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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Showing 26-50 comments of 126

Sidewalks

The sidewalks in Fort Sanders, especially on Clinch and Laurel are cracked and crumbling. Cars are parked at yellow curbs, bus stops on Clinch.
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Sidewalks

The need for sidewalks down broadway in fountain city is off the charts. Residents in scooters and those walking are at risk. So many businesses are very close, yet residents are forced to drive everywhere, increasing the need for parking and increasing heavy traffic snafus.
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City's Has A Role In Educating The Public

The City should help to educate the public about the importance of adaptive reuse and other preservation-related topics and activities. The message should include 1) the idea that everyone benefits from preservation activities ("It's not just for do-gooders"), and 2) preservation is good economics -- that it attracts people and businesses, and that it is cheaper to reuse/repurpose than to tear down and rebuild.The City's education effort would reinforce and support the work of other preservation-minded entities (like Knox Heritage, neighborhood organizations, and committed individuals). This broad-based education program is important because the issues are complex, and many (most?) people are not actively involved with them and may not understand them. This is a legitimate role for government.
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Signage

The city has gone overboard with sign regulation, governing out of fear of billboards and distractions to our scenic beauty so much so that it has paralyzed ALL signage. Those fears can be regulated and managed without stopping practically all signage. I am an adminstrator at a large church in the city that hosts and provides many community and educational functions for the neighborhood and city. Yet we have to resort to temporary vinyl banner signs to promote because of the fear of electronic billboards in the city. There should be a governmental/non-profit category that would allow information center boards with lots of rules/regulations about no scrolling/flashing, brightness, change rate, etc. but still be ALLOWED. Much like the Knoxville Convention Center message board, more of a power point type display with full color and decent resolution. This category could include the grandfathered Civic Coliseum and the Convention Center and be used by churches and Boys/Girls Clubs, Knoxville Museum of Art, etc. We are not selling cigarettes or lottery tickets but providing information to the community for the betterment of all.This has become an emotional/political hot potato topic and it shouldn't be. Let us be a trial/test case. We have money in escrow from a generous donation for such a sign, but have been waiting for a break in the moratorium/no exceptions climate to seek our chance to put up such a sign. We would love to be a part of this conversation.
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Incremental Growth, Prescriptive Historic Zoning & Mixed Use

The biggest impediments to sustainable growth in the current Knoxville code seem to be a series of overly prescriptive historic zoning overlays, a general lack of flexibility in terms of incremental growth and mixed use development. The historic zoning overlays, as currently written, exacerbate gentrification, and disallow the natural variation of architectural detailing and styles that should occur over time. A simpler form based code, which would generally maintain consistent massing, volumes and setbacks would go a long way toward incentivizing reinvestment in lower income historic neighborhoods at a price point that would minimize the massive shift in house prices that occurs when owners are forced to build oversized, imitative pseudo-historical single family houses.Similarly, the code currently restricts both mixed use and the inherent incrementality of growth which it allows. Even in historic neighborhood commercial centers, which have multi-story buildings which would have been mixed use, owners are restricted to commercial or residential use. Which again facilitates gentrification, as owner-operators that historically could have lived above their shops, must currently pay for a commercial space and a home. And usually, the affordable housing, and affordable commercial spaces are not in walkable neighborhoods, nor are they near each other, thereby further reinforcing the car dependent nature of current development patterns, and restricting opportunities for economic advancement by placing a de facto 'car tax' on anyone seeking to start a business.The new code should reflect historic realities, not myths. Real, functional, livable neighborhoods require a mix of both housing options and building types - with owners allowed to meet market demand by building, adding onto, and subdividing buildings and properties, instead of relying exclusively on large developers and tax subsidies to create multi-block, monolithic 'mixed-use' mega structures which tend to cater exclusively to the affluent. Further, healthy neighborhoods should be allowed to grow and change over time, both stylistically and socio-economically, rather than being forced to maintain an imaginary snapshot of one currently 'desirable' period in the neighborhood's history.
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Process Re: Land Use Regulations

Thanks for the opportunity to make some preliminary observations on the regulatory process.One recommendation that I would make is to publish the comments that are received during this initial effort to receive input.Secondly, I would urge you to prepare an overview of existing conditions throughout the City of Knoxville, RE: residential, commercial, industrial, recreation and related land uses, either characterized by "Small Area", and / or "District", by noting, for each identified geographic area, allocation of land uses by type, density, age, total population, etc., but including the primary transportation links to surrounding "districts" and "small areas".Thirdly, characterize each of the areas by trends over the past 20-30 years, RE: growth (population, dwelling units, density), changes in land use types, and traffic conditions.Please consider making this information available on-line, so that the public may review, compare and contrast changes which have occurred throughout the City, and to make some reasoned response through later stages of the planning and regulatory development.
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Additional Comments

Thank you for providing a space for additional comments. I strongly encourage more sidewalks, especially in the gap areas where sidewalks appear for a distance, then stop, or there is a gap between existing sidewalks. I'm sure others may have a similar situation, but my neighborhood is located within a short distance to the a) sidewalk on Francis Rd in one direction, and b) in the other direction, the sidewalk on Middlebrook Pike. However, I am trapped because the roads to get to those sidewalks are extremely curvy and narrow, and are hazardous for cars at times, much less a pedestrian or cyclist. If only the gap were filled, the residents in my area could travel by sidewalk in one direction to Cedar Bluff and beyond, and in the other direction, utilizing sidewalks and greenways, all the way to Volunteer Landing and beyond. The possibilities really excite me, except for the gap which completely changes the picture. Also, the closest bus stop is at Amherst/Middlebrook or Francis/Middlbrook and I have seen walkers risk their lives walking on the road until they reached a sidewalk leading to the bus stop.I know there are many priorities, thank for allowing me to voice my opinions. Thank you also for looking to the future and helping to make Knoxville an even more wonderful city.
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Parking

Some predictions of automobile trends show decreased parking needs due to a change in the way we will use self driving cars. Lower ownership could lead to decreased parking requirements. This could happen within the next 10 - 20 years. It would be helpful to make sure we have a flexible code that can adapt to this change in behavior. We may need 40 parking spots for a restaurant now, but may not need to require that many in the future.
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Zoning

Seems to me that Zoning serves only one meister: fear. In cities like Asheville, vacant city lots go for $30k or more. We can't even give them away here. I look forward to the day when we stop using armed force and instead use peaceful means to engage diversity.
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Sidewalks

Rezoning codes should include mandatory sidewalks to meet ADA standards. KAT stops should include landing pads so that wheelchairs can load and unload safely.
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Residential Neighborhoods

Residential neighborhoods such as R1 and SW1 need to be protected from encroachment of non-residential. Old homes need to be saved for their character as residential and stay residential. Parking restrictions in those neighborhoods that will have impact from non-resident traffic need to move forward with MPC and Council. Building heights and setbacks restricted to retain a neighborhood's character. STR not allowed or only by homeowner living on premise or in house as was stated in public meetings and generally accepted to control STR in residential areas such as R1 and SW1. There needs to be minimum parking requirements added to the FBC as commercial is already removing parking from their places of business, which pushes parking into places that should not have to deal with the spaces these business are removing from their locations. They are not sharing parking with other commercial but removing parking because there is no minimum required parking. This is a main issue with FBC and multi-use.
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Zoning: Commercial Corridors & Building Height

Regarding the Commercial Corridors question: single family housing should not be encouraged in the corridor but commercial with residential above is a great way to keep neighborhoods safe and convenient for multifamily dwellings.Regarding height increases: 45' does seem a bit low but I would not want to see the heights increased by very much - the human scale is very important to maintain when attempting to encourage pedestrian friendliness (which is a form of equal opportunity design).
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Helping Knoxville Grow

Regarding development and Greenspace, there is a need for additional signage on the Mountain Bike Trails in our great city whether on the trails or more notes on the maps. Regarding Landscaping, we want to insure the grass is cut so no neighbor has to deal with a resident who owns a property but rarely visits it and thus it is not maintained. The city of Knoxville should have a list of owners or neighborhood contacts, main contact number accessible through 311 if the landscape codes are violated often. There is a 2-3 week window to reach the violator, however, some residents or owners may not currently be reachable and when they return, they receive a bill from the City for having mowed their yard. I do not blame the City in any way and thank them. Responsibility involves checking on your property, possibly having a neighbor contact you if you live out of town. No one wants a neighbor with tall grass, weeds and all the insects and mosquitoes that may take up residence due to neglect in the city limits especially.Possibly, some of these suggestions can be incorporated into a new City Map if you design a new Map of Knoxville. With the National Bike Race that was in Knoxville this weekend.I believe we will have the National Bike Race here again in 2018 and 2019 and possibly this can be advertised more. We had great positive views from the recent race, now lets step it up Knoxville to have more of the "Tour De France "as the "Tour De Knoxville" supporting local businesses, out of town racers and the community. I would recommend to add distances for walking trails throughout the city starting with miles 1.0, 1.5, 2. 0 etc. Initially, depending on Budgets, it could be every 2.5 miles for signage or the trail length each way posted or add to maps. Possibly a 4H,Girl or Boy Scout, or Sorority Project. At Iams, people with dogs, bag up their stools and leave the bagged stools on the side of the trail. Possibly, a few more trashcans or an incentive to return it to the beginning or end of the trail noted on the trail map. Caution: We are thankful, responsible pet owners do bag it up. As a pet owner, knowing your dogs digestive trac will help when they have stools. For example, beagles have a 5 hour trac. Congratulations to all our Mayors, City Staff & Employees, Businesses, Farmers Markets, City Events and the people who work, live, donate and make Knoxville what it is today. Remember, we grow, you grow, we all benefit. For residents who do not work and want to help the City, you may wish to get out and Volunteer for an area you enjoy. Support your local and Small businesses with shopping to keep them here. Too much on-line shopping, does not help our beautiful city. Knoxville and TN has done better than other cities and States through the recession because locals reinvest in Knoxville and in TN. Walk the Mall on a rainy day for exercise and possibly to buy something to help grow Knoxville's tax dollars to help pay for making Knoxville an even better city. Enjoy the Outdoor Benefits! Welcome visitors who also grow our TAX dollars by staying in local Hotels and eating at our Restaurants. Knoxville has more restaurants per capita than any other city.And of Course, we have the VOLS!
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Reviewing Codes Survey

Points I'd like to cover based on questions asked in the survey.I believe there needs to be a mixed use provision for the downtown area if the code hasn't already been updated. I'm thinking along the lines of commercial on ground floor and residential above.Some means to encourage smaller commercial spaces. For example, limit a Walmart or Kroger mega-store from opening in a downtown area and instead encourage smaller grocery and retail stores.Curb the amount of advertising on roadsides, much like the town of Farragut does. Signs limited in size, limited in height, etc.I voted against the 'historic tree' preservation mainly because of the ginko trees that line certain roads. I hate those things and the Bradford pears that started cropping up in the 80s. I'm not against old oaks and the like, just the "fad" trees some landscaper decided to add on a whim that later turn to be a nuisance.Thank you for your time and attention.
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Sidewalks

Please make sidewalks mandatory.
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Rezoning

Please consider more flexibility and guidance for building tiny or very small homes in blighted areas as a way to increase affordable housing.
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Zoning

One of your stated missions is to recognize the growing changes in Knoxville demography. Current County land just south of the City boundary (south of Knob Creek (off Martin Mill); north of John Sevier Hwy.; east of Knoxville Hwy. (Hwy 33); and west of Chapman Hwy.) comprises increasing-density residential that allows outdated County-zoned (and dangerous) uses. Commercial firing-range for sighting of guns is allowed (high powered rifles). Commercial dump truck operation is allowed where loaded dump trucks run curvy Martin Mill Pike continuously. A lot of septic drainfields are old and, new and old, should be added to city septic.This should be addressed but don't know if this review would include this.
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Design Standards

On page 5 of the survey (Design and Landscape Standards), I wanted to provide more details of my personal opinions. While design standards can be good, they can also severely limit the character of a place. I believe that the standards that could be introduced would be more along the lines of "You should plant 'this many' trees or have 'so many square feet' of landscaping. It should NOT restrict species, layout, or design of the landscape. The same principle applies to architectural elements. While there is good reason to require street-level storefront windows in certain development zones (corridor intersections to encourage street-front walkability and commerce), materials/design should NOT be prescribed. Architects and Landscape Architects should be given freedom to be creative. nnThe purpose of these rules would be to make sure we avoid the same mistakes made over the last 50 years with automobile-focused development, not prescribe uniformity throughout the city. Certain zones could or should require design elements to promote a healthy development, but should not prescribe every material/detail. That is where you counteract the character, vitality, and originality that new zoning codes would be trying to achieve. The most vibrant and memorable neighborhoods have diversity and character, not consistency.nnWe aren't trying to make cut-and-paste suburban housing tracts in our city centers, but active, healthy, and unique places for our residents to live, work, and play.
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Zoning

Of recent interest to me is utility poles. We are beginning to have an epidemic of double poles and in some case triple poles as non electric lines fail to move to replaced poles. In many cases there has been no change in poles replaced multiple years ago. A solution needs to be found to resolve this issue. I would recommend credits back to the landowner of the double pole location paid for by the non- moved lines.Second, Is there any zoning regulations for the colors attached to utilities lines. AT&T is placing orange tags all over the city which are ugly. Who is to stop somebody from putting fluorescent yellow or purple next. If they are covered by zoning regulation and have not gotten permission please have them stop. The colors are for AT&T convenience. Black with white letters would work just as well.It might be nice to remind the citizens and law enforcement about the laws associated with obstructing a sidewalk.
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Roads

Need to work on roads rather than making bike lanes and sidewalks. Since you have screwed up Moody Avenue by making it a 2 lane road I have seen far more car wrecks than I have seen people riding bikes. Crazy. I have talked to a lot of people who feel the same way. Also need more speed enforcement everywhere in the city. Especially Chapman Highway.
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Sidewalks

My son will be starting Kindergarten this year. I love being active and it makes me sad that I live so close to the school, but I can't walk because there are no sidewalks! The area is growing and there is not a lot of parking. If there were sidewalks throughout the community I think there would be a lot more people walking and biking and leaving their cars at home. Thanks for your time!
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Additional Comments

My impression of the survey, which is only my impression, is that it is skewed toward approval of higher density development which would benefit commercial developers more than residents. It is also rather vague. In theory I might like the idea of a more flexible approach to the size of a lot needed for a residential building, for example. However, if a builder wants to put a house on the tiny lot next door to me as an "infill" I would object. There is nothing in the survey about truly affordable housing, or about preventing the duplication of downtown redevelopment efforts into the Magnolia corridor, which would price many residents out of the area. Mixed use is great, but maybe not if it means a Starbucks below and pricey condos above.Although I feel there should be more landscaping requirements and architectural guidelines, I think they should not be a burden on an individual homeowner such as myself. We need creative solutions which take the needs of the elderly, low income and disabled into consideration., with much more input from these residents. Local homeowners and very small business owners need affordable programs to help repair and enhance their properties.When it comes to improving neighborhoods, let's not forget the mostly unattractive buildings for seniors, low income such as Love Towers. If real estate developers want to profit in our city, they should be wiling to contribute to the welfare of all its residents, not just the wealthier elements. Gentrification needs to be addressed in an open, transparent way and more options developed for lower income citizens to purchase their own homes or perhaps have cooperatively owned apartments.
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Improvements To Knoxville

More sidewalks! More trees! More renewable energy! More mass transit routes and options! Mixed use zones for residential + commercial! More bike lanes! More green spaces for public use! I love the direction we are heading, and I love Mayor Rogero - keep up the great work and continue improving our city!
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General

Many of the choices were of necessity broad, and do not allow for nuances.As a starter I would like to see a specified definition of what constitutes a dwelling unit. I believe citizens buy and build in a location based on zoning, but we are seeing existing zoning being over turned or re-interpreted. Surely we can create a great viable, and vibrant city without destroying existing communities.
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Light Pollution, Alleyways

Many alleyways in the north Knoxville area have become unsafe havens for criminal activity within residential neighborhoods. I have an alleyway behind my house that runs the length of several neighborhoods and it has become unsafe to take the trash out at night or walk my dog in these areas. I have witnessed drug use, violence, and illegal drug sales in the alleyway and have reported the issues to Knoxville PD.I would like to see stricter traffic laws enforced in alleyways that prevent anyone and everyone from using the alleyways for their illegal activities. More lights in the alleyways would make them safer or even just signs posted prohibiting certain activities or bringing attention to surveillance in the area could help improve the safety of alleyways in Knoxville. On the subject of lighting. It would be great if, with all the new construction happening, if better light pollution techniques could start to be applied to newer structures and layouts. The night sky is important for human health and Knoxville currently ranks very low among night sky friendly cities. We should start thinking about the future now and applying techniques to reverse our light pollution output. Thank you for considering my thoughts and concerns.
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