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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Accessory Dwelling Units

I would encourage you all to share more information on the recode site about the future issues we are facing. With independent studies about likely population growth of our City (not the county) if we assume the status quo. Make sure a majority of the people agree there is a problem before you ask us to approve your solution. Many of the proposed solutions will promote increased density that is is apparent but we should not assume that is a goal of the residents of this city.My immediate issue is with ADU. If allowed they should not be allowed without the owner living on the property. If that is not enforceable then they should not be allowed.
Staff Reply:

Excessive Bureaucracy

I wish to address the vague terms used throughout the draft and the authority of MPC to decide on a case by case basis how these restriction apply. Modern technology can measure noise, light, and other environmental conditions with precision. Throughout the draft, noise, glare, vibration, and other environmental conditions are restricted based on "what is detectable by normal senses outside the lot or unit." Knoxville should follow most modern cities by measuring noise limits using decibels and light limits measured by lumens or foot-candles. Another issue is the micromanagement of building design. Throughout the draft, commercial and residential building are restricted by: building materials permitted, location of primary entrance, minimum windows required, garage location, and much more. Residents located in a Historic Overlay are hampered by the bureaucracy of a government board instead of a community association. Great historic cities such as Charleston, SC and Savanna, GA are sustained by community associations using deed restrictions, not government bureaucracy. Primary entrances for residents in mixed use zones must face the primary street while parking must be located in the rear of the building. Property owners should have the option of locating entrances to satisfy tenants desires. Carrying groceries from a back parking lot to a front entrance can be a struggle for residents, especially during severe weather. A minimum amount of transparency (windows) is required on front facade of buildings. This conflicts with energy conservations standards which recommends window size be based on building orientation to the sun. Some businesses may desire an interior view much different from the outside.In closing, our codes need updating, but more time for public vetting would ensure the system will work. Spending a year to draft over 200 pages behind closed doors and expecting the public to review it in a few weeks is unreasonable.
Staff Reply:

Increasing Housing Density

I want to see far more density in this zoning Recode. We need far more housing, especially within the 4 mile radius of downtown. Increasing building heights, and adding ADU's in existing neighborhoods is vital in order to achieve this. Moving to single family only perpetuates segregation within our city. Thank for your efforts, but we.need. more. Housing options!
Staff Reply:

4th And Gill Zoning

I really believe we should keep the 4th and Gill neighborhood zones for single family and duplexes. Ours is a unique neighborhood that would be lost if it is flooded with apartments and condos.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I heard that the developers will fight back about design standards. Please hold strong because the city needs to be more beautiful to match the surrounding hills and valleys. I encourage trees and landscaping at all new projects, less parking and parking in the BACK of buildings, buffers between buildings and between roads and buildings or parking, open spaces in all zones, and required landscaping.I believe affordable housing is important so I encourage duplexes in residential zones. ADUs should be allowed with proper setbacks and design standards. Vinyl should be allowed because it is a cheaper material. I support re-use of existing buildings including allowing offices in residential homes and other mixed-uses. I'm very glad to see the hillside/ridgetop included in this draft and want it kept and perhaps strengthened. I want sidewalks required in new developments. I want alternative transportation encouraged because I cannot currently walk easily to any store, especially on Chapman Highway. I want commercial zoning on the main arteries in Knoxville to have design standards that will increase the aesthetics of the city. We have way too many cheap looking strip malls and individual stores with large parking lots that are seldom used.I am concerned about the variance and approval process. It looks like the Zoning Administrator has a lot of power to make final decisions. I want community and neighborhood input to be seriously considered when changes are needed to this new zoning. I heard that massage services were forced out of my neighborhood years ago and I think that type of service should be allowed. For my Lake Forest neighborhood, I don't understand why the minimum lot size is suggested to be increased to 10,000. I like our small lots. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Clarifications For Zoning Ordinance

I have some general feedback about Draft 2 that I want to share. 1.) I would like to see some basic community planner terminology added to the definitions list to make the document more readable for average citizens. Terms like corridor, node, overlay, and mixed-use development are not normal conversational terms and using them without defining them makes the document less accessible to the public.2.) I am also curious why CU and SW are their own special zones? This sets a precedent where each mixed-use development or corridor development would get a unique zone. I know one of the goals is to simplify the current ordinance and so I do not understand why these properties could not be zoned as SD (Special District) or something more generic like that. 3.) I hope the updated ordinance will make it easier for people to walk or use public transportation. I would love to see a change made to our current policies so that new bus stops are built with safety and dignity in mind. There are several bus stops in my neighborhood where people waiting to catch the bus must stand in a ditch. I would love to see new development built with public transportation and pedestrian infrastructure in mind. A covered waiting area that is handicap-accessible would make a big difference in the perception/attitudes around our public transportation system. 4.) I think the addition of the Institutional zone and the Hillside Protection overlay are two great additions to the current ordinance. They make the map easier to use and understand. Thank you for all of your hard work! I am excited to see the final product!
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville 2nd Draft

I have reviewed the 2nd draft of recode Knoxville and think that there is a need to bring a couple of technical issues to the forefront. These are specific technical issues that I have identified and may cause issues during the regulatory phase for both those who have to review the policy and those implementing the policy on their projects. I understand that according to the “Policy Issues” document that it is proposed not to change or increase any more landscaping requirements, but these items listed below should be simple technical items that need addressed to make the code work.The following are items for amendment in Article 12. Landscape Public Draft 2.0 that should be considered.12.3.A.3 The use of species native or naturalized is required. Drought tolerant species are encouraged. I would suggest that this reads “The use of native and drought tolerant species are encouraged.” Invasive species are addressed in the following line and the recommended species list has trees that are not native but are also considered non-invasive. By keeping the line as is, we eliminate many of the plants on the recommended species list and move towards more difficult regulatory policy. “Naturalized” species in the green industry and in ecology tends to have more of an “invasive” meaning (such as the Bradford pear) and should be eliminated. This should place emphasis on native but still allowing those non-invasive exotics to be used in tough environmental conditions.12.3.B.2 No plantings may be installed to impede waterflow. This doesn’t make sense and I don’t know where to begin. The main reason to have landscaping is for water quality and quantity control. I read this and it seems to be counterintuitive to the purpose of landscaping code. If a stormwater concern, maybe best to be addressed in a stormwater regulation and probably already is. My recommendation would be to remove.12.4.A Need to delete the word “diameter.” This section is strictly discussing caliper which is a measurement of diameter and those in the landscape industry should understand. The last part of the section “ANSI accredited Horticultural Standards” should read “American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1)”12.9.C.1 Within the drip line of any protected tree, there may be no cut or fill over a four inch depth unless a qualified arborist or forester has evaluated and approved the disturbance. This sentence disqualifies the entire section of “Preservation”. If 4 inches is graded or filled the tree dies. You may be able to disturb about 20% depending on the species, health, etc. but allowing up to 4 inches of either grade or fill is completely off from any literature or peer-reviewed research. First, we need to define the “Tree Protection Zone” of a tree (see next comment). The sentence should read “Within the tree protection zone of a tree, there may be no cut or fill material unless a Certified Arborist has evaluated and approved the disturbance will not impact the health of the tree. The term “forester” needs to be removed as it is a very general term without any professional credentials or experience to back up an understanding of tree preservation.12.9.C.2….and no closer than 6 feet from the trunk or one-half of the drip line, whichever is greater. This again is not accurate and not enough to preserve a tree. This is very vague and cannot work across all trees of different sizes and species. I good analogy would be requiring all people to run an 8 minute mile in order to keep their driver license. It just does not make sense. I would delete this phrase and define the “Tree Protection Zone” in a separate section prior to 12.9.C.1.12.9.C (section needs added) Tree Preservation includes the preservation of the trees root system within the Tree Protection Zone. (this can be defined in definitions or as follow). The Tree Protection Zone is determined by measuring 1 foot in radius away from the trunk of the tree for every inch in diameter at 4.5 feet in height. No more than 10% of the Tree Protection Zone may be disturbed with fill or grading work. Any impervious area within the existing Tree Protection Zone does not need to be included in preservation measures.Also, I met with the Tree Board and am working on pulling together a list of comments and will forward them as soon as they are complete. Most are not technical issues, but some may overlap the above and others are in addition. Please let me know if there are any questions.Kasey KrouseUrban ForesterCity of Knoxville, TN
Staff Reply:

Recode General Comments Or Concerns

I have concern in the code where if an existing building decides to remodel over 50% then the parking change goes into effect and may not be financially feasible for the building or shopping area and thus the tenant would go elsewhere leaving some of the anchor tenant type buildings left in disrepair or not remodeled for changing trends or marketplace. 16-1 : Also concern on the 6 months abandonment clause causing a building to loose non-conforming status and in most cases it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, to get a tenant in 6 months and if buildings built with kitchens and restaurant layout for instance, it might actually cause more to stay vacant. If our building on 4th ave. went vacant 6 months, being made of concrete and some front parking, it would need torn down and rebuilt - if I am reading it correctly. Some areas with pocketed office buildings, not really in nodes - I feel the zoning doesn't apply where buildings need to push forward and park in rear (such as Montbrook area behind downtown west). Building facade material restrictions in C-Gs - I feel needs some tweaking as far as percentages on the building - what if styles change?
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I have a concern which was identified in the first draft of the RECODE Knoxville that could impact West Hills. The concern is regarding the changing of the zone for the area on Middlebrook where Tennova was to build. The recode Knoxville seems to be a backhanded way to change allowed land usages without input from impacted neighborhoods. Several other concerns with the recode draft include:- Less restrictive Accessary dwelling unit (ADU) requirement in residential neighborhoods.- Zoning changes without specific notice of changes.- Expanded allowable land uses in certain zones.- Increased administrative challenges for impacted citizens and neighborhoods to challenge proposed changes to allowed land use.- A rush to obtain city council approval of the recode to meet an arbitrary project schedule at the sacrifice of resolution of identified issues.I am opposed to the changing of the Zoning of the hospital property from “Office" to "Office Park” for the reasons identified above.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville "housing"

I feel that a variety of types of housing is necessary to accommodate people, but consideration should be taken in where they are placed. For example, I would not want a duplex or apartment building next to my house.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I do not understand the need for some of these drastic changes and especially the need to push it though at full speed. I fear many do not yet know about it or do not understand it. I have lived in Sequoyah Hills for 50 years and am a longtime active member of the Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Association. Over the years we have fought off many threats to the neighborhood at great expense of time and money. These new codes will be very destructive to R1 neighborhoods. I can't believe anyone thinks it would be good to be like Green Hills in Nashville with tear downs rampant and new little subdivisions on every lot. The traffic there is unbearable. Knoxville is very affordable comparatively and we are surrounded by counties with low populations. Is this all about money?? My husband and I fully support the letter sent to you from KPSHA. Specifically,I don't support ADUs and especially if the principal residence is not owner occupied and no provision for off street parking( 1 space, per BR in ADU). Duplexes should not be allowed in R1 neighborhoods. I have been told the minimum lot size would be changed to 5000 sq ft. Surely, that can't be true. I do not feel you have the interests of neighborhoods and their citizens at heart. Please reconsider some of these things and stop the rush to change.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I commented earlier on my objections in the new codes proposal. At that time, I was not aware of the proposal to reduce the minimum lot size to 5000 square ft. It was well hidden even when I was looking for it after it was called to my attention. This would open the door to rampant tear downs and small new subdivisions in Sequoyah Hills and some other neighborhoods. You would make this more financially attractive thus destroying the beauty and consistency of neighborhoods and take away our ability to oppose it. Part of the recoding seems to be against maintaining the integrity of existing neighborhoods. I am told it would make it easier for BZA and MPC reducing variances, etc. One size cannot fit all and you are paid to do these jobs by we, the taxpayers. Please reconsider this. I failed also to object to unlimited heights on the Scenic Hwy, Kingston Pike. I believe the current standard is adequate and we do not want a tunnel down the pike like Cumberland Ave. What you done there is a tragic mistake not only visually, but making negotiating traffic nearly impossible. I hate to think of ambulances trying to get in after struggling recently to get to an appointment at Ft. Sanders! Thanks for extending the comment period.
Staff Reply:

Section 10.3 & 10.4 - Accessory Structures And Uses

I believe that there should be more consistency between section 10.3 (F) CARPORTS and section 10.3 (N) GARAGE, DETACHED. First, does section 10.3 (F) apply to detached carports only, or attached and detached carports? Clarification there would be beneficial.Second, why must a carport be set back from side lot lines 10 feet whereas a detached garage requires no setback from side lot lines? I would think application of setbacks for these structures would be consistent with each other. It may be that each could be addressed in a consistent manner with regard to Table 10-1, Permitted Encroachments as unenclosed porches (similar to a carport) and sheds (similar to a detached garage).Thanks
Staff Reply:

Recode's Impact On South Waterfront Form-based Code

I am writing you with dismay about how the current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville handles the long studied, community-based, community-requested South Waterfront Form-based Code. I participated in the public discussions and feedback as part of the Round 1 of Recode Knoxville. At that time I was told explicitly in a public meeting in regards to a question about the current, existing form-based codes used in Knoxville that there wouldn't be major changes to current form-based codes used in Knoxville, only clean-up on the edges where ideas hadn't solidly been hammered out in the code.The current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville does not appear to hold to the statement made at that meeting. I'm concerned to see major changes being proposed, including some that go against the very intent of what the SW code was set-up to accomplish.Form-based code districts should be dealt with individually if any changes are made. That's the very nature of form-based districts. They're customized, specialized and unique. The form-based code for each district is meant to "fit like a glove" to address the particular development opportunities for that district, and has to be handled accordingly at every step. That clearly includes revisions. A board, sweeping update to the entire Code, such as Recode Knoxville, is not the appropriate place to dig into the guts, the thrust of the South Waterfront Form-based Code and muck around.The South Waterfront Form-based Vision Plan and Code included months of work and community involved meetings. The community was engaged in the process and had embraced the adoption of the code at it's completion. The public was endorsing an urban, pedestrian-friendly connected community that provided public access to the river. Below are a few examples of how the 2nd Round of Recode Knoxville glosses over these facts and preverts the intention of the South Waterfront Form-based Code:The prohibited-use section has been deleted. We need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial. This is critical to a successfully grown community where people want to live and engage.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities go against the intent of the South Waterfront Form-based Code's goals of an urban, pedestrian friendly, community with a sense of place. Gated communities negatively impact connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the South Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The off-street parking section has been deleted and replaced with a reference to the general parking section in the Recode document. Unless that section includes a prohibition on parking lots in the front, which I doubt, this prohibition needs to remain in the code. Front parking lots are not part of an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code deletes the different parking max/mins for each of the seven South Waterfront districts. We need those in the South Waterfront code because parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use in a form-based code.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are not what the South Waterfront code intended to build an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Superblocks have a negative impact on connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer has been deleted. This was strongly supported by the community and well-vetted before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted. If we are treating the South Waterfront streetscapes like all other streetscapes in Knoxville, then the South Waterfront will lose it's opportunity to be a unique district with it's own pull and character to help strengthen and diversify Knoxville. This section need to remain.
Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I am very excited about, and completely support, this effort. Communication of over-arching goals needs to be stronger: Maybe you need a preface or rationale that isn't there. Rationale for ReCODE KnoxvileThe population in Knoxville and Knox County is projected to grow by 30% in the next 20 years: does this mean 30% more sprawl? 30% more roads? Knoxville needs to have new ways of accommodating growth, with more diverse residential and housing options. Current zoning codes are outdated! Right now in a neighborhood center such as Fountain City or Bearden, a four story mixed use building with a ground floor commercial use, such as a restaurant or hair salon, and upper level condos is against the current zoning codes. The big change in ReCODE Knoxville is to allow "mixed use" buildings (with commercial tenants and residential units) on specific "nodes" or "corridors" in existing Knoxville neighborhoods.ReCODE Knoxville also allows for a much greater diversity of residential and housing options: mixed use commercial and residential zones in exisiting neighborhood centers, smaller minimum lot sizes in some areas, accessory units (granny flat, loft rental) in some areas, and more flexibility in set-back and encroachment requirements for some areas. Explain why form based codes are a good idea? COMMENTS ON THE PUBLIC DRAFTPage 1-1 Purpose:ADD: "Provide for a greater diversity of residential / housing options"Page 5-1 C-N: Neighborhood Commercial Zoning DistrictCould you call this C-N: NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL MIXED USE ZONING DISTRICT? (or even MU-N: Mixed Use Neighborhood Zoning District). "Commercial" is a single-use concept, with subset definitions, from the 1950's zoning approach. Mixed use is the BIG MESSAGE, C-G: General Commercial Zoning DistrictCould you call this C-G: GENERAL COMMERCIAL MIXED USE ZONING DISTRICT? (or even MU-G: Mixed Use General Zoning District) "Commercial" is a single-use concept, with subset definitions, from the 1950's zoning approach. Mixed use is the BIG MESSAGE, Page 5-13 MaterialsThis is highly problematic. I think other architects will weigh in on this, The majority of new structures are based on panel systems, with insulated aluminun panels, terracotta, innovative cement-based materials, innovative synthetic materials. Are these "metal sidings? exposed aggregate / concrete / Plastic .Review process:I have been a member of the Downtown Review Board and feel that the workshops and approval process has resulted in a flexible approach to interpreting basic standards and in improving the quality of permanent new structures in our downtown.I support MPC Staff Review for ReCODE Knoxville . However, I believe that the staff should be empowered to refer some decisions to a "Mixed Use Review Board". Further, ALL projects that exceed $4,000,000 or 4 stories for neighborhoods or commercial centers (C-N / MU-N or C-G / MU-G) should be mandated to present to a "Knoxville Mixed Use Review Board"---This is NOT the Downtown Review Board, but similar. Based on my experience on the Downtown Review Board, this will result in better projects. Any perceived "delay" because of the time needed for these reviews should be understood in the context of approving new construction that might easily last for the next 30-50 years. Another few months for review insures good decisions for the long term. There is so much detail in the proposal, it is hard for the average citizen to understand the big picture and the implication of all the detailsSPECIFIC SITESKingston Pike corridor in BeardenThe "anchors" of the Kingston Pike corridor in Bearden, Western Plaza and the intersection with Northshore, should remain as CG-3.The area south of Kingston Pike (Ashes Wine, Krogers, Aldi's, Talbotts, Buddy's BBQ, etc, should remain as CG-3The area north of Kingston Pike between the "nodes" of Western Plaza and Northshore, should be CG-2. These properties about low scale development along Sutherland Avenue. Most of Sutherland Avenue is now CG-2, and this area should be as well.
Staff Reply:

Concern About Adus In Sequoyah

I am very concerned about the ADU and duplex provisions in the recode project relative to the Sequoyah Hills area where I live. I believe that these provisions will in the long term have a substantial negative effect on the character of the neighborhood and associated reduced property values. On-street parking increase is very negative and a special concern. I support the Sequoyah-Kingston Pike Neighborhood Association position on the recode in our area.thank you.
Staff Reply:

R-! Changes

I am strongly against the proposed changes to the R-1 zoning. Especially as it relates to ADU's and "Design Facade Requirements". I built my home in a low density single family neighborhood because thats how I prefer to live. Allowing multiple dwellings on a single lot will double the density and congestion in my neighborhood with increased number of cars parked on the streets. It would turn the neighborhood into an Air B&B context with complete strangers coming and going at all times potentially effecting our safety. I thought the city was supposed to "provide safety and security". If the city wants to propose such radical changes it should be put to a public vote or referendum. Let the neighborhoods decide for themselves and not some government bureaucrat !
Staff Reply:

Recode Concerns

I am concerned with the speed that this is moving forward. Due to traveling for work, I have not been able to attend any meetings but based on what I have read, I think it needs further discussion and input. Some specific areas of concern I have include: removing the requirement to comply with long range and other plans, especially removing the Hillside plan requirements from zones other than residential. There are many areas in the city where slope is a concern on industrial and commercial sites and I am opposed to removing the Hillside plan from these zones. Also, it should not be up to legislative discretion as to whether or not to comply with the plans. This will cause a great deal of difficulty for anyone trying to appeal a zoning or Use on Review in court. Another area of concern is accessory units - these should be required for either the main home or the accessory unit to be owner-occupied. While I am supportive of the idea, I believe it is a necessity that the person renting out the accessory building be living on the property. Another area I am opposed to in the proposed new code is the idea of removing planned zones and allowing developers to negotiate with MPC staff without a public process. This should not be allowed to happen.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I am concerned with the speed that this is moving forward and I have not been able to attend any meetings. I am opposed to in the proposed code is the idea of removing planned zones and allowing developers to negotiate with MPC staff without a public process. This should not be allowed to happen. This feels like it is being railroaded through without enough discussion or explanation to the public.
Staff Reply:

Recode Project

I am concerned that zoning districts which allow for affordable housing have deceased in the new rezoning plan. I especially would like to see more areas which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map. This type of housing avoids problems associated with huge housing profects. The RN3 and RN4 units foster more personal and close knit communities and allow for residents to be a part of regular neighborhoods. These units are also a good size which provide smaller developer companies opportunities to build them. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I I am a resident of Sequoyah Hills and I would like to recommend some changes to the Recode Knoxville. Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements. Expand the Neighborhood Conservation overlay.Thank you for your attention.
Staff Reply:

Taxes

How will the recoding affect taxes? Will they go up, even if we choose not to construct an ADU on our property? Will our current infrastructure be able to handle the increased usage of ADUs in residential neighborhoods? How will this affect property values in neighborhoods? What kind of standards will these ADUs be held to? There are quite a few questions that this website doesn't answer
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

How can putting more unity in small spaces be accommodated? i.e. home villages
Staff Reply:

How can putting more units in small space be accomodated? ie. home villages. How can affordable housing units be offered.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back R3 And R4

Hi,I recently was reviewing the prosed recode map and I have some great concern over the removal of the orange on the map. Duplexes and multifamily complexes create affordable housing and without them, it will greatly hurt our city. Fixed supply with growing demand will increase property values to the point where they are no longer affordable. This will hurt 2 groups in particular. Those new to the work force graduating college and the creative class. College students graduate from UT every semester and consider staying in our city and calling it home. The city is trying to attract new businesses to our town. It creates jobs, brings in new tax dollars and helps all in our city thrive. Without affordable housing for the new work force, many will consider a new city to move to and without that work force, businesses will find our city less attractive to call home. Our amazing creative class also needs a place to call home. We have embraced the maker's city branding and would like to create a space for creatives and makers. They need affordable housing close to their businesses downtown and R3 and R4 do that. Please consider bringing back the orange to the map.
Staff Reply:

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