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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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:

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'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:

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