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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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

New Zoning Recode

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

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:

Strengthen Our Outdoor Lighting Ordinance

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

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:

Recode And Successful Transit

Amy and Gerald,Please see the attached comments regarding the current Recode proposal, and my thoughts on its potential impact on successful transit service in Knoxville. Let me know of any questions.Thanks very much-Belinda Woodiel-BrillDirector of Communications and Service Development,Knoxville Area Transit
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:

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

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

Recode Knoxville Comments And A Request For More Debate

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

Affordable Housing

Please, we need affordable housing! vote for help!
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!

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:

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:

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:

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.
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