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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Showing 7-12 comments of 82

Landscape Plan Requirements- Existing Plant Material

As a landscape architect, I applaud the efforts to revise the code to define and require additional landscaping. I would suggest review and reconsideration of the wording related to documenting existing landscape materials under 12.2, B, 2.: "The location, quantity, size, name, and condition, both botanical and common, of all existing plant materials on-site, indicating plant material to be retained and to be removed."In practice, a surveyor often determines the locations and size of large existing trees and provides their common names. A landscape designer visits the site to determine the condition of existing significant plant material to be removed or included in the landscape design with the knowledge of where grading, structures, utilities and paving might occur. In the strictest interpretation of the requirement above, the landscape plan must reflect every existing plant on site prior to any design work. A typical undeveloped site in eastern Tennessee might contain more than a thousand individual plants and more than one hundred species, many of which are invasive and/or contain insignificant weeds. Similarly, a previously developed site will likely contain numerous 'insignificant' smaller plants and weeds and each would need to be surveyed in order to document their location. Surveyors do not generally recognize all species of shrubs, ground covers and grasses. A landscape architect might suggest relocating a building or revising the grading or paving layout to preserve a tree, but would not likely do so to preserve existing shrubs, ground covers or perennials. A specialized environment like a wetland or prairie might be a different story.If the intent is to document significant trees that are proposed for removal or which might be preserved to contribute to the landscape, I would suggest omitting the word "all" and revising this item to reflect a minimum tree size. Such wording might include; "The location, quantity, size, name, and condition, both botanical and common, of existing trees equal to or greater than 2" in caliper." It should be noted that including "all" plants or individual shrubs and/or other minor plants will require a surveyor and landscape designer to prepare a plan of existing conditions with detail (obtained at a significant cost) that might or might not be relevant to meeting the overall intent of the Landscape sections within the code. Such documentation might add a cost of a few thousand dollars per acre to survey small trees or $15K-$30K to survey trees, shrubs and ground covers depending on the wording and how many data points are required.Please review and discuss the intent of item 12.2, B, 2 and revise the wording of this item accordingly.Thank you for your consideration and all of the work thus far to improve our surroundings.
Staff Reply:

Good Landscaping And Design Standards For Neighborhoods

People definitely care about good landscaping and design standards where they live. These have been omitted and they are important. A house needs to be seen as a house from the street--windows, porches, other details. Front loaded garages need to be limited to 60% or less. We are a city that wants good design, landscaping, lighting that shows we care. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Article 12: Landscaping

Most large to medium cities have stricter landscaping standards than what Recode is proposing. Those standards are not difficult to enforce. Stricter landscape standards will be a benefit to Knoxville economically, environmentally, and socially.Native and Drought Tolerant species should be required, not encouraged. No one does the "encourage" line items. The line has no teeth.All parking lots over 5,000 sf should have perimeter landscaping requirements.Lots of 10,000 sf or greater should have interior landscaped islands.A mitigation fund or tree bank should be required. If existing trees of a certain caliper are destroyed in development, X number of 2" cal. trees need to be planted on site or given to the city for planting.A landscaping bond similar to Chattanooga's should be required.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Thank you for taking comments! I have only been able to attend one meeting, and have only quickly reviewed the draft - so I have limited comments to offer...but I appreciate being able to do so. I think mixed use makes sense in many areas, especially when run-down commercially zoned buildings could/would be a viable option for housing - hopefully that doesn't mean traffic jams for neighborhoods or trashy parking/eye sores. It would be nice if green-scaping were required for more of the commercially zoned buildings and multi-unit residential buildings. I love sidewalks, trees, and small businesses. and...this may be more of a side-note, but the abandoned Walmart/Shoe Shoe/Cato strip malls with massive parking lots distress me...they are everywhere, I know, and other businesses try and come in to the space, but it still just leaves a sad crater in the areas where they land. ...that and all the easy money/check into cash joints littering Chapman Highway & Broadway, keeping folks in a debt spiral... can we zone those out of all areas, all towns...everywhere? ! :Thank you for the space to comment!
Staff Reply:

Rn-4 Puts E. Fifth Ave.'s Nrhp At Risk

This comment pertains to E. Fifth Ave. in Park City, which is part of Knoxville's largest national register of historic places. I want to see increased density in this area, but without design guidelines to protect our historic structures, I believe RN-4 is an inappropriate zoning as it leaves the historic homes vulnerable to demolition and inappropriate alterations and the community with little voice for development of empty lots. I would fully support RN-4 if H-1 were also put in place. I would also support H-1 guidelines that provide an easy path for multi-family infill housing.
Staff Reply:

Residential Design Standards

Basic residential design standards for single family homes were included in Drafts 1 and 2, but deleted in Draft 3 without explanation. (9-12, J)Design standards insure quality construction, protect property values, preserve community character, promote the aesthetics of neighborhoods and enhance quality of life. They attract new residents to the neighborhood. They make people proud to call their house a home. Everyone deserves to be proud of where they live.The following standards should be restored for single family dwellings:p. 9-12J. Two-Family DwellingsThe following do not apply to two-family dwellings where a NC or IH Overlay District is in place.1. On lots less than one acre in lot area, a dwelling must have a primary entrance from a façade facing the street. The front entry must be a dominant feature on the front elevation of a home and an integral part of the structure, using features such as porches, raised steps and stoops, and/or roof overhangs.2. Windows, entrances, porches, or other architectural features are required on all street-facing facades to avoid the appearance of blank walls.3. A 15% minimum transparency requirement applies to all street-facing façades and is calculated on the basis of the entire area of the façade.4. Front-loaded attached garages are limited to 60% of the width of the front building line or 24 feet, whichever is greater. Garage width is measured as the width of a garage door; in the case of garages designed with multiple garage doors, the distance is measured between the edge of the outmost doors.5. Front-loaded attached garages must be set back a minimum of five feet from the front building façade line. This façade building line does not include architectural features, such as bay windows or porches.
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