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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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:

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:

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:

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:

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:


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:

Sw Parking Lots In Recode

We have lost the requirement that surface lots in the SW must be in the rear.  This was missing in the July draft.  I commented about it and it was included in the October draft.  Now it's gone again - compare page 11-4 in the Oct. and Dec. drafts.

This, as you know, is a major deal.

Honestly, I wasn't reviewing the current draft to see if corrections made had been unmade.  However, it looks like that kind of review is necessary.

Staff Reply:
Thanks for catching this. I will forward to the consultants and make sure they correct it and do a thorough review of the entire SW code.Regards,Gerald

Comments On Recode Draft 4

Please see the attached letter addressed to Gerald Green for our comments on Recode Draft 4.

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 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.

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 Member

Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee Member

Michael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee Member

Sylvia 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 Member

Moira Connelly - PAC Steering Team Member

Matt Sterling - PAC Member

Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.

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:

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:

Recode Text Changes

Attached are the comments from the City.

Staff Reply:

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?
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