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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Plans Review By Mpc Staff

Due to staffing levels devoted to the review and enforcement of zoning codes, the review of plans and their subsequent enforcement is a heavy lift for many municipal governments. Like most cities, Knoxville has opted to reduce this burden by reducing standards and operating on a complaint driven system. Another option would be to reduce the burden by allocating some of these responsibilities to qualified MPC staff. MPC staff already review design guidelines in certain zones. They are also willing to take on the review of landscape plans.This would make it easier to restore basic design standards for single family dwellings and for landscape standards to be upgraded to include more landscaping in smaller parking lots, a 2-year landscape bond and a tree bank.
Staff Reply:

Please Do Not Zone Historic Eligible Blocks Higher Density

On the 1400 block of Woodbine, a few of the "last" shotgun houses in Knoxville still stand. Zoning these RN-4 invites demolition. There has been a request to please avoid placing higher density zoning on areas eligible for historic districts, because higher density base zoning could create an incentive to demolish historic single family homes where H or NC zoning has not been enacted. The 1400 block is eligible for H or NC overlay, as per the 2016 MPC Study on Edgewood-Park City Historic District. Please see: http://www.preserveparkcity.org/2018/07/historic-zoning-saves-workforce-housing.html and http://www.preserveparkcity.org/2018/09/knoxville-lost-first-black-neighborhood.html.
Staff Reply:

Rn-2 Density

Though patches of RN-3 and RN-4 now occur on the map in the outer rings of downtown, most existing neighborhoods remain RN-2. I feel these neighborhoods should be zoned a higher density, like RN-3. However, if they are to remain RN-2, I believe they should permit duplex development by right. I suggest RN-2 AND RN-1 be modified to permit duplex development because they would allow increased (from that currently proposed) housing opportunities. The ReCode team has consistently proposed lower density in these neighborhoods than is currently permitted, which counter-acts many well-researched studies demonstrating that the "missing middle" housing is at the core of our nation's housing crisis. If this code is to be sustainably productive, it should permit some "missing middle" opportunity in these neighborhoods (Mechanicsville, Oakwood/Lincoln Park, etc).
Staff Reply:

Recode Timing Is Way To Fast

Why is the comment period so short and over the Holidays? Is Donald Trump now our Mayor and we'll just push this through lickety-split while no one is watching? I've read a few comments on draft #4 with its over 700 changes and one theme appears over and over and over again: there hasn't been enough time to read it! This isn't Congress, this isn't the Trump Administration--this is LOCAL. We need more time to discuss such huge changes. An H1 effort in Parkridge spanned FIVE YEARS of continual meetings, planning, debates, door-to-door knocking, mailers, flyers, everything short of writing it in the sky with an airplane (which Councilman Brown insisted would still result in someone saying they never heard about it) and yet it was smacked down by Mayor Rogero for needing "more discussion time". If FIVE YEARS isn't long enough for a neighborhood of a few hundred acres, how is the measly 7 months this has been public (since the June 2018 release of the maps--everything before that wasn't very useful for the public) long enough for a city encompassing 104.2 square miles? The obvious answer is that either the public doesn't know what it wants and the City needs to tell us what we want or the public wants something contrary to what the Mayor, Mr. Lyons, and the political/developer machine want.What's the rush? Parkridge was told that we have plenty of time to go block-by-block over many years to protect affordable housing; Knoxville already has a zoning code that's worked well enough for 50 years so there's no desperate need to install a zoning code. City Council didn't have a problem pushing the Parkridge H1 off onto a new Council but now the excuse for the rush is so that the next council won't have to deal with it. A project this monumental should take place over several sitting City Councils. I am saddened that is has become just a political plum for an outgoing administration.
Staff Reply:

0 E Fifth Ave Is Not Community Garden

I have commented on the last two maps without response and hope to receive it this third time. The empty lot (0 e fifth Ave) next to 2080 e fifth Ave is incorrectly labeled as the Parkridge Community Garden. The garden is across the street in the open lot, which has been given the correct proposed zoning for such a space. As the owner of the incorrectly labeled lot, I am concerned about liability on my property if something were to happen to someone who mistook it for public use.
Staff Reply:

Landscape, Lighting And Design Standards

Hello Recode Team,My understanding is that stronger standards for landscaping and lighting are not being included because of enforcement concerns. I would like to suggest that MPC take over that role because it makes a lot of sense for them to do it.I hope you will reinstate design standards for residential areas as well.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Over the past days I was reviewing the 4th version on Recode and would like to ask why Materials are excluding from being used in zones?  I strongly disagree with any exclusion of materials.  Having just worked on a project in Muscle Shoals, AL recently there was a material exclusion and it was going to cost the owner 40% more for his typical building by changing material.  We went in front of City Council and they understood our issue and allowed the material. 

How do you think Sequatchie Concrete Services on Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville would feel if CMU is exclude as a material in the city they do business in? Or what about other companies located in Knoxville that makes a forbidden material are you wanting them to leave the area? That doesn’t make planning since.  If you want better design this isn’t the way to go about it. 

I ask that you exclude any building material references in the new zoning ordinance.

Staff Reply:
The restriction on materials was proposed by the consultants assisting with the zoning code update based on their experience in other cities and research done by them. We are still revising the materials restrictions to further reduce and clarify the restricted materials, with input from AIA-ETN. Please note that the restrictions are only for the facade that faces a public right-of-way and only in certain zoning districts. In the downtown district, the Downtown Design Review Board can waive the restriction on materials. In the other districts in which materials are restricted, they can still be used for up to 25% of the facade. Our goal is to ensure the ability to use a variety of materials in all structures.--Response from original poster:I appreciate your response and I have spoken with John Sanders the AIA representative and he was the one who told me to reach out to you. Limiting materials is not what a zoning ordinance should encompass. The Ordinance does not get updated very often as you can see with our current one. For example, you want to exclude plastics from commercial zones. I am the chair for the School of Architecture Dean’s Board, did you know we printed a House out of plastic? It won several awards nationally see the link https://web.ornl.gov/sci/eere/amie/. This technology will only grow. My point is materials constantly update and change, just look at the plastic house. Let architects decide the proper materials not planners.

Map Draft 4 Comments - Belle Morris Community Group

Good Morning Gerald & ReCode team-My apologies that these comments were not sent on Friday, I had it all ready to go Friday evening and intended to send when I got home, but it managed to slip my mind over the weekend.Attached is a marked up ReCode map and diagram of Belle Morris and surrounding properties, noting our overall comments/requests/recommendations for each individual parcel within our neighborhood boundary (which is a fluid line at this point) as well as contributing properties along the neighborhood's edge. Our team has spent a great deal of time going through parcel by parcel, studying the historical condition of each property, it's vicinity to other zones, ownership on KGIS, as well as restoration/redevelopment potential as we see (and hope) the neighborhood progresses over the next 10-20 years.We hope that you might carefully consider our recommendations as you finalize the ReCode map. We have not gone through online and marked each of these parcels (for time's sake) however can do so if you are needing further explanation/detail on specific parcels.
Staff Reply:

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:

Request For Postponement Of Agenda Item 5, 11-a-8-oa

It has come to our attention that the Community Forum has requested 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. The Knox County Democratic Party Progressive Action Committee fully supports such a postponement for reasons similar to those outlined in the Community Forum letter. We urge you to make such a postponement.
Staff Reply:

Recode Text Changes

Attached are the comments from the City.

Staff Reply:

Agenda Item 5, 11-a-8-oa

The board of Ftn. City Town Hall, Inc. agrees with and supports the request of Community Forum regarding Agenda Item 5, 11-A-18-OA- Consideration of the Comprehensive Update of the City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance. We are asking for a postponement from the January 10, 2019, meeting of the Planning Commission to the February 14, 2019, meeting.The last draft was only available online December 17, 2018, with hard copies available December 27, 2018. During this busy season of the year, it is not practical for neighborhood groups to be able to meet for extensive periods of time to discuss this important document that affects every parcel of property within the city limits. We could not possibly have written comments within the time period allotted, which was January 4, 2019.We certainly intend to offer comments as soon as possible.There are many substantive changes from Draft 3 to Draft 4. The time that Commissioners, the Stakeholder Committee, and the public has had for review has not been long enough for a thorough review.Please don’t vote to accept this document in its present form. We must get this right. Our neighborhoods are in great part what makes Knoxville so special. It is too far-reaching and too important to adopt and then “hope” we can amend the document in problematic areas to prevent damaging impacts to our neighborhoods and even commercial areas.Again, we are asking for Agenda item 5 to be postponed until the February 14, 2019 Planning Commission meeting.Sincerely,Board, Ftn. City Town Hall, Inc.
Staff Reply:

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