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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What Does This Even Mean?

What does this even mean? "Our current zoning ordinance is very rigid and in some cases prevents neighborhoods from achieving their full potential. An updated ordinance can protect the things we value about our neighborhoods and commercial areas while allowing the kinds of smart, sustainable growth that will move Knoxville Forward" What is the definition of full potential, and give me three neighborhood examples of full potential. You're telling me that we can't build sidewalks in neighborhoods? Is this the "full potential?" What are three examples of "smart" growth in a neighborhood in Knoxville. What are three examples of "sustainable growth" in a neighborhood here.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your comments regarding the updating of the City of Knoxville’s zoning ordinance. In response to your question regarding building sidewalks in neighborhoods, the short answer is no, the City cannot build sidewalks in all existing neighborhoods that lack them. The cost of retrofitting sidewalks (constructing them after development of the property occurs) is at a minimum $250 -$350 per linear foot. This cost covers land acquisition, design, grading, construction, stormwater drainage, utility relocation, and related costs. The cost of addressing all sidewalks identified on the City’s current priority list is approximately $150 Million. The cost to provide sidewalks on both sides of all streets in the City currently lacking them is at least $3 Billion. So no, the City cannot build sidewalks in all neighborhoods. The City is taking a pragmatic approach to sidewalk construction: budgeting more money for sidewalk construction and maintenance; beginning the development of a pedestrian priority plan that will identify and rank sidewalk needs so that future funding can be allocated to the greatest identified need; and drafting an ordinance that would require sidewalk construction when new development and major redevelopment occurs in the City.I will provide a couple examples of combined smart/sustainable development as in my opinion they are the same thing. The first example is the redevelopment of a vacant building at the corner of Sevierville Pike and Lancaster Drive to house a restaurant. An abandoned existing structure was repurposed for a use that serves the neighborhood and the broader community. The parking area is constructed of previous pavers and the site is well landscaped. The redevelopment of this property in a smart/sustainable manner will enable the building to be used for other purposes in the future should the current business relocate, close, or vacate the property for some other reason. Due to this thoughtful redevelopment, rather than a vacant building that detracts from the neighborhood there is a viable business at this location that serves and strengthens the neighborhood.Another example of smart/sustainable development is the redevelopment of the vacant building on Sevier Avenue that now houses Alliance Brewing and Three Bears Coffee. The redevelopment incorporated many sustainable features that will reduce its environmental footprint, from lighting to pavement materials. Once again, rather than a vacant building that detracts from the neighborhood this location now houses thriving businesses that serve and enhance the neighborhood.An example of a redevelopment made challenging by the current zoning ordinance, and thus difficult to reach the neighborhood’s full potential, is provided by the property at the corner of Broadway and East Glenwood Avenue. The City’s current zoning code requires significant parking (40 – 45 parking spaces) for the businesses in this building. Given the size of the property there is no way the current parking requirements could be met. In addition, the setback requirements in the current ordinance for this zoning district (25 feet front and side, 15 feet rear) make the existing building non-conforming. In order to redevelop this property, and assist in the neighborhood reaching its full potential, the owners had to incur the expense and delay of obtaining variances from the zoning requirements. An updated zoning code that acknowledged the character of existing neighborhoods will make it easier to redevelop properties such as this that serve neighborhoods and are easily accessible to neighborhood residents.With regard to neighborhoods reaching their full potential, I will provide a brief list of items that would be characteristics of a neighborhood that reached its full potential. Typical characteristics of a neighborhood that has reached its full potential are:
  • A variety of housing choices, from large single family homes to small apartments;
  • Access to transportation options, from private vehicles to transit to walking and biking;
  • Using vacant and blighted properties to provide amenities that are easily accessible to neighborhood residents. Examples of this include using vacant lots for mini-parks, children’s playgrounds, and/or community gardens.
  • Small commercial areas that are integrated into the neighborhood, of compatible scale, and that respect the neighborhood character.

Rezoning Areas

what areas are being rezoned
Staff Reply:
Pelase check this website https://maps.knoxmpc.org/MapSeries/recode.html?appid=361f37427c0a44a8b4fbcea4f412a8d9 to identify the current zoning of property and the proposed designation. Please note that all zoning district designations will change but the development standards may have minimal changes.

Recode - Food Truck Parks

We recently had a chance to review the second draft of the ordinance, specifically the portion regulating "Food Truck Parks" - Article 9.3 (L). As written, there are several provisions in direct conflict with our existing operations and the new requirements are considerably different from MPC's previous draft of an ordinance for a "Mobile Food Unit Park", which guided the development and approval of our project last year.We are concerned not only for our existing business, but also the ability for future "non-conforming" businesses to have a path to compliance. We have attended several of the public meetings about ReCode, so we're up to speed on the process.
Staff Reply:

No Inflill For Oakwood-lincoln Park

We need to preserve our neighborhood. Please follow the informed recommendations of the OLPNA.
Staff Reply:

Parking

We need to make sure that any commercial or multi-family development includes sufficient parking. People do not come to places where parking is a problem.We appear to have some bike lanes that extend only one or two blocks and do not connect to other bike-friendly roads, such as the bike lane on Knoxville zoo drive. These seem pointless. We need to think about usefulness when we create bike lanes.
Staff Reply:

Reconsider The Recode

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County’s most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress of eviction. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040. The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Proposed Recode Map

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040.The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to return some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress of eviction. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040. The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress of eviction. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040. The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

Add More Orange To The Map!

We need more affordable housing options around downtown and creative thinking to make more healthy density a reality. Sustainable households are more important than boom and bust cycle property appreciation schemes.
Staff Reply:

Recode

We need more affordable housing in Knoxville. Please vote to zone RN-4 one-quarter mile along KAT bus core and local routes. This will permit by right the development of small multifamily housing (2-8 units) throughout the city.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back! Add The Tan!

We need MORE affordable housing in Knoxville, particularly RN3 and RN4! We have over 20,000 of our families paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. I'm hopeful that as our community leaders, you recognize we clearly have a crisis in affordable housing in our community. Instead of being a responsive, conscience-centric approach, the new proposed map from the ReCode process appears to actually reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville!! Please, please redesign the map! Let's Recode in a manner that honors our community and seeks to serve all of our citizens. RN3 and RN4 would encourage more affordable housing in already-existing neighborhoods, which would be a GOOD approach. Thank you for including the Orange along the more accessible corridors, however we still need more of the higher-density zoning, too. Knoxville is a wonderful place to live, let's make that true for all of our families.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

We need more affordable housing in Knoxville not less. Someone who thinks that we need less is truly out of touch.
Staff Reply:

Public Transit

We need Amtrak and Southwest Airlines! More trains to connect to Nashville, Chatt and Atlanta.
Staff Reply:

Property Zoning

We have owned our property in Fountain City since 1983. When we purchased this property, it had a rental unit, complete with separate utilities, and continues to be so to this day. We have rented out this small basement level apartment on numerous occasions during these years. Our neighborhood is zoned EN, and it appears from the matrix that this rental is not within the zoning requirements. Our home was built in 1946, and the earliest records we have found notes this apartment has been in use since the early 1950's. I would appreciate a clarification on this use.
Staff Reply:

All C-2 Zonings

We have intentionally applied and been granted re-zonings of a number of properties around the downtown perimeter from C-3 to C-2. The proposed zoning is C-G-3. The reason we had these properties re-zoned was due to no to insufficient parking. These properties need to be zoned DK requiring no parking. Examples are 300 West Fifth Ave. and 3 through 23 Emory Place. Please comment. Thank you,
Staff Reply:
In response to the concerns identified in your email and in conversations with you, we are drafting proposed standards for a Downtown 2 (Downtown "Lite") zone, with standards that would be appropriate for areas immediately adjacent to the downtown core that have developed in an urban fashion with little or no parking, mixed uses, and no setbacks.

Comments On Public Draft Version 2.0

We have evaluated the current draft and respectfully submit the following comments regarding office development in the City of Knoxville:The document would be easier to navigate if all the office districts were collocated; preferably in the commercial district.Clinics and medical office buildings should be a permitted land use within the OP district.Thanks for the opportunity to comment,
Staff Reply:

Inskip

We do not need anymore apartments / condos in Inskip. We need more traffic calming and more police presence.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Regulations

We desperately need sidewalks to connect neighborhoods to each other and to commercial districts for food and entertainment. We also need to bury utilities instead of cutting down trees around the utility lines. This is a never ending cycle. If we make the initial investment (albeit an expensive one) it will pay off in the long run. Obviously the annual expense of tree trimming will be less but it will add value to community both aesthetically and will attract more businesses in the long run. We want to keep Knoxville beautiful and if we keep massacring trees this is not possible!!
Staff Reply:

Recode Of 4th & Gill

We are very surprised by this decision to change 4th and Gill from from Single Family/Duplex (as we are now) to allowing Multi-family and Townhouses. We are in a historic district and have all worked hard to make our neighborhood a desirable place to live. It has been a lifelong commitment for many people in our neighborhood. It seems very random that only our area was selected for this change. Old North Knoxville and many other surrounding areas continue to keep the same zoning they had before. Maybe this change was made in error or maybe it was just made at random but it doesn't seem to be very thought out at all. We would appreciate more information on why this change is happening and the benefits and/or reasons for the change.
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

We are the Owners of Central Filling Station - the existing food truck park on N Central. We recently had a chance to review the second draft of the ordinance, specifically the portion regulating "Food Truck Parks" - Article 9.3 (L). As written, there are several provisions in direct conflict with our existing operations and the new requirements are considerably different from MPC's previous draft of an ordinance for a "Mobile Food Unit Park", which guided the development and approval of our project last year.We are concerned not only for our existing business, but also the ability for future "non-conforming" businesses to have a path to compliance. We have attended several of the public meetings about ReCode, so we're up to speed on the process.Is someone from MPC able to meet with us to discuss our concerns?
Staff Reply:

Zoning Change

We are currently zoned R1 and with the latest map, it changes us to RN2. So what does that mean exactly and what are the differences from the R1 we currently are zoned.Thank you!
Staff Reply:
The proposed RN-2 zone is a single family residential district very equivalent to the existing R-1. The major difference is the proposed minimum lot size in RN-1 of 5,000 square feet, designed to accommodate lots in some of Knoxville's older neighborhoods. Please see the Residential District Comparison Table for additional information. https://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Knoxville-Residential-Districts-Comparison.pdf

Will Taxes Go Up?

We are at 8701 Unicorn Dr. Right now we are zoned commercial. The current proposal has us going to mixed use. Will that make the taxes for this property go up?
Staff Reply:

Waterfront code SW2 isn’t supposed to be only residential. Please review SW vision document & drafts language for consistency.
Staff Reply:

Residential Development

Very displeased at the lack of opportunity for meaningful input when Wellsley Park Apartments were developed across the street (Wellsley Park Rd.) from our subdivision. City officials told us we would have an opportunity for input before site/building plans were approved, and some City officials did meet with us; but it was clear that by the time we were allowed input, the skids had already been greased and the developer's plans were merely a hair's breath away from approval. So our input was perfunctory only--officials at the City just checking off the box--without really listening to or considering our concerns. Among those were building height, traffic and parking, and landscaping. It was criminal that beautiful, mature birch and magnolia trees,which our subdivision had paid for years to maintain, were just bulldozed in constructing the apartments. No consideration was given by the developer to alternatives to save or transplant any of the existing beautiful landscaping along their side of Wellsley Park Rd. This should not be allowed to happen again. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

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