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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Tree Topping In H-1 Historic Overlay Zones

It would be very difficult to outlaw the practice of Tree Topping for the entire community. However, it may be possible to outlaw the practice in the H-1 Historic Overlay Zones of the city. Topping in the sense of old time round over cutting of branches, removing most, if not all of the crown of trees in a manner not consistent with International Society of Arboriculture ANSI rules pertaining to tree pruning.-This practice devalues trees and properties.-This practice shortens the lives of otherwise healthy trees.-This practice opens healthy trees up to future decay, rot, and hollow. -The practice is not considered proper tree work within modern practices.-This ordinance would pertain to all trees, of all sizes except fruit trees being pruned for fruit production.It also would exempt old trees being vetranized in an effort to save them. This would be done with the authorization of the Knoxville City Arborist on a case by case basis.
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Tree Protection Ordinance

Knoxville has a Tree Protection Ordinance. Is there a reason why this wasn't included in the Recode draft? Also, rather than saying invasive plant species aren't allowed, can the ordinance link to a list of invasive species and state that anything on the list is prohibited?
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Tree Mitigation

I would like to suggest Knoxville consider developing and implementing 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.Harvey Broome GroupSierra Club
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Sw-1

Concern is that SW-1 is not listed under the general list of residential. SW-1 is residential (low density). Should It fall under or with the EN, RN, list?
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Sidewalks - School Zones

Thank you for allowing us to actively participate in offering comments and feedback. I live in Fountain City. We are .50 miles from Fountain City Elementary and Gresham Middle School on Grove Drive, which means that we are in what is called "parent responsiblity zone". Our daughter would like very much to walk to school, however the sidewalks stop less than halfway to our home from the schools. The road is narrow with a ditches and many use it as a cutthrough from Rifle Range to Broadway. People drive fast through the stretch were we live and it is dangerous to walk. We walk as a family and it is not a comfortable walk until we get to a sidewalk. There are children living in Grove Park Subdivision who would benefit from a sidewalk as well. Please consider ensuring there are sidewalks within the parent responsibility zones throughout the city. This would be a blessing for those of us who have students as well as the general community who enjoy walking without fear of launching into a ditch to avoid the oncoming traffic.
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Recode Support

I am definitely in favor of the recode as one much needed measure to address the crisis in affordable housing.
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Recode Suggestions

I looked over the draft, and have the following suggestions:1. Define “Blank Wall” There are several great buildings with blank walls, that have designed texture and material patterns, etc., but no windows.2. Define if an alley or highway (i.e. other than roadway) is a ROW. This has to do with the portion of the code that indicates if a façade is visible from a ROW, then ……3. Define how far such a ROW view would be. Example, if I can view a building from a higher grade 5 blocks away, while I am in an alley, then is that “visible from ROW”?4. In DK-H district, set a minimum first floor to second floor dimension. Traditional buildings ranged in 18’ to 20’ +/-5. If a building is on a sloped street, then does the ground level regulations apply to the entire area of the sloped street, or only the very bottom portion of it?I will review in more detail in the next few days and will share anything else that I can think of.
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Recode Koxville Comments

I speak on behalf of the Sierra Club's ~1,000 members who reside in Knoxville. We thank you for the opportunity to comments on the proposed ordinance and provide the following comments:1. Article 3 - This may or may not be the appropriate place, but since it contains Special Purpose Districts and Overlay Districts, it seems fitting. The proposed Ordinance contains no reference to, or any part of, the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan. The Plan was adopted by City Council and incorporated into the General Plan in 2011. In 2017, the City determined that, except through Use on Review, and the Use on Review Development Plan process in Planned Zoning Districts, (Planned Commercial, Planned Residential, Shopping Center), the City's adopted Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan could not be enforced. The reason given for why the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan could not be enforced is that the Plan had not been codified. The failure to codify the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan left the Use on Review Development Plan process in Planned zoning districts as the only enforcement mechanism. Therefore, the removal of the existing planned zoning districts results in there being no mechanism to enforce the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan. The City Administration should immediately support and the City Council should prepare and adopt a Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Ordinance so that the adopted plan can be enforced. 2. Article 11 - The 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 5,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot. Additionally, we recommend lot sizes be calculated in terms of parking slots rather than square feet; this would be easier for developers, and the public, to interpret. Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.In general, there should be a greater emphasis on stormwater management (as well as shade distribution) when considering the placement of landscaping in parking lots. Better stormwater treatment can ultimately reduce costs to developers.Plans Review and Enforcement - This is a major concern to everyone. Ultimately, enforcement will be determined by the will of the city administration and staffing, no matter what's written into the ordinance. We think it's important to have a credentialed professional staff oversee the approval and enforcement of landscape plans. Tree selection is tied to a list of approved tree species maintained by the Tree Board. However, shrubbery selection is left to the developer, although native and naturalized plantings are recommended. To insure high quality, we would like the ordinance to tie selection to an approved list of recommended shrubs, grasses, ground covers.3. Article 12.10 - This Article as written is inadequate. We would like to see the current Tree Protection Ordinance (Chapter 14) incorporated into the proposed Ordinance.
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Recode Comments

My hope for Recode is to lower the barriers of entry for small-scale, community based development of affordable, efficient, and sustainable dwellings optimizing the density our existing neighborhoods.A few suggestions for doing so... Allowance ADU's: -if ADU's remain contentious in some neighborhoods.. perhaps they could be allowed in RN-1, 2, 3, 4, etc. and not in EN. -if contention remains consider utilizing the model ADU code developed by leading experts in the field (available at AccessoryDwellings.org)After ADU's, a duplex is the lowest hanging fruit for small-scale community-based development. Consider lowering barriers of entry to duplex development, its a great tool increase sustainable density & diversity within existing neighborhoods. Suggestions as follows... 4-2: Consider revising "Minimum Interior Side Setbacks" to allow for small-scale development of duplex properties. Many communities that could benefit from additional density provided by a duplex contain 50' lots (and sometimes less). As written, side setbacks of 20' are counterproductive to a feasible shotgun duplex. Height requirements limit a stacked duplex. Design restrictions limit a "front/rear" duplex where both doors must face the frontage road. Less restrictions will be needed to fully utilize duplex development as a tangible solution for density & affordability.Also, what would be the requirements for special allowance of Duplex in RN-1, RN-2?Additional Comments: 4-2: 4.3.C.1 - Why would multi-family dwellings be LIMITED to corner lots only? What about double or triple interior lots, etc.? 9-15: W. Neighborhood Nonresidential ReUse - consider new builds and/or structures for Non-residential use at certain intersections within residential districts. Increase the availability of neighborhood stores, increase diversity, decrease auto-dependence, etc. 10-4: 8. Accessory structures cannot contain cooking facilities or plumbing? This seems heavy-handed and not conducive to resilient, adaptable structures. Garden shed, painting studio, pool house, etc. Plumbing + bathrooms should be at the owners discretion. 11-6: Dwelling - Two-Family = 2 parking spaces per dwelling unit... total of 4 for a duplex. Consider REDUCING to 1 per dwelling unit to not further hinder small-scale, community-based development.
Staff Reply:

Recode 1st Draft Comments From Kaar Focus Group

Here's what I have:1. Most of the feedback that I'm getting from folks is that there's a disconnect between codes and the fire marshal (which isn't really cogent to this conversation). The general theme as that we need to make things as clear as possible and that the administrative folks all need to be on the same page.2. Overall, I am very optimistic that these changes will improve our city, so thanks for your work on contribution. Here is my feedback from reviewing the first Draft of ReCode:Overall, I am in favor of increasing higher-density options in RN-1,2, & 3 neighborhoods - with special use, if developed and designed properly. Over the long-term, I am concerned that a limited housing supply will drive up housing prices and decrease affordable/moderate-income living options, especially in neighborhoods closer to downtown. By including options for 3F and 4F-dwellings, higher density can be achieved gradually, without compromising the overall character of the neighborhoods. Specifically, 3 & 4-family dwellings should be grouped separate from other higher-density Multi-family units, and 3&4-family dwellings should be granted greater permissions in RN-1,2, and 3 Neighborhoods, but with some restrictions on design and location. This could be achieved by grouping 2,3,4-family dwellings together. Similar to the restrictions in 4.3 Dimensional Standards, C, about multi-family dwellings in the RN-4 District, 3 and 4-family dwellings should be granted similar permissions in RN-1,2,3 if they are on corner lots, adjacent to higher-density uses, with height and parking restrictions.3. PAGE 1-3, Pending ApplicationCan you remove the words "was deemed complete by the City". There is a significant investment of time and due diligence made on a property before an application.Page 5-4, Table 5-2Commercial Site Design requires all surface parking to be on side or rear unless in CH2 or CR2. Front door parking is a highly desirable feature for most commercial properties. Front door parking should be allowed in C G.Table 9-1 Use MatrixFor the sake of completeness please add . . .Add "Heavy Retail, Rental, and Service"Add "Concrete Batch Plant"Add "Cement Plant" which is quite different from the Concrete Batch Plant aboveAdd "Call Center"Add "Truck Stop and Refueling Facility"Add "Truck Terminal"Add "Construction Office with Outside Storage"Add "Landscaper and Lawn Mowing Office with outside Storage"Page 10-1: Please add to Site Development Standards requirements for eighteen wheel vehicles and semi trucks in regards to building access and turnarounds.Please add requirements for loading docks and drive in doors.
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