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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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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

General Comments

Regarding commercial buildings along the main corridors, glass should be highly transparent on the main floor, and non-residential use should be either required or highly encouraged using whatever zoning tools are available. The buildings should be at least built in such a way as to allow non-residential use on the main levels in the future.Required materials should be durable and sustainable. No vinyl and especially no vinyl windows.I do not think the use of paint colors should be addressed in the code (see 5.4B). There are plenty of examples of monochromatic buildings that are beautiful and interesting because of varying types of building materials, etc. In fact, the new apartment buildings at the south end of the Henley St. Bridge (not the orange and gray one, the one across the street on the east side) vary in color so much that from afar it looks very busy, even though the colors are not bold. Furthermore paint colors can be changed and thus shouldn't be considered a part of the structure.Bike racks should be required for commercial and multifamily residential.Multifamily courtyard apartments such as common in Chicago on city corners should be allowed (there are actually also many examples of these in Fort Sanders and East Knoxville) in high and moderate density neighborhoods, with high quality of materials (brick mostly) and good form so it is a contributor to the neighborhood fabric.Thanks to MPC for all your work on this.
Staff Reply:

Fountain City Town Hall Letter Re: Recode

Good morning,Please find attached a letter on behalf of Fountain City Town Hall regarding ReCode Knoxville. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and as always for the work you do on behalf of the Knoxville community. Kelly EllenburgBoard Chair, Fountain City Town Hall
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:

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:

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:

Du/ac

DU/Ac Should be defined in the ordinance
Staff Reply:

Draft 2.0 Of Knoxville's Proposed Zoning Code

September 13, 2018Dear City Council Members:We are writing on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC), an organization with more than 200 members. Our comments address Draft 2.0 of the proposed zoning code, using the League's adopted principles and positions as their basis. We don't address Draft 1 of the zoning map, other than to say that technically it is well-done and easy to use. LWVKKC supports this much-needed zoning code update, with its streamlined reorganization and concise presentation of complex material. The League also supports two key goals implicit in the proposed code: (1) addressing the growing need for affordable housing in Knoxville, and (2) encouraging less reliance on personal vehicles for mobility.Nevertheless, LWVKKC has two significant concerns with the proposed code: (1) Although affordable housing and vibrant, stable neighborhoods are supposedly part of the vision for Knoxville, some measures in the proposed code - unless revised - may work against that vision. (2) In an effort to achieve greater administrative efficiency, short shrift is being given to citizen's right to know about and comment on land use decisions that affect them.Our specific comments are summarized below. Detailed versions of these comments are attached, organized by the articles in which they occur. ______________________________Hillside Protection Overlay. The HP Overlay should apply to all types of districts - residential and non-residential - as it did in the 2011 Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan adopted by City Council. Infill Housing Overlay. To foster affordable, compatible housing in older neighborhoods scattered around the city, we should keep the Infill Housing overlay.Accessory Dwelling Units. To add to the stock of affordable housing in Knoxville while minimizing disruption of stable neighborhoods, ADUs should have two restrictions: (1) their use as short-term rentals should be prohibited, and (2) in EN, RN-1, and RN-2 neighborhoods, they should be limited to owner-occupied properties. Required Notice of Public Hearings and Meetings. Required notice of a public hearing/meeting should include information on how to submit written comments.Administrative Modifications. The Zoning Administrator should send notice of a request for an administrative modification to abutting and adjacent property owners, allowing them 10 business days to comment before the decision is made. Immediately after the decision is reached, they should be advised of (a) the decision made, and (b) their right to appeal it. Planned Developments. Neighborhood associations, business associations, potentially affected property owners, and other members of the public should get notice of the proposed project early in the process, as soon as a concept plan has been developed. Their opportunity for comment should not be limited to the preliminary plan stage. They also should get notice of the staff review for "substantial compliance" prior to MPC's review and approval of the final plan. __________________________While still a work in progress, the proposed code is an important step forward. Thank you for all your effort on this monumental task.Sincerely,Linda MaccabePresident, LWVKKCMary EnglishLand Use and Environment Chair, LWVKKC
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:

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:

Downtown Residential Uses

Hello,Thank you for your effort.I am concerned that the proposed code seems to totally override existing residential uses downtown.Section 5.2.B. of the code states that multi-family dwellings are allowed only in the DK-B subdistrict of downtown?? Am I missing something? There is multi-family dwelling all over the downtown area. (Very little housing exists in DK-B, incidentally.) Encouraging people to live downtown has been a cornerstone of economic development for the past two decades. It's a key of how creative people and academics choose to relocate to Knoxville. What happens to the hundreds of families who live in proposed DK-W, DK-G, and DK-H sub-districts? I am a resident just north of downtown in The Mews Development on Magnolia, where I live with my husband and toddler. In the current plan, our development will be zoned DK-W. (Search 110 W Magnolia.) Prior to moving here, my husband and I lived for 10 years in a mixed-use development on Summit Hill drive--now proposed as DK-G. I'm just really confused. Thanks for any clarification you can share.
Staff Reply:
The wording of this provision of the draft zoning code update is a bit confusing. The intent was to limit single use residential buildings to certain sub-districts of the downtown, requiring mixed use (residential and commercial, etc) in all other sub-districts. There has been a good bit of discussion with regard to restricting single use residential buildings in any area of downtown, and the standards for this likely will change in the next draft. At any rate, the wording will be clearer!

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:

Current Zoning Proposal Violates Of Fcc Ruling Prb-1

The current Knoxville zoning proposal in section 10.3 C.1 and C.2 regarding the regulation by municipal authorities of Amateur Radio antenna height and support structure height is in contravention of the Memorandum Opinion and Order in FCC PRB-1, issued 9/16/85. The legal cite is 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985) and it can be found on the FCC Web page:PRB - 1 (1985) (https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/amateur-radio-service/prb-1-1985)To summarize: FCC regulations have the force and effect of federal statutes and are binding on the states as well as agencies of local government, including local zoning authorities. These regulations contain three general requirements: 1) local zoning authorities may not prohibit Amateur Radio communications and 2) local zoning authorities must provide reasonable accommodation for Amateur Radio antenna requests; and 3) local land use regulations affecting Amateur Radio antenna facilities must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish a legitimate municipal purpose.Limiting an antenna support structure height based on the height of a building where the tower is located is in contravention to PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.Limiting an Amateur Radio antenna to a specific height above the roof of a building it is installed on is in contravention of PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.The drafters of the proposed ordinance need to have some one from the city law office read and understand PRB-1. There have been numerous challenges brought in court versus municipalities that have been successfully decided in favor of Amateur Radio operators in the intervening years as a result. An example from 1987, where a municipality was successfully sued by a resident re: PRB-1 violation and not only won the right to erect his antenna system, was awarded $13,800 as plaintiff:Thernes vs. Lakeside Park-Consent Decree, Order and Final Judgement (http://www.qsl.net/k3qk/thernes2.html)Many municipalities have solved this by including language in zoning regulations that says antenna towers or support structures or antenna heights in residential must conform to FCC PRB-1 or have even adopted it as part of zoning regulations. 23 states have adopted PRB-1 laws so far - as have numerous local governments. A Bing or Google search for PRB-1 will bring up relevant information.
Staff Reply:

Conflict/questions

1. Conflict: Table 10-1, Deck says "Prohibited in front yard", but just above says "Max of 5' into front setback, and the table shows Y(permitted) in Front Setback. Aren't these in conflict?2.Question: Table 10-1, how are steps leading up to a porch or stoop classified? Are they a portion of the stoop or porch, or in addition to it? The existing zoning code calls these out specifically.3. Question: Table 10-1, as defined in the code, a Stoop and an Unenclosed Porch are essentially the same thing when covered. Why are the requirements for a stoop different? Why not combine the two sections into Unenclosed Porch / Stoop, or make the requirements match?4. Section 2.4.B 1&2 read "...line/area on a lot, measured parallel from...". Would be clearer if they said "...line/area on a lot, parallel to the...." Or it could read "line/area on a lot, parallel and offset from the..." to indicate that it is setback from the lot line.
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:

Community Forum's Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 2, 9-13-18

Community Forum is an organization with representatives from many City of Knoxville and Knox County neighborhoods.On May 10, 2018, Community Forum submitted its initial response to the First Draft of Recode Knoxville. It included material on 13 topics. On May 17, 2018, we submitted additional material on our Topic # 14 regarding the Office Zoning District. On August 14, 2018, Community Forum submitted a Response regarding standards for Approval of Rezoning in Article 15. That topic is also covered in this response. See Topic 18.Attached is Community Forum's September 13, 2018, response to the Second Draft of Recode Knoxville.Part 1: Includes material on 11 New Topics, numbered 15-25. Part 2: Includes material to Update the 14 topics, numbered 1-14, covered in our May 10 and May 17, 2018, responses to the First Draft.While we have not repeated in Part 2 everything previously submitted, we wish to call to your attention once again these very important issues which have largely not been addressed in the Second Draft. An example is the proposed entirely new concept of Planned Development and the process for using it. In our May 10 comments, we devoted 9 pages to this subject, and no changes have been made since the First Draft, and there has been no public discussion of it that we are aware of. We have received no response on this topic or on many others.For your convenience we have also attached a Compilation of our previous submissions.We wish to reiterate our earlier stated position regarding our support of Recode Knoxville. We have attended many public meetings, City Council workshops, and Stakeholder Committee meetings. Our members have talked with many members of the community, especially in our own neighborhoods, but also in others. We are doing our best to inform others about what is being proposed and what it means for our community. We are urging that others become engaged in the process. Our objective remains the same: to work with others to improve the proposed Ordinance, by comparing it to our existing Ordinance, and examining the impact proposed changes will have on our neighborhoods.We would like to discuss at your convenience, these issues as well as some non-policy, technical issues which we believe are also very important. It would be much more efficient to attempt to resolve any differences of opinion on these issues before the Third Draft is issued, and rather than having to try to do it when the entire proposed Ordinance comes before MPC and City Council in the future.Sincerely,Ms. Sue Mauer, ChairpersonLarry Silverstein, Secretary-Treasurer
Staff Reply:

Comments On South Waterfront Portion Of Recode, Version 2

First, thank you all for all the hard work on Recode. Knoxville has needed this for quite a while and I'm delighted to see it finally moving forward.I'm a resident of south Knoxville and a former member of the South Waterfront Advisory Committee who was very involved in the creation of the South Waterfront Vision Plan and Code. For weeks, I've had various people tell me that Recode wasn't going to make major changes to the SW code, so I've really not paid much attention to that section of the proposed new code. However, after reviewing Recode version 2, I'm very concerned to see that there are indeed major changes being proposed including some that violate the entire spirit of what the SW code was intended to accomplish.The creation of the Vision Plan and code included months of work and more meetings than I can count. The community was very engaged in this process. A lot of south Knoxvillians were originally wary of the entire endeavor but by the end of the process had embraced the adoption of the code. They were endorsing an urban (rather than suburban), pedestrian-friendly (rather than car-centric) connected community that provided maximum public access to the river. Most of my concerns about changes relate to these goals.
  • The entire first section on prohibited uses has been deleted. Granted, we wanted a form-based rather than a use-base code, with maximum mixed usage. But we need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities are not urban, they are not pedestrian friendly, they don't create a sense of community, they negatively impact connectivity, and depending on where they are located they may diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the south Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The entire section on off-street parking 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 urban and they are not pedestrian-friendly. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code presumably deletes these differing standards as well. We need those in the SW code because since it's form-based, parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter at 1400 feet has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are absolutely not what the Vision Plan envisions. Again, superblocks are not urban, they're not pedestrian friendly, they have a negative impact on connectivity, and depending on their location could diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer (measured from the riverbank) has been deleted. This was thoroughly debated before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted, with a note that it should be moved to the subdivision ROW standards. What if any plans have been made to do this? I acknowledge that this section has problems, but a better solution would be to leave it in Recode and then come back and rework it as needed rather than to just delete it with a vague promise that it will go elsewhere.
  • The SW5 and SW7 front setbacks have been changed. I personally am okay with this change but it's one the community should be aware of.
  • The entire signage section has been deleted. Perhaps most of this is covered adequately in the new sign ordinance which was adopted after the SW code. But again, the community should be aware of this and there should be a point by point comparison to make sure that nothing crucial has been deleted
Finally, I plan to share my comments with my south Knoxville neighbors who may not be aware of what's proposed. I also strongly suggest that a meeting in south Knoxville should be scheduled to go over all the proposed changes to the SW code since these are indeed major changes.Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
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:

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:

Comments On Recode 2 From City Of Knoxville Tree Board

The Knoxville Tree Board has had an opportunity to review the second draft of Recode Knoxville and we appreciate your incorporating some of our past comments in the redraft. Below are the comments that the Tree Board is providing on the second draft. The Tree Board looks forward to working with you on incorporating these comments as Recode moves forward. We have also had an opportunity to review the technical comments provided by Knoxville's Urban Forester and fully support these comments.City of Knoxville Tree Board Comments for Recode Knoxville Draft 2 1. Article 12 still needs to have an individual within the green industry (Landscape architect, Certified arborist, horticulture specialist, etc.) review plans and insure compliance. This is a position that many communities such as Nashville and Chattanooga has in place. The purpose of having this position is not to ensure aesthetics of the landscaping but to minimize costs of having to replace improper landscaping, ensure the economic and community benefits of landscaping are achieved through the design, and prevent unnecessary costs to utilities and the City from improper designs. This position allows engineering and building inspectors to review items of their expertise and allow the landscaping being review by the right professional as well. 2. 12.2.D Alternative compliance measure should include measure to allow mitigation or compliance off site if determined significant hardships exist to get compliance. This is likely something that all parties would agree to and is not considered any additional regulation or reduction in regulation. Many communities allow developers to pay into a bank to have trees or landscaping installed in alternative locations to meet the public and environmental benefits of landscaping.3. Section 12.9 should have similar language as the Tree Protection ordinance in defining the Tree Preservation Zone. 4. 12.9 Focus of preservation should be about groups of trees and not individuals. See purpose of this entire zoning code. Article 1.2.G "Preserve open space and natural areas, reduce traffic congestion, utilize existing infrastructure and resources, and preserve quality of life". 5. 12.9.B should allow for 100% of the screening to be form existing trees if conserved. This would allow for groupings of trees to be preserved on sites, while still meeting the objectives. Need to stop thinking only about aesthetics. 6. 12.9 How do you ensure survivability if bonds are being removed from the Article. If landscape is not bonded, can bonding requirement be shifted over from other parts of a development to ensure compliance?7. Is there any reference to the Tree Protection Ordinance? This should occur as there are also requirements within a development that occur in the TPO that all need addressed and overlap this zoning code.
Staff Reply:

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