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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Home Based Business With Employee

With the recode of Knoxville, will employees be allowed to work at a home based business?
Staff Reply:
The proposed zoning code update would allow home occupations in all residential districts. Certain restrictions would be in place; only one employee other than residents of the home; no outdoor storage; no increase in noise, traffic; limitations on retail sales; and other standards to minimize any potential impact on residential areas.

Questions On Recode

Can you summarize the differences between the old code for R-1 and the new RN-2 in layman’s terms for me?  The same with C-G-1 vs. C3 ?I don’t understand some of the verbiage and how it may impact things if different.Also, am I reading correctly that in EN all new primary dwellings must have a 2nd floor ?  (4.4) and that parking is only allowed behind a house ? (4.4 b.1). Also,can you describe what a corner side yard is 11.3 - d.Have there been any public discussions about people’s RVs no longer on side of house etc. ?  And, I noticed a comment on use that Drive-thrus would be allowed on Cumberland - is that different than the new code adopted?  I thought there was effort to get rid of the curb cuts and drive thrus. ?
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your email. These documents summarize the difference between the existing zoning districts and the proposed districts:https://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Knoxville-Residential-Districts-Comparison.pdfhttps://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Commercial_Office_Industrial-Districts-Comparison_2018-12-1.pdfThe current EN standards include the provisions you noted and are being incorporated unchanged into the proposed updated code.Corner side yard is defined in Section 2.4.O.4.a.There has been discussion of the requirement for screening RV's with landscaping if parked where visible from the street at some of the public/community meetings.The Cumberland Avenue form code will be incorporated unchanged into the proposed updated code.

Conflicts

ARTICLEs 10. 3 R 4 & 10.5 G. ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE:Electromagnetic interference from any operation of any use must not adversely affect the operation of any equipment located off the lot on which such interference originates. Electromagnetic transmissions are regulated by Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC assigns frequencies to numerous electronic operations. Anyone whose equipment receives interference from a permitted FCC frequency is responsible for shielding their equipment. Article 10.5 G should be deleted since the FCC has controlling authority.ARTICLE 10.3 R 4 states that no equipment or process may be used that causes fluctuations in the line voltage off the premises. Fluctuations in line voltage is the responsibility of TVA and KUB. Businesses have no control over voltage fluctuations caused by power demand exceeding supply and creating a slight low voltage, or power supply exceeding demand to create a spike in voltage. This should be dropped.
Staff Reply:

Recode Communication Complaint

Can you summarize the differences between the old code for R-1 and the new RN-2 in layman’s terms for me?  The same with C-G-1 vs. C3 ?I don’t understand some of the verbiage and how it may impact things if different.Also, am I reading correctly that in EN all new primary dwellings must have a 2nd floor ?  (4.4) and that parking is only allowed behind a house ? (4.4 b.1). Also,can you describe what a corner side yard is 11.3 - d.Have there been any public discussions about people’s RVs no longer on side of house etc. ?  And, I noticed a comment on use that Drive-thrus would be allowed on Cumberland - is that different than the new code adopted?  I thought there was effort to get rid of the curb cuts and drive thrus. ?
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

To whom it may concern, There is a lot about this recode Knoxville that I am unaware of. I would like to gain more insight as to what this entails and how my household will be affected. Thank you. 

Staff Reply:

New Policies For Recode Knoxville

Please consider these suggestions for the new codes in Knoxville. Thank you. Addressing affordable housing/tiny houses Property owners can put a tiny house on their property if they are going to occupy the house. This code must exclude/forbid major developments of "trailer parks" or track housing by large developers, that is, limit the number of units per acre. Affordable housing must be encouraged and maintained. Developments of over 5 housing units must include one affordable unit per 5 units that is a significant proportion of all developments must be affordable housing. Wording must exclude a developer setting up multiple licenses for developments of 4 units, that is write the code so that the obvious ways around the requirement are addressed. The affordable unit must be within one mile of the other units so as to spread affordable housing through the county and reduce the building of slum developments. The affordable unit must be deeded in such a way that it is owner occupied for a long time, 20 years or more, before it can put put on the open market. The affordable unit will only be available to buyers/families who are near the poverty line. Sidewalks must be required in all new developments/construction and any substantial redevelopment projects. All new developments must site houses/buildings so that solar collectors can easily be fitted. Developments must include a certain number of trees per acre, the more the better. See above for solar siting. All new developments must provide storm water abatement for all impermeable surfaces, roofs, driveways, streets, patio/porches etc. New developments must offer ground source loops for heatpumps. Up to 6 female chickens should be allowed as pets. Get rid of the present City code/ordinance regarding chickens and model it on the language used to address pot bellied pigs. Short term rentals owner occupied houses must be allowed to do short term rentals that follow common sense noise and nuisance norms. Absentee landlords must be discouraged from short term rentals in residential neighborhoods, that is they cannot own/operate more than 1 in any given neighborhood. New developments must maintain wildlife corridors. New developments must set aside right of way for greenways, walking biking trails. Ideally these would be off street and connect to the right of way in adjoining neighborhoods/developments.

Staff Reply:

Recode Is The Most Unprofessional Thing

Recode is the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen in Knoxville. It is ridiculous to end comments before we can read Draft Five. Unless there are huge changes I will work to recall any City Council member who votes to approve this mess. It is so arrogant to think in two years you could redo fifty years of zoning. The vast majority of people do not want the ADU's. The Mixed Use design is not ADA compliant. The changes to commercial property are idiotic. Your idea to restrict home business is a civil rights violation. When you are in court with the many lawsuits that will come ask yourself, "why did we rush this"? Expect a lot of staff time to be tied up in court. Your arrogance earned that. Fix this mess before it is voted on. City Council has no planning experience. Why did you pass on such an incomplete incomprehensible product?

Staff Reply:

Ada Issues With Mixed Use

I would hope that Draft 5 has significant changes to the Mixed Use design. If not, I have no choice but to report you to the Federal Government. https://www.ada.gov In your madcap rush to get this done you have done a great disservice to all handicapped people who live in and travel to Knoxville. I wish each of you would understand the difficulty of being handicapped. I am very disappointed in what you have done. You should be too.

Staff Reply:

Draft 5

You need to know there have been private meetings to oppose Recode in court. While I was pretty keen on Recode even I have issues now. People do not want the ADU. Take them out. They aren't worth the bother. I liked the Mixed Use. Not now. You need to find a better design. It is clear you have ADA problems. Ignoring this will hurt everything. Why changed all the zoning? You could have just done Mixed Use and not have to have all this protest. It is unfair to end comments when no one has seen Draft 5. Why would you do that? You are begging for problems. Your PR is pathetic. So you want to make it worse? Why would you do that? It's clear all of you are sick of this project. Think how you will feel with multiple court cases. Send Recode back to the Planning Commission and get it fixed. You have no idea how much opposition there is. I attended a protest meeting in North Knoxville. There were statements that were quite severe. Like suing City Council members for ouster. I don't think you have a handle on how the public sees Recode. Good luck.

Staff Reply:

Zoning Code

I own the building at 908 Tyson Street and note the zoning code is CG2. What does that mean? I couldn't find an explanation anywhere for the codes.

Staff Reply:

You can find a description of the commercial districts here: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft4/chapters/Article%205%20Commercial%20and%20Office%20Districts.pdf. Additional information regarding the updated zoning code can be found in the draft code here: https://recodeknoxville.com/library/documents/#draft

424 And 428 E Scott Ave

I believe RN-5 is the appropriate zoning for this property - given existing surrounding land use and conditions within proximity. 

Staff Reply:

On the staff draft of the next edition of the proposed zoning map, we have recommended RN-5 for this property. The next draft of the proposed map will be released in late April.

605 Yarnell Avenue

I have looked at the City's master plan of the South Knoxville Waterfront and specifically at the Bell Tower Walk which is on axis with Atchley. My concern is that with the I-G zoning following the old rail tracks, the Bell Tower Walk will be limited in the future and the residential district above will be disconnected from the pedestrian friendly area below. As a designer myself, and stakeholder in the neighborhood, I think the SW-3 zoning should continue up Atchley Street at least to Yarnell Ave to reinforce the power of that axis and be in place for future development. Regardless of whether Atchley remains predominantly residential or the Bell Tower Walk eventually moves up the hill, having SW-3 would prevent an industrial development from cutting off the neighborhood from the riverfront or the Tower Walk from being visually terminated by industrial buildings. I think this will be especially important once the Rails to Trails path is installed and large groups of people are going to it right at that point. Finally, the river is visible up to Yarnell and there is a clear connection to what is the SW zone, I think the pattern already in the plan that has SW-3 on the North end of Atchley, should continue up the hill. Thank you very much! 

Staff Reply:

Thanks for your email regarding the need to extend the SW-3 designation up Atchley Street to Yarnell Avenue. One of the commitments made in undertaking the updating of the City's zoning code was that neither the text nor the mapping of the form districts would be altered. Having made this commitment, we must honor it. However, Councilmember Stephanie Welch has asked that the South Waterfront code undergo a comprehensive review following the adoption of the updated zoning code. This effort may get underway in early fall. Please keep in touch and get involved in that effort.

Recode

As a citizen of Knox County who will be affected by this vote who represents my voice? As a former Knox County Commissioner, I took my oath of office a a representative of not only my district but as a representative for everyone in our community. In doing so, I tried to vote to have a positive impact while at the same time diminishing unintended consequences as best as I could. With this massive rezoning of City parcels, there are more unintended consequences to this vote than benefits. In my opinion, there are serious questions that need to be answered; such as, if home businesses are not allowed, how does that impact home daycares, homeschools, and home churches? If higher density rates are the goal, has the school system, law enforcement, fire and other emergent service agencies been invited for input? If parking is recommended for behind the building in new mixed-use developments, how do Americans with Disabilities requirements impact this recommendation? Have property owners been properly noticed? How will these new codes be enforced? What will be the consequences-fines and/or liens? What are those amounts? What are the steps or processes in place for a property owner to object or oppose any enforcement? Where or how does one address their grievances? As a former Commissioner, I took zoning votes very seriously. Any zoning issue on the agenda, I would personally go and review the site, review the recommendations from MPC, and ensure that I was aware of neighbors/neighborhood viewpoints and impact. My vote was predicated on whether the zoning change would fit the community. I cannot square how any elected official could vote for such a massive rezoning without taking into consideration the impact could have on individual property owners. In closing, I will quote one of your fellow former council members, who in my opinion was a tireless voice for neighborhoods: "...What is broke?"-Barbara Pelot https://www.knoxtntoday.com/26429-2/ Barbara Pelot Thank you for this review of not only their workshop, but the disturbing consequences of the re-code movement. What is broke?? Knoxville's handling of zoning/re-zoning issues have been handled with tranparency and without out-of-town interference. We do NOT need or desire this manner of government over-ride of voter/taxpayer involvement. Listen to the "people". Workshops are worthless if they are merely for "show". 

Staff Reply:

Poor Planning

Why in the world did MPC pass Recode when it is not complete? City Council can't fix this mess. Bring it back to MPC and fix it. My brother is an Architect in Atlanta. He told me we are much better off with our current zoning. He also said you will be sued by HUD if you build Mixed Use with the Recode design. How do you not know that? Very disappointed in MPC. You are not doing your job.

Staff Reply:

Firewise Landscaping

Many cities have adopted FireWise landscaping codes to protect lives and property from wildfires. Well planned landscaping that conforms to FireWise guidelines will enhance properties and ensure a safe environment for citizens. FireWise standards are endorsed by the Tennessee State Fire Marshall. 

Recode Knoxville’s proposed landscaping codes conflicts with FireWise guidelines which will create a fire hazard across the city. The proposed codes should adopt FireWise and BurnSafe Tennessee guidelines. Attached are several brochures from the State of Tennessee highlighting some of advantages of FireWise Communities.

Staff Reply:

Recode Communication Complaint

We received a first notice by mail last week of ReCode. Being a multiple property owner in the City of Knox, this has not been adequately communicated to us. This is wrong and unjust to change our property rights without proper individual notice in a timely manner. I am spending hours searching a website and other avenues trying to find out what this really means. This is being poorly implemented and needs to slow down and make proper individual notifications to each homeowner as to what this could mean. We do not understand what is happening and we are feeling betrayed.

Your amendment stating that proper and adequate notification in the two Knox News Sentinel articles is ridiculous! NO ONE READS THE PAPER!

Staff Reply:

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:

The tax assessment of a property is determined by the use rather than the zoning. The expanded zoning designation should have no impact on your taxes.

Neighborhood Concerns

the old Bob Cawrse land on Rennoc rd and Tillary rd and Crawford is a big concern to the area that we life in. it was multifamily apartments.[ since torn down ] we are afraid of the owner putting in small houses for rental that will further deteriorate the area we live in. is there any protections in place for us homeowners to prevent futher deteration from future unwanted developement

Staff Reply:

I cannot locate the property you are referencing. Most of the property along Rennoc is proposed to be designated RN-2, a single family residential designation. I urge to continue to be involved in the process of updating the City's zoning code and to be involved with your neighborhood organization, as they maybe aware of any future efforts to rezone property in your neighborhood.

Recode Knoxville

To whom it may concern,
There is a lot about this recode Knoxville that I am unaware of. I would like to gain more insight as to what this entails and how my household will be affected.

Thank you.

Staff Reply:

I encourage to visit the website (RecodeKnoxville.com) to find information about the effort and to attend the City Council workshop schedule for 5:30 on April 4. The workshop will be about the 85th public/community meeting regarding the project.

Definitioins Question About Legend

where can I read exactly what all the different designations on the map legend mean? For example, R-2, infill housing, R-5, ridgetop, historic overlay , etc…

Staff Reply:

There is a residential comparison chart and a commercial, office and industrial comparison chart that may help. Also definitions are found in section 2 of the draft code.

Sherrod Rd.

On March 25, 2019 I sent you the following.  I am resending it to make sure that you received it.

Recently I communicated with you about the zoning on the west side of Sherrod Road, north of Mimosa. I need to make some corrections. The east side of Sherrod Road is zoned R-3. The five feet on the west side of should be zoned R-2. I quote from a rezoning ordinance passed by the Knoxville City Council at a meeting on July 6, 1985 entitled "An Ordinance to rezone property of Kern's Inc from R-2 . . .to I-3, east of Chapman Highway, west side of Sherrod Street . . . - MPC approved I-3 General Industrial District with a 5' buffer strip at eastern portion to property (west of Sherrod St) to be eft in the R-2, General Residential District) (11-3) (5-U-82-RZ). 

Below is my original posting on March 6, 2019

There is a five-foot buffer strip on the west side of Sherrod Road, south of Mimosa that was left in the R-2 zoning when the eastern portion of the Kerns property was rezoned in 1982. The current zoning map very clearly shows that the R-2 zoning extends to the west side of Sherrod Road. The recode map does not show this. This was done at City Council, July 6, 1982. This was done to prevent increased traffic on Sherrod should access to the Kerns property be allowed from Sherrod Road. Sherrod road is a narrow, winding road that cannot take anymore traffic than that of the residents.

Staff Reply:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I will pass this on to our GIS staff so that the map can be corrected. The change will be shown on the next draft of the proposed zoning map, which will be released in mid to late April
 

Staff Reply:

We received your initial email and continue to research this issue. A couple questions have arisen:

  1. The rezoning you noted was for the I-3 designation for the Kerns property. The property was rezoned to a South Waterfront designation as part of the South Waterfront code adoption approximately 6 years ago. Question: Did the South Waterfront designation (rezoning) maintain the buffer strip of R-2 zoning on the west side of Sherrod Road? We are still researching this question.
  2. It appears that the R-2 buffer strip on the west side of Sherrod Road was provided to prevent industrial traffic generated by uses of the Kerns property from accessing Sherrod Road. Question: Because the R-2 zoning permits multi-family development, can the proposed multi-family development planned for the Kerns property be prohibited from accessing Sherrod Road? Our research indicates that access to Sherrod Road for the proposed multi-family development cannot be prohibited as it is a permitted use in the R-2 zone.

Recode Knoxville

I support Recodeknoxville wholeheartedly. Please let us do what is right for our city by planning this way. We have the opportunity as our city grows and develops to improve even the air we breathe. Please support these changes for the benefit of all.

Staff Reply:

Noise/recode Knoxville

I realize that Recode Knoxville does not address noise, but with the purpose of Recode Knoxville to create a more dense population in certain areas, are the appropriate groups working to better enforce current noise laws/regulations and/ or create new legislation for noise? 

I live on Kingston Pike and cannot believe how the noise level has increased over the last 5 years with the increase in population  due to the development of downtown. I'm not opposed to the multi-purpose development but I think for everyone to live together in close quarters noise is a major factor. 

In addition, vehicles without mufflers are harming our environment as well as our ears! 
If there is one thing our city can do is provide protection for the environment and its citizens.

Staff Reply:

Hillside Protection

I notice that a portion of my property, that includes about half of my house, falls within an area designated HP. I can't find any definitive resource regarding HP online, except references back to 2008-2011. I'm interested in what restrictions the HP designation will place, both on me as an established homeowner and on the newly developed apartment complex abutting my property. Can you point to a resource so we may understand what's about to happen to us?

Staff Reply:

The hillside protection standards would place density and land disturbance limitations on new development located on properties within the HP overlay (properties with grades in excess of 15%). The greater the grade of the property, the greater the limitations on density and land disturbance. The hillside protection standards would not apply to existing single family homes and existing lots of record, so your home would be exempt. As a developed project, the apartment complex abutting your property would not be subject to any limitations either. If the apartment complex proposed expansion (new buildings), the hillside protection standards might limit density (# of dwelling units) and land disturbance.

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

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