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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Zoning

I would like to suggest making the entire street from 804-840 N 4th Ave, Knoxville, TN 37917 to have C-N zoning, considering this seems the designation most of the street is being recoded to. With the current mixed zoning of industrial, commercial, and office all on the same street from the highway being put in beside the street, several buildings that are being recoded as residential are currently used commercially. For example, 820 N 4th has for some time been a bar/club/restaurant with a parking lot next door. Also, 817 N 4th is a parts business, whose building would be very difficult to use residentially. In fact, there are actually only two houses on the street that are being used purely as a residential home. Switching some of the street to residential will benefit far fewer houses considering the past allowable uses of the street. By making all C-N, it allows the mixed commercial use that has been established and would greatly help continue the improvements the street has been under in recent months. Thanks

Staff Reply:

Wireless Towers

Well, with all these changes to the zoning and coding, this should make it easier for the City to put up those ugly, radiation-inducing, "cell" towers that they plan to roll out for 5G. Be prepared citizens of Knoxville, they will be everywhere and there will be no escaping them. We - humans, animals, insects, and plant life will be fried. People will be getting sick from the electromagnetic radiation EVERYWHERE. With all these changes, I'm sure somewhere in all the wording, it will be legal for them to put one in your yard. I see a class action lawsuit in the future!

Staff Reply:

Typo On This Page

There is at typo on the submission page, "Use can this form to submit a comment or question for the project staff or send an email directly to recode@knoxplanning.org."

Staff Reply:

Tree Mitigation Bank

We think it's important that Knoxville's zoning code includes a provision for a Tree Mitigation Bank. This Bank would garner additional funds for the COK to use for landscaping on public property. It would also level the playing field by insuring that all developers were responsible for the same costs for equivalent development. We propose the following amendment be added to Article 12. LANDSCAPE

12.10 TREE MITIGATION BANK

The Tree Mitigation Bank is established as an alternative to maintaining or planting required trees and landscaping as specified in the Tree Protection Ordinance and in Article 12 of the zoning ordinance. Costs will accrue to the applicant to the degree it is not possible to maintain, replace or plant required trees and landscaping. The Tree Mitigation Bank provides a method of compliance in circumstances when the on-site maintenance and planting of required trees and landscaping is not possible due to site constraints, or for the mitigation of violations.

Funds paid into the Tree Mitigation Bank will be used for the sole purpose of planting trees and landscaping on public grounds and rights-of-way. The City of Knoxville urban forester will administer the account and determine when and where trees and landscaping are to be planted.

A.  When a strict application of the landscaping requirements or the use of an Alternative Landscape Design would require unreasonable compliance, an applicant may request  permission to contribute to the Tree Mitigation Bank instead. Such situations could include water features, topography, lot configurations, utility maintenance zones, or unusual site conditions.

B.  To use the Tree Mitigation Bank, the applicant must submit a Tree Mitigation Bank request that includes a list of landscaping requirements unable to be met and the specific reasons why they cannot be met. The request must be submitted to and approved by the Administrative Review Committee. The Administrative Review Committee will determine the extent to which requirements cannot be met and contributions to the Tree Mitigation Bank can be substituted.

C.  Final permission to contribute to the Tree Mitigation Bank requires the Zoning Administrator's approval concurrent with the application process for the development.
 
D.  Required contributions are based on current economics and can be determined by referring to.... on the City of Knoxville website.

Prepared by:
Scenic Knoxville
Trees Knoxville
The City of Knoxville Tree Board
The Knoxville Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
Sierra Club, Harvey Broome Group

Also endorsed by:
Town Hall East
Forest Heights Neighborhood Association
Community Forum
The Bearden Village Council
The Riverside 1 Condos
Historic Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Organization
Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood Association
Alice Bell Spring Hill Neighborhood Association
League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County
RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood Association

Staff Reply:

Support For Wrapping Up Recode

Hello All,

I want to express thanks to the City of Knoxville and Knoxville-Knox County Planning, as well as Camiros and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, for undertaking the long and complicated process of updating our zoning code. I believe leadership on the process has operated in good faith and with transparency, reaching out to the public and gaining as much public input as is possible over the past 27 (?) months. I have attended several of the meetings. I have witnessed the City Council, City staff, and Planning staff take and respond to many citizen questions and concerns. That we have just completed reviewing the 5th ordinance draft and are currently reviewing the 4th map draft is a testament to the process and the effort that leaders are making to get this right, while at the same time acknowledging that it will be a living document. The revisions to drafts and maps result from community feedback and many people have engaged in the process. While it must be true that not every parcel owner in the City is aware of the Recode process, it is also likely true that many of the parcel owners have never paid attention to their zoning at all and will continue not to. That doesn't mean the process has been any less valuable and effective.

I hope that the ordinance will be approved before our City elections are held. I support the increased allowance of ADUs and appreciate that, in general, different neighborhoods have not been provided differing rights or privileges. I support the application of the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan being widely applied across zones, and not only applying to residential zones. This is necessary to help control the effects of severe weather events. I support the greater diversity of development this zoning update would allow and encourage, particularly relating to transportation corridors where greater density and mixed-use structures are desirable.

Thank you for your efforts and for listening to our comments.

Staff Reply:

Support

I support keeping the Accessory Dwelling Unit and Hillside Protection regulations in the new zoning ordinance. 

Staff Reply:

Statement Under Every Residential Neighborhood Districts

What is the definition of this statement: "Limited nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of the district may also be permitted.". This is under every single residential neighborhood district listed. Is this how the City is going to get around the roll-out of 5G small cell antennas in all the neighborhoods. Is it a coincidence that the City has decided to recode all of Knoxville right at the same time that 5G is being deployed?

THOUSANDS OF MINI CELL TOWERS TO BE BUILT IN FRONT OF HOMES
5G will require the buildout of literally hundreds of thousands of new wireless antennas in neighborhoods, cities and towns. A cellular small cell or other transmitter will be placed every two to ten homes according to estimates. The purpose of this massive infrastructure build out of small cells, distributed antennae systems and microcells is to increase range and capacity in populated urban areas and prepare for the future 5G rollout. 5G frequencies will utilize higher frequencies that do not travel as far as the lower frequencies.
US state and federal governments are moving forth regulations which would make the right of way in front of homes as available sites for 5G transmitters - without consent of the property owners. In response, communities are protesting en mass as they do not want these transmitters built in front of their homes and communities want to be able to regulate the placement on right of ways.  Some municipalities are taking the case to the courts with litigation.
5G WILL USE HIGHER ELECTROMAGNETIC FREQUENCIES
5G will utilize multiple frequencies from those currently in use for cell phones and wireless to higher millimeter frequencies.
Today's cellular and Wi-Fi networks rely on microwaves - a type of electromagnetic radiation utilizing frequencies up to 6 gigahertz (GHz) in order to wirelessly transmit voice or data. However, 5G applications will require unlocking of new spectrum bands in higher frequency ranges above 6 GHz to 100 GHz and beyond, utilizing submillimeter and millimeter waves - to allow ultra-high rates of data to be transmitted in the same amount of time as compared with previous deployments of microwave radiation. Each carrier will use a different set of frequencies.  
This will be worse than living next to a cell phone tower!

Staff Reply:

The limited non-residential uses permitted in residential districts include kindergartens, schools, and places of worship. The standards for wireless telecommunications facilities are found in section 9.3.FF and are those adopted by City Council approximately one year ago.

Statement Under Every Residential Neighborhood Districts

What is the definition of this statement: "Limited nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of the district may also be permitted.". This is under every single residential neighborhood district listed. Is this how the City is going to get around the roll-out of 5G small cell antennas in all the neighborhoods. Is it a coincidence that the City has decided to recode all of Knoxville right at the same time that 5G is being deployed? 

THOUSANDS OF MINI CELL TOWERS TO BE BUILT IN FRONT OF HOMES
5G will require the buildout of literally hundreds of thousands of new wireless antennas in neighborhoods, cities and towns. A cellular small cell or other transmitter will be placed every two to ten homes according to estimates. The purpose of this massive infrastructure build out of small cells, distributed antennae systems and microcells is to increase range and capacity in populated urban areas and prepare for the future 5G rollout. 5G frequencies will utilize higher frequencies that do not travel as far as the lower frequencies.
US state and federal governments are moving forth regulations which would make the right of way in front of homes as available sites for 5G transmitters – without consent of the property owners. In response, communities are protesting en mass as they do not want these transmitters built in front of their homes and communities want to be able to regulate the placement on right of ways. Some municipalities are taking the case to the courts with litigation.
5G WILL USE HIGHER ELECTROMAGNETIC FREQUENCIES
5G will utilize multiple frequencies from those currently in use for cell phones and wireless to higher millimeter frequencies.
Today’s cellular and Wi-Fi networks rely on microwaves – a type of electromagnetic radiation utilizing frequencies up to 6 gigahertz (GHz) in order to wirelessly transmit voice or data. However, 5G applications will require unlocking of new spectrum bands in higher frequency ranges above 6 GHz to 100 GHz and beyond, utilizing submillimeter and millimeter waves – to allow ultra-high rates of data to be transmitted in the same amount of time as compared with previous deployments of microwave radiation. Each carrier will use a different set of frequencies.
This will be worse than living next to a cell phone tower!

Staff Reply:

 

The limited non-residential uses permitted in residential districts include kindergartens, schools, and places of worship. The standards for wireless telecommunications facilities are found in section 9.3.FF and are those adopted by City Council approximately one year ago.

Small Lots Of Record

Is there no longer a provision for Small Lots of Record in ReCode? If I want to build on a nonconforming lot (i.e. RN-4 with <50' lot width) would I need to seek a variance?

Staff Reply:

Yes. You would need to seek a variance.

Single Wide Manufactured Homes Taxation

Does Camiros realize that Tennessee TAXES ALL mobile homes, even those on LEASED land (such as in mobile home parks), as IF they were single family dwellings on permanent foundations? They are NOT licensed.

That might help. I would THINK that zoning regs and codes would need to conform seamlessly with taxing regs, especially property taxing regs.

Staff Reply:

Single Wide Manufactured Homes

On page 9-10, it says:

" H.  Dwelling - Manufactured Home 

Multi-sectional manufactured homes may be used as single-family detached dwellings provided the following development criteria are met:..."

What about SINGLE wide manufactured homes? Are they addressed somewhere else?

Staff Reply:

Rvs

Dear Knoxville Planners,

Several people have asked me about RV issues in the proposed changes.  If you have a pop-up camper or other vehicle that fits the RV definition, could you still park it in your personal driveway under the proposed changes?  The people who have asked me (two different households) currently park their RVs in their driveways and have steeply sloped yards that would preclude them from parking them any other place.  

They say that the proposed changes are a solution looking for a problem, that if their RV is not bothering anyone, why should it be prohibited? A screen is pricey, etc.  

Can you help me understand this issue better?

Staff Reply:

We have received a number of comments about the proposed standards for parking of recreational vehicles in residential areas. The standards were drafted by the consultants, likely based on their experiences with other communities. I do know if RV parking is a concern in the City and will ask Peter to chime in on that question. If RV parking is not a problem, staff can propose a revision to the standards to make parking of RV's, boats, etc in residential areas easier.

Revision Five

Good Afternoon,

We've looked through the recent revision. The following comments are respectfully submitted for your consideration.

Article 2 should include a definition of the term "mixed use".

Article 2 should include a definition of the term "interlock" as used in table 11-6.

Article 6.3 - Industrial zone setbacks: Has the rear setback exemption for sites with railroads been eliminated? Many forms of industrial buildings need to have direct access to rail service.

Article 11.1 - Off street parking applicability is rather confusing.

Article 17: Nonconformities: These transition rules are difficult to understand. I suspect consistent enforcement will be onerous.

Staff Reply:

Recreational Vehicles

I originally submitted this comment on 5/9, but never received a confirmation e-mail and it is not showing up on the website so I'll try again. 

My comment is in regard to trailers/RV's. The current code, Article V, Section 8 C, states that:

"On each lot, a total of two (2) (one (1) from any two (2) of the subsections listed below) of the following vehicles may be parked or stored per household living on the premises, and said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not exceed forty-five (45) feet in length or nine (9) feet in width; and further provided that said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not be parked or stored for more than forty-eight (48) hours unless it is located behind the front yard building line:

1.Recreational vehicle.

2.Hauling trailer.

3.Boat trailer."
In the proposed code 11.12 B

"Recreational vehicles must be located within the interior side yard behind the front building line or in the rear yard. If stored in the interior side or rear yard, the recreational vehicle must be located at least ten feet from any lot line and screened from view from any public right-of-way by a solid fence or wall. If the recreational vehicle is screened by an existing structure or landscape so that it is not visible from the public right-of-way, it is considered to meet these requirements. Temporary storage tents and tarps for recreational vehicles are not considered screening and do not meet these requirements."

I have a few concerns about the new code:

1. There appears to be no limit to the number, or size, of RV permitted, as long as it/they are properly screened from the public ROW. 

2. What about trailers that do not meet the Recode definition of a RV? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, etc.

3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?

Part Deux:

I agree that RV's should be located in the interior side yard behind the front building line or rear yard, but why ten feet from a lot line? A shed can be built five feet from the lot line, but a boat has to be ten feet from it? Why the ten feet requirement?

The screening requirement is overly restrictive for the entire city. There are many lots in the city that due to many factors (lot size, topography, access, etc.) it is impossible to locate the RV somewhere that is screened from view from a right of way. To comply with the new zoning code many property owners would have to pay to store their RV somewhere else, leave it as is and risk fines, or move somewhere that does not have such restrictions. The screening requirement should be removed from Recode and be left up to HOA's and the like.

Drive through most any neighborhood in Knoxville and you will see homes with boats and campers parked next to them, West Hills, Lincoln Park, Parkridge, Marble City, Sequoyah Hills. Across the entire city you will find examples of people storing their RV's on their property without screening. 99% of those are not any more of an "eyesore" than the cars and trucks in the driveway. A full size Sprinter type van with commercial logos all over is permitted without screening, but a boat is not? There are other examples like cargo and utility trailers that would not fit in the definition of Recreational Vehicle that would also be permitted.

Staff Reply:

Recode Vote

I urge you to move forward with the Recode process on Monday. I am so sick of the fear mongering from those who claim to have had no public process for this vote. It feels like a coordinated campaign, most likely funded by those who have the most to lose from the new code, namely developers. Don’t let those who fear change deter you. 

Staff Reply:

Recode Updates

MPC made changes to Recode at their June 13, 2019 meeting before approving it and passing it on to City Council. When can the public expect the current version to be post?

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Process

I object to the use of the ReCode process by city employees to attempt to rezone city-owned land without due process. I support Marshall Stair's proposal to postpone a vote on this. The public has not had adequate time between the last update and the vote.

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville - Did Not Make Change!

Single wide mobile homes are also still allowed down here on some land. Please take that into consideration.

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I am vehemently opposed to "Recode Knoxville." There is nothing about this proposal that will help the citizenry. As a matter of fact, I will be hurt by these changes. I own almost 20 acres that I have depended upon to support my retirement. The changes will destroy the value of my property. As usual, the things that would actually help Knoxville to thriive are ignored in favor political gain and control. Somewhere this foolishness has to stop. After discussions with others in my area, we would like to know which counsel members support Recode Knoxville and why. As of now, it appears that Knoxville has fallen in line with those who crush the backs of the citizenry for personal gain. I am truly discouraged with the leadership in the communiity in which I have grown up, lived and supported for so many years. Is there anything you people can do to actually help the people?

Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

To whom it may concern: 

I live in the Beau Monde subdivision within the greater confines of the Northshore Town Center (NTC). I have recently learned that it is proposed under the Recode Knoxville plan that the property just south of our subdivision boundary is to be changed, as part of the plan, to C-R-2 from its current designation of TC-1. While the impact of such a change may not seem to be significant, there are substantive changes that would negatively impact the "transition" areas currently enjoyed that buffer the heavy commercial areas that Publix, Target, the credit union building and a medical facility currently under construction from the less intense use of a residential area. Specifically, I have concerns that more intense commercial facilities could be built much closer to residences than under the current zoning designation and that such facilities could be built to a maximum height of 65 feet. Such development would make a mockery of the the transition area and would be deleterious to the current residents and potentially negatively impact property values.
We currently enjoy the environment of NTC's mixed use, new urbanism development and would hope that it continues to develop in a manner sympathetic to it's master plan. We would be very disappointed in our planning and political leaders if the zoning changes up for consideration resulted in new urbanism replicating the mistakes of old urbanism.
Thank you for you consideration of my concerns and for all that you do to make Knoxville such a great place to live. 

Staff Reply:

Recode And Hillside Protection

Protect Hillside and Ridgetop protection in ALL zones. Don't let developers run roughshod over this,  where they will clear and grade property that will impose risks of flooding, eroding, and the destruction of our topography. The Planning Commission got this one wrong, caving to developers instead of protecting the environment. Please reject the Planning Commission's recommendation on Hillside Protection in Recode.

Staff Reply:

Recode - Rn-5 Residential Care Facility

Just wanted to be up-front with you that I'm not sure how I feel about the change allowing RN-5 to allow Residential Care facilities, even if it's a special use. Can you elaborate on why this change was made? The unfortunate reality is that much of North Knoxville had larger parcels redeveloped into Multi-Family developments in the 60's-70's (including right across from my house) and my fear is that given the profitability of Residential Care facilities, that this change could create incentive for owners to redevelop these buildings/complexes into Residential Care. 

My original hope was the opposite, that the RN-5 in allowing townhouse-type developments, that these properties would become less suburban and more urban. If we have to keep Residential Care facilities as a permitted special use, could we down-zone many of these apartment buildings to RN-4? My specific concern is 1722 Coker Ave, however that concern extends to all these property types in the middle of predominantly single-family neighborhoods.

Staff Reply:

Recode

NO.THIS IS NOT NEEDED. STOP TGIS GRABAGE.

NO. LEAVE THE CITY ALONE.

Staff Reply:

Proposed Zoning Map Error

Becky Wade, in a memo to the Knoxville City Council last night (May 7, 2019), stated that the erroneous designation regarding the East 5th/Myrtle Street land parcels would be restored to the original "Open Space" designation by this morning. I checked the website and cannot see that this was handled as stated. Can you please provide an update as to the restoration of the correct zoning designation for these parcels or show me the proper place to find that the correction has been made?

Staff Reply:

Please Vote No On Recode

I sincerely request....PLEASE VOTE NO ON RECODE.

Not because an update of Zoning codes might not be needed, but because Camiros (and the city) has done a CRAPPY job!

I read it....if nothing else, it is shoddily written, has too many errors and omissions, and contains some things that just don't apply to down here.

A northern company was a bad choice. The South is just WAY too far behind. You can't jump that far like that.

And besides....first, why not try ENFORCING the codes we DO have? Might not even NEED to change too much!

Plus....more conflicts between laws/regs/codes is the LAST thing this place needs. There are enough! Sheesh.

Thank you.

Staff Reply:

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