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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Landscaping Requirements

Several recommendations were made regarding landscaping requirements in response to the first draft, but unfortunately they weren't incorporated into the second draft. Adequate landscaping provides numerous environmental, economic, health (physical and mental), aesthetic and social benefits to a community.We would like to see the following provisions included in the new ordinance:Interior Landscaping of Parking LotsThe current parking ordinance allows for reduced or no perimeter or interior landscaping for lots smaller than 20,000 sf. All lots larger than 5,000 sf should be required to have some perimeter landscaping. Lots between 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot. Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscape Bond:In regard to compliance with Landscape Ordinance requirements, based on discussion with those professionally qualified to understand both the value of proper landscaping for any development and the challenge of achieving compliance, the two-step LANDSCAPE BOND makes a lot of sense. The city of Chattanooga successfully employs this process. 1. PERFORMANCE BOND: This allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months and to assure reasonable growth conditions. 2. MAINTENANCE BOND: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional, such as a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, I don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In my experience, this also requires follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen. Mitigation Fund or Tree BankRecode should include some form of mitigation for the destruction of trees by developers, perhaps along the lines of how TDEC operates its stream and wetlands mitigation program. In the case of tree protection, the ordinance could specify that for each tree destroyed over a particular dbh, X number of trees of 2" caliper have to be planted; or, a value of the destroyed trees could be established and the developer pay the equivalent value into a mitigation bank, with the city using the funds for planting or landscaping projects.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Lack Of Affordable And Accessible Housing

Put back the orange! and prioritize poor and working class people.
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 2 Text And Draft 1 Map

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 1 and ReCode Text Draft 2.Below is the list contributors and/or ratifiers of these comments: Core Drafting & Research Team:Elizabeth RowlandMatt SterlingMoira ConnellyIdea/Feedback Contributors:Michael DavisBryan Hill CharLee HowardRatified Final Draft:Linda Haney - KCDP Vice Chair Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee MemberMichael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee MemberSylvia Woods - PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member & Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team MemberMoira Connelly - PAC Steering Team MemberMatt SterlingLouise SeamsterBryan HillWe'd also like to bring to your attention a Democratic Television (DTV) episode that we did explaining ReCode Knoxville to viewers.Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Elizabeth Rowland
Staff Reply:

Institutional Bias?

Dear MPC Members:Few are aware that they inadvertently employ institutional bias, so when I look at the proposed changes, I am afraid that unwitting, unintended biases against those who desperately need decent, affordable housing will prevail for too long a period of time. Since it has been a near-50-year zoning period prior to this recoding effort, likely what happens now will be adversely affecting, and clearly, evidently, perhaps cruelly marginalizing those most in need of decent housing opportunities. A family with two minimum-wage-earning adults able to actually work 40 hours per week, has an annual income about $36,440 less than the median family income. Financial advisors say to spend only 25-30% of your income for housing monthly. That means $628-$754 per month for the most basic housing available. That leaves just about $400 per week (at 4.3 weeks per month) for food, transportation, minimal medical expenses, possible day care, school supplies, and clothing. Forget about entertainment, books to read, trips to the Great smoky Mountains: survival is all that is possible and there are very few, if any decent abodes for a small family that are just $628-$754 per month. The map I just saw of where and how much "ORANGE" appears on your map is shocking and just plain wrong. Please, please, please!: Let us NOT keep the NEXT generation trapped in the loop of poverty and feeling that one must always live at the base of the housing pyramid. Please, please, please, PUT BACK THE ORANGE and do not be guilty of keeping generations marginalized by unintended bias. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Increasing Housing Density

I want to see far more density in this zoning Recode. We need far more housing, especially within the 4 mile radius of downtown. Increasing building heights, and adding ADU's in existing neighborhoods is vital in order to achieve this. Moving to single family only perpetuates segregation within our city. Thank for your efforts, but we.need. more. Housing options!
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Regarding ADU's, I know enforcement of ordinances is not the purview of Recode, but I am in favor of ADU permits being granted *only* to owners who occupy the primary structure. I understand they may sell to someone who will lease out the entire property, but I do believe that initial barrier will prevent many issues.Regarding the South Waterfront, this zoning has not been revisited for about a decade. While I agree with the vast majority of the provisions in that code as they stand and would like it adhered to, what we are seeing is "zoning by variance" where developers are requesting variances because the ordinance is so, in their opinion, outdated, and the City is granting these variances for the same reason. This undermines the public process that should exist. If numerous variances are going to be granted at will on every project, then the entire code needs to have another look and a new code adopted.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Regarding commercial buildings along the main corridors, glass should be highly transparent on the main floor, and non-residential use should be either required or highly encouraged using whatever zoning tools are available. The buildings should be at least built in such a way as to allow non-residential use on the main levels in the future.Required materials should be durable and sustainable. No vinyl and especially no vinyl windows.I do not think the use of paint colors should be addressed in the code (see 5.4B). There are plenty of examples of monochromatic buildings that are beautiful and interesting because of varying types of building materials, etc. In fact, the new apartment buildings at the south end of the Henley St. Bridge (not the orange and gray one, the one across the street on the east side) vary in color so much that from afar it looks very busy, even though the colors are not bold. Furthermore paint colors can be changed and thus shouldn't be considered a part of the structure.Bike racks should be required for commercial and multifamily residential.Multifamily courtyard apartments such as common in Chicago on city corners should be allowed (there are actually also many examples of these in Fort Sanders and East Knoxville) in high and moderate density neighborhoods, with high quality of materials (brick mostly) and good form so it is a contributor to the neighborhood fabric.Thanks to MPC for all your work on this.
Staff Reply:

Fountain City Town Hall Letter Re: Recode

Good morning,Please find attached a letter on behalf of Fountain City Town Hall regarding ReCode Knoxville. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and as always for the work you do on behalf of the Knoxville community. Kelly EllenburgBoard Chair, Fountain City Town Hall
Staff Reply:

Forest Heights Neighborhood Comments: Draft 2

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following are recommendations submitted from a Focus Group from Forest Heights Neighborhood. Thank you for your commitment to this project: Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): Like many residents across Knoxville, the FHNA Focus Group was divided on the issue of whether ADUs should be allowed as a use by right in all residential districts. A majority of the group does not feel there will be many detached ADUs constructed in our neighborhood, and those homeowners who choose to add them will be situations where the homeowner would use the ADU for a dependent family member. The members of the focus group who oppose the ADU would be accepting of allowing the detached ADU being a “special use” as opposed to a use by right. Allowing these as a special use would alleviate the fears of our neighbors and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. Therefore, we ask MPC to consider changing the ordinance allowing only detached ADUs as a special use in all residential districts.Flagpoles (Section 10.3K): The current draft allows three illuminated flagpoles at a height of 35”. We propose limiting the number of flagpoles to 1 per residence at a maximum height of 18”.Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. Our current R1-E zoning ordinance allows by right, home offices but not home occupations. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.Bed and Breakfast (Section 9.3B): The ordinance allows one parking space for each rented guest bedroom. It does not allow for off-street parking in front of the building. We appreciate these conditions, however, if a homeowner has 5 bedrooms available to rent, but only 3 parking spaces, the business will be restricted to renting only 3 bedrooms. How can codes enforce that only three bedrooms are being rented? Can the code’s department enforce a restriction on off-street parking being used by the operator’s guests? The Codes department has had little involvement in this area since there is only one bed and breakfast currently operating within the City. We request that the Codes department research further how to enforce restrictions on the number of rooms allowed to rent.Animals for Control of Invasive Species (Section 9.4A): We inquired over 5 years ago about the use of goats to control a steep section of our neighborhood where Kudzu has taken over and is impossible to control. This was not possible at the time, and we hope by adding this section into the zoning ordinance, it will give our neighbors a feasible option to control the kudzu on their property.Commercial properties along Kingston Pike in Bearden have new standards promoting parking in the back of the building. Our group supports the concept of parking being behind the buildings. It promotes slower traffic and more walkability in Bearden. In addition, in most cases, it is more attractive looking at a building than an empty parking lot!Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section to accurately reflect the public’s decision to align these changes to the land use plans.Planned Developments (Section 15.7): Our neighborhood includes a multi-family development within its boundaries. Traffic from this development has created issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. This development is aging and will need to be redeveloped within the next twenty years. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.Submitted by: Leslie Badaines, Jarrod Chapman, Amy Hathaway, Joe Hickman, Jim Pryor, Amy Midis, John Ulmer, and Martie Ulmer
Staff Reply:

Excessive Bureaucracy

I wish to address the vague terms used throughout the draft and the authority of MPC to decide on a case by case basis how these restriction apply. Modern technology can measure noise, light, and other environmental conditions with precision. Throughout the draft, noise, glare, vibration, and other environmental conditions are restricted based on "what is detectable by normal senses outside the lot or unit." Knoxville should follow most modern cities by measuring noise limits using decibels and light limits measured by lumens or foot-candles. Another issue is the micromanagement of building design. Throughout the draft, commercial and residential building are restricted by: building materials permitted, location of primary entrance, minimum windows required, garage location, and much more. Residents located in a Historic Overlay are hampered by the bureaucracy of a government board instead of a community association. Great historic cities such as Charleston, SC and Savanna, GA are sustained by community associations using deed restrictions, not government bureaucracy. Primary entrances for residents in mixed use zones must face the primary street while parking must be located in the rear of the building. Property owners should have the option of locating entrances to satisfy tenants desires. Carrying groceries from a back parking lot to a front entrance can be a struggle for residents, especially during severe weather. A minimum amount of transparency (windows) is required on front facade of buildings. This conflicts with energy conservations standards which recommends window size be based on building orientation to the sun. Some businesses may desire an interior view much different from the outside.In closing, our codes need updating, but more time for public vetting would ensure the system will work. Spending a year to draft over 200 pages behind closed doors and expecting the public to review it in a few weeks is unreasonable.
Staff Reply:

Established Neighborhoods

Please leave the Codes as is for Established Older neighborhoods. I am opposed to the Recode proposal.These established neighborhoods define Knoxville and would be horrible for that to change.They give character and define much of he history of Knoxville.The Recode proposal would destroy this history. Many folks move to Established Neighborhoods for the coding it now has. The coding and lot sizes and architect style attracts folks to these locations.A Recode is not good.
Staff Reply:

Du/ac

DU/Ac Should be defined in the ordinance
Staff Reply:

Draft 2.0 Of Knoxville's Proposed Zoning Code

September 13, 2018Dear City Council Members:We are writing on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC), an organization with more than 200 members. Our comments address Draft 2.0 of the proposed zoning code, using the League's adopted principles and positions as their basis. We don't address Draft 1 of the zoning map, other than to say that technically it is well-done and easy to use. LWVKKC supports this much-needed zoning code update, with its streamlined reorganization and concise presentation of complex material. The League also supports two key goals implicit in the proposed code: (1) addressing the growing need for affordable housing in Knoxville, and (2) encouraging less reliance on personal vehicles for mobility.Nevertheless, LWVKKC has two significant concerns with the proposed code: (1) Although affordable housing and vibrant, stable neighborhoods are supposedly part of the vision for Knoxville, some measures in the proposed code - unless revised - may work against that vision. (2) In an effort to achieve greater administrative efficiency, short shrift is being given to citizen's right to know about and comment on land use decisions that affect them.Our specific comments are summarized below. Detailed versions of these comments are attached, organized by the articles in which they occur. ______________________________Hillside Protection Overlay. The HP Overlay should apply to all types of districts - residential and non-residential - as it did in the 2011 Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan adopted by City Council. Infill Housing Overlay. To foster affordable, compatible housing in older neighborhoods scattered around the city, we should keep the Infill Housing overlay.Accessory Dwelling Units. To add to the stock of affordable housing in Knoxville while minimizing disruption of stable neighborhoods, ADUs should have two restrictions: (1) their use as short-term rentals should be prohibited, and (2) in EN, RN-1, and RN-2 neighborhoods, they should be limited to owner-occupied properties. Required Notice of Public Hearings and Meetings. Required notice of a public hearing/meeting should include information on how to submit written comments.Administrative Modifications. The Zoning Administrator should send notice of a request for an administrative modification to abutting and adjacent property owners, allowing them 10 business days to comment before the decision is made. Immediately after the decision is reached, they should be advised of (a) the decision made, and (b) their right to appeal it. Planned Developments. Neighborhood associations, business associations, potentially affected property owners, and other members of the public should get notice of the proposed project early in the process, as soon as a concept plan has been developed. Their opportunity for comment should not be limited to the preliminary plan stage. They also should get notice of the staff review for "substantial compliance" prior to MPC's review and approval of the final plan. __________________________While still a work in progress, the proposed code is an important step forward. Thank you for all your effort on this monumental task.Sincerely,Linda MaccabePresident, LWVKKCMary EnglishLand Use and Environment Chair, LWVKKC
Staff Reply:

Draft 2 Ordinance Comments

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following is a list of comments submitted by a Neighborhood Focus Group composed of neighborhood leaders from many different areas within the City:1. The existing draft permits Day Care Homes in all residential districts. Since no specific standards are provided regarding this use, it appears that regulatory control of these businesses is by the State of Tennessee. We would like to see the draft include local standards for Day Care Homes in the ordinance and not let the State dictate the intensity of this use. Furthermore, we would not permit day care homes that allow more than 6 children not related to the owners. (Article 2.3)2. Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.3. Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section from “consider” to accurately reflect the public’s intent to align these changes to the land use plans.4. For non-residential reuse properties, off-street parking is not required. They are not required to have on-premise parking. We recommend that MPC work with the Codes Department to address this issue, especially in older neighborhoods where there is no driveway or garages and residents are dependent on street parking for their vehicles.5. Planned Developments (Section 15.7): For neighborhoods which includes a multi-family development within its boundaries, traffic from these developments can create issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.6. Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): We were apprehensive of allowing ADUs as a right in all residential neighborhoods. We unanimously agreed that allowing a detached ADU as a “special use” as opposed to a use by right would alleviate the concerns of the group and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. We support this change to the zoning ordinance. Furthermore, we feel like allowing ADUs on lot sizes of 5000 square feet is too small, and recommend the lot size be increased to a minimum of 7000 square feet.The following is a list of participants: Rob Glass - Harrell Hills (Northeast Knoxville), Jennifer Reynolds - Timbercrest (West Knoxville), Molly Conoway - Oakwood Lincoln Park (North Central Knoxville), Amy Midis - Forest Heights Neighborhood (West Knoxville), Anna Compton - Cumberland Estates (Northwest Knoxville)Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Draft 2 Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the second draft of Recode Knoxville. Many of the regulations in the proposed code succeed in streamlining the permitting process and providing design flexibility. The proposed code should also: protect and promote residential character; establish a transparent, interactive development review process; and ensure that our overall community is attractive.Ensure that existing and proposed residential development promotes a sense of community.1. Home Occupation - in addition to the proposed regulations there should be a size limit (25% of habitable floor area) and a limit on public visits (by appointment only which can be achieved by not advertising the address). There is no restriction on the number of public visits. No stipulation as to adverse impacts (noise, light, smell, vibration)2. Day Care Homes - the standards in the existing code should be maintained. As written there is no limit on # of children and no requirement to maintain residential appearance or character. 3. Kennels - the typical limit of five dogs/cats prevents residential animal hoarding. As proposed, there is no limit.4. Accessory Dwelling Units - as written, this standard will entice investors to bid on properties, construct a second dwelling unit, then rent both units out thereby driving up the market price of residential property and degrading the stability and social fabric of neighborhood community. This escalating value of real estate lessens the availability of affordable/workforce houses. By requiring the homeowner to live on the property, the home owner has a revenue stream (helpful for moderate or low-income families) or lodging for family or caretakers, close control of the property, an on-site contact for neighbors should complaints arise, and disincentivizes rapid increase of market rates (investors would not want to live on the property).5. Multi-family - provide simple design standards to avoid a shoe box appearance; such as façade modulation, variation in texture or color, and porches/balconies/decks.6. Consistency - EN has a minimum lot size of 22,000 sq. ft. per Table 4-1. EN with a HP overlay has a minimum lot size of 7,200 sq. ft. (6 du per acre) Table 8-1. "Table 8-1: Density and Land Disturbance Limitation establishes the maximum residential density ." Why would HP allow greater density?7. Garage Sales - how frequently can an owner have a garage sale until it becomes a business?Establish a transparent, interactive development review process.1. Expand the flow charts to include appeals.2. Require posted signs to be clearly visible by two-way traffic on each right-of-way contiguous to the property.3. The required 12 days for sign posting should not include holidays as people are more likely to be away.4. Provide notice to neighborhood associations.5. Special Use Conditions should also be able to address use impacts such as hours of operation, noise, etc.6. Provide mailed notice of applications for Administrative Decisions to contiguous property owners and post a yard sign.7. For Special Use approval note that this does not set a precedence.8. For Variance Approval Standards add: The Applicant did not create the situation; and, Other options involving a lesser variance has been considered.9. Extending nonconforming walls should require a variance processEnsure that our overall community is attractive.1. Cell Towers should not be a permitted use in the Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District. This district is "intended to provide for an environment of integrated residential development and small-scale commercial and service uses, predominantly serving nearby residential neighborhoods." Town Hall East was able to successfully deter a proposed cell tower in the Burlington commercial center due to notice of public hearing process.2. Increase the likelihood that required landscaping will survive either through a two-year landscape maintenance bond or irrigation.
Staff Reply:

Downtown Residential Uses

Hello,Thank you for your effort.I am concerned that the proposed code seems to totally override existing residential uses downtown.Section 5.2.B. of the code states that multi-family dwellings are allowed only in the DK-B subdistrict of downtown?? Am I missing something? There is multi-family dwelling all over the downtown area. (Very little housing exists in DK-B, incidentally.) Encouraging people to live downtown has been a cornerstone of economic development for the past two decades. It's a key of how creative people and academics choose to relocate to Knoxville. What happens to the hundreds of families who live in proposed DK-W, DK-G, and DK-H sub-districts? I am a resident just north of downtown in The Mews Development on Magnolia, where I live with my husband and toddler. In the current plan, our development will be zoned DK-W. (Search 110 W Magnolia.) Prior to moving here, my husband and I lived for 10 years in a mixed-use development on Summit Hill drive--now proposed as DK-G. I'm just really confused. Thanks for any clarification you can share.
Staff Reply:
The wording of this provision of the draft zoning code update is a bit confusing. The intent was to limit single use residential buildings to certain sub-districts of the downtown, requiring mixed use (residential and commercial, etc) in all other sub-districts. There has been a good bit of discussion with regard to restricting single use residential buildings in any area of downtown, and the standards for this likely will change in the next draft. At any rate, the wording will be clearer!

Downtown Island Airport

Yesterday I became aware that City of Knoxville is doing a project called "Knoxville Recode." If I understand, this is a project to update the zoning ordinances for the city. If this is true, I would like to talk with you or whomever would be the proper person to ensure Downtown Island Airport has an "Air Overlay Zone" identified in the update. Has Downtown Island Airport already been considered in the project? If not, the Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to have proper planning and zoning around their facility. This project seems to be the right time to add an Air Overlay Zone in the ordinance.
Staff Reply:

Current Zoning Proposal Violates Of Fcc Ruling Prb-1

The current Knoxville zoning proposal in section 10.3 C.1 and C.2 regarding the regulation by municipal authorities of Amateur Radio antenna height and support structure height is in contravention of the Memorandum Opinion and Order in FCC PRB-1, issued 9/16/85. The legal cite is 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985) and it can be found on the FCC Web page:PRB - 1 (1985) (https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/amateur-radio-service/prb-1-1985)To summarize: FCC regulations have the force and effect of federal statutes and are binding on the states as well as agencies of local government, including local zoning authorities. These regulations contain three general requirements: 1) local zoning authorities may not prohibit Amateur Radio communications and 2) local zoning authorities must provide reasonable accommodation for Amateur Radio antenna requests; and 3) local land use regulations affecting Amateur Radio antenna facilities must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish a legitimate municipal purpose.Limiting an antenna support structure height based on the height of a building where the tower is located is in contravention to PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.Limiting an Amateur Radio antenna to a specific height above the roof of a building it is installed on is in contravention of PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.The drafters of the proposed ordinance need to have some one from the city law office read and understand PRB-1. There have been numerous challenges brought in court versus municipalities that have been successfully decided in favor of Amateur Radio operators in the intervening years as a result. An example from 1987, where a municipality was successfully sued by a resident re: PRB-1 violation and not only won the right to erect his antenna system, was awarded $13,800 as plaintiff:Thernes vs. Lakeside Park-Consent Decree, Order and Final Judgement (http://www.qsl.net/k3qk/thernes2.html)Many municipalities have solved this by including language in zoning regulations that says antenna towers or support structures or antenna heights in residential must conform to FCC PRB-1 or have even adopted it as part of zoning regulations. 23 states have adopted PRB-1 laws so far - as have numerous local governments. A Bing or Google search for PRB-1 will bring up relevant information.
Staff Reply:

Conflict/questions

1. Conflict: Table 10-1, Deck says "Prohibited in front yard", but just above says "Max of 5' into front setback, and the table shows Y(permitted) in Front Setback. Aren't these in conflict?2.Question: Table 10-1, how are steps leading up to a porch or stoop classified? Are they a portion of the stoop or porch, or in addition to it? The existing zoning code calls these out specifically.3. Question: Table 10-1, as defined in the code, a Stoop and an Unenclosed Porch are essentially the same thing when covered. Why are the requirements for a stoop different? Why not combine the two sections into Unenclosed Porch / Stoop, or make the requirements match?4. Section 2.4.B 1&2 read "...line/area on a lot, measured parallel from...". Would be clearer if they said "...line/area on a lot, parallel to the...." Or it could read "line/area on a lot, parallel and offset from the..." to indicate that it is setback from the lot line.
Staff Reply:

Concern About Adus In Sequoyah

I am very concerned about the ADU and duplex provisions in the recode project relative to the Sequoyah Hills area where I live. I believe that these provisions will in the long term have a substantial negative effect on the character of the neighborhood and associated reduced property values. On-street parking increase is very negative and a special concern. I support the Sequoyah-Kingston Pike Neighborhood Association position on the recode in our area.thank you.
Staff Reply:

Community Forum's Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 2, 9-13-18

Community Forum is an organization with representatives from many City of Knoxville and Knox County neighborhoods.On May 10, 2018, Community Forum submitted its initial response to the First Draft of Recode Knoxville. It included material on 13 topics. On May 17, 2018, we submitted additional material on our Topic # 14 regarding the Office Zoning District. On August 14, 2018, Community Forum submitted a Response regarding standards for Approval of Rezoning in Article 15. That topic is also covered in this response. See Topic 18.Attached is Community Forum's September 13, 2018, response to the Second Draft of Recode Knoxville.Part 1: Includes material on 11 New Topics, numbered 15-25. Part 2: Includes material to Update the 14 topics, numbered 1-14, covered in our May 10 and May 17, 2018, responses to the First Draft.While we have not repeated in Part 2 everything previously submitted, we wish to call to your attention once again these very important issues which have largely not been addressed in the Second Draft. An example is the proposed entirely new concept of Planned Development and the process for using it. In our May 10 comments, we devoted 9 pages to this subject, and no changes have been made since the First Draft, and there has been no public discussion of it that we are aware of. We have received no response on this topic or on many others.For your convenience we have also attached a Compilation of our previous submissions.We wish to reiterate our earlier stated position regarding our support of Recode Knoxville. We have attended many public meetings, City Council workshops, and Stakeholder Committee meetings. Our members have talked with many members of the community, especially in our own neighborhoods, but also in others. We are doing our best to inform others about what is being proposed and what it means for our community. We are urging that others become engaged in the process. Our objective remains the same: to work with others to improve the proposed Ordinance, by comparing it to our existing Ordinance, and examining the impact proposed changes will have on our neighborhoods.We would like to discuss at your convenience, these issues as well as some non-policy, technical issues which we believe are also very important. It would be much more efficient to attempt to resolve any differences of opinion on these issues before the Third Draft is issued, and rather than having to try to do it when the entire proposed Ordinance comes before MPC and City Council in the future.Sincerely,Ms. Sue Mauer, ChairpersonLarry Silverstein, Secretary-Treasurer
Staff Reply:

Comments On South Waterfront Portion Of Recode, Version 2

First, thank you all for all the hard work on Recode. Knoxville has needed this for quite a while and I'm delighted to see it finally moving forward.I'm a resident of south Knoxville and a former member of the South Waterfront Advisory Committee who was very involved in the creation of the South Waterfront Vision Plan and Code. For weeks, I've had various people tell me that Recode wasn't going to make major changes to the SW code, so I've really not paid much attention to that section of the proposed new code. However, after reviewing Recode version 2, I'm very concerned to see that there are indeed major changes being proposed including some that violate the entire spirit of what the SW code was intended to accomplish.The creation of the Vision Plan and code included months of work and more meetings than I can count. The community was very engaged in this process. A lot of south Knoxvillians were originally wary of the entire endeavor but by the end of the process had embraced the adoption of the code. They were endorsing an urban (rather than suburban), pedestrian-friendly (rather than car-centric) connected community that provided maximum public access to the river. Most of my concerns about changes relate to these goals.
  • The entire first section on prohibited uses has been deleted. Granted, we wanted a form-based rather than a use-base code, with maximum mixed usage. But we need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities are not urban, they are not pedestrian friendly, they don't create a sense of community, they negatively impact connectivity, and depending on where they are located they may diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the south Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The entire section on off-street parking has been deleted and replaced with a reference to the general parking section in the Recode document. Unless that section includes a prohibition on parking lots in the front, which I doubt, this prohibition needs to remain in the code. Front parking lots are not urban and they are not pedestrian-friendly. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code presumably deletes these differing standards as well. We need those in the SW code because since it's form-based, parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter at 1400 feet has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are absolutely not what the Vision Plan envisions. Again, superblocks are not urban, they're not pedestrian friendly, they have a negative impact on connectivity, and depending on their location could diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer (measured from the riverbank) has been deleted. This was thoroughly debated before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted, with a note that it should be moved to the subdivision ROW standards. What if any plans have been made to do this? I acknowledge that this section has problems, but a better solution would be to leave it in Recode and then come back and rework it as needed rather than to just delete it with a vague promise that it will go elsewhere.
  • The SW5 and SW7 front setbacks have been changed. I personally am okay with this change but it's one the community should be aware of.
  • The entire signage section has been deleted. Perhaps most of this is covered adequately in the new sign ordinance which was adopted after the SW code. But again, the community should be aware of this and there should be a point by point comparison to make sure that nothing crucial has been deleted
Finally, I plan to share my comments with my south Knoxville neighbors who may not be aware of what's proposed. I also strongly suggest that a meeting in south Knoxville should be scheduled to go over all the proposed changes to the SW code since these are indeed major changes.Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Some Survey Questions

Not just new but renovated buildings along any corridor should be required to have a buffer whether trees, bushes, or a well maintained attractive fence. Alley ways between buildings and residential are usually unkept. Some vegetation, trellis work or partial fencing could help between residential and other uses. Strict regulation of noise from both music, parties or food trucks generators, commercial docks and smoke from any source that intrudes into residential should not be allowed.There are some reuses that should not be allowed in old buildings. But, a restaurant is a more intrusive use than a warehouse just in looking at the operating hours. While a homeowner may work during the day and not notice a warehouse during the day. The restaurant business hours of operation occur during the residents evening down time or kids bedtime. Anytime alcohol is part of the picture there is high likelihood of loud voices and inappropriate language. Lighting is becoming an issue as added street lighting occurs along with signage and lighting added as decoration at night. Car noise, fumes, and parking with people coming and going is intrusive to a family quiet time so operating hours should be restricted. The type of business is very crucial to residential stability.The reuse of an existing building should fit with the neighborhoods character. This does not mean there should be a bar on every corner. No industrial. Enough parking to stop parking carryover on to residential streets. if code requires a building height of 4 stories there should be a clause that 4 is a recommendation but if development wants less height say 2 story that would be allowed, but not higher. Supporting infrastructure, sidewalks are the developer's responsibility since many want TIFs or PILOT breaks for 20-30 years at taxpayer expence on pensions, road maintenance and other services.ADUs and STR should be restricted to only homeowner occupied with off street parking. in EN, RN-1, RN-2, and SW-1. With no subletting greater than the allowable number on the lease per unit or fire code/ occupancy limit.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Recode Knoxville

Having looked over the Recode book available at the library, here are my comments, in order of the numbers at the bottom of the page.4.4 EN zone - requires more than one finished floor, this ignores retirees who want to be in an estate type neighborhood and seek one level living. I understand specifications of more than 4 wall sections but feel 6 is a sufficient minimum if the variation is visible from the street.5.26 SW3 - Do not remove the section about "existing buildings will be encouraged for reuse". This is consistent with the march 2003 Vision Plan "feeling like a Main street and serving folks on both sides of the river, providing a place to buy a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, meet friends for coffee..." "small markets and shops..." (page 30). I like the eclectic nature of the businesses on Sevier Ave and fear that new construction would have rents so high they would only house chain establishments. 5.27 SW2 - Your draft shows a minimum of 0 and maximum of 10 for the front setback. There is a section of SW2 on Scottish Pike east of the railroad that fronts onto a SW1 zone. A development with these setbacks would harm the "small town neighborhood atmosphere" found in SW1. I am requesting that the front build-to zone be changed to a minimum of 15' and a maximum of 20' in this area. The minimum build-to frontage is much higher than the other zones and should be reduced to 50 or 60%.8.3 NC district. I am glad you retained this as well as the historic overlay. 9.6 and 9.7 - I am very concerned about restrictions on vinyl siding to 15% for townhouse and apartment developments. Furthermore the materials on the front must wrap around to the sides. We need affordable housing for people to buy or rent without being restricted to subsidized housing. New construction is a way to provide energy efficient unsubsidized housing but it needs to use affordable materials. The effect of these restrictions is that entry level multi housing will be constructed outside the city limits, furthering traffic congestion. I have heard people say that supply and demand will create affordability. My mailbox is filled every week with letters and postcards from flippers wanting to turn affordable housing into unaffordable housing. If aesthetics are a concern along the corridors, that can be addressed in the corridor plans. 10.4 ADUs - I am generally in favor of ADUs but there are valid concerns about ADUs in the RN1 district. I am OK with ADUs in the EN district as these are owners most likely to have a housekeeper, caregiver or au-pair. I am fine with ADUs in the RN2, RN3, etc districts but they need to be counted as an additional unit and parking issues need to be considered, will there be enough street parking, etc. 12.4 to 12.6 - I like trees in parking areas and would prefer 1 tree to 20 spaces as opposed to 1 tree per 30 for the interior rows. The requirement of an island being exactly the size of a space is too restrictive, better to specify a minimum s.f. per tree in an island. Peremeter trees are good, I am concerned about shrubs on the peremiter making a parking area feel less safe. Groundcover in the islands is likely to look ratty and should not be required. Installation sizes of 4' evergreens and 1.2" caliper will give the trees a better chance of survival.12.9 - I like very much that you are encouraging existing trees to be saved.- 20% is a big change in grade. That needs to be redefined. Thank you for your consideration
Staff Reply:

Comments On Recode 2 From City Of Knoxville Tree Board

The Knoxville Tree Board has had an opportunity to review the second draft of Recode Knoxville and we appreciate your incorporating some of our past comments in the redraft. Below are the comments that the Tree Board is providing on the second draft. The Tree Board looks forward to working with you on incorporating these comments as Recode moves forward. We have also had an opportunity to review the technical comments provided by Knoxville's Urban Forester and fully support these comments.City of Knoxville Tree Board Comments for Recode Knoxville Draft 2 1. Article 12 still needs to have an individual within the green industry (Landscape architect, Certified arborist, horticulture specialist, etc.) review plans and insure compliance. This is a position that many communities such as Nashville and Chattanooga has in place. The purpose of having this position is not to ensure aesthetics of the landscaping but to minimize costs of having to replace improper landscaping, ensure the economic and community benefits of landscaping are achieved through the design, and prevent unnecessary costs to utilities and the City from improper designs. This position allows engineering and building inspectors to review items of their expertise and allow the landscaping being review by the right professional as well. 2. 12.2.D Alternative compliance measure should include measure to allow mitigation or compliance off site if determined significant hardships exist to get compliance. This is likely something that all parties would agree to and is not considered any additional regulation or reduction in regulation. Many communities allow developers to pay into a bank to have trees or landscaping installed in alternative locations to meet the public and environmental benefits of landscaping.3. Section 12.9 should have similar language as the Tree Protection ordinance in defining the Tree Preservation Zone. 4. 12.9 Focus of preservation should be about groups of trees and not individuals. See purpose of this entire zoning code. Article 1.2.G "Preserve open space and natural areas, reduce traffic congestion, utilize existing infrastructure and resources, and preserve quality of life". 5. 12.9.B should allow for 100% of the screening to be form existing trees if conserved. This would allow for groupings of trees to be preserved on sites, while still meeting the objectives. Need to stop thinking only about aesthetics. 6. 12.9 How do you ensure survivability if bonds are being removed from the Article. If landscape is not bonded, can bonding requirement be shifted over from other parts of a development to ensure compliance?7. Is there any reference to the Tree Protection Ordinance? This should occur as there are also requirements within a development that occur in the TPO that all need addressed and overlap this zoning code.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Public Draft Version 2.0

We have evaluated the current draft and respectfully submit the following comments regarding office development in the City of Knoxville:The document would be easier to navigate if all the office districts were collocated; preferably in the commercial district.Clinics and medical office buildings should be a permitted land use within the OP district.Thanks for the opportunity to comment,
Staff Reply:

Comments For Todays Recode Workshop

Hello, please include the attached letter from Town Hall East, Inc. Board of Directors in today's workshop packet. Thanks!Sharon DavisTown Hall East, Inc.
Staff Reply:

Comments

p. 5-2 C. #1 run-on sentence (FYI)general question: Can we require sidewalks for new and/or redesigned commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings?p. 5-24 D. 5. b. "period of up to one year" Why do they need a whole year? If the problem is the wrong season or bad weather for planting or perhaps the plants aren't available, having up to one year is excessive. I believe six months is adequate, which roughly equates to two seasons. I was imagining if I lived across the street from the new construction that had a whole year to put up vegetation buffers, and I waited through all the seasons without any forward progress. p. 8.8 8.5 C. Is it customary to use the 500-year flood levels as the standard for how new construction might contribute to flooding now? Why not use a more recent standard, such as 100-year? p. 9-3 A. 3. "Animal care facilities must be located?" The sentence needs to be corrected.p. 10-6 G. Since you are referring to a city code, you may want to keep the same language found in the code (domesticated chickens, henhouse, chicken pen). Personally, I call them "backyard chickens" and a "coop."
Staff Reply:

Climate Knoxville Recode Knoxville Comments

Climate Knoxville submits comments and background information on the current draft of Recode Knoxville.Louise GorenfloClimate Knoxville
Staff Reply:

Clarifications For Zoning Ordinance

I have some general feedback about Draft 2 that I want to share. 1.) I would like to see some basic community planner terminology added to the definitions list to make the document more readable for average citizens. Terms like corridor, node, overlay, and mixed-use development are not normal conversational terms and using them without defining them makes the document less accessible to the public.2.) I am also curious why CU and SW are their own special zones? This sets a precedent where each mixed-use development or corridor development would get a unique zone. I know one of the goals is to simplify the current ordinance and so I do not understand why these properties could not be zoned as SD (Special District) or something more generic like that. 3.) I hope the updated ordinance will make it easier for people to walk or use public transportation. I would love to see a change made to our current policies so that new bus stops are built with safety and dignity in mind. There are several bus stops in my neighborhood where people waiting to catch the bus must stand in a ditch. I would love to see new development built with public transportation and pedestrian infrastructure in mind. A covered waiting area that is handicap-accessible would make a big difference in the perception/attitudes around our public transportation system. 4.) I think the addition of the Institutional zone and the Hillside Protection overlay are two great additions to the current ordinance. They make the map easier to use and understand. Thank you for all of your hard work! I am excited to see the final product!
Staff Reply:

C-g-3 District: Maximum Building Height

In Draft 2 of the code, the maximum building height for C-G-3 districts was changed to Unlimited. The Bearden Village Council has discussed this change and is strongly opposed to it. We request that you restore the 85' maximum shown in Draft 1. Virtually all of the commercial corridor through Bearden Village, from Western Plaza to Northshore Drive, is designated as C-G-3 in Draft 1 of the zoning map - a much larger concentration of C-G-3 zoning than anywhere else in the city. We think an 85' maximum building height will adequately accommodate dense development while retaining some of the current character of Bearden. If a taller project with special features comes along, the "planned development" approach described in the draft code remains an option. Mary EnglishPresidentThe Bearden Village Council
Staff Reply:

Broadway Corridor Task Force - General Comments

The Broadway Corridor Task Force respectfully submits our general comments/requests regarding the Zoning Code below. We have compiled a formal document (which may be more legible with diagrams and text formatting) that also include our parcel and/or "area specific" comments which have been submitted/requested within the Draft 1 map over the past few weeks. We will send this complete document via email this evening (September 20th), once complete. Thank you, James Ryan & Kyle Anne Lang, BCTF Co-ChairsCOMMENTS OF SUPPORT:We support:- The allowance of mixed-use (residential over commercial/office) along the Broadway Corridor. - Build-To-Zones along Broadway in order to encourage a more 'urban edge' along the corridor, as well as force parking to be located at the side, or more preferably the rear of buildings.- Current landscape buffering requirements between commercial and residential properties. - Commercial Design Standards (especially in relation to the Broadway Corridor)- CN designation for properties along E Woodland, across from Physician's Regional Medical Center. (904 E Woodland; 1034 E Woodland)- CN designation used as a buffer between high density (and/or DK zoning) and single family residences, as well as appropriate pockets along a commercial corridor.- Reduced parking requirements for pedestrian-oriented zones (however request additional reductions, see below)GENERAL COMMENTS: Parking Requirements related to Transit and/or Transit Oriented DevelopmentIn addition to current parking requirement reductions as associated with C-N and certain C-G zones, we would ask MPC and Recode to consider a parking reduction for developments within a certain distance to a public transportation stop/center (IE the Broadway Shopping Center) to encourage more Transit-Oriented and Mixed-Use Development.? Office Space Inconsistent Setbacks, Change to C-G-2Office zoning along Broadway (and other urban corridors) should have minimum front, side, and rear setbacks that match adjacent Commercial parcels. C-N, and C-G-1, 2 and 3 all allow no minimum front setback or 0' - which would create strange conditions along corridor where one parcel may be Commercial and an adjacent one Office. This would not allow for a consistent 'urban edge' along the street, where one building may have a 0' setback, and then the adjacent building is required to step back 15' just because it is Office zoning. In looking further into the differences between Office and C-G-2 zoning, we see no reason why Office zoning is necessary along Broadway, and even noticed some non-compliance with proposed Office Zoning (for example, Independent Living facilities zoned Office that does not allow this use). Therefore, we request all currently proposed Office zoning along Broadway be zoned as C-G-2. In general, the BCTF questions whether an Office zone is a redundant zone to the new OP zone, since Offices are a compliant use within the C-G zones.If for some reason this change is not possible, we suggest an Office Zone subsidiary for urban corridors (such as O-2 or O-Urban) that has no minimum front setback, to allow for office zoning adjacent to C-N or C-G parcels to have the same setback, as well as allow no minimum interior side setback to allow for zero-lot lines when adjacent to Commercial zoning. We also request that the build-to zone match any neighboring property - in Broadway's case, generally C-G-2 - therefore a 0' to 10' build-to-zone. Potential allowances could/should be made for existing churches and historic residences that have been converted to office functions - however this may need to require historic overlays.Affected Office Properties Along Broadway (and Woodland):815 N Broadway; 215 Bearden Place (current use noncompliant as office); 901 N Broadway; 949 N Broadway; 826 N Broadway; 830 N Broadway; 834 N Broadway; 1207 N Broadway; 1216 N Broadway; 1303 N Broadway; 1323 N Broadway; 2909 N Broadway; 3101 N Broadway; 3111 N Broadway; 3127 N Broadway; 818 E Woodland; 1306 N Broadway; 2921 N BroadwayInstitutional ZoningCurrently institutional zoning does not have a 'build-to' requirement, and requires a 20' front and corner/side setback. This creates a similar condition to the above-mentioned Office zoning setbacks. For institutional parcels within an urban area or along an urban core (such as N Broadway) we request an institutional zone that has no front setback, but a 'build-to' requirement that would force new construction to align with the building face of adjacent C-G or Office properties. This would also force parking to occur behind or to the side of a building, as opposed to in front of it.Additionally, the Task Force has reservations related to the allowance of Homeless Shelters on Institutional-Zoned parcels. Due to the nuances related to N Broadway with relation to the Homeless, we request that Institutional Properties along N Broadway (especially the current Physician's Regional property) prohibit homeless shelters. Height Restrictions & Step-Back RequirementsWe believe maximum building height should be less related to zone (as in O, C-G, C-H), but where a parcel is located on the map, IE distance from downtown. In general, we would recommend that the maximum building height remain taller (or unlimited) downtown, and then step down outward from downtown accordingly.We recommend adding a height restriction to CG-3, perhaps 85' with review process if requesting over 85' and 130' maximum with review. The gap between C-G-2's 70' maximum height and C-G-3's unlimited maximum height seems too extreme. An intermediate is necessary, while limiting the unlimited height restriction to DK zones seems more appropriate.We request C-G-2 (or anything above 4-5 stories, or an appropriate height) to have a 'step-back' requirement, similar to the Cumberland District - whereas any floors above a certain height are required to step back. This will avoid the 'tunneling affect' along the corridor, and is similar to what larger cities like New York City enacted.I-MU Design StandardsI-MU should require Commercial Design Standards when redeveloped as mixed-use properties. Not allowing such standards would create a loop-hole for I-MU properties developed as mixed use as opposed to CG or DK zones. We recommend landscape screening requirements for commercial and/or office zones where the rear of the property abut a residential district. We recommend requiring infill commercial to align with existing building frontage/datum established by existing urban (pre-1950s) development.Parking Requirements related to C-G-2 and C-G-3Currently proposed is parking requirement reductions for pedestrian-oriented zones, which we agree with. However currently there is a 10% parking reduction for C-G-2, and a 20% parking reduction for G-G-3. We have requested and agreed with current proposals for C-G-2 along N Broadway namely due to the reduced height restraint - which is more in-keeping with a pedestrian oriented zone as opposed to unlimited (or taller) height restraints. If anything, these taller buildings will require more parking to serve their uses adequately, so it seems the reduction percentages are backwards - in that C-G-2 should allow a higher reduction than C-G-3, or it not at least the same.Therefore, we request C-G-2 allows for a 20% parking reduction to be equal to C-G-3. If this is not possible, we would request a separate C-G-3 subsidiary zone that maintains the higher parking reduction, while creating a lower height restriction.Homeless Shelters within C-G ZonesWe request the removal of Homeless shelters from the C-G zones, believing that their allowance within C-G and C-R zones is sufficient, if not more appropriate.Floodway Overlay ZoningThe current 'Floodway Overlay Zoning District' is noted as being "established to meet the needs of the streams to carry floodwaters of a 500-year frequency flood," however the map overlay district does not reflect the 500-year flood plain. We ask that you update your map to show the accurate 500-yr flood overlay (see below) to allow current and future property owners an accurate representation of where they will be able to construct new buildings and/or renovate existing structures that may be within the 500-year floodplain. Because a large portion of properties along the Broadway Corridor are within the 500-year floodplain, we ask the MPC, ReCode, and the City of Knoxville to create and/or utilize any possible zoning or administrative tools to allow for redevelopment within the flood zone, or at least more effectively communicate to property owners the restrictions they are faced with.As a result of potential miscommunication between the City, FEMA, and property owners, many are easily confused regarding current regulations, since their properties may have been constructed before the 500-yr floodplains (and therefore current restrictions) were established.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back R3 And R4

Hi,I recently was reviewing the prosed recode map and I have some great concern over the removal of the orange on the map. Duplexes and multifamily complexes create affordable housing and without them, it will greatly hurt our city. Fixed supply with growing demand will increase property values to the point where they are no longer affordable. This will hurt 2 groups in particular. Those new to the work force graduating college and the creative class. College students graduate from UT every semester and consider staying in our city and calling it home. The city is trying to attract new businesses to our town. It creates jobs, brings in new tax dollars and helps all in our city thrive. Without affordable housing for the new work force, many will consider a new city to move to and without that work force, businesses will find our city less attractive to call home. Our amazing creative class also needs a place to call home. We have embraced the maker's city branding and would like to create a space for creatives and makers. They need affordable housing close to their businesses downtown and R3 and R4 do that. Please consider bringing back the orange to the map.
Staff Reply:

Attached Garage Setback In A Rn1 Zone

The section 3. b. below requires front-loaded garages to be setback from the front facade no less than four feet in a RN1 zone. I know of many houses that have garages in front of the front facade. I don't see the need for this requirement. Would the hundreds of houses that don't meet this requirement be grandfathered in the adoption language of the ordinance when adopted?3. Garagesa. Front-loaded attached garages are limited to 40% of the width of the front building line. Garage width is measure between garage doors; in the case of garages designed with multiple garage doors the distance is measure between the edges of the outmost doors.b. Attached garages with front facing garage door openings must be set back from the front façade of the structure no less than four feet.
Staff Reply:

Article 4.1 Purpose Statements

At the end of every Residential Neighborhood Purpose Statement is the sentence: Limited nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of the district may also be permitted. I can not find anywhere in this draft where the elements that make up the "character" of the district are defined nor the weight that would be applied to each of those elements when/if a permit for a nonresidential use is applied for. Such a broad statement with no definition is exactly what citizens fear and have been accustomed to as uses that do not appear to be compatible encroach into residential and non-residential zoning districts alike. Character, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. If you are unable to define it, you are not afforded the luxury of making up the rules as you go along!
Staff Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review the draft ordinance! The character of each district is defined in multiple ways within the ordinance:
  • The purpose statement for each district, which identifies the intent of the regulations, and outlines a general character for each of the districts through descriptive language like “exhibiting a predominantdevelopment pattern of single-family homes on relatively large lots and with generous setbacks,”(RN-1) or “comprising a heterogeneous mix of single-family, two-family, townhouse, and multi-family dwellings.” (RN-5)
  • The dimensional standards for each district, which establish the physical parameters for development in the districts, and as such are probably the most explicit means of defining the character of each district.
  • Design standards (where applicable), for the EN district, or for pocket neighborhoods in the RN-4 add further detail to the character of those districts.
  • Site Development Standards, Use Standards, Landscape, etc. All work together to further define character â€" through lighting standards that vary based on location and district, to accessory structure regulations that acknowledge the physical size of lots, use standards with varying applicability by district and lot size, etc.
Finally, when we’re talking about nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of these districts, the things permitted as compatible are uses like parks, community centers, daycare homes, etc. If there’s anything that potentially has greater impacts, they have been made special uses, which would necessitate review to ensure that they meet the approval standards for a special use. The allowable uses for each district can be found in this section. If you have any further questions or comments please let us know.

Application Of Rn-3 + Rn-4

As noted on page 13 in the Technical Review Report,The purpose of the RN-2 District is to, "accommodate development of single family homes on mid-size lots, with specific standards for duplexes as special use."The purpose of the RN-3 District is to, "accommodate single & two family residential development on smaller lots; multi-family permitted as special use."- - -In Draft 2, the minimum lot size for RN-2 was reduced to 5000 sq.ft. (respectively, a small lot size) to reduce the amount of non-conformities.Rather than more accurately representing many of our existing R-2 neighborhoods with RN-3, these neighborhoods were down-zoned and a special reduction in lot size was made to "make them conform" to a zoning designation that does not well represent what we see on the ground (a mix of single + two family dwellings as well as small-scale multi-family permitted as special use).A better reflection of the true development pattern & lot size of many of our current R-2 neighborhoods would be the application of RN-3.As written, this creates more instances requiring special use approval and limits by right development, both which are in direct opposition to "help facilitate more by-right development [and] reduce reliance on special approvals." (Technical Report Pg. 11)
Staff Reply:

Apartments And Infrastructure

When new apartment complexes, subdivisions, or other large projects are considered, PLEASE take into account the existing infrastructure. I live off of Bluerass Road in west Knoxville. In the past couple of years, we have had a large subdivision put in on Mourfield Rd, which caused damage to that road (small, 2 lane, no shoulder, windy, and steep), and caused us to go from only having power outages in weather situations to having weekly and occasionally daily power outages while they were building that subdivision. Now there is an apartment complex going in on Emory Church Road that is causing even more issues. We have frequent power outages during construction. Emory Church Road is not a large enough road to accommodate the traffic. The road has almost been destroyed by the construction equipment, and they are in the process of adding a traffic light because of the increase in traffic. That traffic light project has been TERRIBLE. My child attends preschool at West Emory Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Emory Church Road and Westland Dr. The project took over 2 months, rules were not followed, the parking lot was destroyed and partially blocked for nearly a month, and the workers were just plain rude. The light still isn't up, but the turn lane on Westland has been re-painted to accommodate when the light is in effect, making it very difficult to turn left onto Westland. All this to say....the infrastructure should have been addressed BEFORE any of these projects were approved and started. The LCUB substation on Westland Dr. needs to be larger to accommodate the new buildings so that existing customers didn't have to experience 2 years of frequent power outages. The roads should have been widened and supported before construction equipment destroyed them. The light should have been installed before construction on the building projects began.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

We need more affordable housing in Knoxville not less. Someone who thinks that we need less is truly out of touch.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Please, we need affordable housing! vote for help!
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Please put back the orange! More, not less, affordable housing is needed. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

PUT BACK THE ORANGE. Knoxville needs more multi family housing not less. You are prioritizing higher income folks and not pushing Knoxville to be a city that prioritizes the vast need for affordable housing. I've been to meetings and you are always citing comments from West Hills or Sequoya Hills, or Fountain City and not referring to comments made at the Urban League meetings from Burlington residents from East Knoxville residents and you actively tell them you are not recording their comments despite the fact that a forum or meeting could be their only way to provide a comment. PUT BACK THE ORANGE and stop excluding low income folks' comments.
Staff Reply:

Adus- Hot Topic

Hello, I attended the meeting last night and was saddened to see so many people asking questions in an aggressive and combative way. I think this is largely fear-based and would like to find out what we can do to allow property owners the freedom to have ADUs, even for personal use or for family, while addressing the (often overblown) concerns some have for "doubling the population density", etc. Is it possible to include restrictions such as "Main dwelling is owner occupied only", and also implement some parking restrictions so our narrow streets don't become congested. We're already dealing with several traffic issues as it is in Sequoyah Hills. Would these restrictions fall under the zoning that you are doing, or would that be something for another department? I know people are focusing on STRs, but I see ADUs as beneficial. It would allow someone to rent out a garage apartment to a grad-student or a young couple to help maintain an older home. While I'm not opposed to STRs, I think that that is an issue that should be discussed separately, as one doesn't automatically mean the other. This "fear of strangers" in our neighborhoods is a little ridiculous, but requiring "owner occupied" would help, because most people don't want to deal with strangers in their backyards, basements, etc. Thank you for all you're doing in helping Knoxville prepare for the future.
Staff Reply:

Adus

I'm concerned about maintaining the existing character of residential neighborhoods. I'm particularly concerned about detached ADUs. I think the requirements for detached ADUs should be much stricter than those for attached or incorporated ADUs. The minimum lot size should be triple or 4 times as large. I also think the maximum dwelling size proposed should be smaller than 1000 sq ft and the maximum number of bedrooms allowed should be one or two rather than three. A minimum of one additional dedicated parking space should also be required.I understand the need for additional affordable housing in the city, I think that existing ADUs should be grandfathered as they are more likely to be used for affordable housing. New construction of detached ADUs is less likely to become affordable housing and more likely to become short term rentals. This would change the character of the neighborhood and might reduce the property values of adjacent properties. More research Is needed to determine if this has happened in other cities before these are allowed.Many older neighborhoods have homes set further back on the property. I think over time these older homes will be torn down and rebuilt closer to the front of the property to accommodate construction of an ADU in the back. Although some of these ADUs might become affordable housing and some will house family members, many will become short term rentals.Changing the setback and additional ADUs will change the existing character of the neighborhood.Increased density can be achieved through other means, such as through mixed used.
Staff Reply:

Adjacent Average Grade

Please review the calculation of Adjacent Average Grade, used in defining building height in section 2.4D1. The calculation of this grade is ambiguous and Peter Ahrens suggested at a recent Recode meeting to submit a comment for MPC staff to shore up this definition. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Accessory Dwelling Units

I would encourage you all to share more information on the recode site about the future issues we are facing. With independent studies about likely population growth of our City (not the county) if we assume the status quo. Make sure a majority of the people agree there is a problem before you ask us to approve your solution. Many of the proposed solutions will promote increased density that is is apparent but we should not assume that is a goal of the residents of this city.My immediate issue is with ADU. If allowed they should not be allowed without the owner living on the property. If that is not enforceable then they should not be allowed.
Staff Reply:

A Perfect Summary

"Let's rewrite the entire zoning code-all 200 pages of it, hold a few 1-hour public information/input meetings, and then ram it home before the Christmas break."That seems to be the unspoken strategy anyway. It's a bit scary.
Staff Reply:

4th And Gill Zoning

I really believe we should keep the 4th and Gill neighborhood zones for single family and duplexes. Ours is a unique neighborhood that would be lost if it is flooded with apartments and condos.
Staff Reply:

16.2 Nonconforming Use, D. Discontinuation And Abandoment

D. Discontinuation or Abandonment If a nonconforming use is discontinued for a continuous period of six* months**, the nonconforming use terminates automatically. Any subsequent use of such land or structure must comply with all regulations of the zoning district in which the structure or land is located. * strike "six" and insert "18"insert ", and is not actively marketed,"Add definition for "actively marketed" to 2.3 Definitions sections:Property is marketed continuously online through professional multiple listing services (example, Realtor.com, FlexMLS, Knoxville Area Associaton of Realtors Commercial Information Exchange, LoopNet, Costar, Zillow, etc) and/or signage indicating that property is for sale or lease.
Staff Reply:
MPC and City staff will work with our consultants to make the changes noted to the non-conforming use section and the addition of a definition for "actively marketed".

(no Title)

How can putting more unity in small spaces be accommodated? i.e. home villages
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for OLPNA
Staff Reply:

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