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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Zoning

I would like to suggest making the entire street from 804-840 N 4th Ave, Knoxville, TN 37917 to have C-N zoning, considering this seems the designation most of the street is being recoded to. With the current mixed zoning of industrial, commercial, and office all on the same street from the highway being put in beside the street, several buildings that are being recoded as residential are currently used commercially. For example, 820 N 4th has for some time been a bar/club/restaurant with a parking lot next door. Also, 817 N 4th is a parts business, whose building would be very difficult to use residentially. In fact, there are actually only two houses on the street that are being used purely as a residential home. Switching some of the street to residential will benefit far fewer houses considering the past allowable uses of the street. By making all C-N, it allows the mixed commercial use that has been established and would greatly help continue the improvements the street has been under in recent months. Thanks

Staff Reply:

Recode Vote

I urge you to move forward with the Recode process on Monday. I am so sick of the fear mongering from those who claim to have had no public process for this vote. It feels like a coordinated campaign, most likely funded by those who have the most to lose from the new code, namely developers. Don’t let those who fear change deter you. 

Staff Reply:

Support

I support keeping the Accessory Dwelling Unit and Hillside Protection regulations in the new zoning ordinance. 

Staff Reply:

Please Vote No On Recode

I sincerely request....PLEASE VOTE NO ON RECODE.

Not because an update of Zoning codes might not be needed, but because Camiros (and the city) has done a CRAPPY job!

I read it....if nothing else, it is shoddily written, has too many errors and omissions, and contains some things that just don't apply to down here.

A northern company was a bad choice. The South is just WAY too far behind. You can't jump that far like that.

And besides....first, why not try ENFORCING the codes we DO have? Might not even NEED to change too much!

Plus....more conflicts between laws/regs/codes is the LAST thing this place needs. There are enough! Sheesh.

Thank you.

Staff Reply:

Mla??!

I saw this acronym in the latest revision and wondered what it stood for (if not mother-in-law apartment...???)?

Staff Reply:

MLA stands for Minimum Lot Area

No Response From My Previous I Quiry

I received months ago a mailer about this re-coding effort. I responded to that mailer either by phone or email making clear that I wanted more information about what was going on and how it would affect my neighborhood. To date I have received no return phone calls or email from this project. I suspect that there has been very little participation from people in my neighborhood or general area of the city. Now I see on Facebook that this project is moving forward two final maps of re-coding. I must say to you that I resent an object to this strenuously. I wished to participate in this I contacted you but you never contacted me back. I had intended to try and find out what was going on so that I I could communicate to my neighbors. It seems now that my opportunity to do that and to involves larger numbers of people is past and there is nothing I can do about it. As far as I'm concerned, this is typical of the pool the way in which Knoxville government conducts its business. I would like a halt to activities moving this project forward and an effort on your parts to reach out again to communities to allow them to comment on what has been done thus far.This kind of thing makes me terribly angry. The city of Knoxville under takes this very far reaching projects and there really is very little ground level effort put toward them even very little ground level knowledge of what is happening that affect our daily lives. For example, my neighborhood evidently was Selected for the rollout of these new LED streetlights. Many of these lights are literally blinding and the lights are of a blue white spectrum, thus they induce a Waking phenomenon in people physiologically speaking because they are more of the blue white spectrum which causes a reduction in melatonin release in the body and causes people to be more awake. In the evening it is extremely important to have light in the red spectrum without blue wave link waking phenomenon in people physiologically speaking because they are of the blue white spectrum which causes a reduction in melatonin release in the body and causes people to be more awake. In the evening it is extremely important to use lighting in the red spectrum with out blue wave lengths present.Blue spectrum light interrupts peoples natural release of melatonin in their bodies thus disrupting The body's natural physiology that helps people go to sleep. This is all scientifically supported information. And it is also well known that Americans are particularly sleep deprived. Yet the city of Knoxville has launch this new lighting without so much as a notification to the people such that they could comment. In my neighborhood many of these lights are at such an angle to the pavement that they are literally blinding as one approaches. As the moth to the flame the eye is drawn to these piercing lights. Most people don't realize that it is possible to call the city and have these lights shielded. Anyway, this is just one of the latest examples of how Knoxville shows major initiatives down the throats of its citizens without a care in the world about what it will do to their lives going forward. I resent this I resent you the people who make this kind of thing happened and I wish you would stop.

Staff Reply:

Recreational Vehicles

I originally submitted this comment on 5/9, but never received a confirmation e-mail and it is not showing up on the website so I'll try again. 

My comment is in regard to trailers/RV's. The current code, Article V, Section 8 C, states that:

"On each lot, a total of two (2) (one (1) from any two (2) of the subsections listed below) of the following vehicles may be parked or stored per household living on the premises, and said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not exceed forty-five (45) feet in length or nine (9) feet in width; and further provided that said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not be parked or stored for more than forty-eight (48) hours unless it is located behind the front yard building line:

1.Recreational vehicle.

2.Hauling trailer.

3.Boat trailer."
In the proposed code 11.12 B

"Recreational vehicles must be located within the interior side yard behind the front building line or in the rear yard. If stored in the interior side or rear yard, the recreational vehicle must be located at least ten feet from any lot line and screened from view from any public right-of-way by a solid fence or wall. If the recreational vehicle is screened by an existing structure or landscape so that it is not visible from the public right-of-way, it is considered to meet these requirements. Temporary storage tents and tarps for recreational vehicles are not considered screening and do not meet these requirements."

I have a few concerns about the new code:

1. There appears to be no limit to the number, or size, of RV permitted, as long as it/they are properly screened from the public ROW. 

2. What about trailers that do not meet the Recode definition of a RV? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, etc.

3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?

Part Deux:

I agree that RV's should be located in the interior side yard behind the front building line or rear yard, but why ten feet from a lot line? A shed can be built five feet from the lot line, but a boat has to be ten feet from it? Why the ten feet requirement?

The screening requirement is overly restrictive for the entire city. There are many lots in the city that due to many factors (lot size, topography, access, etc.) it is impossible to locate the RV somewhere that is screened from view from a right of way. To comply with the new zoning code many property owners would have to pay to store their RV somewhere else, leave it as is and risk fines, or move somewhere that does not have such restrictions. The screening requirement should be removed from Recode and be left up to HOA's and the like.

Drive through most any neighborhood in Knoxville and you will see homes with boats and campers parked next to them, West Hills, Lincoln Park, Parkridge, Marble City, Sequoyah Hills. Across the entire city you will find examples of people storing their RV's on their property without screening. 99% of those are not any more of an "eyesore" than the cars and trucks in the driveway. A full size Sprinter type van with commercial logos all over is permitted without screening, but a boat is not? There are other examples like cargo and utility trailers that would not fit in the definition of Recreational Vehicle that would also be permitted.

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Process

I object to the use of the ReCode process by city employees to attempt to rezone city-owned land without due process. I support Marshall Stair's proposal to postpone a vote on this. The public has not had adequate time between the last update and the vote.

Staff Reply:

Park Land At E Fifth And Myrtle

I noticed that the park land on E Fifth at Myrtle was rezoned from OS to RN-3 in the transition between Draft 3 and Draft 4. In accordance with Article IV 2.4.2 and 2.4.3, it would seem to me that OS is a permanent desgination designed to protect park land from development. I believe it was passed in 2010 to protect park land in the Lakeshore area from a high density homeless facility. Ironically, that seems to be the plans for the park land on E Fifth. Can you please explain why and how this occurred, in light of the current City of Knoxville Ordinances?

Staff Reply:

Fire Hazard

I have attempted several times to post publications from the STATE OF TENNESSEE's official website concerning FireWise Landscaping, but someone keeps removing the attachments. Recode Draft Five's landscaping requirements conflicts with FireWise standards recommended by State of Tennessee Fire Marshall, TN Department of Forestry, University of Tennessee Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Forestry, and National Fire Protection Association. Landscaping is good, but should be well planned to ensure Knoxville is not the next billion dollar wildfire. Please do not remove this link to BurnSafeTN, and official site of the State Of Tennessee. http://burnsafetn.org/firewise_land.html

Staff Reply:

Hillside And Ridgetop Protection

I am writing in regards to the recent motion by the planning commission to remove the Hillside and Ridgetop protection ordinance from office and commercial zoned property. ALL property no matter the zoning should remain protected. There is absolutely no reason that only residential should be subjected to this ordinance, while developers flatten ridges and scar our hills. We must protect our areas natural features. Knox County does not need to follow in the footsteps of Sevier County and absolutely destroy the natural beauty that we are so fortunate to have. Mudslides, rockslides and flooding continue to get worse with these poor decisions made for greed. There are miles and miles of property already within zoning that can be used for more 1/2 empty commercial and office space if you need to build so badly. 

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I am vehemently opposed to "Recode Knoxville." There is nothing about this proposal that will help the citizenry. As a matter of fact, I will be hurt by these changes. I own almost 20 acres that I have depended upon to support my retirement. The changes will destroy the value of my property. As usual, the things that would actually help Knoxville to thriive are ignored in favor political gain and control. Somewhere this foolishness has to stop. After discussions with others in my area, we would like to know which counsel members support Recode Knoxville and why. As of now, it appears that Knoxville has fallen in line with those who crush the backs of the citizenry for personal gain. I am truly discouraged with the leadership in the communiity in which I have grown up, lived and supported for so many years. Is there anything you people can do to actually help the people?

Staff Reply:

Actual Parking Policy And Passes

Hmmmmm ...other than LAW dictated (before landlords can tow IMMEDIATELY), maybe THIS is another good reason for instituting an actual parking policy? And PASSES?

Can't catch em if you don't MONITOR. LOL

Having to report cars to the office for passes can expose a lot!

Police PATROL (per the annexed Plan of Services Agreement) periodically might help, too. Nothing like being SEEN.

Thanks!

Staff Reply:

Article 6

Hi, I’m interested in reading the following article: 

ARTICLE 6
    Increase rear setback for industrial uses when adjacent to residential zones to 50
But it shows the page as not found on the website. Do you know how I might be able to read it?

Staff Reply:

Hi, Erin. I'm not sure why you're having trouble opening that link. Try opening it here. If you still have trouble, please let us know. 

Cu On Map Shows Unlimited Height

Hey guys- just wanted to make sure you were aware that the Current Draft's map shows that CU Form-Based code as having unlimited height (on the building height tab). Since this is not the case, and it varies based on the CU zone - you might be best off just not noting heights on that.

Staff Reply:

Next Steps - Recode Knoxville Zoning Ordinance Update

Hello: I represent the Brick Industry Association, and just wanted to inquire what next steps are for the zoning ordinance update, and when it would go before the City Council for vote.

Staff Reply:

City Council members are reviewing the draft updated zoning map and will discuss the map at an upcoming workshop. Adoption of the draft ordinance and zoning map will be the next step, which may occur in August.

Map 4

Hello, I have been following the recode very closely, workshop and stakeholder meeting. This draft 4 of the map is very concerning, it is alllllll over the place. Lots in our neighborhood that are duplexes or converter duplexes have been rezoned as multi family R3 and R4, duplexes are in the R2 zoning. I was told part of the reason that recode was needed was to make what is on the ground match the maps, but there are lots of apartment building along Kingston Pk, they are all zoned as R1. The block across the street from me has been rezoned to R4, most of the block is taken up by a school, should it not be zoned for school (institutional) like all other schools? I checked the zoning for churches, its is all over the place from R1, R2, O, OS, Agr, which is it? Then part of Caswell Park was to be rezoned as R4, sense when did park land become up for grabs for multi family housing, if so there is alot of park land on Cherokee Blvd. I dont think this recode is now where near ready to be voted on. I have heard some say that it came be amended after its past, thats like building a house and the builder says that he will go back and fix all the structural issues AFTER the house is completed....totally asinine!

Staff Reply:

Support For Wrapping Up Recode

Hello All,

I want to express thanks to the City of Knoxville and Knoxville-Knox County Planning, as well as Camiros and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, for undertaking the long and complicated process of updating our zoning code. I believe leadership on the process has operated in good faith and with transparency, reaching out to the public and gaining as much public input as is possible over the past 27 (?) months. I have attended several of the meetings. I have witnessed the City Council, City staff, and Planning staff take and respond to many citizen questions and concerns. That we have just completed reviewing the 5th ordinance draft and are currently reviewing the 4th map draft is a testament to the process and the effort that leaders are making to get this right, while at the same time acknowledging that it will be a living document. The revisions to drafts and maps result from community feedback and many people have engaged in the process. While it must be true that not every parcel owner in the City is aware of the Recode process, it is also likely true that many of the parcel owners have never paid attention to their zoning at all and will continue not to. That doesn't mean the process has been any less valuable and effective.

I hope that the ordinance will be approved before our City elections are held. I support the increased allowance of ADUs and appreciate that, in general, different neighborhoods have not been provided differing rights or privileges. I support the application of the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan being widely applied across zones, and not only applying to residential zones. This is necessary to help control the effects of severe weather events. I support the greater diversity of development this zoning update would allow and encourage, particularly relating to transportation corridors where greater density and mixed-use structures are desirable.

Thank you for your efforts and for listening to our comments.

Staff Reply:

Please Support Recode!

Hello All,

I am writing to express my support of the Recode Knoxville process and to urge you to adopt the recommendations. 

This has been a fully transparent and public process. Citizens have been given multiple opportunities to participate. I believe leadership on the process has operated in good faith and with transparency, reaching out to the public and gaining as much public input as is possible over almost three years. I have attended several of the meetings myself. 

I support the increased allowance of ADUs. I support the application of the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan being widely applied across zones, and not only applying to residential zones. This is necessary to help control the effects of severe weather events. I support the greater diversity of development this zoning update would allow and encourage, particularly relating to transportation corridors where greater density and mixed-use structures are desirable.

Staff Reply:

Revision Five

Good Afternoon,

We've looked through the recent revision. The following comments are respectfully submitted for your consideration.

Article 2 should include a definition of the term "mixed use".

Article 2 should include a definition of the term "interlock" as used in table 11-6.

Article 6.3 - Industrial zone setbacks: Has the rear setback exemption for sites with railroads been eliminated? Many forms of industrial buildings need to have direct access to rail service.

Article 11.1 - Off street parking applicability is rather confusing.

Article 17: Nonconformities: These transition rules are difficult to understand. I suspect consistent enforcement will be onerous.

Staff Reply:

Nelkorb@bellsouth.net

Generally, the Recode process has been responsive to much of the public's concerns.  However, there are enough changes, and enough items not changed that we thought would be, to warrant a slight delay in the Council's final decision process.  Government is held to a high standard.  It must not only be fair; it must also appear to be fair.  Please consider holding a public work session May 14th with the understanding that the First and Second Readings will be completed before the end of June.   This alleviates concern over the brevity of review time provided between the final document and City Council action while guaranteeing that it will indeed be finished in the near future.

Please consider these few remaining questions/comments I have:

1.     Clarify how building grade is determined when measuring building height as described in 2.4.E.1:    is it finished grade or original grade (I have seen grades intentionally raised)?  To measure height do you take the average of the grade along the base of the building's front or at various points along the buildings front?  Note that grade is defined for signs in the Sign Chapter.  Why not for development?

2.    Article 8.9.B has removed hillside overlay protection for nonresidential, stating that this complies with vesting provisions.  However, I cannot find a reason when reviewing Article 15.3.  And why have maximum land disturbance regulations been removed?

3.     An application for a wireless tower in Burlington was successfully defeated because it was required to have a public hearing and through that public hearing process Town Hall East Neighborhood Assoc. was notified.  Research discovered the tower was not necessary to provide coverage; it would have only improved existing coverage.  Town Hall East opposed the application and worked closely with the provider, resulting in a withdrawn application.  Draft regulations in Article 9.3.FF remove the public hearing process, allowing a tower to be permitted with no negotiation.  This is not good. 

4.    Effective public notice is the foundation of our public involvement process. Add a method to notice Zoning Code Interpretations in Table 15.1   How the Zoning Code is interpreted is important and should be shared with the public 16.9.      Include the registered neighborhood association in mailed notice referenced in 15.2.
  
5.    Require 15.2.D posted notice (aka signs) to be unobstructed, clearly visible from all traffic lanes and individually fronting each adjacent right of way.  There has been past documentation of signs posted behind telephone poles or mixed in with campaign signs.

6.    The Variance standards 16.3 have been reworded to fully support the premise that variances should be the exception.  Please add the additional criteria that the Applicant did not cause the reason a variance is now deemed necessary.    

Thank you very much for your patience and continued concern for the public process while also balancing the need to get things done.

Staff Reply:

Single Wide Manufactured Homes Taxation

Does Camiros realize that Tennessee TAXES ALL mobile homes, even those on LEASED land (such as in mobile home parks), as IF they were single family dwellings on permanent foundations? They are NOT licensed.

That might help. I would THINK that zoning regs and codes would need to conform seamlessly with taxing regs, especially property taxing regs.

Staff Reply:

Rvs

Dear Knoxville Planners,

Several people have asked me about RV issues in the proposed changes.  If you have a pop-up camper or other vehicle that fits the RV definition, could you still park it in your personal driveway under the proposed changes?  The people who have asked me (two different households) currently park their RVs in their driveways and have steeply sloped yards that would preclude them from parking them any other place.  

They say that the proposed changes are a solution looking for a problem, that if their RV is not bothering anyone, why should it be prohibited? A screen is pricey, etc.  

Can you help me understand this issue better?

Staff Reply:

We have received a number of comments about the proposed standards for parking of recreational vehicles in residential areas. The standards were drafted by the consultants, likely based on their experiences with other communities. I do know if RV parking is a concern in the City and will ask Peter to chime in on that question. If RV parking is not a problem, staff can propose a revision to the standards to make parking of RV's, boats, etc in residential areas easier.

Community Forum-- Response To Recode Draft 5, May 27,2019

Community Forum’s May 26, 2019, comprehensive Response to Draft 5 of Recode is attached. Our response follows Recode’s page order.

Many issues raised in this Document cover Articles 1-8 which were discussed at the City Council Special Meeting on May 14, 2019.  However, some items were either not discussed at all, or were not resolved during the Special Meeting.  City Council requested that the planning staff and/or city departments report back after further consideration and review of some issues.

Community Forum’s Response to Draft 5 addresses some issues that have been included in our previous responses to Drafts 1-4, but still need attention.  However, there are many issues regarding material appearing for the first time in Draft 5.  We look forward to discussing these issues at the May 30, 2019, Special Meeting.

Community Forum has members from many different neighborhoods in the City of Knoxville. Our members have attended many public meetings, City Council and Knox Planning meetings and workshops.  Our Community Forum members have participated in numerous meetings of our own neighborhood associations, and have often talked to residents of other neighborhoods about Recode.

One theme has arisen regarding single-family residential neighborhoods since the release of Draft 1 in March, 2018, and has persisted through Draft 5, May, 2019.

Many Knoxvillians like where they live.  They like their neighborhood and its character.  Many report having worked hard to support, strengthen, stabilize and improve their neighborhood. They are both financially and emotionally invested in where they live.  They want to keep what they presently have.  They do not think they should have to work hard, again, to keep, or get, what they have already worked to achieve. They believe they have upheld their part of the bargain as citizens of Knoxville.

They do not understand why there are proposed changes that neither they, their neighborhoods, nor their City Council members requested.  They are very frustrated because they have not heard a rationale or explanation for why these proposed changes are being made.  They do not know what problem is trying to be fixed in their own neighborhood.

They do not believe that Recode adequately addresses or acknowledges the differences among single-family residential neighborhoods or that it adequately distinguishes the urban from the suburban development pattern.  They note that Recode does, however, acknowledge and address differences among other development types.  They cite the amount of attention to detail and the increase in the number of zoning districts, sub-districts or intensity levels, for primarily non-single family residential development districts, downtown, and the commercial zoning districts. 

In contrast, Recode squeezes the majority of Knoxville's existing single-family neighborhoods, most of which are presently zoned R-1, R-1A, R-1E, into two zoning districts, RN-1 and RN-2.  To make matters worse, the proposed minimum lot area is 10,000 square feet for RN-1 and 5,000 square feet for RN-2.  That means that every single-family lot below 10,000 square feet in area suddenly falls under the new minimum lot area requirement of 5,000 square feet.  This proposed change will have a substantial negative impact on many of our neighborhoods that were developed under the decades-long minimum lot area standard of 7,500 square feet for single-family dwellings.  The minimum lot area change incentivizes the demolition of existing modest homes, the subdivision and reconfiguration of lots, and the introduction of development out of character with the remainder of the existing neighborhood development.  Replacement construction will provide less affordable housing than existing housing.

They find the Recode proposals for the residential zoning districts to be inconsistent with Camiros' July 2016, Response to the City's Request for Proposals, which states on page 11:  "In addition, distinctions will need to be made for urban versus suburban residential neighborhoods, as well as regulations for rural residential development.", and on page 14:  "Use should respond to established community values and habits.  Some neighborhoods are built around exclusive land use districts, while in other neighborhoods these relationships are more intermixed.  These differing characteristics should be integrated into the ordinance to assure desired patterns of livability and provide relative ease of review and approval." 

Many find the Recode proposals for the residential zoning districts to be inconsistent with the Recode Knoxville Technical Review & Approaches Report, which states on page 11:  "Residential districts should be refined to ensure that the character of Knoxville's neighborhoods is reflected in its residential district structure."

With that in mind, we request that you consider the following:

1.  Add additional single-family residential zoning districts.

2.  Add a single-family zoning district with a minimum lot size around 7,500 square feet. 

3.  Align the uses in the proposed single-family residential districts with the uses presently allowed in the existing zoning districts.

4.  Retain the existing Planned Residential Zoning District (RP-1, 2, 3) proposed for deletion in Recode.  Planned Residential zoning allows a variety of housing types and densities and is frequently requested.  Government can request RP zoning.  Only the owner can request the proposed Planned Development.

5.  Adopt zoning neutral maps.  Zone properties the zone closest to their existing zoning.  Use the adopted, long-standing, codified, participatory, comprehensive planning process to change the Sector Plan and One Year Plan and Zoning.

We urge you to take whatever time is necessary to end up with a Zoning Ordinance that will have the least negative impact possible on our neighborhoods throughout the City of Knoxville.

We would be happy to discuss the issues raised in our Response to Draft 5 at any time.

Sincerely,

Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum
 

Staff Reply:

Community Forum: Re: Recode Draft 5--- 5-10-19

Community Forum has previously submitted comprehensive Responses to Recode Drafts 1-4.  Community Forum is currently preparing comments on Draft 5. 

However, the comments will not be submitted by the May 10, 2019, deadline.  Draft 5 was made available to the public, on line, on May 1, 2019.  It is impossible to provide meaningful comments in 10 days to over 400 pages of law, as well as to the new maps which only more recently became available.

As was stated in Community Forum’s letter to City Council on April 29, 2019, we urge that consideration of Recode at the Special Meeting, called for May 14, 2019, be postponed to allow more time for City Council and the public to analyze and offer comments to Draft 5 and the latest maps.

Community Forum requests that there be future City Council workshops to discuss Draft 5, with its many changes made since Draft 4 came out in late December 2018.

It should be up to City Council to determine the future timetable for workshops, the date of a Special Meeting to consider Recode, and any amendments that may be offered to Draft 5.

Sincerely,

Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum

Staff Reply:

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