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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(no Title)

I have very little respect for some of your building code officials. In my previous experience of renovating 3 houses in Knoxville, some of them are pompous kings in their own little areas of code enforcement. One told me he could tear down a house in an area where we were trying to redevelop 8 houses. He could do it because it was condemned because the absentee owner would not cooperate with code enforcement or sell the property, or answer any mail concerning his empty house. The fact that it would affect the development of the rest of the properties meant nothing to this man. One plumbing inspector refused to give a CO for one of the 8 houses because the toilet was 1/2 inch too close to the toilet in a half bath. That was the only thing keeping the owner from obtaining the CO. 1/2"! I truly believe that if code enforcement had been more flexible there would be 8 renovated Victorian houses on W. Baxter, instead of everything torn down in the entire block of houses except for two little little houses. What a waste. I have heard similar horror stories from people trying to remodel or renovate buildings. I wonder that any investors have ever finished any projects in this town.

Residential Plat Zoning

Is this a commercial project only, or will you be incorporating the equally outdated residential property zoning plats in the project? Property ward maps do not match property deeds and the result can be over $2,000 for a resident to pay for a surveyor and mpc updates, just for the city to update its own records. Thank you ahead of time for your response.
Staff Reply:
The update will address the entire zoning code. We have heard several complaints about the issue created by the ward maps, including many concerns voiced by MPC and City staff. This issue will be addressed in the code update or may be addressed earlier due to the challenges it creates.

Survey

The survey is great. Glad we are starting to think "outside the box". It is likely that some survey takers will feel the questions lead to the desired responses. I felt that way but agree with where the questions led me.

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.

Sidewalks

With the growth in South Knoxville, particularly the Sevier Heights area, we need sidewalks badly. Walkers on Sevierville Pike have to walk in people yards, the ditch and/or the middle of the road. In many places there is no where to go if cars are coming. Many times a day, people who live in apartments on Redbud walk down the street to the bus stop or convenient store and cars need to veer to avoid them.

Codes & Standards

While I encourage the redevelopment of existing facilities and mixed-use development, I don't think that government should go as far as to regulate landscaping and actual architectural expression in building materials. For example, having an area of mixed use development that requires street level windows or retail is okay, but don't require the building look just like every other building on the block. Also, pedestrian and bike corridors are great where feasible, but if the expense is too great or right-of-way too narrow or restrictive, then there should be exceptions. In other words, encourage it where it's feasible and makes sense, but don't write it into the code everywhere and create an economic burden.

Thanks for requesting input!

(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.

H1 In Parkridge

I don't know if there is any relationship between the type of data you are interested in and my thoughts on Parkridge. It seem that a small group of people are trying to represent the whole neighborhood in saying we need to adopt the H1 codes. The H1 would support the desires of those who already have nice property while putting struggling neighbors, who already have limited housing opportunities,at a disadvantage. I moved into this neighborhood because of the income and ethnic diversity, which would be compromised if we began prioritizing property over people. Most of our housing is not of a historic nature worthy of special protections, and I am grieved that a small number of people is trying to change the environment for others of us who have moved into invested in the neighbor looking for something different. Thank you.

Neighborhood Safety

I'm fine with multi-family units in residential areas as long as stricter regulations are enforced to keep slumlords from renting out to people who sell drugs or partake in other criminal lifestyles. The neighborhood I live in has been plagued with an increase in crime rate these past 6mos and it always traces back to rental properties and the section 8 houses in the area. People here are now afraid to let their kids and animals go outside in fear that they'll be shot by stray bullets from the battles going on between different crack houses that have started considering themselves as part of gangs and then the police don't show up for hours, if at all. I bought my house 2yrs ago and am now starting to regret putting roots down in Knoxville.

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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