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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Community Forum - Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 1, 5-10-18

Community Forum is an organization with representatives from many City of Knoxville and Knox County neighborhoods. We frequently advocate on issues that affect the character and integrity of neighborhoods. Attached is Community Forum's initial Response to the first draft of Recode Knoxville. (View Draft 1 Response) The Response includes material on thirteen topics, including a Supplemental Topic on Manufactured Homes which appears at the end of the Response. Also included is a separate list of all of our Issues Presented for the thirteen topics we are addressing in this Response. (View issues list) Many of the issues identified impact the City's low density neighborhoods. We anticipate submitting additional comments as we continue our review of this draft, and additional Recode drafts, and as we review the comments of others. We wish to make clear that we support the Recode Knoxville project. Our objective is to work with others to improve the proposed ordinance. We would be happy to discuss the issues presented in this Response at any time and to respond to any questions you might have about our Response.
Staff Reply:

Noise Light Pollution

I understood this update was to correct the vague codes including noise and light pollution. Light and noise are both measurable today and many cities have standards based on zoning. The new codes has exempted streetlights and sports fields which is moving in the wrongs direction. Streetlights are for lighting the streets, not bedrooms or inside restaurants. New cutoff lighting is being used by many new developments, but their effects are ruined by streetlights and now sports fields.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Requirements

Parking lots 5,000 s/f and above should have perimeter landscaping requirements and lots 10,000 - 20,000 should also have interior landscaping requirements.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Of Parking Lots

The benefits of trees and landscaping are well known. A few of these assets include beautification of public spaces, reduced stormwater runoff, reduction of air pollution, and.cooler ambient temperatures and shade - both of which enhance walkability, The current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.
Staff Reply:

Recode Suggestions

I looked over the draft, and have the following suggestions:1. Define “Blank Wall” There are several great buildings with blank walls, that have designed texture and material patterns, etc., but no windows.2. Define if an alley or highway (i.e. other than roadway) is a ROW. This has to do with the portion of the code that indicates if a façade is visible from a ROW, then ……3. Define how far such a ROW view would be. Example, if I can view a building from a higher grade 5 blocks away, while I am in an alley, then is that “visible from ROW”?4. In DK-H district, set a minimum first floor to second floor dimension. Traditional buildings ranged in 18’ to 20’ +/-5. If a building is on a sloped street, then does the ground level regulations apply to the entire area of the sloped street, or only the very bottom portion of it?I will review in more detail in the next few days and will share anything else that I can think of.
Staff Reply:

New Knoxville Zoning

Has there been any dialogue with Knox County officials about adopting a unified zoning ordinance? This would greatly simplify development document preparation within both Knoxville and Knox County and could still be administered separately as they are now. Also, has there been any talk of expanding the MPC to be a one-stop-shop for development submittals, with the particulars still farmed out to their respective county or city authorities? One of the things we have noticed as design professionals is that the Knox County ordinance generally does not 1) have enough districts, 2) is still written assuming a mostly rural county and 3) is just enough different from the city to be confusing. We have noticed that the City's ordinance 1) seems to assume 1950s and 1960s approaches to development in terms of parking, 2) has too many districts, 3) is not applied uniformly and 4) is not flexible enough to encourage the kind of mixed use and higher density development which would be more environmentally sustainable. Thanks!
Staff Reply:

Sw-1

Concern is that SW-1 is not listed under the general list of residential. SW-1 is residential (low density). Should It fall under or with the EN, RN, list?
Staff Reply:

Mixed Use Development In C-h Highway Commercial Zoning District

Hi,I have a question related to the C-H Highway Commercial Zones. As currently drafted, would a mixed-use development with residential multifamily above a commercial ground floor be permitted in a C-H zone? I see in the Use Matrix that "Dwelling - Above the Ground Floor" is permitted in a C-H zone, but I don't understand whether that implies, multifamily, single family, etc.Thanks for the help!
Staff Reply:
The intent is to permit either a single dwelling or multiple dwellings on the upper floor(s) of a building in the C-H zone. We will clarify this so there is no confusion.

Drive-through Facility

Consider allowing Drive-Through Facilities in C-N as a Permitted (P) or at least Special (S) use. Given that restaurants, financial institutions, and personal service establishments (I'm thinking of dry cleaners) are allowed in C-N there will certainly be instances when a drive through could make sense.
Staff Reply:

Comments - Draft Zoning Code

I am a commercial / industrial real estate broker. Below are my comments on the DRAFT Code.PAGE 1-3Pending ApplicationCan you remove the words "was deemed complete by the City". There is a significant investment of time and due diligence made on a property before an application.Page 5-4; Table 5-2Commercial Site Design requires all surface parking to be on side or rear unless in CH2 or CR2. Front door parking is a highly desirable feature for most commercial properties. Front door parking should be allowed in C G.Table 9-1 Use MatrixFor the sake of completeness please add . . .-Add "Heavy Retail, Rental, and Service"-Add "Concrete Batch Plant"-Add "Cement Plant" which is quite different from the Concrete Batch Plant above-Add "Call Center"-Add "Truck Stop and Refueling Facility"-Add "Truck Terminal"-Add "Construction Office with Outside Storage"-Add "Landscaper and Lawn Mowing Office with outside Storage"Page 10-1Please add to Site Development Standards requirements for eighteen wheel vehicles and semi trucks in regards to building access and turnarounds.Please add requirements for loading docksPlease add requirements for drive in doors
Staff Reply:

Concern Over Impact To Residential Housing Values...

I live in Sequoyah Hills. There are currently large commercial developments occurring on the north side of Kingston Pike, which I'm fine with. I think they are doing a good job of providing more affordable housing in the area and creating attractive (physically and financially) symbiotic venues for commercial activity. However, there are rumors of a land grab in the works for the south side of Kingston Pike, west of the intersection with Noelton Dr. If these residential areas are zoned for commercial or multi-family housing, I fear (with good reason) the housing values of all the homes in Sequoyah Hills will take a large hit (10% - 30% based on some bank of the envelope calculations). I would strongly oppose any Knoxville politician/administrator that would approve these areas for anything other than single family dwellings.
Staff Reply:

Sidewalks - School Zones

Thank you for allowing us to actively participate in offering comments and feedback. I live in Fountain City. We are .50 miles from Fountain City Elementary and Gresham Middle School on Grove Drive, which means that we are in what is called "parent responsiblity zone". Our daughter would like very much to walk to school, however the sidewalks stop less than halfway to our home from the schools. The road is narrow with a ditches and many use it as a cutthrough from Rifle Range to Broadway. People drive fast through the stretch were we live and it is dangerous to walk. We walk as a family and it is not a comfortable walk until we get to a sidewalk. There are children living in Grove Park Subdivision who would benefit from a sidewalk as well. Please consider ensuring there are sidewalks within the parent responsibility zones throughout the city. This would be a blessing for those of us who have students as well as the general community who enjoy walking without fear of launching into a ditch to avoid the oncoming traffic.
Staff Reply:

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