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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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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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