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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Rezoning Of Fourth And Gill Neighborhood

I thank the committee for their continued efforts to overhaul Knoxville's aging zoning. I also thank you for addressing the many concerns and questions raised in this process.I write to voice a concern, shared by many of my neighbors, about the most recent revision of the Recode, in which Fourth and Gill was changed from an R2 to an R4 zone. The neighborhood is a unique historic neighborhood that has been revitalized through the efforts of homeowners and developers. These individuals have worked diligently to restore houses that were separated into apartments back into single-family dwellings, and have met with much success. By keeping the neighborhood zoned R2, for single-family home and duplexes, this continues to encourage the ongoing trend to maintain houses and restore them to their historic configurations. While there are still some houses that are divided into apartments and multi-family dwellings, this is increasingly not the case for the neighborhood. We, the home owners in Fourth and Gill, want to discourage the division of historic houses and encourage the decades of effort made to restore the many century-old houses in the neighborhood.For these reasons, I respectfully ask the committee to change Fourth and Gill back to an R2 zone, for single-family homes and duplexes.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Rn-4 Concerns In North Knoxville

I strongly oppose the proposed RN-4 zoning throughout North Knoxville, and specifically in the Belle Morris neighborhood. I have invested significant amount of time, energy, and money into refurbishing my home on Coker Ave from a condemned house that sat empty for 12 years. The answer to the creation of multi-family housing is not the destruction of single family homes, many of which are historically significant, but rather the expansion of multi-family housing along commercial corridors or on industrial properties that were historically commercial or residential, and the utilization of residential space above commercial. Please rezone these parcels to RN-2 (or to match the surrounding RN zoning).
Staff Reply:

4th & Gill Zoning

I strongly oppose recoding the 4th & Gill neighborhood to allow for the conversion of homes into multi-family units and townhouses. I am concerned that this will negatively affect the historical integrity of our neighborhood.
Staff Reply:

Recode: 4th & Gill

I strongly object to the rezoning of the Fourth and Gill neighborhood from "Single Family/Duplex" to "Multiple Family/Townhouse". Many individuals and families have been working/investing for decades to build the fabric of this neighborhood into a strong, tightly knit community. I, for one (and I know many agree with me), would like to keep it that way. From a pragmatic standpoint, we don't have the parking to support this new zoning anyway. Thank you for your consideration.
Staff Reply:

A Strong Link Between Transit And Affordable Housing Makes For A Healthy City

I received a message making the following points which seem to make a lot of sense to me:The City should zone RN-4 one-quarter mile along KAT's core and local street bus routes. This would permit by right the development of small multifamily housing (2-8 units) throughout the city. Benefits of this will include:
  • Developing more affordable rental property opportunities throughout the city. 53% of Knoxville are renters, and the number continues to rise
  • Reducing the pressures of displacement within the Central City by increasing the housing supply throughout the city.
  • Growing a stronger bus system by increasing density along bus routes.
  • Responding to the need to reduce everyone's carbon emissions through greater reliance on public transportation.
  • Increasing access to opportunity by building small multifamily housing near where people work
Please consider the comments above during the Recode Knoxville process. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Sw-3 On Atchley Street.

I own two empty lots in South Knoxville at 2308 Atchley Street that I plan to build a primary residence on one of. I have looked at the City's master plan of the South Knoxville Waterfront and specifically at the Bell Tower Walk which is on axis with Atchley. My concern is that with the I-G zoning following the old rail tracks, the Bell Tower Walk will be limited in the future and the residential district above will be disconnected from the pedestrian friendly area below. As a designer myself, and stakeholder in the neighborhood, I think the SW-3 zoning should continue up Atchley Street at least to Yarnell Ave to reinforce the power of that axis and be in place for future development. Regardless of whether Atchley remains predominantly residential or the Bell Tower Walk eventually moves up the hill, having SW-3 would prevent an industrial development from cutting off the neighborhood from the riverfront or the Tower Walk from being visually terminated by industrial buildings. I think this will be especially important once the Rails to Trails path is installed and large groups of people are going to it right at that point. Finally, the river is visible up to Yarnell and there is a clear connection to what is the SW zone, I think the pattern already in the plan that has SW-3 on the North end of Atchley, should continue up the hill. Thank you very much!
Staff Reply:

Recoding North And South Knox

I have a few requests for specific areas of Knoxville. First, I would like to see more small homes (some might say tiny homes) built close to the city on existing home lots on the south knox waterfront areas. These small lots once held a large number of trailers, and would now be better suited to have small homes on each lot, as they would be affordable, make sense in the small space, and be easily accessible to downtown for the hip and urban youth of today. Second, we could use more high density housing in old industrial type buildings. Converting these spaces into modern lofts seems to be the norm, and it is cleaning the neighborhood up in a way that conventional apartment complexes do not. It would save the current structures and facades, and allow more dwellings inside a current space. Such as at 428 E Scott. It would great for it to be zoned RN-6 to hold a larger number of small families and singles that work and want to play downtown. Also, at 400 E Scott it should be also zoned RN-6 level as it already has something like 24 units in such a small area. I have lived in both South and North Knox for many years, and am concerned that if we do not allow things like small houses on small lots and multi-family high-density housing in old reclaimed industrial sites, we will lose many people to West Knoxville, where it looks like every other town in America. Let us keep Knoxville with the charm it currently has, and keep its residents closer to downtown so they can live, work, play, and spend their money downtown. We will all prosper because of it.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Commercial Zoning At N. Fourth And Hall Of Fame

I had a chance to look at the CN-2 and CG-2 guidelines. It does look like the C-2 would be more appropriate to the buildings on North Fourth as it allows for a setback. But both zonings require 50% of the first floor to be glass. I realize you can address this in the historic zone, but what about the [eligible for designation as historic] houses next to the Karm store if they undergo major rehab? Has this been discussed?How is the setback determined since the chart says between 0' and 20' in Commercial zones. Will historic zoning prevail in H-1?Consider CN-2 for Sassy Anns at 820 N. 4th because it was a former restaurant.Why SW-1 on one side of Scottish Pike and SW-2 on the other at location east of Railroad tracks?
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

I don't understand the reasoning in rezoning the entire 4th and Gill neighborhood from R-2 to R-4. I can understand the logic of multifamily zoning along corridors to act as a transition into established neighborhoods, as I see being done on Magnolia on the new map, but not the rezoning of an entire neighborhood. I also don't see that type of rezoning in surrounding historic neighborhoods, so why 4th and Gill? We worked long and hard many years ago to become R-1A, or R-2 as it is called in the Recode. This would be a huge step backwards, in many eyes. Please reconsider this decision.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I do have concerns as to the RN4 coding will play into the H-1 overlay process......not sure what the multi-family /townhouse would look like in relation to our H-1 overlay or is that something that would not pertain to an H-1 Overlay area ??
Staff Reply:
Any proposed multi-family or townhouse projects within the Historic District Zoning Overlay (H-1) would reviewed by the Historic Zoning Commission for compatibility within the streetscape, as are all new construction projects within the district. Depending on the immediately surrounding context, these structures may take on the appearance of existing multi-family buildings, or may have the appearance of a single-family structure.

Recode, Zone Map

I am very disappointed in the latest zoning map for my street, it has gone from RN-2 to RN-4 which will allow for multi family structures. All of fifth Ave is on the National Resister and and is already has a mixed use of single family homes along with some originally build multi family homes. Actually there are already 16 multi family homes along Fifth Ave, not counting the number of houses that have been converted to multi family homes. Parkridge has been undergoing years of reclamation from a multitude of chopped up rental houses owned by absentee land lords, which led to the blighted condition of just a few years back. Now the city is wanting to reintroduce the same conditions on this fragile neighborhood that almost led to its demise years ago.When this whole recode thing started the majority of the neighborhood residents were ok with ADUs on owner occupied proprieties, but to come now and shove multi family housing structures down our throat is a little more than disheartening, coming from a 20+ resident that has restored 4 condemned houses and has been involved in my neighborhood and city.
Staff Reply:

Proposed Changes From Rn-2 To Rn-4

I am requesting the committee reconsider the proposed changes from RN-2 to RN-4 for the 4th & Gill neighborhood. We are a strong community with diverse housing options with the current RN-2 destination.The increases in allowed square footage from 10,000 square feet for 2 family to 40,000 square feet for multi-family would drastically change our neighborhood. I suspect there are developers already eyeing available properties to build new buildings. Or perhaps there are already plans to buy existing houses, tear them down, and build these 40,000 square foot structures. Yet our neighborhood multi-family housing that has been vacant for 20+years.Many people have worked hard for over 40 years to restore the 4th & Gill neighborhood to its former beauty and strength. A grand-father status could be given to the existing multi-family homes maintaining the current square footage designation. This would maintain the character of our neighborhood.
Staff Reply:

Overall Views On Recode

I am happy that the city has embarked on this endeavor. The country is beginning to move away from the outdated development patterns of the last 70 years. We need to plan and work for an increase in residents over the next several decades. As population increases so does median income, productivity, and economic opportunity. We should hitch our sails to urbanization and a return to city living. But we must do this in an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable fashion. I think Recode is one of the best opportunities to achieve these goals. I am happy to see the goal of increased density across the city and more specifically along our corridors. I am a strong supporter of the ADU's in all zones idea. With strong building and size standards this is a way to add residential units within our constrained borders without having to dramatically change anything. My back window overlooks Magnolia Ave and sadly right now it is all sprawl. I have a proper view of probably 400 parking spaces that sit at average capacity of less than 5% when you consider overnight hours. We need to come up with creative ways to share parking on our corridors in order to support more intense, around the clock activity. Mixed use is another change that I whole heartedly support. The idea of apartments over retail is long-overdue. We have limited acreage in our city and the only way to continue to grow is up. My biggest concern with this whole process is the blanket alteration of neighborhoods like mine on E 5th Ave without the protections that will allow, no force! development to conform to the current aesthetic standards. I am not a stickler for keeping everything exactly how it is now, but I want to see better protections for historic structures and the prevention of demolition of our remaining beautiful housing stock. Lastly, I think that the whole city needs to be more inclusive to increased development. I see large stretches of Kingston Pike that were not upzoned for more intense development. This is and will remain one of the employment centers of the region. We need to allow for more intense development and density along Kingston Pike to attract more residents and use it as an economic springboard to a higher standard of living and upward mobility.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning Of 4th And Gill

I am a resident of the 4th and Gill neighborhood. The residents have worked hard to restore this beautiful old neighborhood of single family homes. We vehemently protest the approval of this area for townhouses and multi-family units.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Draft 3

I agree with Recode Knoxville's goal to "help define the pathway toward construction of more affordable housing through out the city".What I do not agree with is the dramatic change of zoning for the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood between Draft 2 and Draft 3. Why? What changed? Nor do I agree with apparent targeting of the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood to carry the weight of the solution. The ENTIRE Neighborhood is Orange--no other neighborhood in the city --North, East, South or West, inner city or suburban, reflects this amount of change. Seems the "affordable housing through out the city" got overlooked. There is need for more information, explanations and rationals, discussions and public input.
Staff Reply:

Recode -4th And Gill

Hi. I have owned a home in 4th and Gill since 2002. My husband and I bought the house when the neighborhood (and frankly all of downtown) was more blight than not. In fact the house directly next to us was abandoned (and frequently used by a local prostitute to conduct business) and the house on the other side of us was 5 apartments run by a local slumlord. Still we took a chance on the neighborhood because the houses had so much character and the proximity to downtown was delightful. Over the last 15+ year we have invested MORE THAN TWICE what we paid for the house back into the house - updating the interior and completely rebuilding the beautiful 2 story carriage house that was in our backyard. The neighborhood has grown with us, and we are so proud of what it has become. Houses that used to be cut up into many apartments have slowly, but steadily, been turned back into single family homes, and kids are abundant in the neighborhood again.If RECODE Knoxville was to convert our zoning to multi-family/townhouses, we would lose so much of the momentum, and frankly, the equity we have put into this neighborhood. In addition, the streets are already FULL with cars, and there simply is no more room for additional parking/cars that would be associated with additional residents.I implore you NOT to move us backwards.Thanks
Staff Reply:

Rezone Request To Match Current And Best Uses Of Residential Properties

Hi- I'm writing to request rezoning of property based upon current density established within an R1A district. Specifically, 400 E Scott is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density. It is not zoned appropriately in current map draft. Due to precedent established, I would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that I think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street. Specifically 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue- These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott because they are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

Rezone Request To Match Current And Best Uses Of Residential Properties

Hi- I'm writing to request rezoning of property based upon current density established within an R1A district. Specifically, 400 E Scott is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density. It is not zoned appropriately in current map draft.Due to precedent established, I would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.Additionally, there are a few apartment houses that I think have been zoned inappropriately on the same street. Specifically 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue- These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott because they are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

E Scott Apartments

Hi, I've heard that the businesses are moving out on East Scott and would like to put in a plug for making the building RN-6 for nicer residential apartments that would attract downtown lovers to our neighborhood. Thanks!
Staff Reply:

Proposed Zoning Change Near Sterchi Elementary School

Hello-We live near Sterchi Elementary School where a developer is building apartments on property that is being considered for a zoning change to allow a higher density/acre.Our neighborhood cannot support additional students at Sterchi school or cars on Cedar Lane and Merchant Road.Please reject the option of rezoning this property.
Staff Reply:

Rezone Knoxville Properties

Hello! It has been brought to my attention that there have a few buildings in the Old North Knoxville district that look as if they should be zoned more appropriately for their use. My thoughts and recommendations are explained further below:
  1. 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density
  2. 428 E Scott- I think 428 E Scott should be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.
  3. 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
Staff Reply:

Recoding Buildings In North Knox

Hello! I live on Gratz Street in 4th and Gill with a few other tenants.It has been brought to our attention that there have a few buildings in the Old North Knoxville district that look as if the should be zoned more appropriately for their use.
  1. 400 E Scott- This property is currently used at an RN-6 level (24 units on 24,000 sq ft lot) and should be zoned RN-6 due to density
  2. 428 E Scott- We would like 428 E Scott to be zoned RN-6 to support higher density residential redevelopment.
  3. 401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue. These houses should be zoned RN-4 on E. Scott- these are already used for multifamily and should be appropriately zoned.
We hope our comments help! We just want what's best for this community we love!
Staff Reply:

Downtown Island Airport Zoning

Downtown Island Airport (KDKX) has been operated as a General Aviation airport since 1938. The zoning of this parcel as an "Airport District" will acknowledge current use, as well as protect the ability of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority to continue aviation-related development and use on the site.Development within the FAA's Part 77 Object Identification Surfaces associated with Downtown Island Airport (KDKX) should be controlled. Penetrations into these surfaces by man-made structures or trees can be hazardous to air travel, and development in these zones should be monitored and controlled by use of an Airport Overlay Zone. This overlay zone will protect the viability of the airport as a business development asset for the City of Knoxville and as a regional resource. Airport Overlay Zones can encourage compatible uses in the areas near the airport as well as control height of structures and vegetation. The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority will work to generate a map and language depicting a proposed Airport Overlay Zone.
Staff Reply:

Old North Knox

As I've been looking into this situation, I've noticed a few properties along E Scott Ave in Old North that could be more appropriately zoned.400 E Scott Ave is currently being used as though it were zoned RN-6, so it should be zoned as such due to its density.428 E Scott Ave seems like a great opportunity to promote more dense development and land use, if it were also zoned as RN-6319, 401, and 424 E Scott Ave are multifamily residential scenarios, and the properties should be zoned as such. This will encourage smarter development in this neighborhood, as the area continues to grow in popularity.
Staff Reply:

Rn-4 In Belle Morris, Along Coker Avenue

As homeowners on Coker Avenue who have spent a great deal of time, energy, and money restoring our historic 1920 single family home; we oppose the proposed RN-4 zoning directly across the street from our home, as well as RN-4 'spot' zoning along Coker Avenue on top of current single family homes, duplexes, or homes split into apartments. Because we don't have the protection of a Historic Overlay, we are extremely concerned that the allowance of Multi-Family and Townhouse developments will give developers and landlords the incentive to knock down unprotected historically significant single-family homes (or duplexes) to build inappropriately scaled and historically insignificant multi-family developments. We are not opposed to current or new duplexes along Coker Avenue or in Belle Morris (which are allowed in RN-2), and in fact welcome the diversity. We also do not oppose any current single family homes that have already been split into apartments after the home was originally constructed, however do not support the allowance of that home being knocked down or substantially renovated in order to create more apartments. In single family neighborhoods where homes have been split into apartments, we would suggest RN-2 zoning on these structures which allows the current apartment configuration, but encourages restoration to single family residences if substantially renovated. Within all urban neighborhoods, RN-4 zoning placed on current single family homes, duplexes, and single family homes that have been split into apartments is a step in the wrong direction - please rezone these parcels to RN-2 (or to match the surrounding RN zoning).Rather than increasing multi-family housing by decreasing single-family housing we need to be expanding multi-family housing along commercial corridors or on industrial properties that are no longer utilized and were historically commercial or residential. We believe the new commercial and office code's allowance of multiple stories of residential use above commercial use should also adequately provide Knoxville with ample multi-family housing opportunities, if not better encourage their development directly along our urban corridors.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

As a resident in 4th and Gill neighborhood, I do NOT want re-zoning to allow for multi-family and townhomes. The neighborhood has undergone years of renovations and rehabilitation and is largely owner occupied and I feel that allowing multi-family/townhomes will jeopardize our property value and neighborhood appeal
Staff Reply:

Rn-4 Zoning Concerns

As a homeowner on Chicago Ave, I strongly oppose the zoning of RN-4 on my street, and throughout my neighborhood. I invested into my home with the understanding that my neighborhood would remain primarily single family housing; the proposed re-zoning would allow apartments up to two parcels away from my house. Please rezone this area back to the original zoning.
Staff Reply:

4th And Gill

As a homeowner in the 4th and Gill area, I would like to change the neighborhood back to RN2 which is similar to our current R1A code. We are working to preserve the historic homes and the RN4 and single-family homes. We have a historic overlay and very few open lots so the potential for RN4 use is not appropriate in this area.
Staff Reply:

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