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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General Comments

Regarding ADU's, I know enforcement of ordinances is not the purview of Recode, but I am in favor of ADU permits being granted *only* to owners who occupy the primary structure. I understand they may sell to someone who will lease out the entire property, but I do believe that initial barrier will prevent many issues.Regarding the South Waterfront, this zoning has not been revisited for about a decade. While I agree with the vast majority of the provisions in that code as they stand and would like it adhered to, what we are seeing is "zoning by variance" where developers are requesting variances because the ordinance is so, in their opinion, outdated, and the City is granting these variances for the same reason. This undermines the public process that should exist. If numerous variances are going to be granted at will on every project, then the entire code needs to have another look and a new code adopted.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

PUT BACK THE ORANGE. Knoxville needs more multi family housing not less. You are prioritizing higher income folks and not pushing Knoxville to be a city that prioritizes the vast need for affordable housing. I've been to meetings and you are always citing comments from West Hills or Sequoya Hills, or Fountain City and not referring to comments made at the Urban League meetings from Burlington residents from East Knoxville residents and you actively tell them you are not recording their comments despite the fact that a forum or meeting could be their only way to provide a comment. PUT BACK THE ORANGE and stop excluding low income folks' comments.
Staff Reply:

Lack Of Affordable And Accessible Housing

Put back the orange! and prioritize poor and working class people.
Staff Reply:

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for the OLPNA.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for OLPNA
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Please, we need affordable housing! vote for help!
Staff Reply:

Adjacent Average Grade

Please review the calculation of Adjacent Average Grade, used in defining building height in section 2.4D1. The calculation of this grade is ambiguous and Peter Ahrens suggested at a recent Recode meeting to submit a comment for MPC staff to shore up this definition. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Please put back the orange. Keep it. We need flexibility for affordable housing. I wish everyone could have the option of single family dwellings. However that is not possible nor wanted. We need zoning maintained for duplexes, four plexus, etc. as well as developments with 100's of units for affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Please put back the orange! More, not less, affordable housing is needed. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Established Neighborhoods

Please leave the Codes as is for Established Older neighborhoods. I am opposed to the Recode proposal.These established neighborhoods define Knoxville and would be horrible for that to change.They give character and define much of he history of Knoxville.The Recode proposal would destroy this history. Many folks move to Established Neighborhoods for the coding it now has. The coding and lot sizes and architect style attracts folks to these locations.A Recode is not good.
Staff Reply:

New Zoning Recode

Please consider the impact recoding the Knoxville new zoning code upon low income housing and families. A diverse Knoxville will be a healthy Knoxville for all. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Comments

p. 5-2 C. #1 run-on sentence (FYI)general question: Can we require sidewalks for new and/or redesigned commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings?p. 5-24 D. 5. b. "period of up to one year" Why do they need a whole year? If the problem is the wrong season or bad weather for planting or perhaps the plants aren't available, having up to one year is excessive. I believe six months is adequate, which roughly equates to two seasons. I was imagining if I lived across the street from the new construction that had a whole year to put up vegetation buffers, and I waited through all the seasons without any forward progress. p. 8.8 8.5 C. Is it customary to use the 500-year flood levels as the standard for how new construction might contribute to flooding now? Why not use a more recent standard, such as 100-year? p. 9-3 A. 3. "Animal care facilities must be located?" The sentence needs to be corrected.p. 10-6 G. Since you are referring to a city code, you may want to keep the same language found in the code (domesticated chickens, henhouse, chicken pen). Personally, I call them "backyard chickens" and a "coop."
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

On the Recode handout of the zoning overview for neighborhood B. Commercial Districts (9.5% of land use) SW south waterfront district. SW-1 is not commercial, nor is SW-2 but SW-1 is only low density residential now and therefore SW-1 should be listed in the new code under as A. Residential District even though the % of land use is not equal. If listed under commercial - this will be abused & is questionable in this code. This comment has been made several times in public meetings. Homeowner living in SW-1
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 2 Text And Draft 1 Map

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 1 and ReCode Text Draft 2.Below is the list contributors and/or ratifiers of these comments: Core Drafting & Research Team:Elizabeth RowlandMatt SterlingMoira ConnellyIdea/Feedback Contributors:Michael DavisBryan Hill CharLee HowardRatified Final Draft:Linda Haney - KCDP Vice Chair Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee MemberMichael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee MemberSylvia Woods - PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member & Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team MemberMoira Connelly - PAC Steering Team MemberMatt SterlingLouise SeamsterBryan HillWe'd also like to bring to your attention a Democratic Television (DTV) episode that we did explaining ReCode Knoxville to viewers.Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Elizabeth Rowland
Staff Reply:

Comments On Some Survey Questions

Not just new but renovated buildings along any corridor should be required to have a buffer whether trees, bushes, or a well maintained attractive fence. Alley ways between buildings and residential are usually unkept. Some vegetation, trellis work or partial fencing could help between residential and other uses. Strict regulation of noise from both music, parties or food trucks generators, commercial docks and smoke from any source that intrudes into residential should not be allowed.There are some reuses that should not be allowed in old buildings. But, a restaurant is a more intrusive use than a warehouse just in looking at the operating hours. While a homeowner may work during the day and not notice a warehouse during the day. The restaurant business hours of operation occur during the residents evening down time or kids bedtime. Anytime alcohol is part of the picture there is high likelihood of loud voices and inappropriate language. Lighting is becoming an issue as added street lighting occurs along with signage and lighting added as decoration at night. Car noise, fumes, and parking with people coming and going is intrusive to a family quiet time so operating hours should be restricted. The type of business is very crucial to residential stability.The reuse of an existing building should fit with the neighborhoods character. This does not mean there should be a bar on every corner. No industrial. Enough parking to stop parking carryover on to residential streets. if code requires a building height of 4 stories there should be a clause that 4 is a recommendation but if development wants less height say 2 story that would be allowed, but not higher. Supporting infrastructure, sidewalks are the developer's responsibility since many want TIFs or PILOT breaks for 20-30 years at taxpayer expence on pensions, road maintenance and other services.ADUs and STR should be restricted to only homeowner occupied with off street parking. in EN, RN-1, RN-2, and SW-1. With no subletting greater than the allowable number on the lease per unit or fire code/ occupancy limit.
Staff Reply:

Please Give More Time...

My concern is that there are still many city residents that are just not aware of Recode and how it will impact them when the changes are finally made. I respectfully ask that instead of trying to push it thru in December, that City Council make the wrap up date sometime in March or April of 2019. That gives City residents more time to get involved and give input. I also ask that the Infill Design Guidelines be kept to help preserve the character of our fragile older neighborhoods.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Comments And A Request For More Debate

Mr. Green,Attached please find follow-up comments to your August 24th meeting with members of Fountain City community organizations and a request for more debate on Recode Knoxville. We on Gibbs Drive and others throughout the Fountain City community look forward to working with MPC staff and city representatives on producing the best possible zoning ordinances for Knoxville's future.Sincerely,Gibbs Drive Historic Neighborhood Association
Staff Reply:

Riverscape & Stream Buffers

Love the inclusion of Riverscape Standards and Stream Buffers in the South Waterfront (SW) district. Since the Tennessee River is such an important natural asset to our community, wouldn't it make sense to apply similar standards for all riverscape and streams in the City? Most streams have unfortunately already been developed, but applying these type of standards across the City would provide a means of protecting our waterways during future development/redevelopment, and a vision for caring for our natural resources. It is also just a smart development practice from an aesthetic standpoint to allow public access to river frontage instead of cutting people off with streets and buildings.
Staff Reply:

Strengthen Our Outdoor Lighting Ordinance

Knoxville and our surrounding neighbors would greatly benefit from a stronger lighting code. Light pollution obscures the natural beauty of our skies and wastes so much energy. Let's position our city as a leader, not only for our local regain but in the Southeast as well, protecting the night skies and reducing energy consumption by including stronger restrictions in the outdoor lighting section. As we continue to develop the Urban Wilderness, this facet of our zoning code is something we must consider.One of the best model ordinances is the Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code, a model ordinance proven to reduce light pollution and energy use. Help Knoxville lead our region in reducing lighting pollution! The Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code can be found here: http://www.flagstaffdarkskies.org/WPdev/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CBL-POLC-standard-v2.0.pdf
Staff Reply:

Loss Of Open Space Preservation District (os-1) In Recode

It appears OS-1 is being dropped from ReCode. I think that means we are losing a valuable type of zoning that conserves cultural landscapes and archaeological sites. OS-1 is notably different from OS-2 and what it's being replaced with (OS). While OS-1 so far primarily been applied to golf courses and interstate medians, it has a lot of potential that someone not coming from a historic preservation / natural resources conservation perspective would miss. It is not as restrictive as a "Natural Area" and not limited to parcels of 1 acre or more. It is also appropriate for and compatible with low-density residential parcels that intersect the hilltop protection overlay, such as the home I live at on Chestnut Ridge. Current definition from Municode - note item 5 in bold (my emphasis added):This open space preservation district is established to provide areas in which the principal use of land is devoted to the preservation and protection of recreational and conservation open space. The district is intended to preserve, and enhance land as permanent open space that contributes to the creation of a network of lands that provide safe and enjoyable areas and routes for non-intensive recreational opportunities, is protective of natural resources, and is compatible with surrounding land uses. The district is consistent with and intended to implement the Park, Public Institutional, Open Space and Environmental Protection land use classifications of the Knoxville - Knox County General Plan 2033 , or its successor documents.B. Permitted principal and accessory uses and structures. The following uses shall be permitted in the OS-1 (open space preservation) district:1.Horticulture, floriculture, forests and woods, community gardens.2.Houses.3.Recreational open space, such as parks, playgrounds, golf courses and country clubs, cycling, hiking and equestrian trails, parkways, hunting preserves, camps and resorts, fishing lakes, and greenway and blueway corridors.4.Conservation open space, such as watershed protection areas, public water supply points, lakes and reservoirs, wildlife management areas, and significant natural areas.5.Historic and archeological sites.6.Accessory buildings, structures and uses.7.Wireless communications facilities, subject to the provisions of article V, section 20.OS-1 is entirely appropriate for cemeteries and other archaeological sites. The new "OS" drops out recognition of the value of landscape conservation and archaeological sites.The new "OS" zone combines the "old" OS-2 primarily intended for parks (and incompatible with housing, and indifferent to archeological sites or cultural and scenic landscape values):The OS Parks and Open Space Zoning District is intended to create, preserve, and enhance public open space to meet the passive and active park and recreational needs of the City. The OS District provides for both improved and unimproved park and recreation lands. Facilities may include, but are not limited to, structures or other active, playoriented facilities such as playgrounds, recreational fields, ball-fields, sport courts, and dog parks, cultural facilities such as museums and libraries, and associated accessory facilities such as recreation and community centers, park administrative offices, and restroom facilities.Source: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft2/chapters/Article%207-Special%20Purpose%20Districts.pdfYou can see below there is an improvement where "OS" has been applied to Cemeteries in Park City (incidentally, some cemeteries such as Shieldstown Cemetery at 1933 Linden Ave, Stephens Cemetery at 1405 McCalla, Vance Cemetery on Bethel, Good Citizens Cemetery at 830 Addison, ad Eastport Cemetery off Wilder Pl on Fuller have been forgotten (Eastport is not marked in KGIS Parks layer, although an "underground railroad site" at 1021 Fuller is. I can individually comment on those using the "feedback" utility on those specific parcels (I in fact already commented on the Shieldstown lot) but it will take quite a lot of work and I thought it would be easier just to talk to you about these parcels.It's possible to look at the "Parks" map on KGIS to find all these hidden parcels / historic sites. It looks like Temple Beth-El cemetery at Linden and Winona has both H1 and OS zoning, but the underground railroad site at 1021 Fuller only has H1. Even with the new OS zoning, as currently defined its utility seems centered on parks and ball fields. It drops out the earlier language and uses from OS-1 concerning landscape and natural area and archaeological site preservation. While it goes without saying a cemetery is not a ball field, the new zoning code should not try to merge these two distinct land uses (see below - Dr. Walter P Hardy Park merged with Mt Calvary Cemetery, Bethel Civil War Cemetery, Potters Field Cemetery, and Odd Fellows Cemetery.I'd like to get your thoughts on this and possibly run it by Carol Evans with Legacy Parks and maybe other environmental conservation oriented civic groups.I have submitted feedback on my own home (zoned RN2 in recode and intersecting the hilltop protection overlay) the following comment:Parcel is in the hilltop protection overlay should be zoned OS-1 under the existing code, "The district is intended to preserve, and enhance land as permanent open space that contributes to the creation of a network of lands that provide safe and enjoyable areas and routes for non-intensive recreational opportunities, is protective of natural resources, and is compatible with surrounding land uses. " An OS-1 equivalent should be made available to conserve natural resources in the hilltop protection overlay while also permitting existing uses and compatible uses as permitted under existing OS-1.This also relates to Chestnut Ridge's history as "Chestnut View Park," important to African American heritage, and to the scenic values of our forested ridgetops.I feel this is something Park City Preservation Alliance can formally offer a position on. Ideally, a join statement with other conservation-oriented groups could be formulated. However, I wanted to run these initial ideas by you as I feel there is a strong connection between OS-1 and cultural resources and landscape values that are connected to historic preservation. I believe it would be a mistake to merge "OS-2" focused on recreation and "OS-1" that has the potential to reflect landscape, cultural resource, and historic preservation values. OS-1 has not been used to its full potential; the full potential will be lost if it is merged with OS-2 as "OS" in ReCode.
Staff Reply:

The Lack Of Duplexes

In response to the general consensus circulating... "If duplexes aren't being built, the market doesn't want/need them, so why are we trying to allow more of them?"For R1: Duplex allowed on Review w/ lot size minimum of 15,000 sq.ft.Most R1 neighborhoods are typically auto-oriented (non transit friendly) & suburban with larger homes on larger lots. The need for duplexes in those areas is low and naturally their occurrence is low. The assumption that the market signals are influencing the development of duplexes is likely true in most suburban R-1 zones.On the contrary, Oakwood, a walkable & transit-friendly neighborhood, is a mixture of R1 (IH-1) & R2. Lot sizes range from < 5000 sq.ft. to 7500+ sq.ft. A new duplex would require multiple lots, therefore they aren't done. There are however, many older duplexes that exist currently as represented by the"checker-board" of R1/R2 on the current zoning map. Building new would require up-zoning, special approval, and variances... therefore they aren't being built. For Oakwood, the market's need & desire has no way to respond because a duplex is, by-default, prohibited.[Moving forward RN-3 more appropriately represents the development pattern of Oakwood, and would allow more by right development & less special use approval for duplexes.]- - -R1-A: Duplex permitted by right w/ lot size minimum of 10,000 sq.ft.This district is well represented in our central-city neighborhoods. It is specified as"low to medium density" but"nearly 70% of lots [Zoned R1-A] do not meet the required 7,500 sq.ft. minimum lot area." (pg. 12 ReCode Technical Review Report) So although a duplex IS permitted on paper, it is prohibited in practice... as we see with Old North. Old North is another walkable & transit friendly neighborhood, with the the majority of lots being under the 10,000 sq.ft. required for a duplex. Again, the market's need & desire is unable to respond because a duplex is, by-default, prohibited.An abundance of multi-family structures at various scales exist currently in most of our R1-A transit friendly neighborhoods. These areas need a closer look and a smaller paintbrush to more appropriately zone them to reflect the development patterns that currently exist within them. We must ensure that our central-city neighborhoods are not a static ecosystem, but rather a dynamic one. We must ensure they're able to evolve over time, not radically, but incrementally.. to ensure they're meeting the needs of those who are currently there as well as those who will be there in the future.- - -R-2: Req'd lot size is 7500 sq.ft. for the first dwelling + 1500 sq.ft for each additional dwelling. Therefore a duplex would require 9000 sq.ft.This district is "medium-density" yet still not conducive for a duplex. "50% of the lot sizes within the R-2 district do NOT meet the required 7500 sq.ft. minimum lot standard." (pg. 12 - ReCode Technical Review Report) so very rarely would we see 9000 sq.ft. available for duplex construction. Again, duplexes aren't (and cannot be) built without special circumstance or multiple lot aquisitions, at which point it's more favorable to build two single family homes.A duplex is Small-Scale Development 101... an incremental step towards meeting the demand for housing within our transit-friendly neighborhoods. They're as easy to build & finance as a single family home (from a codes & lending standpoint). A duplex even provides opportunity & incentive for owner-occupancy, empowering more folks to invest & live in the neighborhoods they love. A duplex easily blends in with it's surroundings and provides housing opportunities at a scale that currently isn't available (and hasn't been allowed) within our transit friendly neighborhoods.The lack of recent Duplex construction/conversion is not based on market trends, citizen desires, or lack of profitability. This deficiency is directly tied to our present Zoning & Lot size requirements. To move Knoxville in a positive direction, it's imperative that we allow this age old tool of incremental development to be used once again within our transit friendly neighborhoods. ...and do so without a 2 space per unit parking minimum!Thank you for the consideration,
Staff Reply:

C-g-3 District: Maximum Building Height

In Draft 2 of the code, the maximum building height for C-G-3 districts was changed to Unlimited. The Bearden Village Council has discussed this change and is strongly opposed to it. We request that you restore the 85' maximum shown in Draft 1. Virtually all of the commercial corridor through Bearden Village, from Western Plaza to Northshore Drive, is designated as C-G-3 in Draft 1 of the zoning map - a much larger concentration of C-G-3 zoning than anywhere else in the city. We think an 85' maximum building height will adequately accommodate dense development while retaining some of the current character of Bearden. If a taller project with special features comes along, the "planned development" approach described in the draft code remains an option. Mary EnglishPresidentThe Bearden Village Council
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville - Lighting Ordinance

I'm writing because of your role on the Recode Knoxville Advisory Committee. Have you looked up in the night sky lately and noticed how few stars are visible? Light pollution obscures the natural beauty of our skies and wastes so much energy. Knoxville's initiative to redo the zoning code is the perfect opportunity to create zoning restrictions that position us as a leader in protecting the night skies and saving energy. As we continue to develop the Urban Wilderness, this facet of our zoning code is something we must consider.Will you propose to the Advisory Committee, City leaders, and the City Council that Knoxville's new zoning include a section based on the Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code (POLC), helping Knoxville to lead our region in reducing lighting pollution?Thanks for your time. I look forward to your response!
Staff Reply:

Adus

I'm concerned about maintaining the existing character of residential neighborhoods. I'm particularly concerned about detached ADUs. I think the requirements for detached ADUs should be much stricter than those for attached or incorporated ADUs. The minimum lot size should be triple or 4 times as large. I also think the maximum dwelling size proposed should be smaller than 1000 sq ft and the maximum number of bedrooms allowed should be one or two rather than three. A minimum of one additional dedicated parking space should also be required.I understand the need for additional affordable housing in the city, I think that existing ADUs should be grandfathered as they are more likely to be used for affordable housing. New construction of detached ADUs is less likely to become affordable housing and more likely to become short term rentals. This would change the character of the neighborhood and might reduce the property values of adjacent properties. More research Is needed to determine if this has happened in other cities before these are allowed.Many older neighborhoods have homes set further back on the property. I think over time these older homes will be torn down and rebuilt closer to the front of the property to accommodate construction of an ADU in the back. Although some of these ADUs might become affordable housing and some will house family members, many will become short term rentals.Changing the setback and additional ADUs will change the existing character of the neighborhood.Increased density can be achieved through other means, such as through mixed used.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I would like to see lower minimum lot sizes across the residential zones to increase density & affordability; I would also like to see the number of family units allowed in each zone increased to allow more density & affordability. I would specifically like to see the RN-1 lot size NOT increased to 10,000 ft. I'm in favor of the mixed-use proposals.
Staff Reply:

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