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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Comments On Recode Knoxville

Having looked over the Recode book available at the library, here are my comments, in order of the numbers at the bottom of the page.4.4 EN zone - requires more than one finished floor, this ignores retirees who want to be in an estate type neighborhood and seek one level living. I understand specifications of more than 4 wall sections but feel 6 is a sufficient minimum if the variation is visible from the street.5.26 SW3 - Do not remove the section about "existing buildings will be encouraged for reuse". This is consistent with the march 2003 Vision Plan "feeling like a Main street and serving folks on both sides of the river, providing a place to buy a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, meet friends for coffee..." "small markets and shops..." (page 30). I like the eclectic nature of the businesses on Sevier Ave and fear that new construction would have rents so high they would only house chain establishments. 5.27 SW2 - Your draft shows a minimum of 0 and maximum of 10 for the front setback. There is a section of SW2 on Scottish Pike east of the railroad that fronts onto a SW1 zone. A development with these setbacks would harm the "small town neighborhood atmosphere" found in SW1. I am requesting that the front build-to zone be changed to a minimum of 15' and a maximum of 20' in this area. The minimum build-to frontage is much higher than the other zones and should be reduced to 50 or 60%.8.3 NC district. I am glad you retained this as well as the historic overlay. 9.6 and 9.7 - I am very concerned about restrictions on vinyl siding to 15% for townhouse and apartment developments. Furthermore the materials on the front must wrap around to the sides. We need affordable housing for people to buy or rent without being restricted to subsidized housing. New construction is a way to provide energy efficient unsubsidized housing but it needs to use affordable materials. The effect of these restrictions is that entry level multi housing will be constructed outside the city limits, furthering traffic congestion. I have heard people say that supply and demand will create affordability. My mailbox is filled every week with letters and postcards from flippers wanting to turn affordable housing into unaffordable housing. If aesthetics are a concern along the corridors, that can be addressed in the corridor plans. 10.4 ADUs - I am generally in favor of ADUs but there are valid concerns about ADUs in the RN1 district. I am OK with ADUs in the EN district as these are owners most likely to have a housekeeper, caregiver or au-pair. I am fine with ADUs in the RN2, RN3, etc districts but they need to be counted as an additional unit and parking issues need to be considered, will there be enough street parking, etc. 12.4 to 12.6 - I like trees in parking areas and would prefer 1 tree to 20 spaces as opposed to 1 tree per 30 for the interior rows. The requirement of an island being exactly the size of a space is too restrictive, better to specify a minimum s.f. per tree in an island. Peremeter trees are good, I am concerned about shrubs on the peremiter making a parking area feel less safe. Groundcover in the islands is likely to look ratty and should not be required. Installation sizes of 4' evergreens and 1.2" caliper will give the trees a better chance of survival.12.9 - I like very much that you are encouraging existing trees to be saved.- 20% is a big change in grade. That needs to be redefined. Thank you for your consideration
Staff Reply:

Recode: Draft 2 Comments

Bring back the Orange by better utilizing the newly created RN-3 & RN-4 (as well as RN-5 where appropriate) districts that more appropriately represent the existing development patterns of the neighborhoods where it was removed. Projected population growth will necessitate "Orange" neighborhoods along corridors & with access to transit.This is inline with ReCode Section 1.2 Purpose statement - to promote economic development that balances the needs of current & future economy; utilize existing infrastructure & resources. Down-zoning current R-2 to proposed RN-2 reduces options for medium density redevelopment and doesn't reflect the existing development patterns. This reduction also further promotes financially irresponsible development patterns, leading to more sprawl, traffic, and infrastructure expenses without increasing the tax base to support it. This reduction goes against the vast amount of experts that have been brought into our community as speaker. (i.e. Joe Minicozzi, Chuck Marohn, Jana Lynott, Jeff Randoph, and more). Dwelling Design Standards: Single & Two-FamilyAs written, we're moving in the right direction. Standards MUST be objective & easy to understand and navigate. There are still some subjective wording within the standards that should be clarified. A Design Standard "Checklist" would be helpful. The Downtown Design Review Board could be used as a model to be duplicated for areas with Historical significance comprised of unbiased professionals.ParkingToo restrictive for Duplex (as written requires 2 spaces/du = 4 spaces). Requirement should consider number of bedrooms I.e. Duplex w/ a 2 bedroom unit + 1 efficiency unit. How does the code interpret a 40' single-width driveway.. 3 spaces? Need more clarification for what will actually be required to meet residential parking space requirements.ADUsAs written, Lot area minimum of 5000 sq.ft. is excellent & best practice. As written, Allowing attached or detached is excellent & best practice. Side setback of 8' and rear setback of 10' are too restrictive for small lots. In areas where ADUs are most needed (in or near transit-oriented development) residential lots often range from 50 x 100-150 feet. A 10' setback requirement makes detached ADU placement extremely challenging on small lots. In walkable urban neighborhoods, setback requirements should be kept to a minimum to enable detached ADU development: 5 feet is a reasonable setback requirement for such lots. As written, ADU setbacks are more restrictive than the setback for other comparable accessory structures, such as garages. Setback regulations for detached accessory structures may also consider tiered standards based on the detached structure's height, to protect light and air for adjacent lots. Basic design standards such as no low windows or doors are allowed within the sides of the structures that are within 5 feet of the property line. This nuanced, tiered setback approach protects neighboring properties' light, air, and privacy while affording smaller lots the same development entitlements as larger lots. It is the same development standard that applies to garages and other accessory structures.Limits to Max gross floor area.Capping ADU size is useful at responding to market needs for smaller dwellings. A reasonable cap should be smaller than the primary structure. However, adequate cap size would allow for two people to comfortably live. We need to ensure that ADUs can be at least up to 600 sq. ft. Many cities have a floor area ratio between the main house and the ADU that restricts the ADU to 300â€" 400 sq. ft. That does not work for someone who is fifty-five and has lived in a single-family home for decades. 300-400 sq.ft. doesn't work for a couple who is going to have a kid and going to live a normal life with friends and family that come and visit. A home that is 600 sq. ft. can function as a real home by the standards of what people want & expect from a home. The cap SHOULD NOT be tied to the existing floor area ratio of the primary structure.For example, a standard 800 sq.ft. post-war cottage (abundant in our urban neighborhoods) shouldn't be restricted to a 320 sq.ft. ADU. With current building codes not allowing sleeping lofts, it's quite difficult to adequately provide all that is necessary for a dwelling within such a small space. The cap SHOULD BE tied to Lot Size (as written) not to exceed the primary dwelling. A 600 sq.ft. ADU should be allowed on a 5000 sq.ft. lot even with an 800 sq.ft. primary structure. The 40% cap of primary dwelling should be removed from the code.Omit or clarify the subjective statement #9. The ADU must be designed so that the appearance of the primary structure remains that of a house.As written, no additional parking requirement is excellent & best practice.
Staff Reply:

Climate Knoxville Recode Knoxville Comments

Climate Knoxville submits comments and background information on the current draft of Recode Knoxville.Louise GorenfloClimate Knoxville
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:

Park City Preservation Alliance

The Park City Preservation Alliance (PCPA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the places, stories, history, and culture of the people of, in, and near Historic Park City, Tennessee.The PCPA Board of Directors have agreed on the following recommendations for ReCode:1. OS-1 should be retained as an option to conserve historic, archaeological, and cultural values of open space, rather than merged into the new OS that does not reflect these important land uses.2. The Historic Zoning Commission should be granted authority to allow variances for rehabilitation and habitation of documented historic accessory structures that may be non-conforming under new zoning ordinances.3. The Historic Zoning Commission should be granted authority to allow variances to permit re-building of the foundations of lost, documented historic accessory structures to allow future, code compliant construction of habitable accessory dwelling units.Sincerely,Park City Preservation Alliance Board of DirectorsPresident, Greta SchmoyerVice President, James WaldrupTreasurer, Ed StricklandSecretary, Tanner Jessel
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments - Broadway Corridor Task Force

Good EveningThanks again for meeting with Kyle and me a few weeks ago to discuss ReCode and its affect on the Broadway Corridor. As you may have seen, we have been submitting map-related comments over the past few weeks. However as we discussed in our meeting, we compiled a document with all of our general code and map-related comments, and attached that document to this email.If possible, would you mind having someone on your team go through the attached document to make sure each of the comments (specifically, the map related comments) were submitted and/or taken care of? We spent a good amount of time getting all of these comments together and they developed over time so some of our previous comments may need to be updated, and we would hate for some of the comments to be lost (it became hard keeping track of what was submitted, and what was not).Thanks again for all of your hard work in coordinating this effort, and we apologize that we are submitting these comments right up against the deadline! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me.Sincerely,Jimmy RyanKyle Anne LangBroadway Corridor Task Force
Staff Reply:

Comments On Public Draft Version 2.0

We have evaluated the current draft and respectfully submit the following comments regarding office development in the City of Knoxville:The document would be easier to navigate if all the office districts were collocated; preferably in the commercial district.Clinics and medical office buildings should be a permitted land use within the OP district.Thanks for the opportunity to comment,
Staff Reply:

Please find the attached position letter from AIA East Tennessee. We would appreciate your consideration on these issues.John Sanders, FAIARecode Knoxville Advisory Committee Representative for AIA ETN
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:

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:

Draft 2 Ordinance Comments

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following is a list of comments submitted by a Neighborhood Focus Group composed of neighborhood leaders from many different areas within the City:1. The existing draft permits Day Care Homes in all residential districts. Since no specific standards are provided regarding this use, it appears that regulatory control of these businesses is by the State of Tennessee. We would like to see the draft include local standards for Day Care Homes in the ordinance and not let the State dictate the intensity of this use. Furthermore, we would not permit day care homes that allow more than 6 children not related to the owners. (Article 2.3)2. Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.3. Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section from “consider” to accurately reflect the public’s intent to align these changes to the land use plans.4. For non-residential reuse properties, off-street parking is not required. They are not required to have on-premise parking. We recommend that MPC work with the Codes Department to address this issue, especially in older neighborhoods where there is no driveway or garages and residents are dependent on street parking for their vehicles.5. Planned Developments (Section 15.7): For neighborhoods which includes a multi-family development within its boundaries, traffic from these developments can create issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.6. Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): We were apprehensive of allowing ADUs as a right in all residential neighborhoods. We unanimously agreed that allowing a detached ADU as a “special use” as opposed to a use by right would alleviate the concerns of the group and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. We support this change to the zoning ordinance. Furthermore, we feel like allowing ADUs on lot sizes of 5000 square feet is too small, and recommend the lot size be increased to a minimum of 7000 square feet.The following is a list of participants: Rob Glass - Harrell Hills (Northeast Knoxville), Jennifer Reynolds - Timbercrest (West Knoxville), Molly Conoway - Oakwood Lincoln Park (North Central Knoxville), Amy Midis - Forest Heights Neighborhood (West Knoxville), Anna Compton - Cumberland Estates (Northwest Knoxville)Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Forest Heights Neighborhood Comments: Draft 2

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following are recommendations submitted from a Focus Group from Forest Heights Neighborhood. Thank you for your commitment to this project: Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): Like many residents across Knoxville, the FHNA Focus Group was divided on the issue of whether ADUs should be allowed as a use by right in all residential districts. A majority of the group does not feel there will be many detached ADUs constructed in our neighborhood, and those homeowners who choose to add them will be situations where the homeowner would use the ADU for a dependent family member. The members of the focus group who oppose the ADU would be accepting of allowing the detached ADU being a “special use” as opposed to a use by right. Allowing these as a special use would alleviate the fears of our neighbors and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. Therefore, we ask MPC to consider changing the ordinance allowing only detached ADUs as a special use in all residential districts.Flagpoles (Section 10.3K): The current draft allows three illuminated flagpoles at a height of 35”. We propose limiting the number of flagpoles to 1 per residence at a maximum height of 18”.Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. Our current R1-E zoning ordinance allows by right, home offices but not home occupations. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.Bed and Breakfast (Section 9.3B): The ordinance allows one parking space for each rented guest bedroom. It does not allow for off-street parking in front of the building. We appreciate these conditions, however, if a homeowner has 5 bedrooms available to rent, but only 3 parking spaces, the business will be restricted to renting only 3 bedrooms. How can codes enforce that only three bedrooms are being rented? Can the code’s department enforce a restriction on off-street parking being used by the operator’s guests? The Codes department has had little involvement in this area since there is only one bed and breakfast currently operating within the City. We request that the Codes department research further how to enforce restrictions on the number of rooms allowed to rent.Animals for Control of Invasive Species (Section 9.4A): We inquired over 5 years ago about the use of goats to control a steep section of our neighborhood where Kudzu has taken over and is impossible to control. This was not possible at the time, and we hope by adding this section into the zoning ordinance, it will give our neighbors a feasible option to control the kudzu on their property.Commercial properties along Kingston Pike in Bearden have new standards promoting parking in the back of the building. Our group supports the concept of parking being behind the buildings. It promotes slower traffic and more walkability in Bearden. In addition, in most cases, it is more attractive looking at a building than an empty parking lot!Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section to accurately reflect the public’s decision to align these changes to the land use plans.Planned Developments (Section 15.7): Our neighborhood includes a multi-family development within its boundaries. Traffic from this development has created issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. This development is aging and will need to be redeveloped within the next twenty years. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.Submitted by: Leslie Badaines, Jarrod Chapman, Amy Hathaway, Joe Hickman, Jim Pryor, Amy Midis, John Ulmer, and Martie Ulmer
Staff Reply:

Proposed Zoning Changes: Connectivity With Environmental Compliance, Opportunities For Blighted Properties, Green Spaces, Ridge Tops, And Established Neighborhoods

By and large I am in support of the efforts to implement form-based code in the City. It seems the design standards as they read for the more dense areas of our city are geared towards encouraging the development of great urban spaces. It is visionary, and by and large I am supportive. I do hear the criticism regarding Affordable Housing, Accessory Dwellings, Environmental Overlay, and the Public Input Process. I hope the MPC takes these concerns to heart and considers how the changes will impact specific neighborhoods in each of these cases. Some questions:Can Ridgetop Protection get codified in this 'round? This is just guidance now, right? Can the new code also include provision for commercial areas on hillsides that are unsuitable for development? Can hillside preservation be incentivised? How lot size will impact development on steep slopes is still unclear to me. Along similar lines, where are the incentives for LID (Low Impact Design) and how might the code be coordinated with stormwater regulations/incentives for LID?Is there adequate provision for accommodating innovative land use of blighted properties? (Side lots, abandoned lots, community gardens, pocket parks, etc)Can you quantify in GIS the land area within the new classifications that can potentially be used for multi-family housing or affordable housing? How does this compare with the existing code? I think Mixed Use would incorporate some of the 'orange' that appears to be eliminated in the draft, but I am unsure since this may relate more to developer incentives (still relatively 'black box'). What exactly happens to Sector and Community Plans? And related, the public input process? I understand the MPC's interest in streamlining/efficiency, etc...it just seems once something leaves MPC with blessings it doesn't get much revisit from Council or Commission. I am often discouraged by how routine the Sector Plans are amended to accommodate development. Can you diagram the proposed public input process for the "new" code?Thank you again.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Requirements

Several recommendations were made regarding landscaping requirements in response to the first draft, but unfortunately they weren't incorporated into the second draft. Adequate landscaping provides numerous environmental, economic, health (physical and mental), aesthetic and social benefits to a community.We would like to see the following provisions included in the new ordinance:Interior Landscaping of Parking LotsThe 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.Landscape Bond:In regard to compliance with Landscape Ordinance requirements, based on discussion with those professionally qualified to understand both the value of proper landscaping for any development and the challenge of achieving compliance, the two-step LANDSCAPE BOND makes a lot of sense. The city of Chattanooga successfully employs this process. 1. PERFORMANCE BOND: This allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months and to assure reasonable growth conditions. 2. MAINTENANCE BOND: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional, such as a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, I don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In my experience, this also requires follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen. Mitigation Fund or Tree BankRecode should include some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, perhaps along the lines of how TDEC operates its stream and wetlands mitigation program. In the case of tree protection, the ordinance could specify that for each tree destroyed over a particular dbh, X number of trees of 2" caliper have to be planted; or, a value of the destroyed trees could be established and the developer pay the equivalent value into a mitigation bank, with the city using the funds for planting or landscaping projects.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Lack Of Affordable And Accessible Housing

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

Recode Knoxville

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress of eviction. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040. The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

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:

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:

Institutional Bias?

Dear MPC Members:Few are aware that they inadvertently employ institutional bias, so when I look at the proposed changes, I am afraid that unwitting, unintended biases against those who desperately need decent, affordable housing will prevail for too long a period of time. Since it has been a near-50-year zoning period prior to this recoding effort, likely what happens now will be adversely affecting, and clearly, evidently, perhaps cruelly marginalizing those most in need of decent housing opportunities. A family with two minimum-wage-earning adults able to actually work 40 hours per week, has an annual income about $36,440 less than the median family income. Financial advisors say to spend only 25-30% of your income for housing monthly. That means $628-$754 per month for the most basic housing available. That leaves just about $400 per week (at 4.3 weeks per month) for food, transportation, minimal medical expenses, possible day care, school supplies, and clothing. Forget about entertainment, books to read, trips to the Great smoky Mountains: survival is all that is possible and there are very few, if any decent abodes for a small family that are just $628-$754 per month. The map I just saw of where and how much "ORANGE" appears on your map is shocking and just plain wrong. Please, please, please!: Let us NOT keep the NEXT generation trapped in the loop of poverty and feeling that one must always live at the base of the housing pyramid. Please, please, please, PUT BACK THE ORANGE and do not be guilty of keeping generations marginalized by unintended bias. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

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

Downtown Island Airport

Yesterday I became aware that City of Knoxville is doing a project called "Knoxville Recode." If I understand, this is a project to update the zoning ordinances for the city. If this is true, I would like to talk with you or whomever would be the proper person to ensure Downtown Island Airport has an "Air Overlay Zone" identified in the update. Has Downtown Island Airport already been considered in the project? If not, the Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to have proper planning and zoning around their facility. This project seems to be the right time to add an Air Overlay Zone in the ordinance.
Staff Reply:

Draft 2 Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the second draft of Recode Knoxville. Many of the regulations in the proposed code succeed in streamlining the permitting process and providing design flexibility. The proposed code should also: protect and promote residential character; establish a transparent, interactive development review process; and ensure that our overall community is attractive.Ensure that existing and proposed residential development promotes a sense of community.1. Home Occupation - in addition to the proposed regulations there should be a size limit (25% of habitable floor area) and a limit on public visits (by appointment only which can be achieved by not advertising the address). There is no restriction on the number of public visits. No stipulation as to adverse impacts (noise, light, smell, vibration)2. Day Care Homes - the standards in the existing code should be maintained. As written there is no limit on # of children and no requirement to maintain residential appearance or character. 3. Kennels - the typical limit of five dogs/cats prevents residential animal hoarding. As proposed, there is no limit.4. Accessory Dwelling Units - as written, this standard will entice investors to bid on properties, construct a second dwelling unit, then rent both units out thereby driving up the market price of residential property and degrading the stability and social fabric of neighborhood community. This escalating value of real estate lessens the availability of affordable/workforce houses. By requiring the homeowner to live on the property, the home owner has a revenue stream (helpful for moderate or low-income families) or lodging for family or caretakers, close control of the property, an on-site contact for neighbors should complaints arise, and disincentivizes rapid increase of market rates (investors would not want to live on the property).5. Multi-family - provide simple design standards to avoid a shoe box appearance; such as façade modulation, variation in texture or color, and porches/balconies/decks.6. Consistency - EN has a minimum lot size of 22,000 sq. ft. per Table 4-1. EN with a HP overlay has a minimum lot size of 7,200 sq. ft. (6 du per acre) Table 8-1. "Table 8-1: Density and Land Disturbance Limitation establishes the maximum residential density ." Why would HP allow greater density?7. Garage Sales - how frequently can an owner have a garage sale until it becomes a business?Establish a transparent, interactive development review process.1. Expand the flow charts to include appeals.2. Require posted signs to be clearly visible by two-way traffic on each right-of-way contiguous to the property.3. The required 12 days for sign posting should not include holidays as people are more likely to be away.4. Provide notice to neighborhood associations.5. Special Use Conditions should also be able to address use impacts such as hours of operation, noise, etc.6. Provide mailed notice of applications for Administrative Decisions to contiguous property owners and post a yard sign.7. For Special Use approval note that this does not set a precedence.8. For Variance Approval Standards add: The Applicant did not create the situation; and, Other options involving a lesser variance has been considered.9. Extending nonconforming walls should require a variance processEnsure that our overall community is attractive.1. Cell Towers should not be a permitted use in the Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District. This district is "intended to provide for an environment of integrated residential development and small-scale commercial and service uses, predominantly serving nearby residential neighborhoods." Town Hall East was able to successfully deter a proposed cell tower in the Burlington commercial center due to notice of public hearing process.2. Increase the likelihood that required landscaping will survive either through a two-year landscape maintenance bond or irrigation.
Staff Reply:

Re-code Comment

As a Knoxville resident living in a transitional area that is undergoing gentrification, I am very concerned about the future of racial and economic diversity in our neighborhoods. It is absolutely imperative that any zoning changes resulting from the recode process accommodate the need for increased housing density that would be necessary to preserve socioeconomic diversity.
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:

Affordable Housing

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

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