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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Design Standards

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

When businesses use food trucks they should be required to provide electrical hook-up to stop the generator noise. Some food trucks are obnoxiously loud.
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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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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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(no Title)

Also consider height and size of business signage! Finish connecting the greenways and more sidewalks please!
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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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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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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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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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Complete Streets

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

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

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

Developers are allowed to build condos (separate buildings) based upon the zoned intensity. However, they are allowed to get away with dedicating only the main entryway/street to the city and all other streets classified as driveways. The USPS recognizes these side streets as residential addresses but the city only has to maintain the main roadway since the developer is allowed to designate the other streets, no matter how many, as driveways. The developer also is able to skirt the requirements of the city for a street and build these "driveways" narrower and without curbs. This is a sweetheart deal for the developer and really screws the residents.
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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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(no Title)

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

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

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

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

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

We do not need anymore apartments / condos in Inskip. We need more traffic calming and more police presence.
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Incremental Growth, Prescriptive Historic Zoning & Mixed Use

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

Develop code that is more than "minimal"- let code reflect tougher standards so that variances are more difficult to ask for and have approvedAlso, don't make all neighborhoods alike- as in the survey- there are distinct areas that need to be cherished and preserved.Great ideas about landscaping- but after the initial build- who checks to make sure the landscaping is still in tact and being taken care of.Owners of apartment buildings should have specific requirements that must be adhered to- so neighborhoods don't have to complain and complain in order for things to change- for example- apartments on Jacksboro near Kesterwood, Oak Park, and Woodrush. An eyesore like that devalues the beautiful homes in the area.
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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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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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Additional Comments

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

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

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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Bike Lanes/sidwalks On Papermill

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

Street Trees

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