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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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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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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Zoning Question

A property directly behind our neighborhood has been proposed for re-zoning. The address is: 725 Sterchi Ridge Way (apartments). The property is currently zoned RP-1. The proposed re-zoning would classify it as RN-5. My understanding is the RP-1 designation allows up to six dwelling units per acre. The developer was able to concentrate development in a small part of the ~30 acre property and meet that zoning requirement. We were told that under that zoning, further development would not be allowed. What will the RN-5 zoning change mean in terms of potential future development?
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Zoning Map

Put back the Orange, but not just for expensive high rise condos, build more affordable housing!
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Zoning Lots

Can you clariify: Does a zoning lot only include connecting lots that are within the same zone? Will this apply to commercial and office zones also, not just residential? Furthermore, the section addressing zoning lots, you mention that the City has an original ward map and a parcel map. Can you clarify what that means?
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Zoning For Equipment Rental Business

My properties 6721 & 6727 Campbell Lane located off of Callahan Drive are currently zoned RN-1 and planned A-1. I am planning on having an equipment rental/sales business on these properties. which zoning should i seek? the property already neighbors another commercial property. thank you!
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Thanks for your email. You are correct that your property is currently zoned A-1 (Agriculture) and is proposed to be zoned RN-1 (Residential Neighborhood 1). Under the existing zoning ordinance, a C-4 zoning would likely permit the use you propose. Under the proposed zoning ordinance, A CH zoning would likely permit the use. More details regarding the use would help better define the zoning you would need. It appears that a one year plan amendment and a sector plan amendment also would be required. Such a change may be challenging.

Zoning Enforcement/compliance

In wracking my brain regarding HOW to "encourage" the city to abide by and ENFORCE their own zoning laws/ordinances/regs/codes, so that zoning updates will "mean" something, IS THERE ANY WAY THAT A FINE OR PUNISHMENT FOR LACK OF ENFORCEMENT AND/OR COMPLIANCE BY THE CITY OF KNOXVILLE CAN BE INSTITUTED?This is a serious issue. The City has a bad habit...or several.Citizens need a method, an easy one, other than expensive lawsuits, to pursue when the City goes off on its own with regard to non-enforcement/non-compliance by THEM.I have proof of this problem, if needed.Thank you.
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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.
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Zoning Concerns

Hello--I'd like to submit my concerns about the lack of multi-family home zoning (R-3 and R-4) in the ReCode Knoxville plan. In their place, almost all proposed residential zoning is single-family. Single-family zoning restrictions are intrinsically linked with redlining, gentrification, greater environmental impact, reduced walkability, reduced access to parks and schools, and inhibition of the commercial centers (like grocers and pharmacists) that make neighborhoods both desirable and accessible. Single-family zoning also reduces the options available to renters, who are a quickly growing demographic across the millennial, Gen X and Gen Z generations. As Knoxville looks for ways to retain the young professionals graduating from the University of Tennessee and other local schools, maintaining access to the kinds of "middle housing" that yopros find desirable (i.e., duplexes or courtyard apartments--not the massive complexes that college students are looking for) will be key in keeping future leaders local. Renting is also a vital option for vulnerable populations such as single moms and refugees, many of whom may not meet the credit score requirements of large housing vendors, or who should have more options besides government projects.In general, it's important for the health of cities and communities to provide the zoning to support "middle housing" market demands. The 1930s zoning code supported this, which is why neighborhoods throughout North Knoxville in particular have Depression-era duplexes and small apartment buildings--all of which are nearly constantly rented, emphasizing their desirability. Doubling the lot size requirements for R-1 and R-2 zoning is acceptable, but the new R-3 and R-4 zones must be more heavily utilized to compensate.While the formatting of these messages doesn't allow me to provide in-line links to the research that supports these claims, I'm happy to provide a bibliography.
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Zoning Comments

Please consider rezoning of the following buildings in the ONK neighborhood in order that they be more appropriately zoned for their current and/or best uses.1) 400 E Scott- This property has 24 units on a 24,000 sq ft lot and should be zoned RN-6 due to density.2) 428 E Scott- I propose that the commercial building at 428 E Scott be zoned RN-6 to support high density residential redevelopment at the same level as 400 E Scott.Additionally, there are several existing apartment houses on the same street that are not zoned appropriately for their current uses:401, 319 and 424 E. Scott Avenue should be zoned RN-4 to support their current multifamily use Thank you.
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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.
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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.
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Zoning Code Survey

I attended the city's recent workshop on sustainability & liked the idea of developing the West Town site using the existing retail structure for that purpose while adding to its sustainability by building above the parking lot & existing structure. That site won't be viable if the amount of parking is reduced. Lack of convenient parking is a key factor in business survivability across the city.nnZoning codes regarding landscaping shouldn't be so restrictive as to dictate types of plants except as to tree height and root spread. Lawns are a luxury and substitute ground cover should be acceptable.nnCodes regarding lot sizes should be flexible enough to take into account today's tiny houses movement.
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Zoning Code

I own the building at 908 Tyson Street and note the zoning code is CG2. What does that mean? I couldn't find an explanation anywhere for the codes.

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You can find a description of the commercial districts here: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft4/chapters/Article%205%20Commercial%20and%20Office%20Districts.pdf. Additional information regarding the updated zoning code can be found in the draft code here: https://recodeknoxville.com/library/documents/#draft

Zoning Change

We are currently zoned R1 and with the latest map, it changes us to RN2. So what does that mean exactly and what are the differences from the R1 we currently are zoned.Thank you!
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The proposed RN-2 zone is a single family residential district very equivalent to the existing R-1. The major difference is the proposed minimum lot size in RN-1 of 5,000 square feet, designed to accommodate lots in some of Knoxville's older neighborhoods. Please see the Residential District Comparison Table for additional information. https://recodeknoxville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Knoxville-Residential-Districts-Comparison.pdf

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.
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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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Zoning

I would like to suggest making the entire street from 804-840 N 4th Ave, Knoxville, TN 37917 to have C-N zoning, considering this seems the designation most of the street is being recoded to. With the current mixed zoning of industrial, commercial, and office all on the same street from the highway being put in beside the street, several buildings that are being recoded as residential are currently used commercially. For example, 820 N 4th has for some time been a bar/club/restaurant with a parking lot next door. Also, 817 N 4th is a parts business, whose building would be very difficult to use residentially. In fact, there are actually only two houses on the street that are being used purely as a residential home. Switching some of the street to residential will benefit far fewer houses considering the past allowable uses of the street. By making all C-N, it allows the mixed commercial use that has been established and would greatly help continue the improvements the street has been under in recent months. Thanks

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Zoning

Tiny homes need to be allowable. Currently they are not.
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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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Zoning

Various comments protest prospective rezoning on the basis of the commenter's own judgment about how somebody else's property "should" be used--as enforced by law. For example, one resident states that the city should stop trying to "up-zone" areas eligible for historic or conservation overlay. In fact, the only person who should be deciding how a specific piece of property should be used is the owner of that property, the one with the right of use and control over that property. All zoning laws should be phased out.
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Zoning

Recently I communicated with you about the zoning on the west side of Sherrod Road, north of Mimosa. I need to make some corrections. The east side of Sherrod Road is zoned R-3. The five feet on the west side of should be zoned R-2. I quote from a rezoning ordinance passed by the Knoxville City Council at a meeting on July 6, 1985 entitled "An Ordinance to rezone property of Kern's Inc from R-2 . . .to I-3, east of Chapman Highway, west side of Sherrod Street . . . - MPC approved I-3 General Industrial District with a 5' buffer strip at eastern portion to property (west of Sherrod St) to be eft in the R-2, General Residential District) (11-3) (5-U-82-RZ).

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Zoning

I am a property owner living in fountain city. My wife and I personally love the idea of being able to attach a handicap assessible unit to our garage to help our aging, disabled parents and friend. My father-in-law is getting to point where he can't walk anymore and our close friend is already wheelchair limited. Them living near friends and family is extremely important to all of us. That's why we hope the city council would not only consider but approve of the zoning that would make this possible.
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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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Zone Correction

This concerns a property that doesn't currently have an address, but is listed on KGIS Map as Parcel ID:107FG04101. It is on the east side of Hollywood Road, south of the I-40 right-of-way, adjacent to 617 Hollywood road in the Pond Gap community.In Ordinance No. O-124-2018, the City Council rezoned the property to RP-1 with one condition, and I want to make sure that the condition, SLPA, is carried forward to the new property. (reference MPC File No. 7-B18-RZ)
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