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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Property Rights

You have nothing about personal property rights. You are going down the wrong path.
Staff Reply:

Additional Zoning Comments

Yes, I have a lot to add to the survey. I suggest the following for Knoxville:1 - more careful zoning2 - watch out for over building3 - why no underground utilities? (oh, I know, they are more expensive.)4 - too many cars, poor traffic control5 - watch out... it's becoming a really ugly city6 - residential areas should sty residential
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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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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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One City

Why is Knoxville so segregated? We're a very diverse city, yet certain areas seems to be reserved only for the upper class. It has become popular to have some wealthy neighborhoods in underprivileged communities, such as 4th and Gill, however those families probably don't dare send their children to the failing public school. Most probably opt for a magnet school or private school. Our community members help determine the success of our schools. The school system can't be solely blamed for failure when the only family's they serve are facing some form(s) of disparity. If we could integrate our low income families to wealthier neighborhoods and encourage our wealthier families to move to communities other than Farragut, Karns, and Powell (and actually send their kids to the zoned public school) then perhaps we could truly thrive as one united city that can celebrate true diversity. We can't claim to want equality if we don't want those facing disparity to be our neighbor. Perhaps we need to rethink what determines property value. It's unfair that someone of low income can't afford the exact same house or apartment located in east knoxville if it were located in a neighborhood in west knoxville). Maybe business should be given incentives for opening up stores and offices along roads like Magnolia, Clinton highway, and Chapman Highway. I'm not sure about government making so many restrictions on someone's property, but it would be nice if these roadsides were kept up as well as Kingston Pike, Lovell Rd, and Emory Rd. Overall, I think our city needs to improve on being more integrated and cohesive.
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Curbs And Gutters

While not specifically a zoning issue, I continue to be perplexed at the non-existent curbs and gutters in Knoxville, even on some of our most used and busy arterials. Why can't a substantial portion of the annual budget be designated to care for this?
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Codes & Standards

While I encourage the redevelopment of existing facilities and mixed-use development, I don't think that government should go as far as to regulate landscaping and actual architectural expression in building materials. For example, having an area of mixed use development that requires street level windows or retail is okay, but don't require the building look just like every other building on the block. Also, pedestrian and bike corridors are great where feasible, but if the expense is too great or right-of-way too narrow or restrictive, then there should be exceptions. In other words, encourage it where it's feasible and makes sense, but don't write it into the code everywhere and create an economic burden.Thanks for requesting input!
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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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Comments

when will you answer my questions? When will you send me a newsletter? When will you have a clear recording of the community meeting? When will you be placing project documents in the library in the project docs link? When will the media contact be answering my questions as well? Separate from this form6/22/2017screenshotting this
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Food Truck Generators

When businesses use food trucks they should be required to provide electrical hook-up to stop the generator noise. Some food trucks are obnoxiously loud.
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What Does This Even Mean?

What does this even mean? "Our current zoning ordinance is very rigid and in some cases prevents neighborhoods from achieving their full potential. An updated ordinance can protect the things we value about our neighborhoods and commercial areas while allowing the kinds of smart, sustainable growth that will move Knoxville Forward" What is the definition of full potential, and give me three neighborhood examples of full potential. You're telling me that we can't build sidewalks in neighborhoods? Is this the "full potential?" What are three examples of "smart" growth in a neighborhood in Knoxville. What are three examples of "sustainable growth" in a neighborhood here.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your comments regarding the updating of the City of Knoxville’s zoning ordinance. In response to your question regarding building sidewalks in neighborhoods, the short answer is no, the City cannot build sidewalks in all existing neighborhoods that lack them. The cost of retrofitting sidewalks (constructing them after development of the property occurs) is at a minimum $250 -$350 per linear foot. This cost covers land acquisition, design, grading, construction, stormwater drainage, utility relocation, and related costs. The cost of addressing all sidewalks identified on the City’s current priority list is approximately $150 Million. The cost to provide sidewalks on both sides of all streets in the City currently lacking them is at least $3 Billion. So no, the City cannot build sidewalks in all neighborhoods. The City is taking a pragmatic approach to sidewalk construction: budgeting more money for sidewalk construction and maintenance; beginning the development of a pedestrian priority plan that will identify and rank sidewalk needs so that future funding can be allocated to the greatest identified need; and drafting an ordinance that would require sidewalk construction when new development and major redevelopment occurs in the City.I will provide a couple examples of combined smart/sustainable development as in my opinion they are the same thing. The first example is the redevelopment of a vacant building at the corner of Sevierville Pike and Lancaster Drive to house a restaurant. An abandoned existing structure was repurposed for a use that serves the neighborhood and the broader community. The parking area is constructed of previous pavers and the site is well landscaped. The redevelopment of this property in a smart/sustainable manner will enable the building to be used for other purposes in the future should the current business relocate, close, or vacate the property for some other reason. Due to this thoughtful redevelopment, rather than a vacant building that detracts from the neighborhood there is a viable business at this location that serves and strengthens the neighborhood.Another example of smart/sustainable development is the redevelopment of the vacant building on Sevier Avenue that now houses Alliance Brewing and Three Bears Coffee. The redevelopment incorporated many sustainable features that will reduce its environmental footprint, from lighting to pavement materials. Once again, rather than a vacant building that detracts from the neighborhood this location now houses thriving businesses that serve and enhance the neighborhood.An example of a redevelopment made challenging by the current zoning ordinance, and thus difficult to reach the neighborhood’s full potential, is provided by the property at the corner of Broadway and East Glenwood Avenue. The City’s current zoning code requires significant parking (40 – 45 parking spaces) for the businesses in this building. Given the size of the property there is no way the current parking requirements could be met. In addition, the setback requirements in the current ordinance for this zoning district (25 feet front and side, 15 feet rear) make the existing building non-conforming. In order to redevelop this property, and assist in the neighborhood reaching its full potential, the owners had to incur the expense and delay of obtaining variances from the zoning requirements. An updated zoning code that acknowledged the character of existing neighborhoods will make it easier to redevelop properties such as this that serve neighborhoods and are easily accessible to neighborhood residents.With regard to neighborhoods reaching their full potential, I will provide a brief list of items that would be characteristics of a neighborhood that reached its full potential. Typical characteristics of a neighborhood that has reached its full potential are:
  • A variety of housing choices, from large single family homes to small apartments;
  • Access to transportation options, from private vehicles to transit to walking and biking;
  • Using vacant and blighted properties to provide amenities that are easily accessible to neighborhood residents. Examples of this include using vacant lots for mini-parks, children’s playgrounds, and/or community gardens.
  • Small commercial areas that are integrated into the neighborhood, of compatible scale, and that respect the neighborhood character.

Parking

We need to make sure that any commercial or multi-family development includes sufficient parking. People do not come to places where parking is a problem.We appear to have some bike lanes that extend only one or two blocks and do not connect to other bike-friendly roads, such as the bike lane on Knoxville zoo drive. These seem pointless. We need to think about usefulness when we create bike lanes.
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Public Transit

We need Amtrak and Southwest Airlines! More trains to connect to Nashville, Chatt and Atlanta.
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Inskip

We do not need anymore apartments / condos in Inskip. We need more traffic calming and more police presence.
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Zoning Regulations

We desperately need sidewalks to connect neighborhoods to each other and to commercial districts for food and entertainment. We also need to bury utilities instead of cutting down trees around the utility lines. This is a never ending cycle. If we make the initial investment (albeit an expensive one) it will pay off in the long run. Obviously the annual expense of tree trimming will be less but it will add value to community both aesthetically and will attract more businesses in the long run. We want to keep Knoxville beautiful and if we keep massacring trees this is not possible!!
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Residential Development

Very displeased at the lack of opportunity for meaningful input when Wellsley Park Apartments were developed across the street (Wellsley Park Rd.) from our subdivision. City officials told us we would have an opportunity for input before site/building plans were approved, and some City officials did meet with us; but it was clear that by the time we were allowed input, the skids had already been greased and the developer's plans were merely a hair's breath away from approval. So our input was perfunctory only--officials at the City just checking off the box--without really listening to or considering our concerns. Among those were building height, traffic and parking, and landscaping. It was criminal that beautiful, mature birch and magnolia trees,which our subdivision had paid for years to maintain, were just bulldozed in constructing the apartments. No consideration was given by the developer to alternatives to save or transplant any of the existing beautiful landscaping along their side of Wellsley Park Rd. This should not be allowed to happen again. Thank you.
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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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Wasteful Spending

Too many parks and greenways, You should do full studies of what age groups, and how many people use these facilities. The streets were made to drive on. Fix the pot holes. Pave the roads, they are in terrible shape. Stop wasting money on bicycle lanes, and unnecessary landscaping.Stop bringing in outside "experts" from big cities that don understand what the taxpayers really want
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Zoning

Tiny homes need to be allowable. Currently they are not.
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Additional Comments

This is your chance to really make a positive impact on the future of our community. I have a Master's Degree in Bioregional Planning, but got too depressed by the field- essentially just bowing to developers, so I know a little bit of what you're up against. It's a delicate balance. I bought a new house in an old neighborhood 9 years ago and ride my bike to work every day. Infill development is critical- sometimes it happens from developers like it did in my case, but most often it needs to be encouraged and incentivized. Mixed use is key. Connectivity. Sidewalks, bike lanes or at least shoulders or bikeable roads, greenways. Do what needs to be done to make transit a more viable option for people. Developers need to pay into the infrastructure and should be required to have sidewalks or other connectivity. Limit dead-ends. People should have options of how to get to home and to work etc- both in terms of mode of transport, and in terms of which direction to take- not only one way in and one way out which is far too common in Knoxville and every community in this country. Thanks for your efforts. I'm happy to help how I can.
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Use Of Existing Trees As Credit Toward Landscaping Requirements

This allowance should only be for species native to Knox County.
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Transportatuon

There's no public transportation past Cedar Bluff and it's difficult if you live out there and have a job in town. I would love to see it expanded and/or a commuter system for high volumn times from West and North to downtown.
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Make Knoxville More Attractive

There is so much talk of Knoxville becoming a second-tier city, and we are on so many "best of" lists. We need to improve our infrastructure and overall appeal to keep up with this. Most of Kingston Pike is hideous, especially as you travel through west Knox. I strongly support sign and landscaping improvements. We should use cities like Charleston and Charlotte as examples. Thank you for the opportunity to provide input.
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Vacant Buildings Down Chapman Hwy

There are several empty old business that line all the way down chapman highway that could help boost the economy of this town if they were cleaned up and used to bring business (local and nonlocal). At a glance the majority of Chapman highway is run down and an ugly site to look at. If this area were to be cleaned up that could bring many new businesses and possible new places of residency could help give local residents and college students more options without having to sacrifice being away from businesses. This area is horrible and needs to be cleaned up!!
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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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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

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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City's Has A Role In Educating The Public

The City should help to educate the public about the importance of adaptive reuse and other preservation-related topics and activities. The message should include 1) the idea that everyone benefits from preservation activities ("It's not just for do-gooders"), and 2) preservation is good economics -- that it attracts people and businesses, and that it is cheaper to reuse/repurpose than to tear down and rebuild.The City's education effort would reinforce and support the work of other preservation-minded entities (like Knox Heritage, neighborhood organizations, and committed individuals). This broad-based education program is important because the issues are complex, and many (most?) people are not actively involved with them and may not understand them. This is a legitimate role for government.
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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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Incremental Growth, Prescriptive Historic Zoning & Mixed Use

The biggest impediments to sustainable growth in the current Knoxville code seem to be a series of overly prescriptive historic zoning overlays, a general lack of flexibility in terms of incremental growth and mixed use development. The historic zoning overlays, as currently written, exacerbate gentrification, and disallow the natural variation of architectural detailing and styles that should occur over time. A simpler form based code, which would generally maintain consistent massing, volumes and setbacks would go a long way toward incentivizing reinvestment in lower income historic neighborhoods at a price point that would minimize the massive shift in house prices that occurs when owners are forced to build oversized, imitative pseudo-historical single family houses.Similarly, the code currently restricts both mixed use and the inherent incrementality of growth which it allows. Even in historic neighborhood commercial centers, which have multi-story buildings which would have been mixed use, owners are restricted to commercial or residential use. Which again facilitates gentrification, as owner-operators that historically could have lived above their shops, must currently pay for a commercial space and a home. And usually, the affordable housing, and affordable commercial spaces are not in walkable neighborhoods, nor are they near each other, thereby further reinforcing the car dependent nature of current development patterns, and restricting opportunities for economic advancement by placing a de facto 'car tax' on anyone seeking to start a business.The new code should reflect historic realities, not myths. Real, functional, livable neighborhoods require a mix of both housing options and building types - with owners allowed to meet market demand by building, adding onto, and subdividing buildings and properties, instead of relying exclusively on large developers and tax subsidies to create multi-block, monolithic 'mixed-use' mega structures which tend to cater exclusively to the affluent. Further, healthy neighborhoods should be allowed to grow and change over time, both stylistically and socio-economically, rather than being forced to maintain an imaginary snapshot of one currently 'desirable' period in the neighborhood's history.
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Process Re: Land Use Regulations

Thanks for the opportunity to make some preliminary observations on the regulatory process.One recommendation that I would make is to publish the comments that are received during this initial effort to receive input.Secondly, I would urge you to prepare an overview of existing conditions throughout the City of Knoxville, RE: residential, commercial, industrial, recreation and related land uses, either characterized by "Small Area", and / or "District", by noting, for each identified geographic area, allocation of land uses by type, density, age, total population, etc., but including the primary transportation links to surrounding "districts" and "small areas".Thirdly, characterize each of the areas by trends over the past 20-30 years, RE: growth (population, dwelling units, density), changes in land use types, and traffic conditions.Please consider making this information available on-line, so that the public may review, compare and contrast changes which have occurred throughout the City, and to make some reasoned response through later stages of the planning and regulatory development.
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Additional Comments

Thank you for providing a space for additional comments. I strongly encourage more sidewalks, especially in the gap areas where sidewalks appear for a distance, then stop, or there is a gap between existing sidewalks. I'm sure others may have a similar situation, but my neighborhood is located within a short distance to the a) sidewalk on Francis Rd in one direction, and b) in the other direction, the sidewalk on Middlebrook Pike. However, I am trapped because the roads to get to those sidewalks are extremely curvy and narrow, and are hazardous for cars at times, much less a pedestrian or cyclist. If only the gap were filled, the residents in my area could travel by sidewalk in one direction to Cedar Bluff and beyond, and in the other direction, utilizing sidewalks and greenways, all the way to Volunteer Landing and beyond. The possibilities really excite me, except for the gap which completely changes the picture. Also, the closest bus stop is at Amherst/Middlebrook or Francis/Middlbrook and I have seen walkers risk their lives walking on the road until they reached a sidewalk leading to the bus stop.I know there are many priorities, thank for allowing me to voice my opinions. Thank you also for looking to the future and helping to make Knoxville an even more wonderful city.
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Parking

Some predictions of automobile trends show decreased parking needs due to a change in the way we will use self driving cars. Lower ownership could lead to decreased parking requirements. This could happen within the next 10 - 20 years. It would be helpful to make sure we have a flexible code that can adapt to this change in behavior. We may need 40 parking spots for a restaurant now, but may not need to require that many in the future.
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Zoning

Seems to me that Zoning serves only one meister: fear. In cities like Asheville, vacant city lots go for $30k or more. We can't even give them away here. I look forward to the day when we stop using armed force and instead use peaceful means to engage diversity.
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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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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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Zoning: Commercial Corridors & Building Height

Regarding the Commercial Corridors question: single family housing should not be encouraged in the corridor but commercial with residential above is a great way to keep neighborhoods safe and convenient for multifamily dwellings.Regarding height increases: 45' does seem a bit low but I would not want to see the heights increased by very much - the human scale is very important to maintain when attempting to encourage pedestrian friendliness (which is a form of equal opportunity design).
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Helping Knoxville Grow

Regarding development and Greenspace, there is a need for additional signage on the Mountain Bike Trails in our great city whether on the trails or more notes on the maps. Regarding Landscaping, we want to insure the grass is cut so no neighbor has to deal with a resident who owns a property but rarely visits it and thus it is not maintained. The city of Knoxville should have a list of owners or neighborhood contacts, main contact number accessible through 311 if the landscape codes are violated often. There is a 2-3 week window to reach the violator, however, some residents or owners may not currently be reachable and when they return, they receive a bill from the City for having mowed their yard. I do not blame the City in any way and thank them. Responsibility involves checking on your property, possibly having a neighbor contact you if you live out of town. No one wants a neighbor with tall grass, weeds and all the insects and mosquitoes that may take up residence due to neglect in the city limits especially.Possibly, some of these suggestions can be incorporated into a new City Map if you design a new Map of Knoxville. With the National Bike Race that was in Knoxville this weekend.I believe we will have the National Bike Race here again in 2018 and 2019 and possibly this can be advertised more. We had great positive views from the recent race, now lets step it up Knoxville to have more of the "Tour De France "as the "Tour De Knoxville" supporting local businesses, out of town racers and the community. I would recommend to add distances for walking trails throughout the city starting with miles 1.0, 1.5, 2. 0 etc. Initially, depending on Budgets, it could be every 2.5 miles for signage or the trail length each way posted or add to maps. Possibly a 4H,Girl or Boy Scout, or Sorority Project. At Iams, people with dogs, bag up their stools and leave the bagged stools on the side of the trail. Possibly, a few more trashcans or an incentive to return it to the beginning or end of the trail noted on the trail map. Caution: We are thankful, responsible pet owners do bag it up. As a pet owner, knowing your dogs digestive trac will help when they have stools. For example, beagles have a 5 hour trac. Congratulations to all our Mayors, City Staff & Employees, Businesses, Farmers Markets, City Events and the people who work, live, donate and make Knoxville what it is today. Remember, we grow, you grow, we all benefit. For residents who do not work and want to help the City, you may wish to get out and Volunteer for an area you enjoy. Support your local and Small businesses with shopping to keep them here. Too much on-line shopping, does not help our beautiful city. Knoxville and TN has done better than other cities and States through the recession because locals reinvest in Knoxville and in TN. Walk the Mall on a rainy day for exercise and possibly to buy something to help grow Knoxville's tax dollars to help pay for making Knoxville an even better city. Enjoy the Outdoor Benefits! Welcome visitors who also grow our TAX dollars by staying in local Hotels and eating at our Restaurants. Knoxville has more restaurants per capita than any other city.And of Course, we have the VOLS!
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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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Sidewalks

Please make sidewalks mandatory.
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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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Zoning

One of your stated missions is to recognize the growing changes in Knoxville demography. Current County land just south of the City boundary (south of Knob Creek (off Martin Mill); north of John Sevier Hwy.; east of Knoxville Hwy. (Hwy 33); and west of Chapman Hwy.) comprises increasing-density residential that allows outdated County-zoned (and dangerous) uses. Commercial firing-range for sighting of guns is allowed (high powered rifles). Commercial dump truck operation is allowed where loaded dump trucks run curvy Martin Mill Pike continuously. A lot of septic drainfields are old and, new and old, should be added to city septic.This should be addressed but don't know if this review would include this.
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Design Standards

On page 5 of the survey (Design and Landscape Standards), I wanted to provide more details of my personal opinions. While design standards can be good, they can also severely limit the character of a place. I believe that the standards that could be introduced would be more along the lines of "You should plant 'this many' trees or have 'so many square feet' of landscaping. It should NOT restrict species, layout, or design of the landscape. The same principle applies to architectural elements. While there is good reason to require street-level storefront windows in certain development zones (corridor intersections to encourage street-front walkability and commerce), materials/design should NOT be prescribed. Architects and Landscape Architects should be given freedom to be creative. nnThe purpose of these rules would be to make sure we avoid the same mistakes made over the last 50 years with automobile-focused development, not prescribe uniformity throughout the city. Certain zones could or should require design elements to promote a healthy development, but should not prescribe every material/detail. That is where you counteract the character, vitality, and originality that new zoning codes would be trying to achieve. The most vibrant and memorable neighborhoods have diversity and character, not consistency.nnWe aren't trying to make cut-and-paste suburban housing tracts in our city centers, but active, healthy, and unique places for our residents to live, work, and play.
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Zoning

Of recent interest to me is utility poles. We are beginning to have an epidemic of double poles and in some case triple poles as non electric lines fail to move to replaced poles. In many cases there has been no change in poles replaced multiple years ago. A solution needs to be found to resolve this issue. I would recommend credits back to the landowner of the double pole location paid for by the non- moved lines.Second, Is there any zoning regulations for the colors attached to utilities lines. AT&T is placing orange tags all over the city which are ugly. Who is to stop somebody from putting fluorescent yellow or purple next. If they are covered by zoning regulation and have not gotten permission please have them stop. The colors are for AT&T convenience. Black with white letters would work just as well.It might be nice to remind the citizens and law enforcement about the laws associated with obstructing a sidewalk.
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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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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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Additional Comments

My impression of the survey, which is only my impression, is that it is skewed toward approval of higher density development which would benefit commercial developers more than residents. It is also rather vague. In theory I might like the idea of a more flexible approach to the size of a lot needed for a residential building, for example. However, if a builder wants to put a house on the tiny lot next door to me as an "infill" I would object. There is nothing in the survey about truly affordable housing, or about preventing the duplication of downtown redevelopment efforts into the Magnolia corridor, which would price many residents out of the area. Mixed use is great, but maybe not if it means a Starbucks below and pricey condos above.Although I feel there should be more landscaping requirements and architectural guidelines, I think they should not be a burden on an individual homeowner such as myself. We need creative solutions which take the needs of the elderly, low income and disabled into consideration., with much more input from these residents. Local homeowners and very small business owners need affordable programs to help repair and enhance their properties.When it comes to improving neighborhoods, let's not forget the mostly unattractive buildings for seniors, low income such as Love Towers. If real estate developers want to profit in our city, they should be wiling to contribute to the welfare of all its residents, not just the wealthier elements. Gentrification needs to be addressed in an open, transparent way and more options developed for lower income citizens to purchase their own homes or perhaps have cooperatively owned apartments.
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Improvements To Knoxville

More sidewalks! More trees! More renewable energy! More mass transit routes and options! Mixed use zones for residential + commercial! More bike lanes! More green spaces for public use! I love the direction we are heading, and I love Mayor Rogero - keep up the great work and continue improving our city!
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General

Many of the choices were of necessity broad, and do not allow for nuances.As a starter I would like to see a specified definition of what constitutes a dwelling unit. I believe citizens buy and build in a location based on zoning, but we are seeing existing zoning being over turned or re-interpreted. Surely we can create a great viable, and vibrant city without destroying existing communities.
Staff Reply:

Light Pollution, Alleyways

Many alleyways in the north Knoxville area have become unsafe havens for criminal activity within residential neighborhoods. I have an alleyway behind my house that runs the length of several neighborhoods and it has become unsafe to take the trash out at night or walk my dog in these areas. I have witnessed drug use, violence, and illegal drug sales in the alleyway and have reported the issues to Knoxville PD.I would like to see stricter traffic laws enforced in alleyways that prevent anyone and everyone from using the alleyways for their illegal activities. More lights in the alleyways would make them safer or even just signs posted prohibiting certain activities or bringing attention to surveillance in the area could help improve the safety of alleyways in Knoxville. On the subject of lighting. It would be great if, with all the new construction happening, if better light pollution techniques could start to be applied to newer structures and layouts. The night sky is important for human health and Knoxville currently ranks very low among night sky friendly cities. We should start thinking about the future now and applying techniques to reverse our light pollution output. Thank you for considering my thoughts and concerns.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Loved this survey. It was easy but I do wish there were a few more examples of what was being discussed. Such as parking regulations, i.e. commercial shops are required to have 5 spaces per 1000 feet, should this regulation be increased? For the most part I was able to understand what was being discussed but examples always help. Good job advertising on Facebook, this helps and I will share! 😉
Staff Reply:

Zoning Codes

Looking to the future--I would like for the planning commission to re-consider zoning provisions that allow crematories at funeral homes. As a resident of Fountain City, I am appalled and still outraged at how the city MPC, permitting, and City Council handled the Gentry-Griffey funeral home's supposedly secondary use permit for a crematory addition. Apparently no one at the city checks to see if cremations are indeed the secondary use. Gentry-Griffey (owned by an LLC) contracts with several counties to cremate remains of indigents and remains from the medical examiner's office. According to my daily look at the Sentinel's obit pages, Gentry-Griffey doesn't do many funerals, so how could they stay in business if cremation is not their primary business? If Gentry-Griffey's cremations are not secondary, but primary, should their permit not be revoked and a fine imposed? The new zoning provisions passed a few years ago (after the hurried, non-public approval of Gentry-Griffey's 24 hour, 7 day a week permit was issued and then opposed by a citizen group in Fountain City) now allow crematories at any funeral home, no matter the zoning, I can imagine that we could have a couple more crematories in Fountain City (in that there are several funeral homes here) and we could then kiss Fountain City's neighborhoods' ambiance goodbye. Such a shame the current state of this zoning puts us in! My biggest problem with Knoxville's zoning is that it is not enforced. Inspections and reports should be made, especially in cases of secondary use permits.As to your survey, some questions/proposed responses were ambiguous. I tried to respond in a way that reflects my view that neighborhood integrity should be honored, businesses should have to respect residents' reasonable wishes (as to appearance, addition of or re-purposing of commercial buildings, addition of multi-family buildings, to name a few.Thank you for providing the survey. I am signing up for the newsletter.
Staff Reply:

Trees & Power Lines

KUB trims the trees along the side of the roads and cuts a lot of the trees in half because of the power lines. I understand the reasons for this but you can clearly see that the remainder of the tree that is left is now a hazard to the community. Perhaps the answer is to re due the power lines in heavily populated ares underground.
Staff Reply:

Keep Knoxville A Community Type Enviroment

Knoxville, is a growing city that has maintained a community type environment. I hope to see the redevelopment of existing structures, new green areas, more bike and walking trails to connect communities. Develop Knoxville in much the same way the downtown area is being redeveloped. Provide incentives for developers to use local business to build and construct, keep the money in our area.
Staff Reply:

Transit

Knoxville is striving to become a greener City, but that cannot really happen as long as 97% of trips are made by car. Transit, biking and walking must be much more strongly encouraged. This is a safety issue, an air quality issue, and a climate change issue. Transit, while somewhat improved, is still not a viable option for many. Buses are in the same traffic as private autos and therefore do not provide a time advantage. With few exceptions, buses do not come into neighborhoods. I live inside the city limits of Knoxville, but the nearest bus stop is more than a mile from my house. Buses, or perhaps feeder buses should get with in 1/4 mile of residences, at least in the city. West of South Northshore and South of Kingston Pike biking is not an option for most because of heavy traffic.nnnnSo let's take the lead in reducing auto trips and becoming a greener, safer, more livable city.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Knoxville is not the only ET municipality or county that needs zoning and subdivision requirements need updating but Knoxville it the one of the rare ones who can afford the process. I hope when you complete your effort, you can do an assessment of what you have learned in the process and evaluate what measure can be done to reduce the cost or better pave the way of community engagement. A helpful lessons learned would be nice and sharing your changes to be reviewed for application to more rural communities surrounding Knox County.
Staff Reply:

Ensuring Affordability

Knoxville is a scruffy city, and part of what's kept it that way are the many locally-born, grown, and owned businesses. An updated zoning code will spur increased development in Knoxville and, inevitably, will raise rent and property prices. The new code should set standards for ensuring that a reasonable percent of rents and properties remain affordable for the small-scale folks who've made this city unique. I grew up around Greenville, SC and watched as it transformed into the tourist destination it is today. However, one of the biggest complaints about Greenville from locals and tourists alike is that it is too "corporate." Unless we plan ahead to keep rents and properties affordable, both for retail and for housing, Knoxville will make the same mistake. Let's keep it scruffy, even while we work to make it a livelier place for all of us to live.
Staff Reply:

Too Little Parking Required New Commercial Development

I've noticed that that new commercial developments especially on Broadway in Fountain City, don't have adequate parking. These locations include the ones w that have Panera Bread, Fed-Ex, Chop House, Salsaritas and the newest one next to Chick-Fillet. It's difficult to find a parking space at certain times of the day.
Staff Reply:

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!
Staff Reply:

Neighborhood Safety

I'm fine with multi-family units in residential areas as long as stricter regulations are enforced to keep slumlords from renting out to people who sell drugs or partake in other criminal lifestyles. The neighborhood I live in has been plagued with an increase in crime rate these past 6mos and it always traces back to rental properties and the section 8 houses in the area. People here are now afraid to let their kids and animals go outside in fear that they'll be shot by stray bullets from the battles going on between different crack houses that have started considering themselves as part of gangs and then the police don't show up for hours, if at all. I bought my house 2yrs ago and am now starting to regret putting roots down in Knoxville.
Staff Reply:

Pedestrian Safety

It's essential that we add sidewalks and traffic calming measures to our neighborhoods, particularly those used heavily by commuters who are not as concerned with following traffic regulations (one way, stop signs, etc.) as they rush to and from work.
Staff Reply:

Format Of The Survey

It was easy- best practices, I think, were answers of "yes" or "very important."
Staff Reply:

Walkability/public Transit And Mixed Use

It is extremely important to my sense of wellbeing as a Knoxville resident that we emphasize different modes of transport, including facilities for pedestrian, bicycle, scooters, busses and potentially other public transport.i fully support the COKs sidewalk investments and moves towards mixed use neighborhoods.
Staff Reply:

Questions

it is difficult to answer some questions because, like many things, it's a matter of degree. the devil is in the details.for instance, do i favor design controls? it depends on the degree. i certainly favor some, as long as they establish guidelines and allow flexibility, but i do not favor controls if they specifically tell me that i have to plant an oak tree, for instance, or i have to use red brick. it's okay, in my opinion, to say you must have so many trees, that they be native species, and a min. size, but it is not all right to tell me i have to plant a white oak and nothing but a white oak.anyway, i took a chance and said 'yes', but others with the same feelings might just as easily say 'no'.
Staff Reply:

New Codes

If we're going to encourage commercial development in neighborhoods and secondary streets, we should set local business, and have strict restrictions on corporate and national chains. I would love to have small markets or restaurants in my neighborhood, but I don't want another Dollar general or fast food joint, with big lights and obnoxious signage.nnAlso, if we're going to be redeveloping these corridors, can we install a municipal fiber optic system like Chattanooga has? It has done wonders for that city, and we could benefit from such a system in citizen connectedness and appealing to new, tech related industry development.
Staff Reply:

Old North Knox

If downtown is the front porch of a community then Old North Knoxville is certainly primed to become Knoxville's living room. The historic 4th and Gill to its east provides a blueprint for what old north can become. And working to keep the growth going that direction should be at the top of the city's list. Pedestrian walkways from the new breweries and eateries popping up and expanding the bike lanes throughout Central Avenue will go a long way. Broadway could also use the same love. People my age want to live close to downtown. Being 31, old north can be the place that makes Knoxville boom.
Staff Reply:

Sustainability Incentives

I'm not sure if this fits in the purview of the zoning work you're doing...but I'd love to see the city offer incentives/take actions to encourage adoption of more sustainable behaviors. I'm thinking:- Make the 20 best parking spots in all city-owned garages EV only parking spots- Create a PACE financing program- Work with KUB to implement an excellent net metering program with highly favorable rates for Knoxvillians who add solar to their roofs over a designated period of time. In other words, if I add solar to my roof between now and, say, the end of 2021, KUB buys my excess power production or production at peak demand times for $.20/KwH. And then some personal peeves/requests:- Somehow make it so I could actually walk easily from Sequoyah to shopping centers on Kingston Pike without feeling like I'm putting my life at risk! Getting from the Sequoyah side of the street to the opposite side of Kingston Pike is really a hair raising experience. And then walking on the sidewalk beside Kingston Pike always makes me feel like I could get plowed over by a driver at any minute (no barrier between the traffic and me).- Find a way to encourage/incentivize homeowners to turn OFF their programmed lawn sprinklers/irrigation systems when it's raining!- Bring back curb-side glass recycling- Find a way to encourage/incentivize composting
Staff Reply:

Zoning Considerations

I would prefer to see current single family neighborhoods retain their single family neighborhood status. Multifamily homes, apartment and condo complexes, and commercial buildings have destroyed the character of existing neighborhoods like Fort Sanders. I don't want that to happen in the area just north of downtown: LIncoln Park/Oakwood, Old North, Fourth and Gill, North Hills and its environs.
Staff Reply:

Infill Housing

I would love to see infill housing that encourages alternative inexpensive living arrangements. Many city lots could contain 2 "tiny" or shotgun homes. Some examples of these have been in existence for 100 years. See: single lot on Woodbine with two old shotguns. I can get the address. It takes nothing away from our historicity to allow this to occur again.
Staff Reply:

A Request To Consider Strengthening Form-based Code

I would like to see stronger formal standards in the form based codes to (1) ensure quality development, and (2) drive mixed use development in the redevelopment districts. I see too much leeway in the standards that allows a "race to the bottom" mentality to prevail. For example, if a material standard includes the language "or other similar material," 10 out of 10 developers are going to use a lower quality material. Furthermore, looking at Baptist Hospital, I think a huge opportunity was missed to create a vibrant, "downtown-feeling," mixed-use development. While the vision plan and code may have given the impression that any eventual development of the site would be meet this vision, the formal standards in the code were unable to deliver on that. I am also disconcerted by the fact that the City is willing to variance the Code into oblivion for the larger developments. I am in favor of having a very strong and more substantive form-based code, and I would like the City be more faithful to the standard for granting variances in the redevelopment districts.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I would like to see changes to Montgomery Village. I would like to see a revitalization to be compaerable to the other revitilazation going on In South Knoxville.I would like MV to be privatized and perhaps redeveloped as college housing or senior housing. I would like to see more patrol in the area as well. As a resident who has to drive through it to get to my home in Knox Co, I have seen a decline in safety, asthetics, and over all negelect to the area. I am a concerned citizen who greatly wants to see that area redevelop and grow.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Rental Property In Residential Neighborhoods

I would like a conversation concerning absentee landlords in residential neighborhoods, or anywhere for that matter. Run down properties and dead beat renters are currently affecting the property value in my neighborhood. I would just like to see some accountability for landlords that have no interest in our neighborhoods. Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Use Of Existing Trees As Credit Toward Landscaping

I wish to amend my previous statement. This credit should be allowed only for tree species that are native to Knox County or non-natives specimens that have an established history of use over many decades without any demonstration of colonization, reproduction or invasive tendencies. Non-natives should only be allowed when passing this very high hurdle. An example of a tree that should be allowed for the credit would be a bald cypress, a weeping willow, or a white cedar. Examples of non-natives that should not be allowed are any of the non-native mulberries, princess tree, and those terrible little European hornbeams that are popping up everywhere (they are showing invasive tendencies!!). Knoxville should get its house together in regard to being a "real" tree city and start focusing on native species of trees, flowers and grasses, reclaiming roadsides and small woodlot spaces to promote pollinator and wildlife habitat. We have serious invasives problems and need to get real about it. In 40 years, the precious "urban wilderness" is going to be a deadscape of non-native vines and shrubs. Your forest is dying all around you and you don't notice, because everything is green. Deal with the kudzu patches, the wintercreeper, the privet and bush honeysuckle, the English ivy, etc, etc., or watch your forests die.
Staff Reply:

More Sustainability

I was very excited when I saw a whole section in the survey for "sustainability." But we need more! There should be credits and/or incentives for new and old buildings to incorporate greener building practices and design buildings that use less energy (LEED). If there are any current zoning codes that restrict the use of solar panels, solar water heaters, rain barrels etc. in residential or commercial areas, these codes should be revisited. Homeowners and commercial sites should be able to generate their own energy and use natural resources to help fuel their lives.
Staff Reply:

Additional Zoning Comment

I wanted to emphasis that historical sites should be considered for preservation and protection as well as older trees/etc. Reusing and maintaining structures and trees already present should be prioritized over razing an area and starting anew.
Staff Reply:

Complete Streets

I want to encourage the rapid implementation of "Complete Streets." It is very important to me that other forms of transportation besides the car be a strong component of the new zoning proposal. I would like to see pull-off areas for KAT buses (especially on Broadway). btw: KAT is doing a great job, and, yes, I do frequently ride the bus. A matter which really concerns me: WHY does KUB wait until a street has been paved before it begins digging up the street for utility work (Central Street seems to be the exception!) Surely the KUB engineers know where underground water lines are?!?
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Zoning

I think this is a great effort! I was chair of the city's BZA a few years back and the Code does need to be thrown out and replaced in whole. During my tenure we gave variances for add-ons in Fourth and Gill simply because the owner would otherwise be obligated to follow setbacks designed for West Hills. We granted a number of reduced parking variances that have had no adverse consequences in the intervening years. The variance process, however, is ultimately not a good method for getting the right results for the city. It is expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable. I'm glad the city is undertaking this important initiative.
Staff Reply:

Landscape Screening

I think there needs to be more enforcement of existing codes. For example, landscape screening is supposed to be required between a loading zone, and a residential area. Unfortunately, that's not enforced, and residents suffer the health consequences because of it. I go outside and see dump trucks and construction vehicles parked within feet of my home all day and all night. It sure doesn't look or smell "green" where I live.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I think that sidewalks and walkability around the city are crucial, especially in neighborhoods where people live and need to have a safe place to walk along the street. They should be well-lit, regularly patrolled, and have crosswalk buttons. I've seen so many people almost get hit or cause an accident trying to walk along or cross Chapman Hwy. An emphasis should also be placed on connecting existing sidewalks within neighborhoods where there are gaps. My husband and I like to take walks around our neighborhood, and there are areas where we have to walk through people's yards because the sidewalk ends and then doesn't start again until a quarter mile up the road.
Staff Reply:

Bike Lanes/sidwalks On Papermill

I think that ALL of papermill should have bike lanes and sidewalks. there's a small portion of sidewalk that goes from pond gap elementary to elevation apartments, and then again at coleman road to the greenway, but you have to walk on the sides of the road otherwise -- this is especially bad on the portion of papermill after i-40, you basically can't walk or bike to mckay's books or whole foods because the road is so narrow and just drops off on the edges, I wouldn't bike there...if someone isn't paying attention, you're in the ditch.
Staff Reply:

Merchandise Outside Of Your Business

I think putting used merchandise outside of your business is very trashy looking. It affects all businesses that are surrounded. I'm not a big fan at looking at used strollers, baby beds, numerous bicycles, and other used baby merchandise everyday. Also automobiles that haven't moved in years. In my opinion it makes the whole area look bad. Just my personal and business opinion. Thank -you. I would also like to know what the current amount of items you are aloud to display outside of ones business.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Neighborhood Zoning

I moved to Knoxville from Austin. I love many things about Knx, but one is that it is still affordable. With any development, I want to make sure low-income residents are not only able to afford housing, but able to afford housing in desirable neighborhoods close to where they work and near public transportation. No one wants a skyline of cranes, but responsible development is good. I'd like to see more bike lanes and neighborhood beautification projects. I think small-scale business operations should be allowed in single-family zones, but should work with neighborhood associations and the community for input. For example, an urban farm, beauty shop, mechanic, etc. New businesses should have to meet landscaping requirements that include greenery. Perhaps this could be incentivized if the new business is small or in an area that is economically depressed. No McMansions. Thanks!
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I love my house in 4th and gill..We were in the process of establishing a winter home , Husband died 2012. I love my house,but I am still resolving property elsewhere.
Staff Reply:

Knoxville Is Great!

I love living in Knoxville. The parks, bicycle lanes, greenways...everything is lovely here. Thanks for all you do.
Staff Reply:

Access

I live on Highland Drive in the fountain city area. There is increasing traffic both in volume and driving well over the speed limit. There are no sidewalks. Highland ends @ Broadway which is another terrible blighted area for pedestrians. I realize sidewalks on Highland would be an expensive endeavor. What if Highland became a one way thoroughfare? There are plenty of connecting side streets that could lead to the adjacent streets which could flow in the opposite direction. One lane on Highland could be widened and the remainder could be cordoned by some type of post barrier to provide a walking/ bicycle way. This would provide access to Broadway for a huge number of residents. We would also have better access to our neighborhood Adair Park (one of the City's prettiest). This is thinking outside of the box, something I realize is tough for most government officials. Could this idea at least be shown to our wonderful Mayor for her consideration? We desperately need some help out here in the far Northern boundary of our fair city.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Comment

I just filled out the survey. 1) dramatically reduce parking required2) mandate and retrofit neighborhood connectivity, especially for pedestrians3) require sidewalks everywhere4) require road design standards that force slow traffic. Require developers build calm streets in the first place. 25mph MAXIMUM design speed.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I have very little respect for some of your building code officials. In my previous experience of renovating 3 houses in Knoxville, some of them are pompous kings in their own little areas of code enforcement. One told me he could tear down a house in an area where we were trying to redevelop 8 houses. He could do it because it was condemned because the absentee owner would not cooperate with code enforcement or sell the property, or answer any mail concerning his empty house. The fact that it would affect the development of the rest of the properties meant nothing to this man. One plumbing inspector refused to give a CO for one of the 8 houses because the toilet was 1/2 inch too close to the toilet in a half bath. That was the only thing keeping the owner from obtaining the CO. 1/2"! I truly believe that if code enforcement had been more flexible there would be 8 renovated Victorian houses on W. Baxter, instead of everything torn down in the entire block of houses except for two little little houses. What a waste. I have heard similar horror stories from people trying to remodel or renovate buildings. I wonder that any investors have ever finished any projects in this town.
Staff Reply:

Park & Ride

I have reached out to KAT, UTK, and the North Knox Chamber, but received no response from anyone. I would love to see a strategic express route park & ride for UTK & downtown added in the Northeast. I have suggested a partnership with East Towne mall which could aid traffic to the mall and has ample parking. Otherwise a North Broadway location in the general area of Kroger would also be ideal.
Staff Reply:

Walk/bike Trails

I have lived in Snohomish, WA (Centennial Trail) and Hudson, OH (Ohio and Erie Canal and connecting trails). My kids and I really enjoyed the trails to walk and bike, especially when we could access them directly from our house, without having to load up bikes. I don't have the vehicle space to load so many bikes in one trip, so we never used the trails here, except to walk on. I wish we had more opportunities to get around town here.I work at UT Medical Center. I believe a first priority should be to make a trail accessible from the KAT bus or for people to bike to work, without fear of getting run over on Cherokee Trail.In the same breath, I have concerns about forging new trails. A former railroad bed borders my backyard, directly from a park. If the city decides to utilize that space, how will my property be protected?
Staff Reply:

Historical Overlays

I have lived in my house for around 14 years. Fourteen LONG years in relationship to dealing with the Historic Overlay. For every repair I have done it has been a mostly stressful and painful process-in spite of the fact that everything I have done was costly, above and beyond what was required, and only added to the preservation of this property. To me the system is tedious, disjointed and feels like it punishes the people who take on these houses. There are also unrealistic expectations and definitions about what it means to "preserve" something. If we do not reset this system these houses will become too costly and much to stressful to maintain. Materials and people to do the work are becoming harder and harder to find and when time is of the essence when a repair needs to be made-it runs the risk of more damage occurring while boards argue over appropriateness. Contractors do not have time to go before boards to seek approval and homeowners may not use the proper language to get approval. Each neighborhood is unique, each house built with the particular tastes of the original owner. To impose overly specific stylistic standards uses much to broad a brush and many times may be incorrect anyway as personal tastes came into play when homes were originally built and may've been changed over the years by original owners. I have followed the endless loop of paper trails, fees* and time wasted while I waited and watched my place on the contractors schedule get lost only to end up at the beginning of the process to be able to do what I'd intended in the first place. *FEES-some of these serve no purpose other than to support the office of the Historic Zoning Commission. I was forced to pay an extra fee just to replace my gutters. I upgraded the gutters, by the way, because of the horrible storms we'd been having, which is why they were being replaced and when I was given the window of time allowed before my permit would expire I had to explain the obvious-"The gutters will be replaced when we have several dry days and the contractor is available.To do so any other time may cause damage to my property." Such a ridiculously common sense fact should never be an issue. I love my house and my neighborhood but I will never buy another home under Historic Overlay-PERIOD.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Recoding

I feel that a couple of the questions did not have adequate answers. For question # 1 I would have answered, "should not occur" rather than what was listed. Some neighborhoods are already zoned inappropriately for multi-family dwellings when they were designed to be single family. This is particularly detrimental in older neighborhoods, such as ours, which has inappropriate small apartment buildings that don't blend in with older, historic homes.Additionally, the allowance of free standing buildings for adult children or aging parents would depend upon many factors, such as lot size, size of existing structures, etc.
Staff Reply:

Gentrification/ Environ Concerns

I feel like the environmental section was a bit short. We know that we need to be drastically reducing our carbon emissions in order to sustain life on this planet! There should be more environmental regulations on new buildings and retrofits of older buildings. Also, how there wasn't anything specifically on how this project is going to address gentrification. There are many homeless people in this city and when people can no longer afford to live in their homes, the situation will only get worse. There was no mention on affordable housing or expansions of shelters and of community services.
Staff Reply:

H1 In Parkridge

I don't know if there is any relationship between the type of data you are interested in and my thoughts on Parkridge. It seem that a small group of people are trying to represent the whole neighborhood in saying we need to adopt the H1 codes. The H1 would support the desires of those who already have nice property while putting struggling neighbors, who already have limited housing opportunities,at a disadvantage. I moved into this neighborhood because of the income and ethnic diversity, which would be compromised if we began prioritizing property over people. Most of our housing is not of a historic nature worthy of special protections, and I am grieved that a small number of people is trying to change the environment for others of us who have moved into invested in the neighbor looking for something different. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

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