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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Section 10.3 & 10.4 - Accessory Structures And Uses

I believe that there should be more consistency between section 10.3 (F) CARPORTS and section 10.3 (N) GARAGE, DETACHED. First, does section 10.3 (F) apply to detached carports only, or attached and detached carports? Clarification there would be beneficial.Second, why must a carport be set back from side lot lines 10 feet whereas a detached garage requires no setback from side lot lines? I would think application of setbacks for these structures would be consistent with each other. It may be that each could be addressed in a consistent manner with regard to Table 10-1, Permitted Encroachments as unenclosed porches (similar to a carport) and sheds (similar to a detached garage).Thanks
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Riverscape & Stream Buffers

Love the inclusion of Riverscape Standards and Stream Buffers in the South Waterfront (SW) district. Since the Tennessee River is such an important natural asset to our community, wouldn't it make sense to apply similar standards for all riverscape and streams in the City? Most streams have unfortunately already been developed, but applying these type of standards across the City would provide a means of protecting our waterways during future development/redevelopment, and a vision for caring for our natural resources. It is also just a smart development practice from an aesthetic standpoint to allow public access to river frontage instead of cutting people off with streets and buildings.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

Affordable housing is at crisis point for many people in Knoxville. Homelessness is on the rise in our city due to a lack of affordable housing. "Bring Back the Orange! in our core neighborhoods by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards to encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve."
Staff Reply:

Recommend Changes For Sequoyah Hills

Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:- Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.- Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements.Here's why I'm making these recommendations:- RN-1 and RN-2 make up all the single family parcels in Sequoyah Hills and these recommendations attempt to ensure those properties are not bought up by investors and split up without regard to the neighborhood and without consequence to the property owner.- I understand and support the need for ADUs to provide for unique family situations and the urge of some residents of Sequoyah Hills to provide affordable housing for young parents to be part of our school district. I believe my recommendations will not interfere with these priorities.- The C-G-3 height requirement would apply to Western Plaza's zoning. This would still be in violation of paragraphs a.1.A and a.1.B of Title 54 Chapter 17 Part 1 of the 2017 Tennessee Code, which protects Tennessee's scenic highways and state law would supersede the zoning code, so in effect, the 85' would never be reached.- My deep, dark fear is that our neighborhood will be taken over by investors that chop up the real estate like they have in Fort Sanders.- I bought my house in Sequoyah Hills because I saw a "for sale" sign in the yard when I ran by it training for the Knoxville Marathon. I strongly believe that one of the common goods that raises the value of all our properties and increases the quality of all our lives is the walkability of Sequoyah Hills.
Staff Reply:

Recode's Impact On South Waterfront Form-based Code

I am writing you with dismay about how the current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville handles the long studied, community-based, community-requested South Waterfront Form-based Code. I participated in the public discussions and feedback as part of the Round 1 of Recode Knoxville. At that time I was told explicitly in a public meeting in regards to a question about the current, existing form-based codes used in Knoxville that there wouldn't be major changes to current form-based codes used in Knoxville, only clean-up on the edges where ideas hadn't solidly been hammered out in the code.The current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville does not appear to hold to the statement made at that meeting. I'm concerned to see major changes being proposed, including some that go against the very intent of what the SW code was set-up to accomplish.Form-based code districts should be dealt with individually if any changes are made. That's the very nature of form-based districts. They're customized, specialized and unique. The form-based code for each district is meant to "fit like a glove" to address the particular development opportunities for that district, and has to be handled accordingly at every step. That clearly includes revisions. A board, sweeping update to the entire Code, such as Recode Knoxville, is not the appropriate place to dig into the guts, the thrust of the South Waterfront Form-based Code and muck around.The South Waterfront Form-based Vision Plan and Code included months of work and community involved meetings. The community was engaged in the process and had embraced the adoption of the code at it's completion. The public was endorsing an urban, pedestrian-friendly connected community that provided public access to the river. Below are a few examples of how the 2nd Round of Recode Knoxville glosses over these facts and preverts the intention of the South Waterfront Form-based Code:The prohibited-use section has been deleted. We need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial. This is critical to a successfully grown community where people want to live and engage.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities go against the intent of the South Waterfront Form-based Code's goals of an urban, pedestrian friendly, community with a sense of place. Gated communities negatively impact connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the South Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The off-street parking section has been deleted and replaced with a reference to the general parking section in the Recode document. Unless that section includes a prohibition on parking lots in the front, which I doubt, this prohibition needs to remain in the code. Front parking lots are not part of an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code deletes the different parking max/mins for each of the seven South Waterfront districts. We need those in the South Waterfront code because parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use in a form-based code.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are not what the South Waterfront code intended to build an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Superblocks have a negative impact on connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer has been deleted. This was strongly supported by the community and well-vetted before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted. If we are treating the South Waterfront streetscapes like all other streetscapes in Knoxville, then the South Waterfront will lose it's opportunity to be a unique district with it's own pull and character to help strengthen and diversify Knoxville. This section need to remain.
Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode: Draft 2 Comments

Bring back the Orange by better utilizing the newly created RN-3 & RN-4 (as well as RN-5 where appropriate) districts that more appropriately represent the existing development patterns of the neighborhoods where it was removed. Projected population growth will necessitate "Orange" neighborhoods along corridors & with access to transit.This is inline with ReCode Section 1.2 Purpose statement - to promote economic development that balances the needs of current & future economy; utilize existing infrastructure & resources. Down-zoning current R-2 to proposed RN-2 reduces options for medium density redevelopment and doesn't reflect the existing development patterns. This reduction also further promotes financially irresponsible development patterns, leading to more sprawl, traffic, and infrastructure expenses without increasing the tax base to support it. This reduction goes against the vast amount of experts that have been brought into our community as speaker. (i.e. Joe Minicozzi, Chuck Marohn, Jana Lynott, Jeff Randoph, and more). Dwelling Design Standards: Single & Two-FamilyAs written, we're moving in the right direction. Standards MUST be objective & easy to understand and navigate. There are still some subjective wording within the standards that should be clarified. A Design Standard "Checklist" would be helpful. The Downtown Design Review Board could be used as a model to be duplicated for areas with Historical significance comprised of unbiased professionals.ParkingToo restrictive for Duplex (as written requires 2 spaces/du = 4 spaces). Requirement should consider number of bedrooms I.e. Duplex w/ a 2 bedroom unit + 1 efficiency unit. How does the code interpret a 40' single-width driveway.. 3 spaces? Need more clarification for what will actually be required to meet residential parking space requirements.ADUsAs written, Lot area minimum of 5000 sq.ft. is excellent & best practice. As written, Allowing attached or detached is excellent & best practice. Side setback of 8' and rear setback of 10' are too restrictive for small lots. In areas where ADUs are most needed (in or near transit-oriented development) residential lots often range from 50 x 100-150 feet. A 10' setback requirement makes detached ADU placement extremely challenging on small lots. In walkable urban neighborhoods, setback requirements should be kept to a minimum to enable detached ADU development: 5 feet is a reasonable setback requirement for such lots. As written, ADU setbacks are more restrictive than the setback for other comparable accessory structures, such as garages. Setback regulations for detached accessory structures may also consider tiered standards based on the detached structure's height, to protect light and air for adjacent lots. Basic design standards such as no low windows or doors are allowed within the sides of the structures that are within 5 feet of the property line. This nuanced, tiered setback approach protects neighboring properties' light, air, and privacy while affording smaller lots the same development entitlements as larger lots. It is the same development standard that applies to garages and other accessory structures.Limits to Max gross floor area.Capping ADU size is useful at responding to market needs for smaller dwellings. A reasonable cap should be smaller than the primary structure. However, adequate cap size would allow for two people to comfortably live. We need to ensure that ADUs can be at least up to 600 sq. ft. Many cities have a floor area ratio between the main house and the ADU that restricts the ADU to 300â€" 400 sq. ft. That does not work for someone who is fifty-five and has lived in a single-family home for decades. 300-400 sq.ft. doesn't work for a couple who is going to have a kid and going to live a normal life with friends and family that come and visit. A home that is 600 sq. ft. can function as a real home by the standards of what people want & expect from a home. The cap SHOULD NOT be tied to the existing floor area ratio of the primary structure.For example, a standard 800 sq.ft. post-war cottage (abundant in our urban neighborhoods) shouldn't be restricted to a 320 sq.ft. ADU. With current building codes not allowing sleeping lofts, it's quite difficult to adequately provide all that is necessary for a dwelling within such a small space. The cap SHOULD BE tied to Lot Size (as written) not to exceed the primary dwelling. A 600 sq.ft. ADU should be allowed on a 5000 sq.ft. lot even with an 800 sq.ft. primary structure. The 40% cap of primary dwelling should be removed from the code.Omit or clarify the subjective statement #9. The ADU must be designed so that the appearance of the primary structure remains that of a house.As written, no additional parking requirement is excellent & best practice.
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