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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Community Forum- Re: Request For Postponement Of Agenda Item 5, 11-a-8-oa

Community Forum requests that Agenda Item 5, 11-A-18-OA, Consideration of the Comprehensive Update of the City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance, be postponed from the January 10, 2019, meeting of the Planning Commission to the February 14, 2019, meeting. Please see the attached file for full comments. 
Staff Reply:

Os-1 Status In Recode

The language supporting OS-1 (Open Space Preservation District) is still being dropped from the current ReCode draft 4 ordinance. This is a mistake. Attached are detailed comments on this issue. 
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Map And Draft 4 Text

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 3 and ReCode Text Draft 4. We would especially like to point out our recommendation that the Planning staff seek out more lots to designate as RN-3 or RN-4, focusing on lots within a quarter-mile of core and local bus route stops that have no structures and/or that have non-historic structures that were built more recently, for example since 1980. We would be happy to partner with you and neighborhood groups to find such lots suitable for RN-3 or RN-4, and we look forward to following up with you about this. Below is the list of PAC members that ratified this comment submission: Emily Gregg - KCDP Chair & TNDP Executive Committee MemberAllie 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 Sterling - PAC MemberPlease let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Code

This may be unrealistic, but I would like to see solar cells erected over parking lots before anyone goes out and covers potential productive farmland with them. I envision a grid of 16 - 20 ft tall poles, the whole thing stabilized with guy wires anchored around the perimeter, supporting solar cells to provide shade in the summer, and power without the need for additional distribution infrastructure. A solar farm elsewhere requires maintenance to keep down and kill vegetation that otherwise would take over (or else you have to pave the thing), and lines and right-of-way to bring the power into the city.
Staff Reply:


I fear that beauty is often removed from development plans because of cost. However, the most beautiful developments include the original trees and have thoughtful landscaping. Knoxville has too many rows of houses that look all the same and often you can see how the hill was cut down to clear space for those developments. Now is the opportunity to keep natural features and make green space a part of the original design plan for residential and commercial development. Of course developers want to make the maximum amount of money and will cry that they can't provide affordable housing or development without cutting down all the trees, flattening the hillsides, and making new houses out of ticky-tacky. But their concerns are not more important than the citizens who live here and love this town and want to keep the natural beauty retained. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

C-g-2 Zoning Comments

I've been looking at several soon to be C-G-2 properties with an eye on building a dance studio and a recording studio. I appreciate the idea of changing from setbacks to build to lines to make the construction more pedestrian friendly and more attractive. There were a couple of things, though, that I noticed and wanted to comment about.First Floor Fenestration:The 50% fenestration between 2 and 10 feet on the front is potentially burdensome. While windows are desirable for retail and even office, they can cause security and privacy issues for other types of businesses. The added expense of windows, just to cover them up for privacy, or find ways to prevent sound leakage is a bit much. The 35% on the frontage, as it is for other commercial types seems more reasonable.Building Materials:Excluding steel siding, except as an extra decorative element (of 25%) discounts its advantages as a siding. Steel is 100% recyclable, and it doesn't require much (if any) painting for regular maintenance, and it doesn't rot or crack. Forbidding metal as a major siding choice makes sense for, say, a 4 story apartment building, but there are other types of structures (like dance studios or recording studios) that benefit greatly from having high ceilings and large open spaces. A single story of between 14' and 20' would be the norm, and metal would be a good choice for more than a decorative element of the facade. I've seen multiple buildings of about that height in the area soon to be zoned C-G-2 (on Martin Mill) that have textured concrete block on the first 5 feet or so, with metal siding the rest of the way up, and I think it looks great. Maybe allow a larger percentage of metal, say, 50%? Or possibly allow metal on structures under 25' high if there's something else used on the first 5'? Design over 100 feet (notes included in diagram not on chart):There are certain architectural elements that are required to break up walls over 100'. "Color Change" is listed in the B section of the diagram C-G-2 DISTRICT DESIGN STANDARDS on page 5-7, and it isn't listed on table 5-2.Build to lines for small properties bordering multiple streets:This is an area where there might be some unintended consequences. I'm looking at some commercial properties that are long and skinny (50x200), and are bordered by Martin Mill, Drinnen, and a very small street (no more than a driveway, really) called Brady. It's my understanding that this would require a build-to to within 20' each of these lines. I'm wondering if some more guidance could be given in an instance like that. Could this be an instance of having a required build-to to no more than TWO of the property lines?
Staff Reply:
Jonathan,Thanks for some very good comments. I will forward them to our consultants so that they can be considered and discussed as we prepare the next draft of the ordinance.Thanks for your interest in the Recode project.

Need Better Exterior Lighting Standards - Section 10.2

Hello,The Lighting Standards for Exterior Lighting (section 10.2) needs performance standards to address issues of light trespass onto neighboring properties. In particularly, there needs to be a measurable standard for the footcandles allowed across an adjacent residential district property line.As written, the current section 10.2 only provides performance standards that:A. Require cut-off luminaire with a cut-off angle of 75 degrees or less that shields the light from an observer 3.5 feet above the ground at an abutting lot line, and B. Freestanding luminaires (i.e. a light pole fixture) are 15 feet away from residential lot lines, max height of 20 feet in non-residential, and 15 feet in residential districts.The issue is that there's nothing about the intensity - the brightness - of the light fixture and how much light is allowed to cross the property line - to trespass - onto a neighboring property.As an example: under the current regulation, a very bright light pole could be installed in a parking lot for a commercial business that is adjacent to a single family residential property. The exterior lighting would be fully compliant if it was 75 degree cut-off, 20 feet in height, and 15 feet from the property line. However, an extremely bright light would still shine directly onto the ground 13.6 feet onto the residential property due to the 75 degree cut-off angle. That bright light would reflect off the ground (especially if it's a light colored surface such as a concrete driveway) and onto the adjacent house.There needs to be a measurement that can be standard. Examples for the light trespass levels allowed along residential property lines are:Huntsville: 1.0 footcandleNashville, Minneapolis: 0.5 footcandleGreenwich, CT: 0.1 footcandles for property lines of residential zones, 0.5 for business zonesBrookfield, CT, Pittsboro, NC: 0.5 for residential, 1.0 for commercialAsheville, NC: 0.5 footcandles for all districts (and a very comprehensive lighting ordinance at good reference are the LEED guidelines for light trespass here: Town of Matthews has a well-written lighting ordinance: suggested improvements that provide measurable, enforceable standards that address light pollution issuesLight Trespass. All outdoor luminaires shall be located, adequately shielded, and directed such that no direct light falls outside the parcel of origin or onto the public right-of-way. The total lighting on a property must not trespass (exceed) 0.5 footcandles measured at the property line.House Side Shields. Outdoor lighting fixtures closer to the lot line than the mounting height of the fixture, measured perpendicular to the lot line, adjacent to residential areas, shall have internal house-side shieldsFlood and Spot Lamps. Flood or spot lamps shall be aimed down no higher than 45 degrees to the horizontal (halfway between straight down and straight to the side) when the source is visible from any adjacent residential property.Color Temperature: Cooler light sources (e.g. 5,000 - 6,000 Kelvin) will be prohibited and warmer light sources (e.g.3,000 - 4,000 Kelvin) shall be utilized.The exception to the Outdoor Recreational Facilities (section 10.2 C. 3.) should have a performance requirement on how long the lighting can remain on after the event. An improvement would be to add text such as "The main lighting shall not remain longer than fifteen (15) minutes following the end of the event. A low-level lighting system shall be used to facilitate patrons leaving the facility, cleanup, nighttime maintenance, and other closing activities. The low-level lighting system shall not exceed three (3) foot-candles at the property line."
Staff Reply:

Draft 4

Finished reading draft 4. Looks good in particular I very much like the practical changes in Table 4-1: Residential District Dimensional Standards. Thanks
Staff Reply:

Thank You From Claiborne Pl

Thank you for changing our street to RN-2 in draft 3 of the map. I can breathe a sigh of relief for my little house.
Staff Reply:


About Bring Back the Orange (BBtO), I have heard Mr. Green state "Their intentions are good, but the understanding of the issue is lacking." I also lack understanding, but I want to be clear that whatever I'm missing in the details, I am firmly in support of the principles of transit-oriented development, second to development that reduces the need for the movement of people in the first place (including mixed use). I don't know enough about the various pro and con arguments about the specific recommendations put forward in the KAT comments on the second draft, but they sound great to me, and I think everyone should be able to add an ADU if the size of the lot allows.Generally, I don't get wrapped up in the details because I think that MPC is staffed by professionals who want the best for Knoxville and know more than I do. I would be dismayed to think that MPC would cave in to pressure from residents who don't know any more than I do, who want to keep things the way they are. Change is necessary for many reasons, but not least because of past injustices that have led to segregation by income, class, and race, and the associated problems of disinvestment in poor areas. Please be firm in your commitment to the principles of resource efficiency; sustainable, walkable, transit-oriented development; compact development to accommodate population growth; design for mobility options (complete streets). Our top priorities must be reducing miles traveled and planning for climate change. We cannot let neighborhood character preservation take over the conversation.
Staff Reply:

Please halt any zoning change to allow multi level structures in residential areas, like Clairborne st in Edgewood park neighborhood. The only way these structures can be built is to tear down some beautiful vintage houses along Claiborne tp make room for these structures and parking lots. This is a horrible idea to change the code to allow this. This code is very unfriendly to areas that are not designated historic zones. Those areas are protected from tiny lots & tiny buildings too. Isn't this discrimination to allow code changes like this in non historic zones? This density model needs to stay downtown where those who want density can live. Others like me prefer to have more green space from my neighbor.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your interest in Recode. In response to your comment:Please halt any zoning change to allow multi level structures in residential areas, like Clairborne st in Edgewood park neighborhood. The only way these structures can be built is to tear down some beautiful vintage houses along Claiborne tp make room for these structures and parking lots. This is a horrible idea to change the code to allow this. This code is very unfriendly to areas that are not designated historic zones. Those areas are protected from tiny lots & tiny buildings too. Isn't this discrimination to allow code changes like this in non historic zones? This density model needs to stay downtown where those who want density can live. Others like me prefer to have more green space from my neighbor. The Claiborne Place neighborhood and most of the Edgewood Park neighborhood, with the exception of existing multi-family developments, are designated RN-2 (single family residential zone) on the 3rd draft of the proposed zoning map. One of your neighbors (sorry I cannot remember her name) attended some meetings and also emailed to make us aware of the desire for single-family designation for the neighborhood. Thanks for your concern for your neighborhood.

Adu Clarification

"An ADU may be located only on a lot with one single-family dwelling. One of the dwelling units must be occupied by the owner of the property."Does this apply to the use of an ADU once it has been built or is it just a requirement to be met in order to obtain a building permit? The wording seems unnecessarly vague. Also, what power does the City have to enforce this? What are the potential penalties for violating the code? How will the city handle a situation where there is a violation and the renter has a binding contract to occupy the premise?
Staff Reply:

Community Forum-- Request For Deadline Extension For Responses To Recode Draft 4 And Maps Draft 3-- 12-19-18

Community Forum requests that the deadline for comments to Recode Draft 4 and Maps Draft 3 be extended from January 4, 2019, to at least February 1 or February 15, 2019.  Furthermore, we request that any decision regarding an extension be made quickly so that interested citizens can plan their holiday schedules.

Draft 4 to Recode and Draft 3 of the Maps went on line on Monday afternoon, December 17, 2018.  The document is 287 pages long, and hard copies are not yet available.

We are concerned that the stated deadline for submitting comments for Draft 4 is January 4, 2019.  There are two holidays and only 18 days between the December 17, online release of Draft 4 and the January 4, 2019, deadline.   This timetable is not practical and makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for the public to review Draft 4 of Recode and Draft 3 of the Maps, and to submit comprehensive responses.

Community Forum, to date, has submitted timely and comprehensive responses to each Draft of Recode, totaling 55 topics, plus updated responses on the 14 original topics identified in Draft 1.  We have made important contributions to this entire process.  This is particularly true since March 21, 2018, when the first draft became available. Our Responses and extensive participation at public meetings and workshops have brought attention to many issues, both small and large, and have resulted in positive changes.

Most recently, we submitted a Response to Draft 3 on October 31, 2018, the original deadline for responses to be considered in preparation of Draft 4.  Our response covered 23 topics, but was produced in a very rushed manner to meet the deadline, which was less than two weeks after we had a hard copy to work with.

The deadline was then extended to November 16, and we continued our review of Draft 3.  We submitted a Supplemental Response on three additional topics on November 16.  Continued review resulted in a second Supplemental Response on three more topics on December 5.

Our very quick on line review of Draft 4 shows an incredible amount of additions, deletions, and modifications from Draft 3.  There is red and blue ink on many pages.  It will take considerable time just to note the differences from Draft 3, not to mention the time required to compare changes from previous drafts and changes from the existing Ordinance and other documents.  We need to determine whether our previously submitted topics have been adequately addressed in Draft 4.  To produce a comprehensive written response on many new topics, similar to what we have done previously, will take considerably more time.

A January 4, 2019, deadline for comments to Draft 4, is just not realistic, if the objective is to allow adequate time for meaningful input.   We urge that a more reasonable date of no sooner than February 1, 2019, be set to receive comments from the public.  The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on January 3, 2019.  There are no other workshops or public meetings currently scheduled, to the best of my knowledge, to discuss what is in Draft 4 before the January 4, 2019, deadline.

The Community Design Center’s workshop is tentatively scheduled for February 1, 2019, with a snow date of February 5, 2019.   I would expect that there will be many very important comments submitted on Draft 4 after that workshop.  That alone would be a strong reason to set a comments deadline of February 15, 2019.  It would seem prudent for City Council to delay holding its workshops until after revisions are made to Draft 4.  The content of Recode continues to be a moving target with substantial changes appearing in each succeeding Draft.

Community Forum wrote to City Council on October 9, 2018, to share our concerns about the existing timetable that had Recode going to MPC in November for their recommendation, and to City Council in December for their consideration of adoption.  See attached.  That letter followed remarks that I made at the September 20, 2018, City Council workshop.  At that time, the public had not even seen Draft 3.  Thankfully, a consensus was quickly reached to change that timetable.  Since that time, two more drafts to Recode and the Maps have been made public.  There has been much public discussion and input since then, and that must continue.

It is clear that there is still much more work to be done by all who are involved with this massive undertaking to replace the Zoning Ordinance.  An orderly process is required and cannot be rushed if we are to avoid total chaos going forward.  The current timetable needs to be changed immediately.

Community Forum looks forward to working with City Council members and others, as we work together to produce a Zoning Ordinance that will have the support of the citizens of Knoxville.  To achieve that objective, there must be meaningful community input and extensive discussion and debate on very specific topics.

Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request to extend the deadline for submitting comments to Recode Draft 4 and Maps Draft 3, and so that we can all have more time to observe and celebrate the upcoming holidays.

We look forward to a timely response to our request.


Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum

Staff Reply:

Sw1 Removing Edu. Facility From The Last Draft

I hope the input to remove the educational facility from SW1 at the north neighborhood meeting was addressed in this last draft to MPC. Each SW 1 area has a school near or just outside of the areas. SW 1 only protection is to solely be residential as in the vision plan.

Staff Reply:

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