve a tree. This is very vague and cannot work across all trees of different sizes and species. I good analogy would be requiring all people to run an 8 minute mile in order to keep their driver license. It just does not make sense. I would delete this phrase and define the “Tree Protection Zone” in a separate section prior to 12.9.C.1.12.9.C (section needs added) Tree Preservation includes the preservation of the trees root system within the Tree Protection Zone. (this can be defined in definitions or as follow). The Tree Protection Zone is determined by measuring 1 foot in radius away from the trunk of the tree for every inch in diameter at 4.5 feet in height. No more than 10% of the Tree Protection Zone may be disturbed with fill or grading work. Any impervious area within the existing Tree Protection Zone does not need to be included in preservation measures.Also, I met with the Tree Board and am working on pulling together a list of comments and will forward them as soon as they are complete. Most are not technical issues, but some may overlap the above and others are in addition. Please let me know if there are any questions.Kasey KrouseUrban ForesterCity of Knoxville, TN
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

We are the Owners of Central Filling Station - the existing food truck park on N Central. We recently had a chance to review the second draft of the ordinance, specifically the portion regulating "Food Truck Parks" - Article 9.3 (L). As written, there are several provisions in direct conflict with our existing operations and the new requirements are considerably different from MPC's previous draft of an ordinance for a "Mobile Food Unit Park", which guided the development and approval of our project last year.We are concerned not only for our existing business, but also the ability for future "non-conforming" businesses to have a path to compliance. We have attended several of the public meetings about ReCode, so we're up to speed on the process.Is someone from MPC able to meet with us to discuss our concerns?
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

We recently had a chance to review the second draft of the ordinance, specifically the portion regulating "Food Truck Parks" - Article 9.3 (L). As written, there are several provisions in direct conflict with our existing operations and the new requirements are considerably different from MPC's previous draft of an ordinance for a "Mobile Food Unit Park", which guided the development and approval of our project last year.We are concerned not only for our existing business, but also the ability for future "non-conforming" businesses to have a path to compliance. We have attended several of the public meetings about ReCode, so we're up to speed on the process.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

I am firmly against the rezoning of any R1 neghiborhoods being rezoned to the new R2 zoning. You stated that the only difference in the new classification was lot sizes. I seriously doubt that is the only reason this change is needed. Reclassification for property tax hike maybe. Leave our neghiborhoods alone.
Staff Reply:

Please Put Back The Orange

Please put back the orange areas on the map. This is supposed to be VOL country right? Need more orange. Thanks!!
Staff Reply:

No Inflill For Oakwood-lincoln Park

We need to preserve our neighborhood. Please follow the informed recommendations of the OLPNA.
Staff Reply:

Please Give More Time...

My concern is that there are still many city residents that are just not aware of Recode and how it will impact them when the changes are finally made. I respectfully ask that instead of trying to push it thru in December, that City Council make the wrap up date sometime in March or April of 2019. That gives City residents more time to get involved and give input. I also ask that the Infill Design Guidelines be kept to help preserve the character of our fragile older neighborhoods.
Staff Reply:

Olp And Recode

Hello,As I understand it, Recode will remove the infill Housing Guidelines protecting my neighborhood, Oakwood-Lincoln Park. The guidelines that protect my neighborhood from improper building styles and help to protect the historic integrity of the neighborhood rather than blindly increasing density by decreasing lot size. This is a historic neighborhood with large trees and many large lots. It's on the rebound and it has some struggling areas, but we should protect it. This neighborhood should be protected under RN 2.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I do not understand the need for some of these drastic changes and especially the need to push it though at full speed. I fear many do not yet know about it or do not understand it. I have lived in Sequoyah Hills for 50 years and am a longtime active member of the Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Association. Over the years we have fought off many threats to the neighborhood at great expense of time and money. These new codes will be very destructive to R1 neighborhoods. I can't believe anyone thinks it would be good to be like Green Hills in Nashville with tear downs rampant and new little subdivisions on every lot. The traffic there is unbearable. Knoxville is very affordable comparatively and we are surrounded by counties with low populations. Is this all about money?? My husband and I fully support the letter sent to you from KPSHA. Specifically,I don't support ADUs and especially if the principal residence is not owner occupied and no provision for off street parking( 1 space, per BR in ADU). Duplexes should not be allowed in R1 neighborhoods. I have been told the minimum lot size would be changed to 5000 sq ft. Surely, that can't be true. I do not feel you have the interests of neighborhoods and their citizens at heart. Please reconsider some of these things and stop the rush to change.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange

Affordable family housing needs to stay in Knoxville. This is so important to many people who cannot afford other housing. Do not force people to be homeless by getting rid of the orange housing zoning.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange!

I am concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Knoxville. We need more opportunities for housing that meets a variety of needs and budgets. Please, please consider bringing back the orange. We need creative solutions to the housing crisis - not more of what we already doesn't address the issue.Please bring back the orange.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning Of Kesterson Road

I was made aware that the street I live on is being considered for re-zoning. I would like to express my concern about this change. I am opposed to the change of changing Kesterson road to RN-2. . I do not want my street to be changed from RN -1 to RN-2. I feel that the change will decrease my property values, as well as the possibility of homes being converted into apartment buildings. One of things my neighbors are proud of is that we are single dwelling homes. I feel that I live in a very safe neighborhood, but if homes are able to be multiple dwellings, I feel that safety could be a concern. Please consider not changing our street & neighborhood zone.
Staff Reply:
The RN-2 district is a single family designation which permits the same uses as the RN-1 district. The difference between the RN-1 district and the RN-2 district is the minimum lot size. In the RN-1 district it is proposed to be 10,000 square feet while in the RN-2 district it is proposed to be 5,000 square feet. MPC staff is evaluating the need for another single family residential district with a minimum lot size of 7,000 to 7,500 square feet.

Rezoning

PUT THE ORANGE BACK!
Staff Reply:

Riverscape & Stream Buffers

Love the inclusion of Riverscape Standards and Stream Buffers in the South Waterfront (SW) district. Since the Tennessee River is such an important natural asset to our community, wouldn't it make sense to apply similar standards for all riverscape and streams in the City? Most streams have unfortunately already been developed, but applying these type of standards across the City would provide a means of protecting our waterways during future development/redevelopment, and a vision for caring for our natural resources. It is also just a smart development practice from an aesthetic standpoint to allow public access to river frontage instead of cutting people off with streets and buildings.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

We need more affordable housing in Knoxville not less. Someone who thinks that we need less is truly out of touch.
Staff Reply:

Conflict/questions

1. Conflict: Table 10-1, Deck says "Prohibited in front yard", but just above says "Max of 5' into front setback, and the table shows Y(permitted) in Front Setback. Aren't these in conflict?2.Question: Table 10-1, how are steps leading up to a porch or stoop classified? Are they a portion of the stoop or porch, or in addition to it? The existing zoning code calls these out specifically.3. Question: Table 10-1, as defined in the code, a Stoop and an Unenclosed Porch are essentially the same thing when covered. Why are the requirements for a stoop different? Why not combine the two sections into Unenclosed Porch / Stoop, or make the requirements match?4. Section 2.4.B 1&2 read "...line/area on a lot, measured parallel from...". Would be clearer if they said "...line/area on a lot, parallel to the...." Or it could read "line/area on a lot, parallel and offset from the..." to indicate that it is setback from the lot line.
Staff Reply:

Typos

Check 10-14 in the Draft 2.0, Section Z.2 c & d for typos. See below...c. Maximum height is the total height of the turbine system as measured from the base of the tower to the top. For [horizontal] axis turbines, the maximum vertical height of the turbine blades is measured as the length of a prop at maximum vertical rotation.d. No portion of exposed turbine blades (vertical [axis] wind turbine) may be within 20 feet of the ground. Unexposed turbine blades (horizontal [axis] wind turbine) may be within ten feet of the ground.
Staff Reply:

Du/ac

DU/Ac Should be defined in the ordinance
Staff Reply:

Drop-down Subject Feedback...

For zoning map comments, consider better wording for drop down options for "nature of your comment." The phrases containing "zone too intense/not intense enough" is ambiguous and the meaning of either is unclear. Are we talking about Intense regarding too much or not enough density... intense regarding too much or not enough restrictions?
Staff Reply:

Response To 8/23/18 Meeting At Tvuuc

To the Recode Knoxville team:I recently attended a Recode Knoxville meeting on August 23, 2018 at TVUUC. The MPC staff answered many zoning questions to the best of their ability. What they could not answer is why the rush to make these major changes. Gerald Green of MPC said the driving force was developers and the Mayor. Affordable housing was also in this mix of reasons for zoning changes.I am very concerned about the R-1 and R-2 proposed zoning changes for Sequoyah Hills. There is nothing in the proposed zoning to protect our neighborhood from additional outbuilding for Airbnbs or Short Term Rentals. We already have Long Term Rentals for UTK students with their cars parked on the streets. Not a good situation for our neighborhood. Now this rush to rezone is going to result in more disruption to a lovely neighborhood. I urge you to delay this push to rezone the City of Knoxville until there has been more time to learn about and question these proposed changes. Rezoning driven by developers is not in our community's best interests.
Staff Reply:

Grate Street Zoning

I think the 3 houses on Gratz St. between Gill and Caswell should be zoned historic residential instead of commercial. They face inward towards the neighborhood and would provide more of a buffer. In fact, all the historic property along Gratz should be zoned residential to provide more of a buffer between Broadway and the neighborhood, in my opinion.
Staff Reply:

Multi-family Housing Increase Please

Please increase opportunities to allow multi-family housing to be developed in Knoxville.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

On the Recode handout of the zoning overview for neighborhood B. Commercial Districts (9.5% of land use) SW south waterfront district. SW-1 is not commercial, nor is SW-2 but SW-1 is only low density residential now and therefore SW-1 should be listed in the new code under as A. Residential District even though the % of land use is not equal. If listed under commercial - this will be abused & is questionable in this code. This comment has been made several times in public meetings. Homeowner living in SW-1
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I would like to see lower minimum lot sizes across the residential zones to increase density & affordability; I would also like to see the number of family units allowed in each zone increased to allow more density & affordability. I would specifically like to see the RN-1 lot size NOT increased to 10,000 ft. I'm in favor of the mixed-use proposals.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Thank you for hosting the event in Burlington & providing opportunity for input. I live in Holston Hills & what I see in version 2/draft 2 on ridgetop protection is not developed enough. We need to take advantage of the canopy & habitat of these ridges. As development intensifies this will be even more important.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for OLPNA
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

How can putting more unity in small spaces be accommodated? i.e. home villages
Staff Reply:

Naacp Recode Comments

Please find attached the Knoxville Branch NAACP comments on the Recode Knoxville zoning map, as approved by the Executive Committee on 8/28/18.
Staff Reply:

Northwest Hills Proposed Zone Rn-2?

To whom this may concern:As a home owner in Northwest Hills, I'd like to understand the reasoning behind switching the zoning from single-family homes to RN-2, especially considering surrounding areas are zoned RN-1.Already, homes are being rented to college students and people are parking on both sides of the street, basically restricting it to one-way traffic.The street is less than 30ft wide, which per city code 1962, 26-1307 suggests that street parking be limited to one side of the street.
Staff Reply:
The RN-2 district is a single family designation which permits the same uses as the RN-1 district, as noted on the attached table. The difference between the RN-1 district and the RN-2 district is the minimum lot size. In the RN-1 district it is proposed to be 10,000 square feet while in the RN-2 district it is proposed to be 5,000 square feet. MPC staff is evaluating the need for another single family residential district with a minimum lot size of 7,000 to 7,500 square feet.

Recode Knoxville - Lighting Ordinance

I'm writing because of your role on the Recode Knoxville Advisory Committee. Have you looked up in the night sky lately and noticed how few stars are visible? Light pollution obscures the natural beauty of our skies and wastes so much energy. Knoxville's initiative to redo the zoning code is the perfect opportunity to create zoning restrictions that position us as a leader in protecting the night skies and saving energy. As we continue to develop the Urban Wilderness, this facet of our zoning code is something we must consider.Will you propose to the Advisory Committee, City leaders, and the City Council that Knoxville's new zoning include a section based on the Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code (POLC), helping Knoxville to lead our region in reducing lighting pollution?Thanks for your time. I look forward to your response!
Staff Reply:

Northwest Hills Proposed Zone Rn-2?

To whom this may concern:As a home owner in Northwest Hills, I'd like to understand the reasoning behind switching the zoning from single-family homes to RN-2, especially considering surrounding areas are zoned RN-1.Already, homes are being rented to college students and people are parking on both sides of the street, basically restricting it to one-way traffic.The street is less than 30ft wide, which per city code 1962, 26-1307 suggests that street parking be limited to one side of the street.
Staff Reply:

Northwest Hills Proposed Zone Rn-2?

To whom this may concern:As a home owner in Northwest Hills, I'd like to understand the reasoning behind switching the zoning from single-family homes to RN-2, especially considering surrounding areas are zoned RN-1. Already, homes are being rented to college students and people are parking on both sides of the street, basically restricting it to one-way traffic. The street is less than 30ft wide, which per city code 1962, 26-1307 suggests that street parking be limited to one side of the street.
Staff Reply:

Zone Correction

This concerns a property that doesn't currently have an address, but is listed on KGIS Map as Parcel ID:107FG04101. It is on the east side of Hollywood Road, south of the I-40 right-of-way, adjacent to 617 Hollywood road in the Pond Gap community.In Ordinance No. O-124-2018, the City Council rezoned the property to RP-1 with one condition, and I want to make sure that the condition, SLPA, is carried forward to the new property. (reference MPC File No. 7-B18-RZ)
Staff Reply:

Infill Housing

Besides density concerns and keeping green space on property lots, I would like to see the infill housing overlay remain in place for Edgewood Park, Lincoln Park, Oakwood and Lonsdale to help preserve the integrity of our neighborhood. This design requirement has helped in many ways.
Staff Reply:

Density

Allowing more density in my north Knoxville neighborhood is a mistake. There are several changes that would allow more density, but allowing asscessory dwelling units is the most damaging to our neighborhood. Please don't allow this. We want more green space throughout the neighborhood, not less!
Staff Reply:

A Perfect Summary

"Let's rewrite the entire zoning code-all 200 pages of it, hold a few 1-hour public information/input meetings, and then ram it home before the Christmas break."That seems to be the unspoken strategy anyway. It's a bit scary.
Staff Reply:

Sequoyah Hills

I want to commend Recode for the work it has done and express my support for what it has proposed for Sequoyah Hills. I've lived in the neighborhood for approximately 25 years and at one time was an officer on the neighborhood board and I think Recode strikes a great balance between preservation and thoughtful and deliberate change.
Staff Reply:

Residential-use Properties Zoned As Nonresidential

There are numerous pockets of residential in North Knoxville that contain viable low-mod income/ 1920s-1940s more affordable housing stock that are zoned Industrial, Commercial or Office. A quick scan of the Sector Plans show that these pockets are recommended to be utilized as MU or TDR or remain as LI. However, the largest area of intact housing zoned non-residential is just north of Parkridge between Hoitt and I-40, which is recommended by both the Sector Plan and the One-Year plan to be utilized as Heavy IndustriaI (HI). It is a residential cluster surrounded by warehouses. There is a shortage of low-to-mod income housing. Many of the industrially-zoned residential areas are zoned with an IH-1 Overlay- -which implies that there is an intent to protect the residential character within the industrial zones.Additionally, there are also some important contributing resources within the National Register and local historic districts that are zoned for non-residential use, possibly because they abut other commercial uses/districts or are utilized for multi-family, but most are being used for single-family housing. The properties include those located within the Old North Knox, Fourth and Gill, Mechanicsville and Edgewood-Park City H-1 overlays and the Fort Sanders NC-1 Overlay. Following is an internal link to the file that contains GIS maps of all these areas: G:shared1-HZCZoning Code updatesResidential uses zoned as non-residential in NorthKnox
Staff Reply:

I Support Recode

I am largely in support of the current version of the re-code zoning document (including the ADU provision). I agree with the proponents, the current zoning is outdated for a 21st century city. If we want to keep up with the pack then we have to get our land use sorted out; more density, walkability, transit, livability. Sadly, I think most people want this, but few are willing to change anything to get it. The tools are there and recode provides them. If Knoxville leadership folds to a few noisy citizens focused on the past, then I'm out of here. I'll move to a city that focuses on the future. I live in Sequoyah Hills and I'm a member of the KPSHA board (though I speak for myself on this comment).
Staff Reply:

Why Recode? False Assumptions

City officials claim that the reason for recode is to help housing affordability by increasing density. According to "bestplaces.net" Knoxville's cost of living factor is 81.4 which is well below the the national average indicated as 100. They attribute this low factor to our LOW HOUSING COST which they give as 63. The State average is 73 which is still well below the National average of 100. The city then argues several conflicting points. They on one hand suggest Accessory Dwelling Units will lower housing cost then in the same breadth argue that no one will exercise their right to build one as past evidence suggests. They then argue folks can currently have a duplex under R-1 as a "use on review" but few people exercise that right. Given their arguments why then is there a need for ADU's? Furthermore to build a freestanding 1000 sg.ft. ADU would likely cost over $174,000.00 well above the current median single family house price in Knoxville. While the current zoning in R-1 does afford the possibility of a duplex the "use on review" feature is a critical deterrent from your neighbor/investor building a rental unit next to your home. You would have the right to protest the use change at a public hearing of citizens. To automatically allow ADU's givers the neighbors NO rights to protest. I for one love my low density single family neighborhood with my right of quite enjoyment. I do not want rental units or Air B&B's next to my home and the congestion that higher density brings. Go to Nashville to see what density has done to traffic and strained city services such as schools and look at how their home prices have skyrocketed!
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Comments

A few months ago, my husband and I moved to the Kingston Pike / Sequoyah Hills neighborhood from out-of-state. After settling into our single family home, we've just learned about the proposed changes under Recode Knoxville and I'd like to comment.While researching Knoxville and choosing where to buy a home earlier this year, we worked with a couple of real estate agents from different companies. Both agents praised the Kingston Pike / Sequoyah Hills neighborhood as Knoxville's premier residential district because of its history and diversity of residents and architecture. In addition, we spoke to long-time residents, business owners, and community members who also pointed to this neighborhood as one of Knoxville's best places to live. Based on these attributes and the neighborhood's location, we invested in an older home earlier this spring. Over the past few months, we've spent a lot of money on basic maintenance and upkeep to bring the house back after a period of some neglect. We chose to make this investment because we plan to live here for many years and we believe in the quality of the neighborhood as it was represented to us by the community. So it's very troubling for us to learn that the proposed changes under Recode Knoxville would change our whole neighborhood from "RN-1 Single Family Residential Neighborhood" to "R1 Low Density Residential." I'm writing to express my firm opposition to this proposed change. I do not want existing single family home lots subdivided into multi unit dwellings. This zoning change will adversely affect the character, history, and value of the neighborhood in which we just chose to settle. Moreover, in the short time that we've lived here, we've observed extensive repair work on infrastructure including residential paving and underground water main maintenance. It's pretty obvious that the existing infrastructure, including basic services such as water, sewer, and street parking, cannot bear the added population that new Low Density zoning will bring. Finally, we've heard horror stories from long-time residents about how similar changes to zoning in nearby Nashville have greatly diminished the character, history, and quality of residential neighborhoods there and have even left some residents without adequate water and sewer because the infrastructure was stretched too far. Please do not repeat these same mistakes here in Knoxville. Please retain the single family home zoning designation that residents have invested in.
Staff Reply:

Ordinance Draft 2

Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:- Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.- Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements.
Staff Reply:

How can putting more units in small space be accomodated? ie. home villages. How can affordable housing units be offered.
Staff Reply:

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for the OLPNA.
Staff Reply:

Recode General Comments Or Concerns

I have concern in the code where if an existing building decides to remodel over 50% then the parking change goes into effect and may not be financially feasible for the building or shopping area and thus the tenant would go elsewhere leaving some of the anchor tenant type buildings left in disrepair or not remodeled for changing trends or marketplace. 16-1 : Also concern on the 6 months abandonment clause causing a building to loose non-conforming status and in most cases it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, to get a tenant in 6 months and if buildings built with kitchens and restaurant layout for instance, it might actually cause more to stay vacant. If our building on 4th ave. went vacant 6 months, being made of concrete and some front parking, it would need torn down and rebuilt - if I am reading it correctly. Some areas with pocketed office buildings, not really in nodes - I feel the zoning doesn't apply where buildings need to push forward and park in rear (such as Montbrook area behind downtown west). Building facade material restrictions in C-Gs - I feel needs some tweaking as far as percentages on the building - what if styles change?
Staff Reply:

3812 Boyds Bridge Pike

3812 Boyds Bridge Pike is proposed C-N from C-1. I think you stated that this area should not be a C-1 designation in our last meeting. Which zoning would you deem most appropriate?
Staff Reply:
Given the location of 3812 Boyd's Bridge Pike at the edge of several neighborhoods and that it is accessed primarily by autos, C-G-2 may be a more appropriate designation than C-N. We will look at this zoning option.

All C-2 Zonings

We have intentionally applied and been granted re-zonings of a number of properties around the downtown perimeter from C-3 to C-2. The proposed zoning is C-G-3. The reason we had these properties re-zoned was due to no to insufficient parking. These properties need to be zoned DK requiring no parking. Examples are 300 West Fifth Ave. and 3 through 23 Emory Place. Please comment. Thank you,
Staff Reply:
In response to the concerns identified in your email and in conversations with you, we are drafting proposed standards for a Downtown 2 (Downtown "Lite") zone, with standards that would be appropriate for areas immediately adjacent to the downtown core that have developed in an urban fashion with little or no parking, mixed uses, and no setbacks.

Olp Diversity (5x5 Blocks)

Good morning,Thanks again for all you both are doing, just wanted to share a quick snapshot of my neighborhood, Oakwood-Lincoln Park.I walked a 5x5 Block of OLP, looking specifically at Housing Diversity. It's abundant (see attached pdf).Not including the 62 units of Oakwood Senior Center, there are 40+ small-scale multifamily units.I'm reminded of the Strong Town's Strength Test as it pertains to this 5x5 Block...3.) Imagine your favorite street in town didn't exist. Could it be built today if the construction had to follow your local rules?4.) Is an owner of a single family home able to get permission to add a small rental unit onto their property without any real hassle?7.) Are there neighborhoods where three generations of a family could reasonably find a place to live, all within walking distance of each other?Currently, the answer to these questions is YES.With the proposed zoning + map.. the answer is NO.It's not hard to determine what pricing & affordability would look like in my neighborhood if these existing units didn't exist... and it's easy to imagine what pricing & affordability in my neighborhood will look like if we're not allowed to create more of them in the future.I suspect that similar results will be found in a majority of other blocks, both in OLP and the other neighborhoods that have been covered in the single family only blanket.I know this is difficult, but we cannot afford to move backwards with our zoning if we intend to move our city forward.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I I am a resident of Sequoyah Hills and I would like to recommend some changes to the Recode Knoxville. Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements. Expand the Neighborhood Conservation overlay.Thank you for your attention.
Staff Reply:

Recommend Changes For Sequoyah Hills

Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:- Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.- Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements.Here's why I'm making these recommendations:- RN-1 and RN-2 make up all the single family parcels in Sequoyah Hills and these recommendations attempt to ensure those properties are not bought up by investors and split up without regard to the neighborhood and without consequence to the property owner.- I understand and support the need for ADUs to provide for unique family situations and the urge of some residents of Sequoyah Hills to provide affordable housing for young parents to be part of our school district. I believe my recommendations will not interfere with these priorities.- The C-G-3 height requirement would apply to Western Plaza's zoning. This would still be in violation of paragraphs a.1.A and a.1.B of Title 54 Chapter 17 Part 1 of the 2017 Tennessee Code, which protects Tennessee's scenic highways and state law would supersede the zoning code, so in effect, the 85' would never be reached.- My deep, dark fear is that our neighborhood will be taken over by investors that chop up the real estate like they have in Fort Sanders.- I bought my house in Sequoyah Hills because I saw a "for sale" sign in the yard when I ran by it training for the Knoxville Marathon. I strongly believe that one of the common goods that raises the value of all our properties and increases the quality of all our lives is the walkability of Sequoyah Hills.
Staff Reply:

Sw- 1 And Sw-2

SW South Waterfront District. SW-1 is not commercial, nor is SW-2.But SW-1 is only low density residential now and therefore SW-1 should be listed in the new code under A. Residential District even though the % of land use is not equal If listed under commercial - this would be abused and is questionable in this code. This comment has been made several times in public meetings Homeowner living in SW-1
Staff Reply:

Process Of Reaching The Citizens

I have now been to two of your public meetings. Both meetings combined had maybe 90 people. When I talk with my neighbors almost 100% are completely unaware of this radical transformation of the city. Even if they would find out, the complexities of the code changes preclude comprehension for the average citizen. No hard data is presented about the impact of these changes on property values and city services. The presentation team "sells" the concept and obfuscation rules. If they were to spell out explicitly that the "Single Family Residence" will be dead throughout the city after these changes and that all residential properties will be zoned as "duplex," the majority of tax payers would be outraged.
Staff Reply:
First, the R-1 (Low Density Residential) zone currently allows duplexes as a Use on Review. This can be viewed in the City's Code of Ordinances, Appendix B, Section IV, Section 2.1.1. Part C.10. A review of the City's older zoning ordinances shows that the provision for two-family housing units was introduced as an amendment in mid-1960's (Ordinance 3616, September 22, 1964). It should be further noted that the Established Neighborhood districts (EN-1 and EN-2) also permit duplexes as Use on Review, although with a specification that they property be located on a lot with two-street frontages. At present, if a property owner in an R-1, EN-1 or EN-2 zoned area wished to construct a duplex, an application is made to the MPC and a public hearing would be held. The new RN-1 and RN-2 districts propose a continuation of a similar procedure with the issuance of a building permit contingent upon a public hearing being held and approval by the Planning Commission.Second, an examination of MPC records for the period from 1992 to present show only a handful of instances where owners sought to construct duplexes within the R-1 zone. Over that 27-year period, there were a total of 54 applications with 32 ultimately receiving approval. On average, that equates to a little more than 1 duplex a year being approved in R-1 districts. Since 2015, only two applications have been made and both were withdrawn prior to the hearing. For reference, the R-1 district covers over 33,000 parcels in the City and represents about 53% of all residentially-zoned parcels.Third, in zoning districts were duplexes are permitted by right (without the requirement for a public hearing) new construction of this style of housing is slightly more common, but still represents a fraction of the housing stock constructed in the City. These zones include the R-1A and R-2 district where, on average, about 18 duplexes have been constructed annually over the period from 2005 to present.

Ag Designations

Can the AG designation be reviewed to break down uses when surrounded by RN-1,2,3? Lot sided by. Size of plot. AG-1, AG-2?
Staff Reply:

Comments

I attended the informational session at the Chamber on 8/21 and found it helpful in understanding the information. I do have a couple of comments and questions.1. As far as the unlimited height restrictions go, this might be a scary idea to some neighborhood residents, without a further explanation. As I understand it, developers would be subject to review and approvals for the design plans, including height, is that correct? Is there a public component to that review? 2. I like the idea of being able to add additional dwellings on one lot or to build on small lots to assist with infill in the City and help with the housing crunch (this is sort of old-school, isn't it? But it seems it would really work). I think it is important to emphasize that mixed use residential can be added to commercial zones but not the other way around (is that indeed a correct interpretation?).3. Contrary to an opinion I heard expressed at the Chamber meeting, I believe that "walkability" is not just a buzz word but is an extremely important component of making our City livable for all. The idea that people don't want to or need to be able to comfortably walk along a state highway in the City just doesn't make sense to me. The transit routes with the highest ridership travel the main corridors (state routes) and people have to be able to walk to the bus stop and to their destinations when they get off the bus. I have walked the block along Kingston Pike near Shrimp Dock (referenced at the meeting by Mr. Hill) many times and I do not agree with his assessment that this is something people don't want or need to do. They do it every day now and could enjoy it more with "walkability" improvements.4. I did not really understand Mr. Hill's comments about not being able to place an L-shaped strip center on property with parking in the rear and that trash bins, etc. would be visible to people parking in the rear. It seems to me that bringing some imagination to bear on how a shopping center is designed could address many issues. My 2 cents. Thank you for all you do!
Staff Reply:
If response to question 1, the height would be permitted by right and there would be no additional review of plans that would provide for a public component. The proposed unlimited height standard in the CG3 zone is still being discussed.

Clarifications For Zoning Ordinance

I have some general feedback about Draft 2 that I want to share. 1.) I would like to see some basic community planner terminology added to the definitions list to make the document more readable for average citizens. Terms like corridor, node, overlay, and mixed-use development are not normal conversational terms and using them without defining them makes the document less accessible to the public.2.) I am also curious why CU and SW are their own special zones? This sets a precedent where each mixed-use development or corridor development would get a unique zone. I know one of the goals is to simplify the current ordinance and so I do not understand why these properties could not be zoned as SD (Special District) or something more generic like that. 3.) I hope the updated ordinance will make it easier for people to walk or use public transportation. I would love to see a change made to our current policies so that new bus stops are built with safety and dignity in mind. There are several bus stops in my neighborhood where people waiting to catch the bus must stand in a ditch. I would love to see new development built with public transportation and pedestrian infrastructure in mind. A covered waiting area that is handicap-accessible would make a big difference in the perception/attitudes around our public transportation system. 4.) I think the addition of the Institutional zone and the Hillside Protection overlay are two great additions to the current ordinance. They make the map easier to use and understand. Thank you for all of your hard work! I am excited to see the final product!
Staff Reply:

Overlay Hp

I am a land owner who just found out my property is currently in the process of a overlay of hp. We were completely surprised by this and would like to talk to someone to explain to us exactly what this will mean to our property value and taxes if this is approved.
Staff Reply:

Communication To Public Problems

Residents in a neighborhood in Fountain City are confused and full of questions and concerns regarding the recoding in our neighborhood. Primarily, everyone I have contacted had no idea this was happening. Obviously this project was not properly communicated to the general public. I found out about it when reading the Fountain City Focus and reading an article that listed the information about the meeting on 8/30. I looked at the recode Knoxville website and couldn't believe it when I saw the amount of activity that had started last year. I looked at the list of meetings and open houses and the angrier I became. Obviously the project team was able to discuss this and get input from several organizations and companies. You managed to open direct communication with the black and latino special interest groups so they could get everything they wanted. But you couldn't be bothered to notify the property owners who pay the taxes and whose neighborhood is directly impacted. To make matters worse, you didn't even notify the residents whose property is being recoded in a negative way. Shame on you!!! As an example of good public communication, when KUB is doing work that impacts residents they put a flyer in every mailbox weeks before the work is scheduled to begin to notify them. This is what you should have done!!This project is a perfect example of the government making their own decisions, getting input from those who have something to gain, and completely disregarding the taxpayers and how they are impacted.
Staff Reply:

Attached Garage Setback In A Rn1 Zone

The section 3. b. below requires front-loaded garages to be setback from the front facade no less than four feet in a RN1 zone. I know of many houses that have garages in front of the front facade. I don't see the need for this requirement. Would the hundreds of houses that don't meet this requirement be grandfathered in the adoption language of the ordinance when adopted?3. Garagesa. Front-loaded attached garages are limited to 40% of the width of the front building line. Garage width is measure between garage doors; in the case of garages designed with multiple garage doors the distance is measure between the edges of the outmost doors.b. Attached garages with front facing garage door openings must be set back from the front façade of the structure no less than four feet.
Staff Reply:

Nonconforming Uses And Structures

First, I would like to say that I am in support of the effort to overhaul the City's zoning ordinance. And, I appreciate the effort that has gone into that process to this point. I appreciate the solicitation of public input on many levels. I think many of the changes being pursued are good. I do think there are some critical issues that are not getting the attention they disserve.The vast majority of the City is already developed and will be "grandfathered" under prior codes, meaning the requirements of the new code will not apply to most current uses and structures in the City, except to the extent the new code requires compliance at some point in the future. I believe that fact is underappreciated by just about everyone involved in this process. I believe the mechanisms by which grandfathered properties will be brought into compliance in the future needs much more discussion and consideration, including the following:1. The triggers in the proposed code for eliminating nonconformity are not clear enough. The concepts of "change of use," "abandonment," creation of a "new nonconformity," and "increase in the degree" of a nonconformity all need much better definition. 2. Almost everyone can agree on a preference for more greenspace, more trails, beautiful landscaping, wider roads, sidewalks everywhere, aesthetically pleasing facades, fewer signs and billboards, larger setbacks, etc. They are all desirable goals. But they have a very substantial cost. Imposing these requirements on properties that are not yet developed might be reasonable - at least those owners understand the costs before they make an investment decision. But, in the case of previously developed property (again, the vast majority of the property in the City is developed), the cost of compliance is being imposed upon them. I have heard no conversation in this process about the potential cost over a period of years of bringing nonconforming properties into compliance with the new code. Surely that cost will be in the billions of dollars. How could decisions like these be made without ever even considering the cost and how that cost should be allocated? I would urge a thorough evaluation of the cost implications, and an open dialogue about how they should be allocated within the community to achieve the desired change.3. Without careful consideration, the requirements of the new code may very well have significant impacts exactly opposite those intended. If the cost of compliance with the new code is excessive, owners of previously developed properties will work hard to avoid triggering those requirements. That will result in worn out properties remaining stagnant longer. The new code should allow owners to make incremental, reasonable, cost effective steps toward compliance. If full compliance is mandated, it will almost certainly result in less properties being improved, and very likely an overall lesser quality of commercial property inventory than would have resulted if the code were not revised.4. Historical patterns of development were very different from those envisioned by the proposed code. In most cases, making fundamental changes in parking, buffer zones, significant increases in landscaping, building setbacks and building orientation will be extremely difficult to change, and in some cases impossible without completely demolishing all of the existing improvements. The new code should explicitly accommodate those and similar realities, while incentivizing incremental movement toward the new requirements.Addressing these issues will require a significant amount of additional time and effort. I believe that failing to address them could be much more costly for our community.
Staff Reply:

Hedgewood Road 37918 Rezone

I have great concerns about the rezoning of my street, Hedgewood road. I have only lived here since November 2017. I searched for 2 years to find a nice, quiet family neighborhood in my price range in Fountain City. It is my understanding that my road as well as the neighboring roads, Kesterson and part of Kesterwood will be rezoned from R-1 to RN-2. What exactly does this mean for us? I read that multiple familie homes/duplexes will be allowed. I am sorry but that is not what I want in my neighborhood. My fear is this will bring more short term renters, people less invested in the area. And why are only those three streets being rezoned when other attching streets are not? Is there already an agenda in place for these streets? How will going from a residential single family street to an urban area affect my property value? Will rezoning affect my taxes? This rezone is not something myself of any of my neighbors want and as tax payers we should have a say. Please help me understand how this rezone will help me and my neighbors.
Staff Reply:
The RN-2 is intended to remain a single-family neighborhood. Below is a brief description: RN-2 Single-Family Residential Neighborhood accommodates development of single-family homes on relatively small lots with smaller setbacks. The only difference between the proposed RN-1 and RN-2 is the minimum lot area, lot width, and setbacks on the properties adjacent to a corner. Duplexes are currently permitted in the R-1 district through a special review process by the Planning Commission and this has not been changed in the proposed RN-1, RN-2, or RN-3 districts.

Medical Dental Office

Why did medical/dental office get changed from P to S in C-N?
Staff Reply:
P is for "Permitted use" and S is for "Special use", which is essentially equivalent to the current use on review process. Medical office was changed from permitted to special use in neighborhood commercial because it is currently not allowed at all in the C-1 zone. Some medical offices can be big operations that may not be appropriate for all neighborhood oriented locations.

Adus- Hot Topic

Hello, I attended the meeting last night and was saddened to see so many people asking questions in an aggressive and combative way. I think this is largely fear-based and would like to find out what we can do to allow property owners the freedom to have ADUs, even for personal use or for family, while addressing the (often overblown) concerns some have for "doubling the population density", etc. Is it possible to include restrictions such as "Main dwelling is owner occupied only", and also implement some parking restrictions so our narrow streets don't become congested. We're already dealing with several traffic issues as it is in Sequoyah Hills. Would these restrictions fall under the zoning that you are doing, or would that be something for another department? I know people are focusing on STRs, but I see ADUs as beneficial. It would allow someone to rent out a garage apartment to a grad-student or a young couple to help maintain an older home. While I'm not opposed to STRs, I think that that is an issue that should be discussed separately, as one doesn't automatically mean the other. This "fear of strangers" in our neighborhoods is a little ridiculous, but requiring "owner occupied" would help, because most people don't want to deal with strangers in their backyards, basements, etc. Thank you for all you're doing in helping Knoxville prepare for the future.
Staff Reply:

C-2 To C-g-3 Zoning Outside Of Downtown Core

There are several C-2 buildings in the downtown perimeter (see north block of Emory Place) with no ability for parking. The proposed zoning is C-G-3 requires parking. Grandfathering will not protect redevelopment or casualty loss. I propose we add a zoning that corrects this condition. DK Perimeter or DK Annex which describes properties in close proximity to downtown requiring no parking. Most specifically Downtown North/ Broadway/ Central Corridor. Many of these properties were recently re-zoned to C-2 for this very reason. I do not think we should be asked to seek variances when we can fix the issue on the front end.
Staff Reply:

Sequoyah Hills

I am concerned about how the recode will affect property values in Sequoyah Hills, in particular mine which is one of the most affordable (and smallest) homes in the neighborhood. While it's not a perfect solution, I think what would alleviate quite a bit of my apprehension is to move all the proposed RN-1 and RN-2 parcels to EN parcels.
Staff Reply:

R-! Changes

I am strongly against the proposed changes to the R-1 zoning. Especially as it relates to ADU's and "Design Facade Requirements". I built my home in a low density single family neighborhood because thats how I prefer to live. Allowing multiple dwellings on a single lot will double the density and congestion in my neighborhood with increased number of cars parked on the streets. It would turn the neighborhood into an Air B&B context with complete strangers coming and going at all times potentially effecting our safety. I thought the city was supposed to "provide safety and security". If the city wants to propose such radical changes it should be put to a public vote or referendum. Let the neighborhoods decide for themselves and not some government bureaucrat !
Staff Reply:

C-g-3 District: Maximum Building Height

In Draft 2 of the code, the maximum building height for C-G-3 districts was changed to Unlimited. The Bearden Village Council has discussed this change and is strongly opposed to it. We request that you restore the 85' maximum shown in Draft 1. Virtually all of the commercial corridor through Bearden Village, from Western Plaza to Northshore Drive, is designated as C-G-3 in Draft 1 of the zoning map - a much larger concentration of C-G-3 zoning than anywhere else in the city. We think an 85' maximum building height will adequately accommodate dense development while retaining some of the current character of Bearden. If a taller project with special features comes along, the "planned development" approach described in the draft code remains an option. Mary EnglishPresidentThe Bearden Village Council
Staff Reply:

Zoning Question

A property directly behind our neighborhood has been proposed for re-zoning. The address is: 725 Sterchi Ridge Way (apartments). The property is currently zoned RP-1. The proposed re-zoning would classify it as RN-5. My understanding is the RP-1 designation allows up to six dwelling units per acre. The developer was able to concentrate development in a small part of the ~30 acre property and meet that zoning requirement. We were told that under that zoning, further development would not be allowed. What will the RN-5 zoning change mean in terms of potential future development?
Staff Reply:

Current Zoning Proposal Violates Of Fcc Ruling Prb-1

The current Knoxville zoning proposal in section 10.3 C.1 and C.2 regarding the regulation by municipal authorities of Amateur Radio antenna height and support structure height is in contravention of the Memorandum Opinion and Order in FCC PRB-1, issued 9/16/85. The legal cite is 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985) and it can be found on the FCC Web page:PRB - 1 (1985) (https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/amateur-radio-service/prb-1-1985)To summarize: FCC regulations have the force and effect of federal statutes and are binding on the states as well as agencies of local government, including local zoning authorities. These regulations contain three general requirements: 1) local zoning authorities may not prohibit Amateur Radio communications and 2) local zoning authorities must provide reasonable accommodation for Amateur Radio antenna requests; and 3) local land use regulations affecting Amateur Radio antenna facilities must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish a legitimate municipal purpose.Limiting an antenna support structure height based on the height of a building where the tower is located is in contravention to PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.Limiting an Amateur Radio antenna to a specific height above the roof of a building it is installed on is in contravention of PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.The drafters of the proposed ordinance need to have some one from the city law office read and understand PRB-1. There have been numerous challenges brought in court versus municipalities that have been successfully decided in favor of Amateur Radio operators in the intervening years as a result. An example from 1987, where a municipality was successfully sued by a resident re: PRB-1 violation and not only won the right to erect his antenna system, was awarded $13,800 as plaintiff:Thernes vs. Lakeside Park-Consent Decree, Order and Final Judgement (http://www.qsl.net/k3qk/thernes2.html)Many municipalities have solved this by including language in zoning regulations that says antenna towers or support structures or antenna heights in residential must conform to FCC PRB-1 or have even adopted it as part of zoning regulations. 23 states have adopted PRB-1 laws so far - as have numerous local governments. A Bing or Google search for PRB-1 will bring up relevant information.
Staff Reply:

Recode Input Comments

Least restrictive zoning should be applied to center city neighborhoods with high rental property occupancy (often African American people with limited income) so as not to displace them through gentrification.Sidewalks, lighting, green spaces are all important.Craft dwellings (live upstairs/shop downstairs) should be permitted where it does not compromise character of neighborhood,Mixed use/re-use of vacant buildings in keeping with character of established neighborhoods should be considered.Revitalization/re-development of East Town needs urgent attention.Hillside protection overlay should not make owner occupied renovation/addition a difficult process.Supporting Burlington revitalization is a priority.More clarity is needed around opportunity for Tiny Homes as accessory dwellingsThank you Urban League for helping to make this process more understandable.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville "housing"

I feel that a variety of types of housing is necessary to accommodate people, but consideration should be taken in where they are placed. For example, I would not want a duplex or apartment building next to my house.
Staff Reply:

Draft 1 Map Vs. One Year/sector Plan

Hello, thank you for posting the maps this week, and for the tool that allows one to compare the proposed map with the current zoning. Would it be possible to implement a way to compare the proposed map with the 'One Year/Sector Plan'? It appears a great deal of care went into boundaries/lines on the 'One Year/Sector Plan' and a number of the plans did not make their way into the proposed map. Namely ? there are numerous residential districts in North Knoxville (many of which are historic) that are now being rezoned to Commercial or Office. I would implore you to take a look at these neighborhoods more closely ? though some may seem like strange 'out of place' pocket residential neighborhoods, in many cases they are all that's left of previously thriving neighborhoods that were once more connected to one another. Once the current code was implemented in the 1960s, many of these parcels were redeveloped as commercial or industrial, or taken over by the city and redeveloped ? which left the remaining residential pockets disconnected from one another. If anything, rather than rezoning the pocket residential neighborhoods to commercial and decimating even more of our historic housing stock, I would recommend that you take a look at KGIS aerial maps from the 1930s and 1950s and consider rezoning parcels that were once residential but redeveloped for industry/commerce back to residential, to allow developers/architects to develop those properties back into much needed city-core residential units.
Staff Reply:
We've added the tab that allows comparison of the Map Draft 1 and the adopted Sector Plan (land use plan). This interactive map can be accessed directly using this link: https://maps.knoxmpc.org/MapSeries/recode.html?appid=daa100e704b44ea7825e3202943f9fcd&entry=3

Improvements To Ft. City

1. It is amost impossible to walk or bike safely in Ft. City, due to no sidewalks, bike lanes, and very narrow roads with no shoulders along Cedar Lane, Inskip, etc. we need this, please.2. We need a stoplight at St. Joseph School at Montrose and Cedar Lane in Ft. City; it is difficult to pull out onto Cedar Lane from our neighborhood due to the traffic at the school, and the heavy traffic on Cedar Lane.3. We need to connect Ft. City bike routes with downtown and Central Avenue with safe routes.
Staff Reply:

Improvements To Ft. City

1. It is amost impossible to walk or bike safely in Ft. City, due to no sidewalks, bike lanes, and very narrow roads with no shoulders along Cedar Lane, Inskip, etc. we need this, please.2. We need a stoplight at St. Joseph School at Montrose and Cedar Lane in Ft. City; it is difficult to pull out onto Cedar Lane from our neighborhood due to the traffic at the school, and the heavy traffic on Cedar Lane.3. We need to connect Ft. City bike routes with downtown and Central Avenue with safe routes.
Staff Reply:

Recode Map

Is there a way to download the draft version of the new zoning map?
Staff Reply:
The new map, along with tools to compare the existing zoning and provide comments, are available for online viewing.

Recoding Questions

My wife and I have been on a scavenger hunt for information for the last year since relocating to Knoxville from Boston, hoping to bring our brand to join the thriving art community in The Old City. Today we finally gained clarity on how our business would fit into the current zones of the City of Knoxville. We hope to support local artists through consistent art shows and artist retail branding as well as volunteer for events and give back to the flourishing artisan community through outlets such as fund raising and scholarships. Unfortunately, the most profitable source of income through our business model is high quality tattooing and tattoo studio management, mainly from the high income/low overhead cash flow associated with our proven model. We learned to our surprise today that tattooing (C3) is scarcely mapped in the Downtown/Old City, which we found unusual in comparison to the locations of our other tattoo studios as well as inconsistent with the development of other US cities we have worked and networked in. We are reaching out to multiple organizations and connections such as realty groups and local businesses in search of our next step in growing and giving to our community. Can you offer us any advice or contacts that could lead to information that would assist us in changing the current ordinance of the Central Business District to include Art Galleries that offer tattooing? We look forward to planting our roots in Downtown Knoxville where we plan to stay and raise our son and give back to our community.
Staff Reply:
Tattoo studios are included in the Body Modification Establishment use (See Article 4, Section 2.3 Definitions). The Use Matrix (See Chapter 9 of the draft ordinance) outlines in which districts the that use is permitted by right or by special use.

Project Timeline?

I am interested in the project timeline. I was not able to access it from the web page. I would like to know when the next draft will be available for review, dates / times and locations of upcoming public meetings, and the projected date for the final draft.
Staff Reply:
A timeline is available on the project website. I can be accesssed at https://recodeknoxville.com/about/timeline/

Recode

Thanks for speaking with me at the Saturday Recode community meeting. As per your request I am sending you an email regarding my questions and points. I indicated to you I had read the entire draft ordinance and generally liked it, but did not think any one zone encompassed the full amount of current uses and desirable future uses in some of the current central city sector plan zones, specifically I am talking about some of the MU-SD districts that currently have a mix of what would be considered RN-4 to RN-6, O Office, and C-N Neighborhood Commercial uses under the new ordinance. I indicated I thought it was desirable for the city and the property owners for this to continue. I like the idea of fostering small neighborhood markets or cafés which makes the neighborhood nicer and gives the residents the ability to walk to some small scale basic retail services. I suggested a simple solution would be to make some of those MU-SD districts RN-6/C-N neighborhood commercial, for example, as it would cover the existing uses and control future growth according to the design standards in the new ordinance. You would not need to change anything regarding the proposed table 9-1: USE MATRIX as in my theoretical district you would look down the RN-6 column and C-N column and those are the permissible uses, of course you would need to meet all of the design requirements for the use you wanted. I chose C-N because according to the Matrix everything allowed in O Office is allowed in C-N so those current and future uses are covered. As I have consistently stated I like the idea of redoing the zoning ordinance code to make it more simple and clear and don't mind design standards but do not support decreasing my current property uses or future uses that I am allowed under the current zoning ordinance, I don't think that is good for me or the City as it looks to the future.We also discussed Table 4-1 and that RN-4 had a minimum lot width of 50 feet but RN-5 and RN-6 had a minimum lot width of 60 feet. Perhaps it is a typo, but in any event, I stated they should all be 50 feet. Additionally, we discussed section 4.3 that requires multi family housing in RN-4 zones to be on only corner lots. Knoxville already has successful examples of where multi family dwellings are in the middle of a block amongst single and 2 family dwellings and are less obtrusive overall for the block then a corner location. Knoxville will benefit from fostering a heterogeneous mix of dwelling units ranging from single family to multi family within these MU-SD districts, which I recognize each has different characteristics and will require different variations. These varied housing types will attract and provide housing to a wide socio-economic range of people, plus the density will help support C-N businesses. Having traveled to other cities these types of neighborhoods are dynamic, very attractive, and walkable. Having design standards, as the new ordinance does, will make these varied uses fit together in an aesthetically pleasing manner.Thank you and the planning group for your consideration of my prospective. I look forward to any feedback you and the group can give me.
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 1

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party Progressive Action Committee, we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Draft One.Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Progressive Action CommitteeKnox County Democratic Party
Staff Reply:

Recode Support

I am definitely in favor of the recode as one much needed measure to address the crisis in affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Recode - Adus

I would like to write in favor of ADUs being allowed in the Recode plan. They can provide alternatives to affordable housing, which we so desperately need in Knoxville.
Staff Reply:

Naacp Recode Knoxville Comments

Attached please find comments from the Knoxville Chapter of NAACP on the 1st draft of Recode. Amy Brooks informed us that we could submit our comments by the end of this week for consideration before the 2nd draft. If you have trouble opening the attachment, please let me know. Thank you so much for your consideration. Sincerely,LaKenya MiddlebrookNAACP, Knoxville BranchHousing Committee
Staff Reply:

Tree Mitigation

I would like to suggest Knoxville consider developing and implementing some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, perhaps along the lines of how TDEC operates its stream and wetlands mitigation program. In the case of tree protection, the ordinance could specify that for each tree destroyed over a particular dbh, X number of trees of 2" caliper have to be planted; or, a value of the destroyed trees could be established and the developer pay the equivalent value into a mitigation bank, with the city using the funds for planting or landscaping projects.Harvey Broome GroupSierra Club
Staff Reply:

Olpna Comments

I'm forwarding the comments we've come up with for submission from the Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhoods Association. (View Comments) We would also like to suggest that the comment posting be open for another few weeks as many residents are just now hearing about Recode and are still trying to assimilate all the information. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Feedback From A Discussion At The Food Policy Council

The Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council has NOT voted on a recommendation at this time and date. They individually have provided some general feedback to some City and County in advance of the deadline which I am summarizing below:They are supportive and in favor of changes regarding food, farmers markets, and urban agriculture as included. There were concerns about ambiguity of farm stands/seasonal produce stands and ensuring the language is clear and consistent in references. They also felt like it may be beneficial to have a presentation from the consultant on specific food-related items in the next phase.
Staff Reply:

Compliance With Landscape Ordinance Requirements

LANDSCAPE BOND:In regard to compliance with Landscape Ordinance requirements, based on discussion with those professionally qualified to understand both the value of proper landscaping for any development and the challenge of achieving compliance, the two-step LANDSCAPE BOND makes a lot of sense. 1. PERFORMANCE BOND: It essentially allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping, to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months, to assure reasonable growth conditions and released upon satisfactory compliance, as determined by a landscape architect familiar with the design intent. 2. MAINTENANCE BOND: Applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and including a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material following that period. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by qualified professional, a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent.
Staff Reply:

Opposition To Adu And Restaurants In Office Zone

I live in a historic neighborhood in Fountain City currently zoned R-1 where permissive rezoning rules have allowed commercial encroachment. significantly increased traffic, and detrimentally altered the way of life on my street. Therefore, I am voicing opposition to allowing accessory dwelling units in R-1, even under the special use permission. I am also voicing opposition to permitting restaurants in office zones as outlined below.1. Accessory Dwelling Units- After attending the recent Recode Knoxville open house, I learned that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are proposed for current zones R-1 (new zone RN-1). At a minimum, new ADUs should be prohibited from RN-1 as they have a extremely high likelihood of altering the character and driveability of single-family neighborhoods. As has been shown in the past, garage apartments, mother-in law suites and similar ADUs become permanent structures once the capital expenditure to build or renovate accessory space has been made. This means a permanent increase to housing density and a permanent increase to traffic and possibly to on-street parking. A temporary structure for special needs cases would be acceptable, but not rezoning to permit ADUs. Tennessee law currently allows for TEMPORARY housing to be constructed on any qualifying residentially zoned land to care for an elderly/needy relative. Once the need no longer exists, the law requires such special needs structures to be decommissioned. 2. Our neighborhood supported office zone O-1 for some structures to be used as a buffer and transition between more heavily used commercial and our residential neighborhood. There are more than sufficient suitable locations for restaurants in Knox County without jeopardizing residential areas by allowing restaurants in an office zone. Restaurants have significantly higher traffic throughput and extended business hours in evenings and weekends than offices and would, therefore, not provide an adequate buffer to residential neighborhoods. Please do NOT allow restaurants in the office zone. This would not provide an improvement to the zoning in Knoxville. Quite the opposite!
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I apologize for not having the time to give more specific feedback, but I wanted to send a few comments. I support the allowance of ADUs in the zoning. They are an important, responsible, and effective means to increase density and provide affordable housing stock. I support the landscape requirements as I feel they are important to improving/maintaining life quality in our city. I support the neighborhood commercial zone, particularly because it may open up opportunities for increased food access in areas that currently may have poor access to quality food options. I hope to be able to offer more specific feedback on the next draft. Thank you for your efforts. I am generally pleased with the direction of ReCode Knoxville. One area of concern is the potential elimination of the Downtown Design Review Board. I think this board process allows public input into projects that might otherwise have little public notice or oversight. I would prefer to see the DDRB continue to exist.
Staff Reply:

Tree Protection Ordinance

Knoxville has a Tree Protection Ordinance. Is there a reason why this wasn't included in the Recode draft? Also, rather than saying invasive plant species aren't allowed, can the ordinance link to a list of invasive species and state that anything on the list is prohibited?
Staff Reply:

Recode Koxville Comments

I speak on behalf of the Sierra Club's ~1,000 members who reside in Knoxville. We thank you for the opportunity to comments on the proposed ordinance and provide the following comments:1. Article 3 - This may or may not be the appropriate place, but since it contains Special Purpose Districts and Overlay Districts, it seems fitting. The proposed Ordinance contains no reference to, or any part of, the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan. The Plan was adopted by City Council and incorporated into the General Plan in 2011. In 2017, the City determined that, except through Use on Review, and the Use on Review Development Plan process in Planned Zoning Districts, (Planned Commercial, Planned Residential, Shopping Center), the City's adopted Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan could not be enforced. The reason given for why the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan could not be enforced is that the Plan had not been codified. The failure to codify the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan left the Use on Review Development Plan process in Planned zoning districts as the only enforcement mechanism. Therefore, the removal of the existing planned zoning districts results in there being no mechanism to enforce the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan. The City Administration should immediately support and the City Council should prepare and adopt a Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Ordinance so that the adopted plan can be enforced. 2. Article 11 - The current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 5,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot. Additionally, we recommend lot sizes be calculated in terms of parking slots rather than square feet; this would be easier for developers, and the public, to interpret. Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.In general, there should be a greater emphasis on stormwater management (as well as shade distribution) when considering the placement of landscaping in parking lots. Better stormwater treatment can ultimately reduce costs to developers.Plans Review and Enforcement - This is a major concern to everyone. Ultimately, enforcement will be determined by the will of the city administration and staffing, no matter what's written into the ordinance. We think it's important to have a credentialed professional staff oversee the approval and enforcement of landscape plans. Tree selection is tied to a list of approved tree species maintained by the Tree Board. However, shrubbery selection is left to the developer, although native and naturalized plantings are recommended. To insure high quality, we would like the ordinance to tie selection to an approved list of recommended shrubs, grasses, ground covers.3. Article 12.10 - This Article as written is inadequate. We would like to see the current Tree Protection Ordinance (Chapter 14) incorporated into the proposed Ordinance.
Staff Reply:

Comments On The 1st Draft

Thanks for your work on this draft, I am generally supportive of the new language and structure, and hope it will help promote sustainable and equitable growth for years to come. As a Public Health Educator focusing on food access in Knox County, most of my comments have to do with food-system related uses and language.Food Pantries: I would like to see them permitted in more districts as a principal use. Restricting them as an ancillary use to places of worship, social service centers, etc. hampers their ability to combat food insecurity in nimble, efficient ways.Food Truck Parks: I approve of this new principal use, though it would be nice to see it permitted in additional districts, either flat-out, or by special use.Market Gardens: Please make it easier to locate market gardens in residential districts, either by allowing them as a principal use, or making the special use conditions/fees more manageable. The majority of market gardens will inevitably spring up in residential areas (backyards, vacant lots, etc), but a cumbersome special use application process will deter many would-be urban farmers. I fully support the environmental performance standards, but I think many of the concerns regarding the occurrence of market gardens in residential areas have to do with traffic generated by on-site sales, which should be covered under the Farmstand temporary use permit. We need to encourage the production of food and the generation of small-scale local economy and business everywhere we can! Codes enforcement can keep these sites in compliance without creating so many hoops for these gardeners to jump through on the front-end.Neighborhood Nonresidential Reuse: I am very supportive of this addition because of its potential to help address food access in residential areas, and to stimulate innovative and convenient mixed-use neighborhoods.Farmers Market: I approve of this new temporary use, though it would be nice to see it permitted in additional districts.Farmstand: I approve of this new temporary use, but would like to see it allow year-round sales, either by allowing a 12 month permit period, or allowing for re-application immediately following permit expiration. Season-extension equipment (referenced in this draft) and a generally temperate climate make year-round vegetable production a viable, and often vital, practice. This is evidenced by the proliferation of winter-season farmers markets, and year-round CSAs offered by local growers. These benefits should be extended to urban producers and market gardeners as well.Composting: I recognize that much of this language is dictated by state regulations, but wherever possible, I would like to see composting made more accessible and convenient on both the residential and municipal scale. Food waste is America's dumbest problem, and language that can promote, or at the least get out of the way of, composting activities should be supported. Item 4 "enclosed or contained" in the composting section is contradictory to the previous three items "bins or piles". Piles are a viable and convenient method of composting but are not "enclosed of contained".I am supportive of the language regarding: Apiaries, Aquaponics and Hydroponics, Chicken Coops (though I would like to see the hen ordinance made less expensive and complicated), High Tunnels and Greenhouses, and Low Tunnels and Cold Frames.I am very supportive of the addition of Accessory Dwelling Units to the code. In light of the affordable housing crisis both locally and nationally, ADU's offer a great alternative option for affordable housing in a market that is swiftly pushing out many low-income renters, as well as offering income generation for homeowners and increasing urban density.I am very supportive of the landscaping requirements for new development.I almost certainly did not cover all the topics in this draft that affect food access, but hope that any changes to the code promote a healthy and sustainable food system in Knoxville and Knox County.
Staff Reply:

Community Forum, Supplemental Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 1, 5-20-18

Community Forum is submitting its first Supplemental Response to the first draft of Recode Knoxville.This Supplemental Response covers our 14th topic, Office Zoning District, (Article 5).Thank you for your consideration.Sincerely,Larry Silverstein, Secretary-TreasurerCommunity Forum
Staff Reply:

Re: Recode Knoxville

Our neighborhood, Tazewell Pike-Beverly Station Neighborhood Coalition, would like to voice our objections to at least the 2 items listed below:1. Accessory Dwelling Units- we feel at least SOME zones, preferably existing zones of R-1, R-1E , and EN-1 and EN-2, should be excluded from the proposed permitted use of an accessory dwelling unit. If implemented that provision has the potential to completely change the character and density of our neighborhood. Also, our roads are not equipped to carry that additional traffic and there are no mass transit stops within easy walking distance. We like the large lots and open spaces- that is one reason we bought homes here.2. We supported office zone O-1 for some structures to be used as a buffer and transition between commercial and residential. If restaurants are allowed in office, you have defeated the purpose for office zone. We would have tried our best to fight the rezoning to office in several areas near our homes if we had any idea that restaurants would be allowed. Please do NOT allow restaurants in the office zone.We bought our homes depending on the zoning that was in place and hopeful that any changes in zoning would serve to only enhance our neighborhood, not completely change it and possibly alter it forever.We are disappointed and upset about these 2 proposals in the recoding. This is NOT a step forward for our neighborhood- it is 10 steps backward!Jamie Rowe,President, Tazewell Pike-Beverly Station Neighborhood Coalition (R-1 with an NC-1 overlay)
Staff Reply:

General Comments

I attended the workshop held in Fountain City on May 17th and was favorably impressed with the overall direction of the Recode effort. In general, I am supportive of the continued inclusion of the areas supportive of urban agriculture and food (expressed separately through comments with the Food Policy Council). Specifically, I am in support of the Accessory Dwelling Unit/lot proposal and of the increased/enhanced landscaping requirements. Thanks for everyone's efforts on this major project.
Staff Reply:

Landscape Requirements In Recode

Here are some comments on the proposed ordinance concerning landscaping requirements.First it is important to have adequate resources including staff to review proposed plans and to enforce the requirements of any ordinance or the purpose and intent of the ordinance will not be accomplished. It is recommended that new staff be added to review and follow up on the landscaping requirements. This staff should have the required education and training to adequately ensure the compliance of all project plan to follow the requirements of the ordinance.How does this ordinance impact the existing tree protection ordinance and requirement for historic tree protection? If the new ordinance has been written to include the existing tree protection, then it doesn't provide adequate coverage. If the new ordinance wasn't intended to include requirement of the existing tree protection ordinance, then how will they work together?How does the new ordinance incorporate the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan which was adopted by City Council and incorporated into the General Plan in 2011?Is the requirement for 8 trees per acre adequate to sustain the goals of the city to maintain and protect the urban forest canopy? What information was used to establish this requirement?Screening seems to be the primary focus of the benefits of vegetation but there are many benefits provided by tree and shrubs and this should be included in the goals and requirement of the ordinance such as improved water management and air quality at a minimum.Alternative compliance should provide for other ways to meet the public interest in protecting and increasing urban tree canopy and the ordinance should include ways to bank these benefits by providing for methods to mitigate negative impacts that can't be avoided on site. An example would be utility requirements that trump preservation or planting requirements should be offset by purchasing credits to be used at other sites for the public good.When trees are preserved, the trees preserved should have adequate root protection to ensure survival and this requirement needs to be included in the ordinance.Important that the city's list of trees is included in the ordinance as a guide for tree selection and other list of the city should be included which indicate native species appropriate for Knoxville could be referenced as well for shrubs, flowers and vines.Long term maintenance and protection of required trees could be included or recommended to prevent future loss due to clearing and poor practices such as topping or poor mulching.The ordinance should look at lists of other plants like those considered invasive, recommended native shrubs, flowers, grasses and vines that the developer could use in planning their project similar to the list of recommended trees.The current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot. Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces
Staff Reply:

Forest Heights Neighborhood Draft 1 Comments

The following is feedback from Forest Heights Neighborhood. We have created a focus group of neighbors (including both FHNA board members as well as other neighbors not representing the board) to analyze and discuss the proposed ordinance and how it affects our neighborhood. The members of the committee were: Jim Pryor, Amy Hathaway, Martie and John Ulmer, Joe Hickman, Leslie Badaines, and Amy Midis. Thank you!Uses Permitted in the RN-1 District:1. Home Occupations is broadly defined in the proposed ordinance and specific standards previously used to in the current ordinance to differentiate Home Occupations from Home Offices have not been incorporated into the draft. We feel that the current definitions and their standards for both Home Office and Home Occupation should be added to the proposed ordinance. 2. The definition of a Group Home should be more detailed and should be allowed only as a special use in all residential districts.3. The existing draft permits Day Care Homes in all residential districts. The State currently regulates Group Day Care Homes (8-12 unrelated children) and Family Day Care Homes (5 - 7 unrelated persons up to age 17). Our existing ordinance defines "Day nursery: private" as having 6 or more unrelated children, therefore allowing fewer that 6 children by right. We request that the Day Care Homes be defined in the new zoning ordinance as 6 or fewer children, and a separate classification of Day Care Homes be defined and allowed only as a "Special Use" in all residential districts. Zoning Request for 4002 - 4216 Sutherland Avenue:1. The properties from 4002 Sutherland Avenue west to 4216 Sutherland Avenue are currently zoned either Residential or Office. Since residential houses in Forest Heights are located across the street from these properties, the intensity of the use of these properties directly affect our neighborhood. We recommend that the businesses currently zoned O-1 retain their "O" or Office zoning and the single family residences are zoned the same residential zoning designation as our neighborhood. Administrative Modifications:1. The Zoning Administrator is given authority in 15.4C to grant a 10% or less modification to any zoning district dimensional standard in this Code. We request that for modifications granted in residential districts, that the adjoining neighbor who could be affected by this approval be notified in advance of its approval. This is most important with regards to setbacks and maximum height restrictions.
Staff Reply:

Neighborhood Advisory Council Draft 1 Comments

The following is feedback from a focus group created from the members of the City of Knoxville Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC). The focus group members were Rob Glass, Anna Compton, Molly Conaway, Jennifer Reynolds, and Amy Midis. Thank you!Comments Regarding Recode KnoxvilleNeighborhood Advisory Focus GroupMembers: Anna Compton, Molly Conaway, Rob Glass, Amy Midis, Jennifer Reynolds1. We feel that the minimum lot square footage for the EN-1 residential district should be reduced from 22,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. (Article 4.3, Table 4-1)2. We feel like allowing ADUs on lot sizes of 5000 square feet is too small, and recommend the lot size be increased to a minimum of 7000 square feet. (Article 10.3B)3. The existing draft permits Day Care Homes in all residential districts. Since no specific standards are provided regarding this use, it appears that regulatory control of these businesses is by the State of Tennessee. We would like to see the draft include local standards for Day Care Homes in the ordinance and not let the State dictate the intensity of this use. Furthermore, we would not permit day care homes that allow more than 6 children not related to the owners. (Article 2.3)4. We like the idea of non-residential reuses being allowed in the new draft, however, we would like to see the new buildings be updated to new code standards, as well as installing buffers to help distance the property from residential properties. (Article 9.3W)5. We request that the Class B buffer require one evergreen ever 10 feet, and not ever 20 feet. (Article 12.9C)6. We request more graphs or pictures in the ordinance to visualize the concept of ADUs. (Article 10.3B)
Staff Reply:

Parking Lot Landscaping Requirements

Trees Knoxville's mission is to preserve and increase the urban tree canopy on the private and public land of Knoxville and Knox County. The board of Trees Knoxville has voted to endorse the following statement:The benefits of trees and landscaping are well known. A few of these assets include beautification of public spaces, reduced stormwater runoff, reduction of air pollution, and cooler ambient temperatures and shade - both of which enhance walkability. The current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscaped buffer zones between parking lots and residential development should be 15' wide rather than 10' wide.Tree selection is tied to a list of approved trees maintained by the City Tree Board. To insure high quality, a similar list should be specified for the selection of shrubs, grasses, ground covers, etc. Both lists should be tied to landscaping requirements throughout the Recode ordinance. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Tree Topping In H-1 Historic Overlay Zones

It would be very difficult to outlaw the practice of Tree Topping for the entire community. However, it may be possible to outlaw the practice in the H-1 Historic Overlay Zones of the city. Topping in the sense of old time round over cutting of branches, removing most, if not all of the crown of trees in a manner not consistent with International Society of Arboriculture ANSI rules pertaining to tree pruning.-This practice devalues trees and properties.-This practice shortens the lives of otherwise healthy trees.-This practice opens healthy trees up to future decay, rot, and hollow. -The practice is not considered proper tree work within modern practices.-This ordinance would pertain to all trees, of all sizes except fruit trees being pruned for fruit production.It also would exempt old trees being vetranized in an effort to save them. This would be done with the authorization of the Knoxville City Arborist on a case by case basis.
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments

My hope for Recode is to lower the barriers of entry for small-scale, community based development of affordable, efficient, and sustainable dwellings optimizing the density our existing neighborhoods.A few suggestions for doing so... Allowance ADU's: -if ADU's remain contentious in some neighborhoods.. perhaps they could be allowed in RN-1, 2, 3, 4, etc. and not in EN. -if contention remains consider utilizing the model ADU code developed by leading experts in the field (available at AccessoryDwellings.org)After ADU's, a duplex is the lowest hanging fruit for small-scale community-based development. Consider lowering barriers of entry to duplex development, its a great tool increase sustainable density & diversity within existing neighborhoods. Suggestions as follows... 4-2: Consider revising "Minimum Interior Side Setbacks" to allow for small-scale development of duplex properties. Many communities that could benefit from additional density provided by a duplex contain 50' lots (and sometimes less). As written, side setbacks of 20' are counterproductive to a feasible shotgun duplex. Height requirements limit a stacked duplex. Design restrictions limit a "front/rear" duplex where both doors must face the frontage road. Less restrictions will be needed to fully utilize duplex development as a tangible solution for density & affordability.Also, what would be the requirements for special allowance of Duplex in RN-1, RN-2?Additional Comments: 4-2: 4.3.C.1 - Why would multi-family dwellings be LIMITED to corner lots only? What about double or triple interior lots, etc.? 9-15: W. Neighborhood Nonresidential ReUse - consider new builds and/or structures for Non-residential use at certain intersections within residential districts. Increase the availability of neighborhood stores, increase diversity, decrease auto-dependence, etc. 10-4: 8. Accessory structures cannot contain cooking facilities or plumbing? This seems heavy-handed and not conducive to resilient, adaptable structures. Garden shed, painting studio, pool house, etc. Plumbing + bathrooms should be at the owners discretion. 11-6: Dwelling - Two-Family = 2 parking spaces per dwelling unit... total of 4 for a duplex. Consider REDUCING to 1 per dwelling unit to not further hinder small-scale, community-based development.
Staff Reply:

Recode 1st Draft Comments From Kaar Focus Group

Here's what I have:1. Most of the feedback that I'm getting from folks is that there's a disconnect between codes and the fire marshal (which isn't really cogent to this conversation). The general theme as that we need to make things as clear as possible and that the administrative folks all need to be on the same page.2. Overall, I am very optimistic that these changes will improve our city, so thanks for your work on contribution. Here is my feedback from reviewing the first Draft of ReCode:Overall, I am in favor of increasing higher-density options in RN-1,2, & 3 neighborhoods - with special use, if developed and designed properly. Over the long-term, I am concerned that a limited housing supply will drive up housing prices and decrease affordable/moderate-income living options, especially in neighborhoods closer to downtown. By including options for 3F and 4F-dwellings, higher density can be achieved gradually, without compromising the overall character of the neighborhoods. Specifically, 3 & 4-family dwellings should be grouped separate from other higher-density Multi-family units, and 3&4-family dwellings should be granted greater permissions in RN-1,2, and 3 Neighborhoods, but with some restrictions on design and location. This could be achieved by grouping 2,3,4-family dwellings together. Similar to the restrictions in 4.3 Dimensional Standards, C, about multi-family dwellings in the RN-4 District, 3 and 4-family dwellings should be granted similar permissions in RN-1,2,3 if they are on corner lots, adjacent to higher-density uses, with height and parking restrictions.3. PAGE 1-3, Pending ApplicationCan you remove the words "was deemed complete by the City". There is a significant investment of time and due diligence made on a property before an application.Page 5-4, Table 5-2Commercial Site Design requires all surface parking to be on side or rear unless in CH2 or CR2. Front door parking is a highly desirable feature for most commercial properties. Front door parking should be allowed in C G.Table 9-1 Use MatrixFor the sake of completeness please add . . .Add "Heavy Retail, Rental, and Service"Add "Concrete Batch Plant"Add "Cement Plant" which is quite different from the Concrete Batch Plant aboveAdd "Call Center"Add "Truck Stop and Refueling Facility"Add "Truck Terminal"Add "Construction Office with Outside Storage"Add "Landscaper and Lawn Mowing Office with outside Storage"Page 10-1: Please add to Site Development Standards requirements for eighteen wheel vehicles and semi trucks in regards to building access and turnarounds.Please add requirements for loading docks and drive in doors.
Staff Reply:

Kub Public Utility Requirements

Attached is a draft Section 10.6 PUBLIC UTILITY REQUIREMENTS that KUB would like to be added to the draft Zoning Ordinance document. Provided MPC and City of Knoxville are agreeable to including this new section, we believe that the following sentence in sections 4.5.A, 5.8.A, 6.4.A, 7.1.D.1, 7.2.D.1, and 7.3.D.1 should be edited as shown."See Article 10 for additional on-site development standards and requirements, such as exterior lighting, accessory structures and uses, permitted encroachments, and public utility requirements."
Staff Reply:

First Draft Of Zoning Code

Dear City Council members:On behalf of the League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC), we are writing regarding the first draft of Knoxville's new zoning code. We applaud its bold vision: The new code will enable more density, more diverse and affordable housing, and more alternatives to car-based living.That said, we are concerned that the draft zoning code curbs opportunities for people to have input on land use decisions that affect them. Four key examples follow, with suggestions for a more inclusive, consultative approach.Permitted modifications. In Article 10.3 of the draft code, a number of uses and structures additional to the principal structure are described - notably, accessory structures, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and detached garages. For these additional structures, only building permits and other customary permits would be needed if the requirements in the draft code were met. Unfortunately, those requirements do little to protect abutting property owners.Per the draft code, ADUs and other accessory structures could be up to 18 feet tall and would require setbacks of only 5 feet from the side and rear lot lines (or no setbacks, in the case of detached garages). In the draft code, no notice to the abutting property owner is required.An abutting property owner should have prior notice and opportunity to appeal if an accessory structure, ADU, or detached garage is to be located partly within the otherwise-required setback specified in Article 4.3.Permitted encroachments. Article 10.4 lists several types of permissible encroachments into otherwise-required setbacks: for example, balconies, decks, bay windows, stoops, and unenclosed porches. The maximum encroachment is specified for each type.It appears that a permitted encroachment may enable other additions along the same side. A stoop, for example, could become the basis for enlarging that whole side of the structure into the setback. (See diagram accompanying Article 16.4; see also pp. 51-52 of https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/meetings/20180322_comm_meeting/presentation.pdf).If a permitted encroachment can enable additional encroachment, it renders meaningless the term 'required setback,' and it violates the justifiable expectations of the abutting property owner. At a minimum, that property owner should have prior notice and an opportunity to appeal if additional encroachment is proposed.Administrative modifications. According to Article 15.4, the Zoning Administrator could, upon a property owner's request, unilaterally approve 'a 10% or less modification to any zoning district dimensional standard in this Code' (p. 15-7). The approval standards listed in the draft code mainly concern the property's characteristics and its owner's needs but also refer to the public health, safety, and welfare (p. 15-8).Members of the public would have no notice of the requested administrative modification and no opportunity for input prior to the Zoning Administrator's decision. Property owners directly affected by the decision could appeal it, but they would have to file for an appeal within 30 days of the decision. How would they learn about the decision in time to file? That is not clear in the draft code.The Zoning Administrator should send notice of a request for an administrative modification to abutting and adjacent property owners, allowing them 10 business days to comment before the decision is made. They also should be advised of the decision and their right to appeal, subject to a 30-day deadline.Planned developments. Section 6 of Article 15 introduces a concept relatively new to Knoxville. As described in the draft code, a planned development (PD) is meant to encourage flexibility and creativity in land development and new structures. PDs would have a special approval process that might exempt them from some regulations while establishing other requirements. Per Article 15.6, PDs would be possible in all zoning districts.The PD process has three major steps: a concept plan followed by a preliminary plan and then a final plan. The preliminary plan is the crux of the process. The preliminary plan is reviewed by MPC, which sends it with their recommendation to City Council for their approval or denial. If the final plan is in 'substantial compliance' with the approved preliminary plan, MPC staff will recommend approval to MPC, which will then review the plan and approve or deny it.The same process would be used regardless of the type of zoning district. The sole specified opportunity for public input on a PD is at the preliminary plan stage.Presumably, planned developments are big deals with good or bad ripple effects. As such, neighborhood associations, business associations, potentially affected property owners, and other members of the public should get notice of the proposed project early in the process, as soon as a concept plan has been developed. Their opportunity for comment should not be limited to the preliminary plan stage. They also should get notice of the staff review for 'substantial compliance' prior to MPC's review and approval of the final plan.The League of Women Voters has a long tradition of advocating for two twin pillars of democracy: a citizen's right (a) to know, and (b) to participate in government decision-making. As you consider the draft code, please keep in mind the need for adequate public information and consultation on land use decisions, as well as the right to appeal when governmental decisions directly affect a property owner.Thank you for your service to Knoxville.Mary EnglishLand Use and Environment Chair, LWVKKCLinda MaccabePresident, LWVKKC
Staff Reply:

Community Forum - Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 1, 5-10-18

Community Forum is an organization with representatives from many City of Knoxville and Knox County neighborhoods. We frequently advocate on issues that affect the character and integrity of neighborhoods. Attached is Community Forum's initial Response to the first draft of Recode Knoxville. (View Draft 1 Response) The Response includes material on thirteen topics, including a Supplemental Topic on Manufactured Homes which appears at the end of the Response. Also included is a separate list of all of our Issues Presented for the thirteen topics we are addressing in this Response. (View issues list) Many of the issues identified impact the City's low density neighborhoods. We anticipate submitting additional comments as we continue our review of this draft, and additional Recode drafts, and as we review the comments of others. We wish to make clear that we support the Recode Knoxville project. Our objective is to work with others to improve the proposed ordinance. We would be happy to discuss the issues presented in this Response at any time and to respond to any questions you might have about our Response.
Staff Reply:

Noise Light Pollution

I understood this update was to correct the vague codes including noise and light pollution. Light and noise are both measurable today and many cities have standards based on zoning. The new codes has exempted streetlights and sports fields which is moving in the wrongs direction. Streetlights are for lighting the streets, not bedrooms or inside restaurants. New cutoff lighting is being used by many new developments, but their effects are ruined by streetlights and now sports fields.
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Landscaping Requirements

Parking lots 5,000 s/f and above should have perimeter landscaping requirements and lots 10,000 - 20,000 should also have interior landscaping requirements.
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Landscaping Of Parking Lots

The benefits of trees and landscaping are well known. A few of these assets include beautification of public spaces, reduced stormwater runoff, reduction of air pollution, and.cooler ambient temperatures and shade - both of which enhance walkability, The current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.
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Recode Suggestions

I looked over the draft, and have the following suggestions:1. Define “Blank Wall” There are several great buildings with blank walls, that have designed texture and material patterns, etc., but no windows.2. Define if an alley or highway (i.e. other than roadway) is a ROW. This has to do with the portion of the code that indicates if a façade is visible from a ROW, then ……3. Define how far such a ROW view would be. Example, if I can view a building from a higher grade 5 blocks away, while I am in an alley, then is that “visible from ROW”?4. In DK-H district, set a minimum first floor to second floor dimension. Traditional buildings ranged in 18’ to 20’ +/-5. If a building is on a sloped street, then does the ground level regulations apply to the entire area of the sloped street, or only the very bottom portion of it?I will review in more detail in the next few days and will share anything else that I can think of.
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New Knoxville Zoning

Has there been any dialogue with Knox County officials about adopting a unified zoning ordinance? This would greatly simplify development document preparation within both Knoxville and Knox County and could still be administered separately as they are now. Also, has there been any talk of expanding the MPC to be a one-stop-shop for development submittals, with the particulars still farmed out to their respective county or city authorities? One of the things we have noticed as design professionals is that the Knox County ordinance generally does not 1) have enough districts, 2) is still written assuming a mostly rural county and 3) is just enough different from the city to be confusing. We have noticed that the City's ordinance 1) seems to assume 1950s and 1960s approaches to development in terms of parking, 2) has too many districts, 3) is not applied uniformly and 4) is not flexible enough to encourage the kind of mixed use and higher density development which would be more environmentally sustainable. Thanks!
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Sw-1

Concern is that SW-1 is not listed under the general list of residential. SW-1 is residential (low density). Should It fall under or with the EN, RN, list?
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Noise

I respectfully disagree that existing noise ordinances are sufficient to address the needs of mixed use development, and I strongly believe that you must include certain noise issues as part of your conversation.I am writing to you after contacting at least 20 others, from codes enforcement to the police department to the mayor’s office to every city council candidate. The noise ordinances as they are written have an exemption for HVAC units. The Tennessee Theater runs theirs at all hours of the day and night at a volume that is twice as loud as a construction site with heavy machinery running (I have video with decibel readings to show this.) The volume is at a threshold identified in federal standards as causing hearing damage, and yet it is allowed to run at any time of day for any amount of time. This would not be allowed in New York City or in other places I checked.I needed to get a hearing test due to tinnitus and headaches caused by this noise, and the only way to sleep is to use earplugs and a sound machine at the same time (plus a vibrating alarm clock so I don’t oversleep.) After a few days of earplugs, my ear canals will be raw and near-bleeding. I have invested $3k on sound blocking shutters and will still have to invest another $15k in acoustic retrofitting with no guarantees. I have impact statements from numerous neighbors regarding their own stress levels/health, their inability to use expensive balcony retrofits ordered at purchase, and their need to make expensive architectural changes to their windows.I’ve lived in urban environments for over 20 years, including large cities. I have many nice things to saying about moving to Knoxville, but I cannot recommend living downtown when people ask because of a general failure to control noise and light pollution here. Knoxville needs to take these seriously in mixed use development if it wants to be successful. My neighbors and I would be happy to discuss these issues with you, and other challenges that have arisen in our building, which is part residential and part commercial. I realize my email is quite long, and I appreciate your time in reading it.
Staff Reply:

Noise?

Is there anything in the new planning regarding noise in residential districts? I don't believe current ordinances are adequate.
Staff Reply:
It is typically not within the purview of zoning ordinances to address noise, as this issue is usually handled through a separate noise ordinance. This is the case in Knoxville and you may want to contact City staff and your City Council member to advocate for enhancements to the City's noise ordinance. The draft zoning ordinance does propose a requirement for a landscape buffer between non-residential and residential development, which may help mitigate the impact of noise.

Mixed Use Development In C-h Highway Commercial Zoning District

Hi,I have a question related to the C-H Highway Commercial Zones. As currently drafted, would a mixed-use development with residential multifamily above a commercial ground floor be permitted in a C-H zone? I see in the Use Matrix that "Dwelling - Above the Ground Floor" is permitted in a C-H zone, but I don't understand whether that implies, multifamily, single family, etc.Thanks for the help!
Staff Reply:
The intent is to permit either a single dwelling or multiple dwellings on the upper floor(s) of a building in the C-H zone. We will clarify this so there is no confusion.

Drive-through Facility

Consider allowing Drive-Through Facilities in C-N as a Permitted (P) or at least Special (S) use. Given that restaurants, financial institutions, and personal service establishments (I'm thinking of dry cleaners) are allowed in C-N there will certainly be instances when a drive through could make sense.
Staff Reply:

Comments - Draft Zoning Code

I am a commercial / industrial real estate broker. Below are my comments on the DRAFT Code.PAGE 1-3Pending ApplicationCan you remove the words "was deemed complete by the City". There is a significant investment of time and due diligence made on a property before an application.Page 5-4; Table 5-2Commercial Site Design requires all surface parking to be on side or rear unless in CH2 or CR2. Front door parking is a highly desirable feature for most commercial properties. Front door parking should be allowed in C G.Table 9-1 Use MatrixFor the sake of completeness please add . . .-Add "Heavy Retail, Rental, and Service"-Add "Concrete Batch Plant"-Add "Cement Plant" which is quite different from the Concrete Batch Plant above-Add "Call Center"-Add "Truck Stop and Refueling Facility"-Add "Truck Terminal"-Add "Construction Office with Outside Storage"-Add "Landscaper and Lawn Mowing Office with outside Storage"Page 10-1Please add to Site Development Standards requirements for eighteen wheel vehicles and semi trucks in regards to building access and turnarounds.Please add requirements for loading docksPlease add requirements for drive in doors
Staff Reply:

Concern Over Impact To Residential Housing Values...

I live in Sequoyah Hills. There are currently large commercial developments occurring on the north side of Kingston Pike, which I'm fine with. I think they are doing a good job of providing more affordable housing in the area and creating attractive (physically and financially) symbiotic venues for commercial activity. However, there are rumors of a land grab in the works for the south side of Kingston Pike, west of the intersection with Noelton Dr. If these residential areas are zoned for commercial or multi-family housing, I fear (with good reason) the housing values of all the homes in Sequoyah Hills will take a large hit (10% - 30% based on some bank of the envelope calculations). I would strongly oppose any Knoxville politician/administrator that would approve these areas for anything other than single family dwellings.
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Sidewalks - School Zones

Thank you for allowing us to actively participate in offering comments and feedback. I live in Fountain City. We are .50 miles from Fountain City Elementary and Gresham Middle School on Grove Drive, which means that we are in what is called "parent responsiblity zone". Our daughter would like very much to walk to school, however the sidewalks stop less than halfway to our home from the schools. The road is narrow with a ditches and many use it as a cutthrough from Rifle Range to Broadway. People drive fast through the stretch were we live and it is dangerous to walk. We walk as a family and it is not a comfortable walk until we get to a sidewalk. There are children living in Grove Park Subdivision who would benefit from a sidewalk as well. Please consider ensuring there are sidewalks within the parent responsibility zones throughout the city. This would be a blessing for those of us who have students as well as the general community who enjoy walking without fear of launching into a ditch to avoid the oncoming traffic.
Staff Reply:

Reflecting Roofs

Increasing the Reflectivity of Structures Could Reduce High Temperatures in CitiesI've been wondering whether it is feasible to include within the zoning codes requirements for reflective roofs. It certainly would help with urban heat island effects. See below.Recent research has shown that cities, which absorb drastically more solar radiation than the countryside, would benefit from coloring dark surfaces with light gray or white materials. For instance, black asphalt reflects only four percent of the sunlight that strikes it, while grassland and white snow can reflect up to 25 and 90 percent, respectively. In New York City, this "urban heat island" effect can increase temperatures 1-3 degrees Celsius warmer relative to rural areas. Research by the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that by raising the reflectivity of a city's roofs from 32 percent to 90 percent, the urban heat island effect would decrease by a third, reducing maximum daytime temperatures by an average of 0.6 degrees C. Additional studies have found that "cool roofs" could reduce temperatures by 1.8 degrees C in other cities. Urban heat islands can also cause nighttime temperatures to remain high, placing stress on vulnerable populations in need of a recovery period from blistering daytime conditions.For more information seeYale Environment 360https://e360.yale.edu/features/urban-heat-can-white-roofs-help-cool-the-worlds-warming-cities
Staff Reply:

Noise/dogs/drunken Parties

There seems to be a popular trend to getting dogs and locking them up either in the house for longs hours or in a fenced yard with no care, exercise, or training. Who do I call when I am surrounded by barking dogs almost non-stop while folks are away and many times home leaving them unattended? I have two on one side, one on the other and four behind me-these are put out around 5:30AM and bark for sometime till they calm down and start up again anytime I am in my own back yard garden trying to work or enjoy it. While one set of neighbors has owned and adapted to stop theirs the other two won't respond to pleas or any amount of talking.And the one with one dog also has drunken parties on the screened in porch right outside my bedroom window along with dog running back and forth underneath it.Help!I have lived downtown all my adult life and until now everyone understood how to get along and be considerate of close living with neighbors. I do not know who to call and how to get anything done about this.Animal control came and they just lied and begged off and nothing changed.My quality of life as well as lack of sleep has lead me to almost sell and leave many times but who would buy a house when they come to look at it and hear all this noise!?
Staff Reply:

Mixed Use (living Above The Store)

Support residential over businesses for live-work or condo ownership, in downtown as well as surrounding areas such as Broadway and Central Avenue, especially including areas around Happy Holler. Reduce parking requirements in areas well-served by public transit and with bike lanes. Reduce the need for surface parking lots by supporting shared parking areas.
Staff Reply:

Input And Suggestion For Recode Knoxville

In recent years the continued growth in Knoxville has reduced the distances between commercial and residential areas. This has resulted in unreasonably loud, unusual and unnecessary noise from refuse collection (from dumpsters) in commercial areas that impact residential areas. The attached proposed change seeks to limit this refuse collection to times that will minimize significant impact to families and children while allowing collection in more commercial areas.If you would have questions about this proposed change or need examples of where and how this will improve the quality of life in Knoxville please contact me.Proposed Change to Knoxville Tennessee Code of Ordinances
Staff Reply:
The update of the City of Knoxville zoning ordinance will not include revisions to the City's noise ordinance as that is freestanding ordinance. The update to the City zoning code will propose landscape buffers between residential and non-residential development. The proposed landscape buffers will aid in addressing the issue with noise generated by abutting commercial uses.

Progressive Ideals And Recommendations For Recode Knoxville

Mr. Green, On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party Progressive Action Committee, we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville. Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you,Progressive Action CommitteeKnox County Democratic PartyProgressive Ideals and Recommendations for ReCode Knoxville
Staff Reply:

? Regarding Zoning Ordinance Update

Will the update include any new sections using form based code?
Staff Reply:
Draft 1 incorporates the existing the form cords for South Waterfront and Cumberland Avenue, but does not propose additional form districts.

Yard Definitions

I seem to remember a graphic that was used in one of the presentations I saw that showed how the city defines the space in a residential yard. The graphic showed the front and back yard as well as side and standoffs etc. I can't seem to find that graphic now. If it is no trouble and you can find it easily, could you send that to me.Is that going to change in the recode? If so what will the new definitions be?
Staff Reply:

Chicken Coops

What is going to happen with chicken coop rules. Has anything been decided?
Staff Reply:
The staff recommendation at this time is to leave the standards for chicken coops as they are now. Please let us know if you fell the standards should be revised in any way.

Zoning Lots

Can you clariify: Does a zoning lot only include connecting lots that are within the same zone? Will this apply to commercial and office zones also, not just residential? Furthermore, the section addressing zoning lots, you mention that the City has an original ward map and a parcel map. Can you clarify what that means?
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Racial Equity

Hello,I'm concerned about how Black and Latinx stakeholders are engaged in this process. Is engagement equitable at this point? Also, I hope there is some serious social impact consulting seriously measuring along lines of difference pertaining to race, income, ability, etc. Transportation often widens inequity so I expect that to be a topic of public discussion and addressed in the plan as well. Thus far, I see buzz words about being green but nothing about social impact and explicitly measuring perhaps unintended negative consequences to what we're doing here.Thank you for your consideration,
Staff Reply:

C-3

One concern I have coming out of the recent presentation is the recommendation for keep the general commercial code for both suburban and urban development. I am not exactly sure how to do it, but I think we need an urban commercial code for places like Central, potentially MLK, Sevier, Sutherland, parts of Kingston Pike and Broadway, which would be significantly different than the traditional C3 suburban code. I would appreciate your thoughts.This article highlights the problem. http://insideofknoxville.com/2017/09/a-plea-for-preservation-of-a-building-and-a-struggle-for-the-soul-of-central/An historic overlay probably would not be appropriate for Central, but we need some type of guidelines to keep it developing in an urban style, rather than suburban. How can a one size fits all approach work?Marshall StairCouncil Member
Staff Reply:

The presentation demonstrates a strong move in the right direction. Thank you for your time. I will be keeping up to date with further updates and I look forward to the change. If I think of any ideas or if I see any potential issues, then I will contact your organization and let you know. Thanks again!
Staff Reply:

I think these changes will make everything easier and more clear. I wish I had some constructive criticism, but everything looks great.
Staff Reply:

I am an urban farmer in East KnoxvilleURBANAG: The current permit is $100 for a farmstand for a 9-month season. We have food access issues in Knoxville, and in order to make food more accessible ? lay farmers/backyard farmers should be able to set up a stand to sell for free. Wave a profit requirement ? if you gross> $500(?) you have to pay, but let hobby farmers provide food to their neighbors. Consider incentives for food production in urban neighborhoods. Not just community gardens, but market gardens. Consider property tax breaks for people growing food in the city, similar to how rural areas have agricultural designations. Particularly on empty lots that are purchased from the city.H1 (historic overly and design guide) My neighborhood is in this process of approval by MPC/City Council. Should the process be suspended until this Recode is complete? They seem very duplicative. We are spending great amounts of time, money, & energy resources to create/debate something that may be changed significantly. I have a lot of questions about the AG special purpose district! ?Farmland? is now inside residential areas in urban settings!
Staff Reply:

Shouldn?t use categories be separated by impact not type: retail establishment & convenience store (with gas) has a very diff visual & traffic impact than book stores.PUD ? consider formal approval of concept plan so developer has some certainty before committing $ to prelim plan.Very glad code is being reworked. It?s impossible to figure out! Re-subdivided lots vs tax parcels. See past Planning magazine article.
Staff Reply:

Thank you for working to make the zoning & code easier to understand. The presentation was very helpful & clear. Good work! I am particularly interested in protecting residential areas from industrial buildings (maybe with more than just buffer green spaces) & revising buildings. I hope the new zoning code can help with fragmentation in the cityl. I am also concerned with what it would look like if the community wanted to fight a PUD. How easy would that be? I hope easy. Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Solar Power

Recode Knoxville Since your favorite word is "sustainability," how about you implement the total opposite of what FPL is doing in Florida with Solar. FPL is not allowing homeowners to own their own solar power. Homeowners have to connect it to FPL. This is a bunch of hog wash. You nor anyone else owns the power of sun. Since the City of Knoxville and KUB are really the same org. You have the power to do this. I'll see what you guys have come up with at your next public meeting.
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South Knoxville Sidewalk

Are their any plans to put sidewalk/bike path on Sevier Ave? There is a huge need from SoKno Taco corner up to Red Bud crossing. People frequently walk this area and it is very difficult to see them at night...with no shoulder. I get frustrated at lack of services for an area that the home owners pay city and county taxes, but we get forgotten or left out of improvements. Thanks!
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Survey

I am just now finding out about recode Knoxville. I saw it on my kub bill. Why did they not send out letters to every postal address about this subject and the survey? I am watching the video of the stakeholder advisory committee and hearing them say they sent out e-mails and posted it on there web site.They said they wanted better response from people. How many peoples e-mails do you have and how do you expect to get them? How many people are going to know about your web site? What about people that don't have internet? So again I ask,Why did they not send out letters to every postal address about this subject and the survey? Or did they and I missed it? Thank You for your time.
Staff Reply:

Bikes

So as a cyclist in Knoxville I notice that it's very unfriendly mainly due to there is nowhere to park a bicycle at basically any business. If they do the bicycle racks are in horrible places like the bicycle racks at Walgreens in Bearden where it's literally 10 feet from Kingston pike. Either that or I have to literally walk my bicycle into the store and leave it somewhere at the front while I shop or walk it with me.I would love to see a building code that required a bike rack up against the building for Knoxville.Walgreens bicycle parking http://imgur.com/1HBcaBs
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Sidewalks

I would like to see a sidewalk from the Rocky Hill shopping center to Rocky Hill School. There is so much school traffic on that road and the road is not very wide. I think a sidewalk would be very helpful and make the road a lot safer.
Staff Reply:

Street Trees

I walk anywhere I can from my house in Old North, and I often have my kids with me in a stroller. Lately I've noticed a lot of urban development and repurposing of defunct businesses, which I applaud. Efforts like this make the city more livable and enjoyable. I've also noticed that in many projects (such as the construction on Depot at the Regas site), huge mature street trees that I came to appreciate and love for their shade have been cut down. I think incentives to work around existing trees are a great idea, as it will easily take 50-100 years to replace a tree that may have been in the way for a short-term project. Seeing a long, hot sunny stretch where there were once spreading old limbs is discouraging. And sweaty. Trees also lend an established, well-cared for feeling to cities, and we lose a lot when we lose mature trees. Thank you for your time.
Staff Reply:

Walkability/public Transit And Mixed Use

It is extremely important to my sense of wellbeing as a Knoxville resident that we emphasize different modes of transport, including facilities for pedestrian, bicycle, scooters, busses and potentially other public transport.i fully support the COKs sidewalk investments and moves towards mixed use neighborhoods.
Staff Reply:

Sidewalks

My son will be starting Kindergarten this year. I love being active and it makes me sad that I live so close to the school, but I can't walk because there are no sidewalks! The area is growing and there is not a lot of parking. If there were sidewalks throughout the community I think there would be a lot more people walking and biking and leaving their cars at home. Thanks for your time!
Staff Reply:

Sidewalks

The sidewalks in Fort Sanders, especially on Clinch and Laurel are cracked and crumbling. Cars are parked at yellow curbs, bus stops on Clinch.
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More Info After Taking Survey

I got this email after taking a survey about zoning. I wanted to comment that I live near kingston pike and moved to my neighborhood because there was a bus stop nearby. However, about 6 months after moving into my house, the bus route changed. I now have to walk a little farther to catch the bus, but that's not really the issue. The big issue here is that I live in a residential area very close to businesses on kingston pike, one of Knoxville's busiest roads, that I cannot get to safely because there are no sidewalks. There are some areas that barely even have shoulder to walk in. I have to walk though someone's yard to get to Kingston pike because someone's house along kingston pike has so much foliage on the ground that you have to walk IN kingston pike around the foliage. It is very unsafe and discouraging.I do not drive, and I think it isn't good to require people to drive in this city. It creates more traffic and accidents because people who should not be driving are, because there are no other options. It is not fair to those who cannot afford cars or those unable to drive.I walk to my dentist appointments on S Peters Rd., just a 20 minute walk from my house, but it's a little nerve wracking because there are many spots where I barely have any space to walk safely. More sidewalks make the city safer and healthier. I have lost weight by exercising and walking more. I think it's kind of sad that many people have to first drive to greenways to walk. There is a greenway near where I live, but I cannot get there safely due to lack of sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. I have biked there, but being near an interstate ramp also makes me nervous when I try. Is also like to be able to bike to the greenway safely. I can understand not having sidewalks in residential areas, but it is necessary in mixed residential and business areas to connect the two safely with sidewalks. Fortunately I work downtown and I'm very happy that there's plenty of sidewalk there. Sorry if this was long, but I wanted to voice my opinion and frustrations. I hope there are others like me wanting safer ways to walk in the city. Thanks for reading.
Staff Reply:

Official Questions For The Boards And Committees For Recode Knoxville

Official questions for the boards and committees for Recode Knoxville1. What kind of Input, consulting, training, email or other documents, regarding RecodeKnoxville (rezoning), are coming from the ICLEI global network?2. How will you prevent mis-identification of wetlands?3. Have you looked to New York where there is high density living, but no affordable housing?4. Which outside entities may possibly provide credits, tax breaks or any funding to the city and its citizens for following the new code.5. Does the city of Knoxville get any credits or any type of funding for creating high density living?6. Does the city of Knoxville get any credits or any type of funding for creating high density living for lower income levels.7. Will Knoxville have complete control over building or will any outside entities (government or NGO's outside of Knoxville) have a say?8.? What is the current percentage of open space in Knoxville?9.? Will the City of Knoxville have to meet the requirements of a sustainable community?? 10.? Does the city of Knoxville have to meet any rezoning codes for any reason?
Staff Reply:

Residential House Freedom

I strongly believe house owners should be able to use their houses as they see fit. It is not government's business to regulate who lives in your house. I think ordinances restricting occupancy would prove unconstitutional if challenged. I also think short term rental such as Air B&B should not be restricted.
Staff Reply:

Zoning: Commercial Corridors & Building Height

Regarding the Commercial Corridors question: single family housing should not be encouraged in the corridor but commercial with residential above is a great way to keep neighborhoods safe and convenient for multifamily dwellings.Regarding height increases: 45' does seem a bit low but I would not want to see the heights increased by very much - the human scale is very important to maintain when attempting to encourage pedestrian friendliness (which is a form of equal opportunity design).
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Additional Comments

Thank you for providing a space for additional comments. I strongly encourage more sidewalks, especially in the gap areas where sidewalks appear for a distance, then stop, or there is a gap between existing sidewalks. I'm sure others may have a similar situation, but my neighborhood is located within a short distance to the a) sidewalk on Francis Rd in one direction, and b) in the other direction, the sidewalk on Middlebrook Pike. However, I am trapped because the roads to get to those sidewalks are extremely curvy and narrow, and are hazardous for cars at times, much less a pedestrian or cyclist. If only the gap were filled, the residents in my area could travel by sidewalk in one direction to Cedar Bluff and beyond, and in the other direction, utilizing sidewalks and greenways, all the way to Volunteer Landing and beyond. The possibilities really excite me, except for the gap which completely changes the picture. Also, the closest bus stop is at Amherst/Middlebrook or Francis/Middlbrook and I have seen walkers risk their lives walking on the road until they reached a sidewalk leading to the bus stop.I know there are many priorities, thank for allowing me to voice my opinions. Thank you also for looking to the future and helping to make Knoxville an even more wonderful city.
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Sustainability Incentives

I'm not sure if this fits in the purview of the zoning work you're doing...but I'd love to see the city offer incentives/take actions to encourage adoption of more sustainable behaviors. I'm thinking:- Make the 20 best parking spots in all city-owned garages EV only parking spots- Create a PACE financing program- Work with KUB to implement an excellent net metering program with highly favorable rates for Knoxvillians who add solar to their roofs over a designated period of time. In other words, if I add solar to my roof between now and, say, the end of 2021, KUB buys my excess power production or production at peak demand times for $.20/KwH. And then some personal peeves/requests:- Somehow make it so I could actually walk easily from Sequoyah to shopping centers on Kingston Pike without feeling like I'm putting my life at risk! Getting from the Sequoyah side of the street to the opposite side of Kingston Pike is really a hair raising experience. And then walking on the sidewalk beside Kingston Pike always makes me feel like I could get plowed over by a driver at any minute (no barrier between the traffic and me).- Find a way to encourage/incentivize homeowners to turn OFF their programmed lawn sprinklers/irrigation systems when it's raining!- Bring back curb-side glass recycling- Find a way to encourage/incentivize composting
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Comments

Develop code that is more than "minimal"- let code reflect tougher standards so that variances are more difficult to ask for and have approvedAlso, don't make all neighborhoods alike- as in the survey- there are distinct areas that need to be cherished and preserved.Great ideas about landscaping- but after the initial build- who checks to make sure the landscaping is still in tact and being taken care of.Owners of apartment buildings should have specific requirements that must be adhered to- so neighborhoods don't have to complain and complain in order for things to change- for example- apartments on Jacksboro near Kesterwood, Oak Park, and Woodrush. An eyesore like that devalues the beautiful homes in the area.
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Inskip

We do not need anymore apartments / condos in Inskip. We need more traffic calming and more police presence.
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Questions

it is difficult to answer some questions because, like many things, it's a matter of degree. the devil is in the details.for instance, do i favor design controls? it depends on the degree. i certainly favor some, as long as they establish guidelines and allow flexibility, but i do not favor controls if they specifically tell me that i have to plant an oak tree, for instance, or i have to use red brick. it's okay, in my opinion, to say you must have so many trees, that they be native species, and a min. size, but it is not all right to tell me i have to plant a white oak and nothing but a white oak.anyway, i took a chance and said 'yes', but others with the same feelings might just as easily say 'no'.
Staff Reply:

Use Of Existing Trees As Credit Toward Landscaping

I wish to amend my previous statement. This credit should be allowed only for tree species that are native to Knox County or non-natives specimens that have an established history of use over many decades without any demonstration of colonization, reproduction or invasive tendencies. Non-natives should only be allowed when passing this very high hurdle. An example of a tree that should be allowed for the credit would be a bald cypress, a weeping willow, or a white cedar. Examples of non-natives that should not be allowed are any of the non-native mulberries, princess tree, and those terrible little European hornbeams that are popping up everywhere (they are showing invasive tendencies!!). Knoxville should get its house together in regard to being a "real" tree city and start focusing on native species of trees, flowers and grasses, reclaiming roadsides and small woodlot spaces to promote pollinator and wildlife habitat. We have serious invasives problems and need to get real about it. In 40 years, the precious "urban wilderness" is going to be a deadscape of non-native vines and shrubs. Your forest is dying all around you and you don't notice, because everything is green. Deal with the kudzu patches, the wintercreeper, the privet and bush honeysuckle, the English ivy, etc, etc., or watch your forests die.
Staff Reply:

Use Of Existing Trees As Credit Toward Landscaping Requirements

This allowance should only be for species native to Knox County.
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Transportatuon

There's no public transportation past Cedar Bluff and it's difficult if you live out there and have a job in town. I would love to see it expanded and/or a commuter system for high volumn times from West and North to downtown.
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Side Walks And No Ditches

Would like sidewalks in neighborhoods other than downtown to promote security and community. Also, get rid of the ditches that line almost all of the streets in south Knoxville. Either that or annex us so we don't have to pay taxes to pay for the rest of the city's sidewalks and proper water management (no more ditches dug in people's front yards). Put it in the code to require city neighborhoods to have sidewalks.
Staff Reply:

Ensuring Affordability

Knoxville is a scruffy city, and part of what's kept it that way are the many locally-born, grown, and owned businesses. An updated zoning code will spur increased development in Knoxville and, inevitably, will raise rent and property prices. The new code should set standards for ensuring that a reasonable percent of rents and properties remain affordable for the small-scale folks who've made this city unique. I grew up around Greenville, SC and watched as it transformed into the tourist destination it is today. However, one of the biggest complaints about Greenville from locals and tourists alike is that it is too "corporate." Unless we plan ahead to keep rents and properties affordable, both for retail and for housing, Knoxville will make the same mistake. Let's keep it scruffy, even while we work to make it a livelier place for all of us to live.
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Roads

Need to work on roads rather than making bike lanes and sidewalks. Since you have screwed up Moody Avenue by making it a 2 lane road I have seen far more car wrecks than I have seen people riding bikes. Crazy. I have talked to a lot of people who feel the same way. Also need more speed enforcement everywhere in the city. Especially Chapman Highway.
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Public Transit

We need Amtrak and Southwest Airlines! More trains to connect to Nashville, Chatt and Atlanta.
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Light Pollution, Alleyways

Many alleyways in the north Knoxville area have become unsafe havens for criminal activity within residential neighborhoods. I have an alleyway behind my house that runs the length of several neighborhoods and it has become unsafe to take the trash out at night or walk my dog in these areas. I have witnessed drug use, violence, and illegal drug sales in the alleyway and have reported the issues to Knoxville PD.I would like to see stricter traffic laws enforced in alleyways that prevent anyone and everyone from using the alleyways for their illegal activities. More lights in the alleyways would make them safer or even just signs posted prohibiting certain activities or bringing attention to surveillance in the area could help improve the safety of alleyways in Knoxville. On the subject of lighting. It would be great if, with all the new construction happening, if better light pollution techniques could start to be applied to newer structures and layouts. The night sky is important for human health and Knoxville currently ranks very low among night sky friendly cities. We should start thinking about the future now and applying techniques to reverse our light pollution output. Thank you for considering my thoughts and concerns.
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Additional Zoning Comment

I wanted to emphasis that historical sites should be considered for preservation and protection as well as older trees/etc. Reusing and maintaining structures and trees already present should be prioritized over razing an area and starting anew.
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Recode Knoxville

Loved this survey. It was easy but I do wish there were a few more examples of what was being discussed. Such as parking regulations, i.e. commercial shops are required to have 5 spaces per 1000 feet, should this regulation be increased? For the most part I was able to understand what was being discussed but examples always help. Good job advertising on Facebook, this helps and I will share! 😉
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Gentrification/ Environ Concerns

I feel like the environmental section was a bit short. We know that we need to be drastically reducing our carbon emissions in order to sustain life on this planet! There should be more environmental regulations on new buildings and retrofits of older buildings. Also, how there wasn't anything specifically on how this project is going to address gentrification. There are many homeless people in this city and when people can no longer afford to live in their homes, the situation will only get worse. There was no mention on affordable housing or expansions of shelters and of community services.
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(no Title)

I would like to see changes to Montgomery Village. I would like to see a revitalization to be compaerable to the other revitilazation going on In South Knoxville.I would like MV to be privatized and perhaps redeveloped as college housing or senior housing. I would like to see more patrol in the area as well. As a resident who has to drive through it to get to my home in Knox Co, I have seen a decline in safety, asthetics, and over all negelect to the area. I am a concerned citizen who greatly wants to see that area redevelop and grow.
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Sidewalks

Upkeep of side walks is tearable in Knoxville especially in the Ft Sanders area. They are broken up, blocked by brush, low hanging branches, cars parked on them.
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Dedicated Streets In Condo Developments

Developers are allowed to build condos (separate buildings) based upon the zoned intensity. However, they are allowed to get away with dedicating only the main entryway/street to the city and all other streets classified as driveways. The USPS recognizes these side streets as residential addresses but the city only has to maintain the main roadway since the developer is allowed to designate the other streets, no matter how many, as driveways. The developer also is able to skirt the requirements of the city for a street and build these "driveways" narrower and without curbs. This is a sweetheart deal for the developer and really screws the residents.
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New Codes

If we're going to encourage commercial development in neighborhoods and secondary streets, we should set local business, and have strict restrictions on corporate and national chains. I would love to have small markets or restaurants in my neighborhood, but I don't want another Dollar general or fast food joint, with big lights and obnoxious signage.nnAlso, if we're going to be redeveloping these corridors, can we install a municipal fiber optic system like Chattanooga has? It has done wonders for that city, and we could benefit from such a system in citizen connectedness and appealing to new, tech related industry development.
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Zoning Code Survey

I attended the city's recent workshop on sustainability & liked the idea of developing the West Town site using the existing retail structure for that purpose while adding to its sustainability by building above the parking lot & existing structure. That site won't be viable if the amount of parking is reduced. Lack of convenient parking is a key factor in business survivability across the city.nnZoning codes regarding landscaping shouldn't be so restrictive as to dictate types of plants except as to tree height and root spread. Lawns are a luxury and substitute ground cover should be acceptable.nnCodes regarding lot sizes should be flexible enough to take into account today's tiny houses movement.
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Additional Comments

My impression of the survey, which is only my impression, is that it is skewed toward approval of higher density development which would benefit commercial developers more than residents. It is also rather vague. In theory I might like the idea of a more flexible approach to the size of a lot needed for a residential building, for example. However, if a builder wants to put a house on the tiny lot next door to me as an "infill" I would object. There is nothing in the survey about truly affordable housing, or about preventing the duplication of downtown redevelopment efforts into the Magnolia corridor, which would price many residents out of the area. Mixed use is great, but maybe not if it means a Starbucks below and pricey condos above.Although I feel there should be more landscaping requirements and architectural guidelines, I think they should not be a burden on an individual homeowner such as myself. We need creative solutions which take the needs of the elderly, low income and disabled into consideration., with much more input from these residents. Local homeowners and very small business owners need affordable programs to help repair and enhance their properties.When it comes to improving neighborhoods, let's not forget the mostly unattractive buildings for seniors, low income such as Love Towers. If real estate developers want to profit in our city, they should be wiling to contribute to the welfare of all its residents, not just the wealthier elements. Gentrification needs to be addressed in an open, transparent way and more options developed for lower income citizens to purchase their own homes or perhaps have cooperatively owned apartments.
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Pedestrian Safety

It's essential that we add sidewalks and traffic calming measures to our neighborhoods, particularly those used heavily by commuters who are not as concerned with following traffic regulations (one way, stop signs, etc.) as they rush to and from work.
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General

Many of the choices were of necessity broad, and do not allow for nuances.As a starter I would like to see a specified definition of what constitutes a dwelling unit. I believe citizens buy and build in a location based on zoning, but we are seeing existing zoning being over turned or re-interpreted. Surely we can create a great viable, and vibrant city without destroying existing communities.
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Noise

As commercial and residential mix and get tighter dumpster service and the noise must be limited in these zones/areas to reasonable daylight hours eg 7 to 7 and enforced.
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Complete Streets

I want to encourage the rapid implementation of "Complete Streets." It is very important to me that other forms of transportation besides the car be a strong component of the new zoning proposal. I would like to see pull-off areas for KAT buses (especially on Broadway). btw: KAT is doing a great job, and, yes, I do frequently ride the bus. A matter which really concerns me: WHY does KUB wait until a street has been paved before it begins digging up the street for utility work (Central Street seems to be the exception!) Surely the KUB engineers know where underground water lines are?!?
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Knoxville is not the only ET municipality or county that needs zoning and subdivision requirements need updating but Knoxville it the one of the rare ones who can afford the process. I hope when you complete your effort, you can do an assessment of what you have learned in the process and evaluate what measure can be done to reduce the cost or better pave the way of community engagement. A helpful lessons learned would be nice and sharing your changes to be reviewed for application to more rural communities surrounding Knox County.
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Transit

Knoxville is striving to become a greener City, but that cannot really happen as long as 97% of trips are made by car. Transit, biking and walking must be much more strongly encouraged. This is a safety issue, an air quality issue, and a climate change issue. Transit, while somewhat improved, is still not a viable option for many. Buses are in the same traffic as private autos and therefore do not provide a time advantage. With few exceptions, buses do not come into neighborhoods. I live inside the city limits of Knoxville, but the nearest bus stop is more than a mile from my house. Buses, or perhaps feeder buses should get with in 1/4 mile of residences, at least in the city. West of South Northshore and South of Kingston Pike biking is not an option for most because of heavy traffic.nnnnSo let's take the lead in reducing auto trips and becoming a greener, safer, more livable city.
Staff Reply:

Process Re: Land Use Regulations

Thanks for the opportunity to make some preliminary observations on the regulatory process.One recommendation that I would make is to publish the comments that are received during this initial effort to receive input.Secondly, I would urge you to prepare an overview of existing conditions throughout the City of Knoxville, RE: residential, commercial, industrial, recreation and related land uses, either characterized by "Small Area", and / or "District", by noting, for each identified geographic area, allocation of land uses by type, density, age, total population, etc., but including the primary transportation links to surrounding "districts" and "small areas".Thirdly, characterize each of the areas by trends over the past 20-30 years, RE: growth (population, dwelling units, density), changes in land use types, and traffic conditions.Please consider making this information available on-line, so that the public may review, compare and contrast changes which have occurred throughout the City, and to make some reasoned response through later stages of the planning and regulatory development.
Staff Reply:

Parking

Some predictions of automobile trends show decreased parking needs due to a change in the way we will use self driving cars. Lower ownership could lead to decreased parking requirements. This could happen within the next 10 - 20 years. It would be helpful to make sure we have a flexible code that can adapt to this change in behavior. We may need 40 parking spots for a restaurant now, but may not need to require that many in the future.
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(no Title)

Also consider height and size of business signage! Finish connecting the greenways and more sidewalks please!
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Sidewalks

The need for sidewalks down broadway in fountain city is off the charts. Residents in scooters and those walking are at risk. So many businesses are very close, yet residents are forced to drive everywhere, increasing the need for parking and increasing heavy traffic snafus.
Staff Reply:

Parking

We need to make sure that any commercial or multi-family development includes sufficient parking. People do not come to places where parking is a problem.We appear to have some bike lanes that extend only one or two blocks and do not connect to other bike-friendly roads, such as the bike lane on Knoxville zoo drive. These seem pointless. We need to think about usefulness when we create bike lanes.
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Food Truck Generators

When businesses use food trucks they should be required to provide electrical hook-up to stop the generator noise. Some food trucks are obnoxiously loud.
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Thank You For The Opportunity

I appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinion about the city zoning codes. However, I know I likely made some poor choices when filling out the survey due to my ignorance of the repercussions these choices would have on the larger picture. I do not like the idea of having tall structures or buildings along Broadway, but if it promotes better public transportation discourages some of the unattractive commercial buildings that we see around town, I might reconsider. One of my more pressing concerns is the profusion of check cashing establishments in our area (Fountain City/North Knoxville). These "businesses" prey on the people in our city who are not financially stable or fall on hard times due to a crisis. I would like to see Knoxville tell these types of businesses that they are no longer welcome. There are numerous cities across the country that have banned or regulated the number of check cashing, pay day loan, and title pawn businesses. Knoxville should become one as well.
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Design Standards

On page 5 of the survey (Design and Landscape Standards), I wanted to provide more details of my personal opinions. While design standards can be good, they can also severely limit the character of a place. I believe that the standards that could be introduced would be more along the lines of "You should plant 'this many' trees or have 'so many square feet' of landscaping. It should NOT restrict species, layout, or design of the landscape. The same principle applies to architectural elements. While there is good reason to require street-level storefront windows in certain development zones (corridor intersections to encourage street-front walkability and commerce), materials/design should NOT be prescribed. Architects and Landscape Architects should be given freedom to be creative. nnThe purpose of these rules would be to make sure we avoid the same mistakes made over the last 50 years with automobile-focused development, not prescribe uniformity throughout the city. Certain zones could or should require design elements to promote a healthy development, but should not prescribe every material/detail. That is where you counteract the character, vitality, and originality that new zoning codes would be trying to achieve. The most vibrant and memorable neighborhoods have diversity and character, not consistency.nnWe aren't trying to make cut-and-paste suburban housing tracts in our city centers, but active, healthy, and unique places for our residents to live, work, and play.
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Sidewalks

Please make sidewalks mandatory.
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Comment

Construction of Tiny houses and space should be allowed. This helps with different issues such as affordability and space.
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Curbs And Gutters

While not specifically a zoning issue, I continue to be perplexed at the non-existent curbs and gutters in Knoxville, even on some of our most used and busy arterials. Why can't a substantial portion of the annual budget be designated to care for this?
Staff Reply:

Zoning

One of your stated missions is to recognize the growing changes in Knoxville demography. Current County land just south of the City boundary (south of Knob Creek (off Martin Mill); north of John Sevier Hwy.; east of Knoxville Hwy. (Hwy 33); and west of Chapman Hwy.) comprises increasing-density residential that allows outdated County-zoned (and dangerous) uses. Commercial firing-range for sighting of guns is allowed (high powered rifles). Commercial dump truck operation is allowed where loaded dump trucks run curvy Martin Mill Pike continuously. A lot of septic drainfields are old and, new and old, should be added to city septic.This should be addressed but don't know if this review would include this.
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One City

Why is Knoxville so segregated? We're a very diverse city, yet certain areas seems to be reserved only for the upper class. It has become popular to have some wealthy neighborhoods in underprivileged communities, such as 4th and Gill, however those families probably don't dare send their children to the failing public school. Most probably opt for a magnet school or private school. Our community members help determine the success of our schools. The school system can't be solely blamed for failure when the only family's they serve are facing some form(s) of disparity. If we could integrate our low income families to wealthier neighborhoods and encourage our wealthier families to move to communities other than Farragut, Karns, and Powell (and actually send their kids to the zoned public school) then perhaps we could truly thrive as one united city that can celebrate true diversity. We can't claim to want equality if we don't want those facing disparity to be our neighbor. Perhaps we need to rethink what determines property value. It's unfair that someone of low income can't afford the exact same house or apartment located in east knoxville if it were located in a neighborhood in west knoxville). Maybe business should be given incentives for opening up stores and offices along roads like Magnolia, Clinton highway, and Chapman Highway. I'm not sure about government making so many restrictions on someone's property, but it would be nice if these roadsides were kept up as well as Kingston Pike, Lovell Rd