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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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.
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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.
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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
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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 good reference are the LEED guidelines for light trespass here: Town of Matthews has a well-written lighting ordinance: 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."
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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 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.

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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.


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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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