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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Sustainability | Utility Tie In | Local, Regional Resilience

I think Knoxville needs to do more to promote local and regional resilience to natural and man-made disasters, such as encouraging more household gardening (i.e. Victory Gardens) and edible landscaping (both in neighborhoods and shared green spaces). Other initiatives such as green roofs to help reduce urban heat signature and community gardens to help produce high quality, local food and promote a sense of place and belonging in urban areas that tend to foster a solitary lifestyle.
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Survey Methodology

While I am likely in favor of whatever progressive ideas and goals Recode Knoxville is proposing, I thought the survey was biased. Rather than appearing open to the various ideas and opinions that respondents and the public might have, for several questions, the survey taker was asked to agree or disagree with seemingly positive improvements. If the intent of the survey is to gather the ideas from respondents about different municipal ideas and proposals, then ask for the ideas those respondents might have, or set up a fair Likert scale to gauge one's interest in various ideas. For example, take this question: "Do you support expanding corridors, which were originally [but it read "thoughtlessly"] made for cars, in order to support transportation for bicycles and pedestrians?" It forces someone with a different perspective to disagree, which is an unfair set-up. Instead, a more fair question would ask, "Do you favor future corridor development that favors vehicles or non-automotive transportation?" In this way, the respondent can offer a response to a question that genuinely requests their ideas and opinion.Just something to keep in mind for future survey development. If you truly want others' honest opinions and ideas, then ask for them. Insinuating appropriate or inappropriate responses through biased instrument construction is unlikely to get others on your side.My two cents.
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Survey Follow-up

I think one of the most important things to consider in the development of new ordinances is the impact they will have on poorer neighborhoods. Renovation of old buildings is important when it leads to safer structures and vitalized neighborhoods, but when the cost of that is the well-to-do driving out the poor no good has been accomplished.
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Survey

The survey is great. Glad we are starting to think "outside the box". It is likely that some survey takers will feel the questions lead to the desired responses. I felt that way but agree with where the questions led me.
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Sun And Lights

Existing houses and buildings should have their amount of sunlight protected from new buildings either in front or behind them, therefore a new building across the street should not interfere with the amount of sunlight your house gets. A good example is the big apt. complex on the 1700 block of White avenue blocking the winter sunlight from coming in the windows of the old 'Hawkeyes" building across the street.Also, I would be in favor of 'low light' regulations for nighttime lighting both public and private. Flagstaff, AZ has done a good job at this.Thanks!
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Street Trees

I walk anywhere I can from my house in Old North, and I often have my kids with me in a stroller. Lately I've noticed a lot of urban development and repurposing of defunct businesses, which I applaud. Efforts like this make the city more livable and enjoyable. I've also noticed that in many projects (such as the construction on Depot at the Regas site), huge mature street trees that I came to appreciate and love for their shade have been cut down. I think incentives to work around existing trees are a great idea, as it will easily take 50-100 years to replace a tree that may have been in the way for a short-term project. Seeing a long, hot sunny stretch where there were once spreading old limbs is discouraging. And sweaty. Trees also lend an established, well-cared for feeling to cities, and we lose a lot when we lose mature trees. Thank you for your time.
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Sruvey

I applaud the City of Knoxville and the Metro Planning Commission on this survey. I am excited to see where our city and county go in the development of a walkable, livable, and more active downtown. I am not familiar with the current code, but it would seem to be advantageous to ensure mixed-use buildings and adaptive reuse receive the highest priority. Perhaps the most pressing issue hindering downtown's growth is its copius amount of surface level parking. If there is any way to discourage owners from keeping these properties as wastes of space, or rewarding those who have decided to develop it into usable urban space, I would encourage it. Thank you for continuing to make a better urban life for the residents of our area.
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Signage

I believe new sign ordinance or variances should be investigated, specifically addressing the individual personality, architecture and history of each neighborhood.
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Signage

The city has gone overboard with sign regulation, governing out of fear of billboards and distractions to our scenic beauty so much so that it has paralyzed ALL signage. Those fears can be regulated and managed without stopping practically all signage. I am an adminstrator at a large church in the city that hosts and provides many community and educational functions for the neighborhood and city. Yet we have to resort to temporary vinyl banner signs to promote because of the fear of electronic billboards in the city. There should be a governmental/non-profit category that would allow information center boards with lots of rules/regulations about no scrolling/flashing, brightness, change rate, etc. but still be ALLOWED. Much like the Knoxville Convention Center message board, more of a power point type display with full color and decent resolution. This category could include the grandfathered Civic Coliseum and the Convention Center and be used by churches and Boys/Girls Clubs, Knoxville Museum of Art, etc. We are not selling cigarettes or lottery tickets but providing information to the community for the betterment of all.This has become an emotional/political hot potato topic and it shouldn't be. Let us be a trial/test case. We have money in escrow from a generous donation for such a sign, but have been waiting for a break in the moratorium/no exceptions climate to seek our chance to put up such a sign. We would love to be a part of this conversation.
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Sidewalks/ Walkability

I've been told that builders of new developments are not required to install sidewalks. This, to me, doesn't make any sense. I feel like they should be required to be built at the time a new development is put in place. This cost should NOT fall onto the city. As a current resident of Sequoyah Hills (and former resident of Holston Hills), I lament the fact that so many of our neighborhoods aren't more pedestrian friendly. The addition of sidewalks to new neighborhoods might free up some money to add sidewalks to older neighborhood like Sequoyah and Holston Hills and others that were in existence before the importance of sidewalks was realized.I've often wondered if it wouldn't be possible to improve walkability in some neighborhoods by changing traffic patterns on some roads. You could convert roads that are currently 2-way into be one-way roads. I feel like this could work, for example, in an area where there are 2, 2-way roads running parallel to one another (both lacking sidewalks). You could perhaps make each road one way (one now becomes south-bound only, while the other becomes north-bound only.) The now unused lane on each road is repurposed as a "pedestrian lane". We live on Arrowhead Trail in Sequoyah and I could see this working nicely in combination with Noelton Drive. Neither of these roads have sidewalks and it definitely prevents most people from walking to the local groceries and shops. I would imagine this would have to be less expensive than putting in sidewalks and it wouldn't necessarily increase traffic on either road. Perhaps it is less of a hassle, as well, with regards to getting the neighbors to agree to it as well because you wouldn't be taking away any of their front yard to convert to sidewalk... just a thought!Thanks for seeking out our opinions on recoding the city. Knoxville has come such a long way in the 12 years that I've lived here... let's keep up the amazing progress!!! Improving walkability in neighborhoods and pedestrian access to local stores and shops will be such a boon to the city... less cars on the road, healthier citizens and an even more desirable place to call home!
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Sidewalks

The need for sidewalks down broadway in fountain city is off the charts. Residents in scooters and those walking are at risk. So many businesses are very close, yet residents are forced to drive everywhere, increasing the need for parking and increasing heavy traffic snafus.
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Sidewalks

Upkeep of side walks is tearable in Knoxville especially in the Ft Sanders area. They are broken up, blocked by brush, low hanging branches, cars parked on them.
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Sidewalks

The sidewalks in Fort Sanders, especially on Clinch and Laurel are cracked and crumbling. Cars are parked at yellow curbs, bus stops on Clinch.
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Sidewalks

My son will be starting Kindergarten this year. I love being active and it makes me sad that I live so close to the school, but I can't walk because there are no sidewalks! The area is growing and there is not a lot of parking. If there were sidewalks throughout the community I think there would be a lot more people walking and biking and leaving their cars at home. Thanks for your time!
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Sidewalks

I would like to see a sidewalk from the Rocky Hill shopping center to Rocky Hill School. There is so much school traffic on that road and the road is not very wide. I think a sidewalk would be very helpful and make the road a lot safer.
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Sidewalks

With the growth in South Knoxville, particularly the Sevier Heights area, we need sidewalks badly. Walkers on Sevierville Pike have to walk in people yards, the ditch and/or the middle of the road. In many places there is no where to go if cars are coming. Many times a day, people who live in apartments on Redbud walk down the street to the bus stop or convenient store and cars need to veer to avoid them.
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Sidewalks

After taking the city's survey I would like to add that we need more sidewalks in Knoxville. It would also be nice if the road work being done to Western Avenue was completed.
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Sidewalks

Rezoning codes should include mandatory sidewalks to meet ADA standards. KAT stops should include landing pads so that wheelchairs can load and unload safely.
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Sidewalks

Please make sidewalks mandatory.
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Side Walks And No Ditches

Would like sidewalks in neighborhoods other than downtown to promote security and community. Also, get rid of the ditches that line almost all of the streets in south Knoxville. Either that or annex us so we don't have to pay taxes to pay for the rest of the city's sidewalks and proper water management (no more ditches dug in people's front yards). Put it in the code to require city neighborhoods to have sidewalks.
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Short Term Rentals

I find it odd that your survey didn't include any questions relating to the short term rental issue. The proposal as it exists will be a disaster for R1 neighborhoods. Additionally, I found the survey extremely biased and leading in nature. Personally, I couldn't give two cents about sustainability and don't think my tax dollars should could be used to fund projects that are designed to combat, so called man made global warming.
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Roads

Need to work on roads rather than making bike lanes and sidewalks. Since you have screwed up Moody Avenue by making it a 2 lane road I have seen far more car wrecks than I have seen people riding bikes. Crazy. I have talked to a lot of people who feel the same way. Also need more speed enforcement everywhere in the city. Especially Chapman Highway.
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Roads

I think a concerted effort needs to be made to widen all secondary and connector roads. They are dangerous to foot traffic, bicycles, and automobile traffic. To have the percentage of such narrow roads and absolutely no shoulders is, in my opinion, restricting not only commercial and residential growth but also restricting other means of travel/commuting aside from auto, e.g. biking and walking for fear of getting run over.
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Rezoning Traffic Concerns

As a long term resident (18 years) of one of Knoxville's historic and urban neigjborhoods, I have many thoughts/concerns on the topic of Knoxville's rezoning. Number one on my list is increased traffic, which I do not feel is being publicly discussed/addressed equivalent to to other concerns. I would like to see measures put into place to decrease increased traffic, along with zoning changes. We have witnessed first-hand the effects of latent traffic calming attempts and it is quite simply ineffective.
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Rezoning

Please consider more flexibility and guidance for building tiny or very small homes in blighted areas as a way to increase affordable housing.
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Reviewing Codes Survey

Points I'd like to cover based on questions asked in the survey.I believe there needs to be a mixed use provision for the downtown area if the code hasn't already been updated. I'm thinking along the lines of commercial on ground floor and residential above.Some means to encourage smaller commercial spaces. For example, limit a Walmart or Kroger mega-store from opening in a downtown area and instead encourage smaller grocery and retail stores.Curb the amount of advertising on roadsides, much like the town of Farragut does. Signs limited in size, limited in height, etc.I voted against the 'historic tree' preservation mainly because of the ginko trees that line certain roads. I hate those things and the Bradford pears that started cropping up in the 80s. I'm not against old oaks and the like, just the "fad" trees some landscaper decided to add on a whim that later turn to be a nuisance.Thank you for your time and attention.
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Residential Neighborhoods

Residential neighborhoods such as R1 and SW1 need to be protected from encroachment of non-residential. Old homes need to be saved for their character as residential and stay residential. Parking restrictions in those neighborhoods that will have impact from non-resident traffic need to move forward with MPC and Council. Building heights and setbacks restricted to retain a neighborhood's character. STR not allowed or only by homeowner living on premise or in house as was stated in public meetings and generally accepted to control STR in residential areas such as R1 and SW1. There needs to be minimum parking requirements added to the FBC as commercial is already removing parking from their places of business, which pushes parking into places that should not have to deal with the spaces these business are removing from their locations. They are not sharing parking with other commercial but removing parking because there is no minimum required parking. This is a main issue with FBC and multi-use.
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Residential House Freedom

I strongly believe house owners should be able to use their houses as they see fit. It is not government's business to regulate who lives in your house. I think ordinances restricting occupancy would prove unconstitutional if challenged. I also think short term rental such as Air B&B should not be restricted.
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