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).
Staff Reply:

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 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 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

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

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

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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Work At Home

Code should be modified to allow work at home provisions regardless of the zoning provided no adverse impact on those living within the neighborhood including no additional traffic, no additional on-street parking, no additional visible storage or equipment on the property or along the street, no additional noise created by the business.Not sure if noise provisions are currently incorporated in zoning. If not they should be.I'm also not sure what provisions are currently incorporated to define and eliminate nuisances.
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What Does This Even Mean?

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

Wasteful Spending

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

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

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

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

This allowance should only be for species native to Knox County.
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Use Of Existing Trees As Credit Toward Landscaping

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

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

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

I can't help wondering what side of the fence the team is on:* Congress for the New Urbanism - developing vibrant communitiesOR* Landscape Urbanism - promoters of expansive open spacesI tend to side with the New Urbanists. Landscape Urbanism turns its buildings away from the street in favor of frontages that consists mostly of greenery. Unless there is tremendous density, human beings will not walk. Some of my responses may be inconsistent with my favor of New Urbanism...because I want it both ways. I'll have to go with discouraging me from driving a car - electric or otherwise.Somehow we have to reconcile the habit driving our cars with the need to walk and take public transportation. We now have clusters of big box stores that cater to cars. I have heard people new to Knoxville buying houses in the outlying areas expressing that they are good as long as a Walmart is nearby.I share my friend's feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work. While rezoning Knoxville codes may be a complex ambition, keeping the outcome consistent with CNU values might go a long way toward connecting people in their homes and businesses. I had a wonderful childhood neighborhood experience at Petzold's Market Chicago, Illinois - where my father's family lived on the second floor. I would like the City of Knoxville to promote this type of community business.
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Transit

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

I am a native and resident of Knoxville, and very proud to be from here. Actually, in technical terms for most of my life I have not lived in the city limits of Knoxville, and am currently living at my family's house where I grew up, in South Knox County off of Sevierville Pike. Nonetheless, my whole upbringing and the lion's share of my life has been in and around this city, which I love so much and have boundless affection for. I am only 30 years old, and I can say gladly how many good changes Knoxville has gone through as a community in my lifetime, and how many more good ones seem to be bubbling up- there is an enthusiasm and a pride in who we are and what we are capable of that is enormously heartening. I went to the introductory public meeting for Recode Knoxville, and was impressed by what I saw, both by the private consultants that the city is using, and by Mayor Rogero and the other city officials who were there. I was not aware that it had been 60 years (60!) since the city had set up its codes laws last, and it's definitely overdue to update them for the current age we're in. I am writing you guys about my general views and perspective of the kind of attitude I'd like to see the new codes laws have, particularly around land use and the urban landscape looks. I consider myself very passionate and concerned about the wellbeing and health of our natural environment, but for me that goes much farther and deeper than simply being an "environmentalist". I understand that the future of the human species and of people here in East Tennessee inextricably depends on how healthy and well balanced the whole ecosystem is. Besides all that, these mountains and rivers and valleys and ridges that make up our native landscape are unspeakably beautiful, and a wise community- such as Knoxville- should integrate that beauty and wholeness into how we imagine our city to look like and feel like in the future. I have traveled a fair bit, been in a number of other countries around the world, and in a lot of parts of the United States- as well as in many places around East Tennessee. There are a lot of different ways for cities and towns and human settlements to look and be laid out, and a lot of different ways for them to coexist in harmony with their natural environment. I would like to see a Knoxville of the future have a greater degree of openness and flexibility with, amongst other things, Urban Farming and agriculture, including small livestock (and I'm aware of the process recently in Knoxville around Urban Ag regs); intensive gardening and landscaping including in residential neighborhoods, especially native, perennial plants that benefit wildlife as well as people; edible landscaping; alternatives for wastewater treatment including greywater, composting toilets, neighborhood scale wetlands for biowaste; household and neighborhood scale rainwater catchment; small scale Urban forestry on private property, with proper guidelines; encouragement of local entrepreneurs in "green" land-based businesses, such as urban ag and gardening, plant nurseries, composting, high end products such as breweries using grains and crops grown in the city, or bakeries using flour made from grain grown in the city. Or even the flour/corn/grain mill itself! I understand that this is all extremely ambitious, and probably on the far edge of what is currently considered possible in urban planning amongst American cities. Nonetheless, I truly believe that in these times, we are all called to think well outside the normal "box" for what a city may look like or consist of, and after spending most of the last century designing almost everything around separation of uses- divided into residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, etc.- and around the car, it is time to take a different route. I am by no means an expert in Sustainable Urban design or planning, but I have been interested in these issues for a long enough time, and heard from a lot of people far smarter and more informed than me about what the possibilities are out there for transformation of our cities into much more holistically ecological, sustainable, and also beautiful places. Beauty, and natural beauty interacting with the beauty of human made landscapes, can never be discounted. Who wants to live in a city that has no beauty, after all.... even if the city is considered to be economically "successful"? I'm sure that there are a number of people currently involved in the design process who are already talking about these large issues of land use and sustainable design; I was very glad to hear that Brenna Wright of Abbey Fields Farm is on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee- I got to know Brenna a couple years ago when she was first starting her farm, and consider her a real leader in promoting new ideas about what the urban landscape could be, environmentally, socially, and economically. I mostly wanted to write you this message to really nudge the folks involved in this process to really take a look at all the possibilities for sustainable, ecologically wise design in the urban context, and to keep expanding the proverbial "box" of what is considered doable and viable. We've only got this one precious planet, so let's do our best to work together to make it a place that is a healthy, nourishing, and beautiful home for all of us. Thanks so much for reading!
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Too Little Parking Required New Commercial Development

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

I appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinion about the city zoning codes. However, I know I likely made some poor choices when filling out the survey due to my ignorance of the repercussions these choices would have on the larger picture. I do not like the idea of having tall structures or buildings along Broadway, but if it promotes better public transportation discourages some of the unattractive commercial buildings that we see around town, I might reconsider. One of my more pressing concerns is the profusion of check cashing establishments in our area (Fountain City/North Knoxville). These "businesses" prey on the people in our city who are not financially stable or fall on hard times due to a crisis. I would like to see Knoxville tell these types of businesses that they are no longer welcome. There are numerous cities across the country that have banned or regulated the number of check cashing, pay day loan, and title pawn businesses. Knoxville should become one as well.
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Sustainabilty

Codes should discourage urban sprawl and encourage infilling as much as possible. Also, stormwater is a huge issue that needs to be carefully addressed in all development proposals. More bike routes to connect residential areas with downtown.
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Sustainability Incentives

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

I think Knoxville needs to do more to promote local and regional resilience to natural and man-made disasters, such as encouraging more household gardening (i.e. Victory Gardens) and edible landscaping (both in neighborhoods and shared green spaces). Other initiatives such as green roofs to help reduce urban heat signature and community gardens to help produce high quality, local food and promote a sense of place and belonging in urban areas that tend to foster a solitary lifestyle.
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Survey Methodology

While I am likely in favor of whatever progressive ideas and goals Recode Knoxville is proposing, I thought the survey was biased. Rather than appearing open to the various ideas and opinions that respondents and the public might have, for several questions, the survey taker was asked to agree or disagree with seemingly positive improvements. If the intent of the survey is to gather the ideas from respondents about different municipal ideas and proposals, then ask for the ideas those respondents might have, or set up a fair Likert scale to gauge one's interest in various ideas. For example, take this question: "Do you support expanding corridors, which were originally [but it read "thoughtlessly"] made for cars, in order to support transportation for bicycles and pedestrians?" It forces someone with a different perspective to disagree, which is an unfair set-up. Instead, a more fair question would ask, "Do you favor future corridor development that favors vehicles or non-automotive transportation?" In this way, the respondent can offer a response to a question that genuinely requests their ideas and opinion.Just something to keep in mind for future survey development. If you truly want others' honest opinions and ideas, then ask for them. Insinuating appropriate or inappropriate responses through biased instrument construction is unlikely to get others on your side.My two cents.
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Survey Follow-up

I think one of the most important things to consider in the development of new ordinances is the impact they will have on poorer neighborhoods. Renovation of old buildings is important when it leads to safer structures and vitalized neighborhoods, but when the cost of that is the well-to-do driving out the poor no good has been accomplished.
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Survey

The survey is great. Glad we are starting to think "outside the box". It is likely that some survey takers will feel the questions lead to the desired responses. I felt that way but agree with where the questions led me.
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Sun And Lights

Existing houses and buildings should have their amount of sunlight protected from new buildings either in front or behind them, therefore a new building across the street should not interfere with the amount of sunlight your house gets. A good example is the big apt. complex on the 1700 block of White avenue blocking the winter sunlight from coming in the windows of the old 'Hawkeyes" building across the street.Also, I would be in favor of 'low light' regulations for nighttime lighting both public and private. Flagstaff, AZ has done a good job at this.Thanks!
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Street Trees

I walk anywhere I can from my house in Old North, and I often have my kids with me in a stroller. Lately I've noticed a lot of urban development and repurposing of defunct businesses, which I applaud. Efforts like this make the city more livable and enjoyable. I've also noticed that in many projects (such as the construction on Depot at the Regas site), huge mature street trees that I came to appreciate and love for their shade have been cut down. I think incentives to work around existing trees are a great idea, as it will easily take 50-100 years to replace a tree that may have been in the way for a short-term project. Seeing a long, hot sunny stretch where there were once spreading old limbs is discouraging. And sweaty. Trees also lend an established, well-cared for feeling to cities, and we lose a lot when we lose mature trees. Thank you for your time.
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Sruvey

I applaud the City of Knoxville and the Metro Planning Commission on this survey. I am excited to see where our city and county go in the development of a walkable, livable, and more active downtown. I am not familiar with the current code, but it would seem to be advantageous to ensure mixed-use buildings and adaptive reuse receive the highest priority. Perhaps the most pressing issue hindering downtown's growth is its copius amount of surface level parking. If there is any way to discourage owners from keeping these properties as wastes of space, or rewarding those who have decided to develop it into usable urban space, I would encourage it. Thank you for continuing to make a better urban life for the residents of our area.
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Signage

I believe new sign ordinance or variances should be investigated, specifically addressing the individual personality, architecture and history of each neighborhood.
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Signage

The city has gone overboard with sign regulation, governing out of fear of billboards and distractions to our scenic beauty so much so that it has paralyzed ALL signage. Those fears can be regulated and managed without stopping practically all signage. I am an adminstrator at a large church in the city that hosts and provides many community and educational functions for the neighborhood and city. Yet we have to resort to temporary vinyl banner signs to promote because of the fear of electronic billboards in the city. There should be a governmental/non-profit category that would allow information center boards with lots of rules/regulations about no scrolling/flashing, brightness, change rate, etc. but still be ALLOWED. Much like the Knoxville Convention Center message board, more of a power point type display with full color and decent resolution. This category could include the grandfathered Civic Coliseum and the Convention Center and be used by churches and Boys/Girls Clubs, Knoxville Museum of Art, etc. We are not selling cigarettes or lottery tickets but providing information to the community for the betterment of all.This has become an emotional/political hot potato topic and it shouldn't be. Let us be a trial/test case. We have money in escrow from a generous donation for such a sign, but have been waiting for a break in the moratorium/no exceptions climate to seek our chance to put up such a sign. We would love to be a part of this conversation.
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Sidewalks/ Walkability

I've been told that builders of new developments are not required to install sidewalks. This, to me, doesn't make any sense. I feel like they should be required to be built at the time a new development is put in place. This cost should NOT fall onto the city. As a current resident of Sequoyah Hills (and former resident of Holston Hills), I lament the fact that so many of our neighborhoods aren't more pedestrian friendly. The addition of sidewalks to new neighborhoods might free up some money to add sidewalks to older neighborhood like Sequoyah and Holston Hills and others that were in existence before the importance of sidewalks was realized.I've often wondered if it wouldn't be possible to improve walkability in some neighborhoods by changing traffic patterns on some roads. You could convert roads that are currently 2-way into be one-way roads. I feel like this could work, for example, in an area where there are 2, 2-way roads running parallel to one another (both lacking sidewalks). You could perhaps make each road one way (one now becomes south-bound only, while the other becomes north-bound only.) The now unused lane on each road is repurposed as a "pedestrian lane". We live on Arrowhead Trail in Sequoyah and I could see this working nicely in combination with Noelton Drive. Neither of these roads have sidewalks and it definitely prevents most people from walking to the local groceries and shops. I would imagine this would have to be less expensive than putting in sidewalks and it wouldn't necessarily increase traffic on either road. Perhaps it is less of a hassle, as well, with regards to getting the neighbors to agree to it as well because you wouldn't be taking away any of their front yard to convert to sidewalk... just a thought!Thanks for seeking out our opinions on recoding the city. Knoxville has come such a long way in the 12 years that I've lived here... let's keep up the amazing progress!!! Improving walkability in neighborhoods and pedestrian access to local stores and shops will be such a boon to the city... less cars on the road, healthier citizens and an even more desirable place to call home!
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Sidewalks

The need for sidewalks down broadway in fountain city is off the charts. Residents in scooters and those walking are at risk. So many businesses are very close, yet residents are forced to drive everywhere, increasing the need for parking and increasing heavy traffic snafus.
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Sidewalks

Upkeep of side walks is tearable in Knoxville especially in the Ft Sanders area. They are broken up, blocked by brush, low hanging branches, cars parked on them.
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Sidewalks

The sidewalks in Fort Sanders, especially on Clinch and Laurel are cracked and crumbling. Cars are parked at yellow curbs, bus stops on Clinch.
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Sidewalks

My son will be starting Kindergarten this year. I love being active and it makes me sad that I live so close to the school, but I can't walk because there are no sidewalks! The area is growing and there is not a lot of parking. If there were sidewalks throughout the community I think there would be a lot more people walking and biking and leaving their cars at home. Thanks for your time!
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Sidewalks

I would like to see a sidewalk from the Rocky Hill shopping center to Rocky Hill School. There is so much school traffic on that road and the road is not very wide. I think a sidewalk would be very helpful and make the road a lot safer.
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Sidewalks

With the growth in South Knoxville, particularly the Sevier Heights area, we need sidewalks badly. Walkers on Sevierville Pike have to walk in people yards, the ditch and/or the middle of the road. In many places there is no where to go if cars are coming. Many times a day, people who live in apartments on Redbud walk down the street to the bus stop or convenient store and cars need to veer to avoid them.
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Sidewalks

After taking the city's survey I would like to add that we need more sidewalks in Knoxville. It would also be nice if the road work being done to Western Avenue was completed.
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Sidewalks

Rezoning codes should include mandatory sidewalks to meet ADA standards. KAT stops should include landing pads so that wheelchairs can load and unload safely.
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Sidewalks

Please make sidewalks mandatory.
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Side Walks And No Ditches

Would like sidewalks in neighborhoods other than downtown to promote security and community. Also, get rid of the ditches that line almost all of the streets in south Knoxville. Either that or annex us so we don't have to pay taxes to pay for the rest of the city's sidewalks and proper water management (no more ditches dug in people's front yards). Put it in the code to require city neighborhoods to have sidewalks.
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Short Term Rentals

I find it odd that your survey didn't include any questions relating to the short term rental issue. The proposal as it exists will be a disaster for R1 neighborhoods. Additionally, I found the survey extremely biased and leading in nature. Personally, I couldn't give two cents about sustainability and don't think my tax dollars should could be used to fund projects that are designed to combat, so called man made global warming.
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Roads

Need to work on roads rather than making bike lanes and sidewalks. Since you have screwed up Moody Avenue by making it a 2 lane road I have seen far more car wrecks than I have seen people riding bikes. Crazy. I have talked to a lot of people who feel the same way. Also need more speed enforcement everywhere in the city. Especially Chapman Highway.
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Roads

I think a concerted effort needs to be made to widen all secondary and connector roads. They are dangerous to foot traffic, bicycles, and automobile traffic. To have the percentage of such narrow roads and absolutely no shoulders is, in my opinion, restricting not only commercial and residential growth but also restricting other means of travel/commuting aside from auto, e.g. biking and walking for fear of getting run over.
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Rezoning Traffic Concerns

As a long term resident (18 years) of one of Knoxville's historic and urban neigjborhoods, I have many thoughts/concerns on the topic of Knoxville's rezoning. Number one on my list is increased traffic, which I do not feel is being publicly discussed/addressed equivalent to to other concerns. I would like to see measures put into place to decrease increased traffic, along with zoning changes. We have witnessed first-hand the effects of latent traffic calming attempts and it is quite simply ineffective.
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Rezoning

Please consider more flexibility and guidance for building tiny or very small homes in blighted areas as a way to increase affordable housing.
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Reviewing Codes Survey

Points I'd like to cover based on questions asked in the survey.I believe there needs to be a mixed use provision for the downtown area if the code hasn't already been updated. I'm thinking along the lines of commercial on ground floor and residential above.Some means to encourage smaller commercial spaces. For example, limit a Walmart or Kroger mega-store from opening in a downtown area and instead encourage smaller grocery and retail stores.Curb the amount of advertising on roadsides, much like the town of Farragut does. Signs limited in size, limited in height, etc.I voted against the 'historic tree' preservation mainly because of the ginko trees that line certain roads. I hate those things and the Bradford pears that started cropping up in the 80s. I'm not against old oaks and the like, just the "fad" trees some landscaper decided to add on a whim that later turn to be a nuisance.Thank you for your time and attention.
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Residential Neighborhoods

Residential neighborhoods such as R1 and SW1 need to be protected from encroachment of non-residential. Old homes need to be saved for their character as residential and stay residential. Parking restrictions in those neighborhoods that will have impact from non-resident traffic need to move forward with MPC and Council. Building heights and setbacks restricted to retain a neighborhood's character. STR not allowed or only by homeowner living on premise or in house as was stated in public meetings and generally accepted to control STR in residential areas such as R1 and SW1. There needs to be minimum parking requirements added to the FBC as commercial is already removing parking from their places of business, which pushes parking into places that should not have to deal with the spaces these business are removing from their locations. They are not sharing parking with other commercial but removing parking because there is no minimum required parking. This is a main issue with FBC and multi-use.
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Residential House Freedom

I strongly believe house owners should be able to use their houses as they see fit. It is not government's business to regulate who lives in your house. I think ordinances restricting occupancy would prove unconstitutional if challenged. I also think short term rental such as Air B&B should not be restricted.
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Residential Development

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

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

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

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

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

Appreciate the opportunity to say how much I appreciate that Knoxville is moving toward a much higher walkability scale. And adding a focus in keeping our beautiful trees too.
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Questions

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

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

You have nothing about personal property rights. You are going down the wrong path.
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Process Re: Land Use Regulations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have a facebook page or other Social Media that can keep me updated as to what's being built in the area? or what is going on in the area? I often do not hear of anything going on along Rutledge Pike. Would be nice if "noise makers" i.e. KPD can provide notice when they are going through a recruiting class at the Cement Plant Road location. It seems that our area gets overlooked a lot!
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No Short Term Rentals!!

I am COMPLETELY against any short term rentals being allowed in R-1 residential neighborhoods. That would NOT BE A GOOD THING!
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New Codes

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

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

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

I am a real estate agent, past resident of Knox County, graduate of Knox County Schools, and a current owner of a duplex in Knox County. I find it onerous that duplexes are taxed as commercial property, especially considering that the property can not be used for any purpose that would ordinarily be considered a commercial activity. This needlessly increases the expense involved in owning such a property while making it difficult to provide affordable housing.
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More Sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

I love living in Knoxville. The parks, bicycle lanes, greenways...everything is lovely here. Thanks for all you do.
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Keep Knoxville A Community Type Enviroment

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

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