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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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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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
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