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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Recode

When is the next meeting?
Staff Reply:

Sw- 1 And Sw-2

SW South Waterfront District. SW-1 is not commercial, nor is SW-2.But SW-1 is only low density residential now and therefore SW-1 should be listed in the new code under A. Residential District even though the % of land use is not equal If listed under commercial - this would be abused and is questionable in this code. This comment has been made several times in public meetings Homeowner living in SW-1
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Comments - Draft Zoning Code

I am a commercial / industrial real estate broker. Below are my comments on the DRAFT Code.PAGE 1-3Pending 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 above-Add "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 10-1Please 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 docksPlease add requirements for drive in doors
Staff Reply:

Recommend Changes For Sequoyah Hills

Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:- Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.- Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements.Here's why I'm making these recommendations:- RN-1 and RN-2 make up all the single family parcels in Sequoyah Hills and these recommendations attempt to ensure those properties are not bought up by investors and split up without regard to the neighborhood and without consequence to the property owner.- I understand and support the need for ADUs to provide for unique family situations and the urge of some residents of Sequoyah Hills to provide affordable housing for young parents to be part of our school district. I believe my recommendations will not interfere with these priorities.- The C-G-3 height requirement would apply to Western Plaza's zoning. This would still be in violation of paragraphs a.1.A and a.1.B of Title 54 Chapter 17 Part 1 of the 2017 Tennessee Code, which protects Tennessee's scenic highways and state law would supersede the zoning code, so in effect, the 85' would never be reached.- My deep, dark fear is that our neighborhood will be taken over by investors that chop up the real estate like they have in Fort Sanders.- I bought my house in Sequoyah Hills because I saw a "for sale" sign in the yard when I ran by it training for the Knoxville Marathon. I strongly believe that one of the common goods that raises the value of all our properties and increases the quality of all our lives is the walkability of Sequoyah Hills.
Staff Reply:

April 4th Work Session

Attached is a compilation of comments regarding administration and process of the Zoning Code which had been submitted in response to previous drafts. 

Thank you reading this and addressing it during the upcoming work session.

As you may know, I have had a 37-year career as a City Planner and currently live in East Knoxville.

I have participated in the rewriting of two zoning codes and am familiar with policy as well as development review and code enforcement.

Thank you for your time on this matter.

Very best

Sandra Korbelik, AICP

Staff Reply:

Multi-family Housing Zoning

Knoxville needs to be zoned for more affordable, multi-family housing.
Staff Reply:

Recode Workshop, Regarding Multi-family Zoning & Kta/kat

In preparation for the ReCode workshop this evening, please see the attached PDF signed letter

Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I I am a resident of Sequoyah Hills and I would like to recommend some changes to the Recode Knoxville. Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements. Expand the Neighborhood Conservation overlay.Thank you for your attention.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Established Neighborhoods

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

Rv Parking And "screening"

I've just reviewed the section regarding RV parking (at a residence) and wonder if anyone on the commission owns an RV? Although I do not store my 13'2" tall RV on my property as it won't fit, I have neighbors that can and do. Based on the requirement to "screen" RVs from public view (from the right-of-way) you are going to require VERY TALL FENCES/WALLS not to mention expensive. Are the commissioners the owners of fencing/wall companies??? The typical travel trailer is about 12' tall and would require at least a 12' tall fence/wall - either that or "hide" the RV in a storage facility (owner of those as well?) or sell it (RV or house). I'm fortunate to be able to afford such luxury of indoor storage, but I doubt the typical RV owner can or is willing to do so. My issue is more with what my(our) neighborhood is going to look like with, say at least half-dozen, homes with 12' tall fencing, just to hide their RV. I'm sorry, but I'd rather you hide some of the ugly cars from sight than a well cared for RV. Since my home is "down the hill" from a right-of-way street, my back yard can be seen from above and would require, by my estimation, a 40-50 foot tall fence/wall to "hide" an RV from view. I and others feel you are trying to weed out RVs and/or RV owners from Knoxville in an effort to beautify Knoxville residential areas. Again, I do not store my RV at home, although I would rather do so. I have thought about relocating to a home where I could expand and store the RV at home, and am now seriously considering it, HOWEVER, I am no longer looking in/around Knoxville or Knox County - our politicians have run me off. I'm glad Knoxville is looking to tell America that RVs, RV owners, and the like are not welcome here - I'll spread the word from a more RV friendly county. Regards!
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Parking Lot Landscaping Requirements

Trees Knoxville's mission is to preserve and increase the urban tree canopy on the private and public land of Knoxville and Knox County. The board of Trees Knoxville has voted to endorse the following statement:The benefits of trees and landscaping are well known. A few of these assets include beautification of public spaces, reduced stormwater runoff, reduction of air pollution, and cooler ambient temperatures and shade - both of which enhance walkability. 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 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot.Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces.Landscaped buffer zones between parking lots and residential development should be 15' wide rather than 10' wide.Tree selection is tied to a list of approved trees maintained by the City Tree Board. To insure high quality, a similar list should be specified for the selection of shrubs, grasses, ground covers, etc. Both lists should be tied to landscaping requirements throughout the Recode ordinance. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Proposed Recode Map

We need more not less affordable housing in Knoxville. According to the City and County's most recent Community Block Development Grant reports, more than 21,000 low to moderate income families in Knox County are paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. These families live under constant stress. This high number indicates a crisis in affordable housing in our community. From other information I have gathered, based on growth projections for the city, we need to be building between 3 and 5 affordable housing units per day in our community by 2040.The proposed map put forth by the City Council and the MPC as a result of the ReCode process appears to reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville. I urge the City Council and the MPC to redesign the map. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in including higher density housing along the corridors, but the drastic reduction in the orange and tan areas of the current map is concerning. I urge the City Council and the MPC to think more carefully about how to encourage affordable housing in existing neighborhoods. I urge the City Council and the MPC to return some of the orange areas to the zoning map and to include areas on the map which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Neighborhood Advisory Council Draft 1 Comments

The following is feedback from a focus group created from the members of the City of Knoxville Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC). The focus group members were Rob Glass, Anna Compton, Molly Conaway, Jennifer Reynolds, and Amy Midis. Thank you!Comments Regarding Recode KnoxvilleNeighborhood Advisory Focus GroupMembers: Anna Compton, Molly Conaway, Rob Glass, Amy Midis, Jennifer Reynolds1. We feel that the minimum lot square footage for the EN-1 residential district should be reduced from 22,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. (Article 4.3, Table 4-1)2. We feel like allowing ADUs on lot sizes of 5000 square feet is too small, and recommend the lot size be increased to a minimum of 7000 square feet. (Article 10.3B)3. The existing draft permits Day Care Homes in all residential districts. Since no specific standards are provided regarding this use, it appears that regulatory control of these businesses is by the State of Tennessee. We would like to see the draft include local standards for Day Care Homes in the ordinance and not let the State dictate the intensity of this use. Furthermore, we would not permit day care homes that allow more than 6 children not related to the owners. (Article 2.3)4. We like the idea of non-residential reuses being allowed in the new draft, however, we would like to see the new buildings be updated to new code standards, as well as installing buffers to help distance the property from residential properties. (Article 9.3W)5. We request that the Class B buffer require one evergreen ever 10 feet, and not ever 20 feet. (Article 12.9C)6. We request more graphs or pictures in the ordinance to visualize the concept of ADUs. (Article 10.3B)
Staff Reply:

Recode General Comments Or Concerns

I have concern in the code where if an existing building decides to remodel over 50% then the parking change goes into effect and may not be financially feasible for the building or shopping area and thus the tenant would go elsewhere leaving some of the anchor tenant type buildings left in disrepair or not remodeled for changing trends or marketplace. 16-1 : Also concern on the 6 months abandonment clause causing a building to loose non-conforming status and in most cases it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, to get a tenant in 6 months and if buildings built with kitchens and restaurant layout for instance, it might actually cause more to stay vacant. If our building on 4th ave. went vacant 6 months, being made of concrete and some front parking, it would need torn down and rebuilt - if I am reading it correctly. Some areas with pocketed office buildings, not really in nodes - I feel the zoning doesn't apply where buildings need to push forward and park in rear (such as Montbrook area behind downtown west). Building facade material restrictions in C-Gs - I feel needs some tweaking as far as percentages on the building - what if styles change?
Staff Reply:

More Affordable Housing

Knoxville needs more affordable housing. Recent surveys indicate that 21,000 citizens of Knoxville pay more than 50% of their income for housing. The people who live and work in our city deserve affordable housing. If we can't get employers to pay a wage that allows people to afford their housing, we can certainly provide opportunities for housing through other means. Put the Orange Back!
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Also consider height and size of business signage! Finish connecting the greenways and more sidewalks please!
Staff Reply:

Forest Heights Neighborhood Draft 1 Comments

The following is feedback from Forest Heights Neighborhood. We have created a focus group of neighbors (including both FHNA board members as well as other neighbors not representing the board) to analyze and discuss the proposed ordinance and how it affects our neighborhood. The members of the committee were: Jim Pryor, Amy Hathaway, Martie and John Ulmer, Joe Hickman, Leslie Badaines, and Amy Midis. Thank you!Uses Permitted in the RN-1 District:1. Home Occupations is broadly defined in the proposed ordinance and specific standards previously used to in the current ordinance to differentiate Home Occupations from Home Offices have not been incorporated into the draft. We feel that the current definitions and their standards for both Home Office and Home Occupation should be added to the proposed ordinance. 2. The definition of a Group Home should be more detailed and should be allowed only as a special use in all residential districts.3. The existing draft permits Day Care Homes in all residential districts. The State currently regulates Group Day Care Homes (8-12 unrelated children) and Family Day Care Homes (5 - 7 unrelated persons up to age 17). Our existing ordinance defines "Day nursery: private" as having 6 or more unrelated children, therefore allowing fewer that 6 children by right. We request that the Day Care Homes be defined in the new zoning ordinance as 6 or fewer children, and a separate classification of Day Care Homes be defined and allowed only as a "Special Use" in all residential districts. Zoning Request for 4002 - 4216 Sutherland Avenue:1. The properties from 4002 Sutherland Avenue west to 4216 Sutherland Avenue are currently zoned either Residential or Office. Since residential houses in Forest Heights are located across the street from these properties, the intensity of the use of these properties directly affect our neighborhood. We recommend that the businesses currently zoned O-1 retain their "O" or Office zoning and the single family residences are zoned the same residential zoning designation as our neighborhood. Administrative Modifications:1. The Zoning Administrator is given authority in 15.4C to grant a 10% or less modification to any zoning district dimensional standard in this Code. We request that for modifications granted in residential districts, that the adjoining neighbor who could be affected by this approval be notified in advance of its approval. This is most important with regards to setbacks and maximum height restrictions.
Staff Reply:

Recode New Zoning: Put The Orange Back.

Put the Orange Back, please. Knoxville needs more affordable housing, not less. Too many families in our community are paying 50% or more for their housing monthly. This ratio is unacceptable and puts these families at high risk of homelessness. Please revise this proposal.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Landscape Requirements In Recode

Here are some comments on the proposed ordinance concerning landscaping requirements.First it is important to have adequate resources including staff to review proposed plans and to enforce the requirements of any ordinance or the purpose and intent of the ordinance will not be accomplished. It is recommended that new staff be added to review and follow up on the landscaping requirements. This staff should have the required education and training to adequately ensure the compliance of all project plan to follow the requirements of the ordinance.How does this ordinance impact the existing tree protection ordinance and requirement for historic tree protection? If the new ordinance has been written to include the existing tree protection, then it doesn't provide adequate coverage. If the new ordinance wasn't intended to include requirement of the existing tree protection ordinance, then how will they work together?How does the new ordinance incorporate the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan which was adopted by City Council and incorporated into the General Plan in 2011?Is the requirement for 8 trees per acre adequate to sustain the goals of the city to maintain and protect the urban forest canopy? What information was used to establish this requirement?Screening seems to be the primary focus of the benefits of vegetation but there are many benefits provided by tree and shrubs and this should be included in the goals and requirement of the ordinance such as improved water management and air quality at a minimum.Alternative compliance should provide for other ways to meet the public interest in protecting and increasing urban tree canopy and the ordinance should include ways to bank these benefits by providing for methods to mitigate negative impacts that can't be avoided on site. An example would be utility requirements that trump preservation or planting requirements should be offset by purchasing credits to be used at other sites for the public good.When trees are preserved, the trees preserved should have adequate root protection to ensure survival and this requirement needs to be included in the ordinance.Important that the city's list of trees is included in the ordinance as a guide for tree selection and other list of the city should be included which indicate native species appropriate for Knoxville could be referenced as well for shrubs, flowers and vines.Long term maintenance and protection of required trees could be included or recommended to prevent future loss due to clearing and poor practices such as topping or poor mulching.The ordinance should look at lists of other plants like those considered invasive, recommended native shrubs, flowers, grasses and vines that the developer could use in planning their project similar to the list of recommended trees.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 10,000 and 20,000 sf should be required to have graduated interior landscaping (smaller and/or fewer islands), depending on size of the lot. Lots larger than 20,000 sf should have a landscaping break every 10 spaces rather than every 15 spaces
Staff Reply:

Adu's Are Not Evil.

Members Recode Team,

I want to encourage those who have worked so hard on this and I hope that your work is not in vain. Please no not let a small but loud section of the population bring down progress. People who have watched this grueling process know that pushing it down the road or starting from scratch won't help. I just hope that there is flexibility in this code to evolve and adapt to a growing city and that we are not subject to the groanings of a few small minded citizens.

I've noticed all of this fuss over ADU's and I am tired of it. I am appalled at the close-minded thinking that an extra unit will have a catastrophic affect on the community. In fact, it is that very thinking that will hold Knoxville back as we try to grow. 

Does it not seem strange that in a time where we have the means to support safe and clean density, we are scared of a density level that our city was built? Is it also not telling that the most beautiful and well-liked areas of Knoxville are the most dense? 

DENSITY IS GOOD. As a designer who has studied architecture and urban planning in depth and in many cities, it irks me that people who have no bases of study for which to make an educated decision are restricting something that will be good for communities and home owners. 

Please, do not let misguided fear hurt this city's future. 

As for the current draft, I believe it is in the best interest of the city to change the following: 

10.3.B.1 : "When there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of the building codes, the building official may grant modifications for individual cases." This was omitted and although I don't see a reason why someone might need to diverge from the building code, there should always be room for special circumstances.. Why omit this?

10.3.B.2 : This entire point should be omitted. 1. An owner of a duplex may have a good reason to add an ADU and this should not be restricted. 2. My goodness, "Must be owner occupied" What good does that do to the community? Are there not countless individuals in this city who survive off income from rentals? Much of this city's revitalization has been a result of enterprising folks who flipped houses not for themselves but for others. Knoxville owes the quality of it's urban neighborhoods to these folks. Who's right is it to base the urban growth of a city off of whether a property is owner occupied? Please don't incapacitate future growth by restricting things like this. 

10.3.B.4 : Lot size restrictions. There are countless historic lots of record in Knoxville that are smaller than 5,000 sf but have a small house on them that would support an ADU plus be true to historic and appropriate for future density. 

10.3.B.8 : Again, we should not be controlling the square footage of a dwelling unit. What if it has a basement or upstairs that are appropriately scaled to the main house? This is a foolish blanket statement that does not take into consideration the high number of smaller (historical) lots in the city. 

If ADU's are an issue of different parts of the city wanting different things, I see no issue with dividing the regulation into districts, if the western population is afraid of density, let them keep their malls, and parking lots and live with the raising obesity, depression, and un-satisfaction that has been proven to come from being disconnected from a tight community. As for the neighborhoods around downtown, please don't restrict their growth. 

Staff Reply:

Recoding

BRING THE ORANGE BACK !
Staff Reply:

Typo On This Page

There is at typo on the submission page, "Use can this form to submit a comment or question for the project staff or send an email directly to recode@knoxplanning.org."

Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

I attended the workshop held in Fountain City on May 17th and was favorably impressed with the overall direction of the Recode effort. In general, I am supportive of the continued inclusion of the areas supportive of urban agriculture and food (expressed separately through comments with the Food Policy Council). Specifically, I am in support of the Accessory Dwelling Unit/lot proposal and of the increased/enhanced landscaping requirements. Thanks for everyone's efforts on this major project.
Staff Reply:

Ordinance Draft 2

Here are the changes I am recommending for Draft 3:- Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits will only be issued to owner-occupant RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- ADU permits will require one off-street parking space for every ADU bedroom in addition to the existing parking for the primary residence.- Remove the "special use" designation for "Dwelling 2-Family" use for RN-1 and RN-2 parcels.- Restore the 85' building height maximum to the C-G-3 parcel requirements.
Staff Reply:

Re: Recode Knoxville

Our neighborhood, Tazewell Pike-Beverly Station Neighborhood Coalition, would like to voice our objections to at least the 2 items listed below:1. Accessory Dwelling Units- we feel at least SOME zones, preferably existing zones of R-1, R-1E , and EN-1 and EN-2, should be excluded from the proposed permitted use of an accessory dwelling unit. If implemented that provision has the potential to completely change the character and density of our neighborhood. Also, our roads are not equipped to carry that additional traffic and there are no mass transit stops within easy walking distance. We like the large lots and open spaces- that is one reason we bought homes here.2. We supported office zone O-1 for some structures to be used as a buffer and transition between commercial and residential. If restaurants are allowed in office, you have defeated the purpose for office zone. We would have tried our best to fight the rezoning to office in several areas near our homes if we had any idea that restaurants would be allowed. Please do NOT allow restaurants in the office zone.We bought our homes depending on the zoning that was in place and hopeful that any changes in zoning would serve to only enhance our neighborhood, not completely change it and possibly alter it forever.We are disappointed and upset about these 2 proposals in the recoding. This is NOT a step forward for our neighborhood- it is 10 steps backward!Jamie Rowe,President, Tazewell Pike-Beverly Station Neighborhood Coalition (R-1 with an NC-1 overlay)
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing Rezoning

I see the upcoming recommendations for rezoning as very disturbing for the city. How can we keep affordable housing for so many in Knoxville who need it? The changes will make a great deal of trouble for many who barely make it in their current homes. If evicted, which is unfortunately often, where would they go? What could they do for their children? THINK ABOUT THAT, not the opportunity for more expensive residential areas. Also remember that there are many places for expanding the city, particularly out west.
Staff Reply:

Climate Refugees

You mentioned that rezoning Knoxville is being done with climate refugees in mind. Please explain this statement.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Community Forum, Supplemental Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 1, 5-20-18

Community Forum is submitting its first Supplemental Response to the first draft of Recode Knoxville.This Supplemental Response covers our 14th topic, Office Zoning District, (Article 5).Thank you for your consideration.Sincerely,Larry Silverstein, Secretary-TreasurerCommunity Forum
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Comments

A few months ago, my husband and I moved to the Kingston Pike / Sequoyah Hills neighborhood from out-of-state. After settling into our single family home, we've just learned about the proposed changes under Recode Knoxville and I'd like to comment.While researching Knoxville and choosing where to buy a home earlier this year, we worked with a couple of real estate agents from different companies. Both agents praised the Kingston Pike / Sequoyah Hills neighborhood as Knoxville's premier residential district because of its history and diversity of residents and architecture. In addition, we spoke to long-time residents, business owners, and community members who also pointed to this neighborhood as one of Knoxville's best places to live. Based on these attributes and the neighborhood's location, we invested in an older home earlier this spring. Over the past few months, we've spent a lot of money on basic maintenance and upkeep to bring the house back after a period of some neglect. We chose to make this investment because we plan to live here for many years and we believe in the quality of the neighborhood as it was represented to us by the community. So it's very troubling for us to learn that the proposed changes under Recode Knoxville would change our whole neighborhood from "RN-1 Single Family Residential Neighborhood" to "R1 Low Density Residential." I'm writing to express my firm opposition to this proposed change. I do not want existing single family home lots subdivided into multi unit dwellings. This zoning change will adversely affect the character, history, and value of the neighborhood in which we just chose to settle. Moreover, in the short time that we've lived here, we've observed extensive repair work on infrastructure including residential paving and underground water main maintenance. It's pretty obvious that the existing infrastructure, including basic services such as water, sewer, and street parking, cannot bear the added population that new Low Density zoning will bring. Finally, we've heard horror stories from long-time residents about how similar changes to zoning in nearby Nashville have greatly diminished the character, history, and quality of residential neighborhoods there and have even left some residents without adequate water and sewer because the infrastructure was stretched too far. Please do not repeat these same mistakes here in Knoxville. Please retain the single family home zoning designation that residents have invested in.
Staff Reply:

Why Recode? False Assumptions

City officials claim that the reason for recode is to help housing affordability by increasing density. According to "bestplaces.net" Knoxville's cost of living factor is 81.4 which is well below the the national average indicated as 100. They attribute this low factor to our LOW HOUSING COST which they give as 63. The State average is 73 which is still well below the National average of 100. The city then argues several conflicting points. They on one hand suggest Accessory Dwelling Units will lower housing cost then in the same breadth argue that no one will exercise their right to build one as past evidence suggests. They then argue folks can currently have a duplex under R-1 as a "use on review" but few people exercise that right. Given their arguments why then is there a need for ADU's? Furthermore to build a freestanding 1000 sg.ft. ADU would likely cost over $174,000.00 well above the current median single family house price in Knoxville. While the current zoning in R-1 does afford the possibility of a duplex the "use on review" feature is a critical deterrent from your neighbor/investor building a rental unit next to your home. You would have the right to protest the use change at a public hearing of citizens. To automatically allow ADU's givers the neighbors NO rights to protest. I for one love my low density single family neighborhood with my right of quite enjoyment. I do not want rental units or Air B&B's next to my home and the congestion that higher density brings. Go to Nashville to see what density has done to traffic and strained city services such as schools and look at how their home prices have skyrocketed!
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I'm concerned about the proposed rezoning's effect on affordable housing in Knoxville. Thank you for your efforts to increase businesses and mixed-use. However, I'd like to see more of the urban neighborhood and general residential classes (RN-2, RN-3, RN-4, and RN-5), especially near major roads. The people who can afford to live in a single-family residence are also the people who can afford one or more cars to get them where they need to go. They can live in the suburbs. There needs to be multiple family units near the KAT bus routes. Please put back the orange. Thanks.
Staff Reply:

Meaning Of Zoning Codes.

The zoning change for my address goes from R-1 to RN-1. I know that R-1 means single family dwelling. What does adding the N do to that meaning? Also, if I wanted to subdivide my .97 acres and put a second dwelling on it, does or will my zoning permit that? I look forward to your response. Have a great weekend.
Staff Reply:

Taxes And Enforcement

Does zoning apply or connect to taxing, city services provided, and ingress/egress?Why are community residents' questions solicited, and an email address provided, but nobody will respond?
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

I Support Recode

I am largely in support of the current version of the re-code zoning document (including the ADU provision). I agree with the proponents, the current zoning is outdated for a 21st century city. If we want to keep up with the pack then we have to get our land use sorted out; more density, walkability, transit, livability. Sadly, I think most people want this, but few are willing to change anything to get it. The tools are there and recode provides them. If Knoxville leadership folds to a few noisy citizens focused on the past, then I'm out of here. I'll move to a city that focuses on the future. I live in Sequoyah Hills and I'm a member of the KPSHA board (though I speak for myself on this comment).
Staff Reply:

Enforcement

My apologies. I forgot these questions:After zoning updates, how will "enforcement" or compliance with same be guaranteed? Can/will zoning decisions STOP being left up to ONE person to decide upon?Right now, laws/regs/codes are NOT enforced nor complied with, with no reasons nor excuses given. What can communities do to force State, county and city government to become fully knowledgeable about same and more importantly, REQUIRE that they COMPLY with same?We can write these things forever, but they do nothing if they are ignored. Correct?
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Thank you for your work on the zoning maps. However, I am concerned that we are seeing less areas that allow for affordable housing in our city. The lack of affordable housing is becoming a crisis in Knoxville, and here at Cokesbury United Methodist Church we are interacting with families every day who are struggling to find affordable places to live. Please reconsider the zoning and allow for more areas of "orange" for affordable housing of various types to be built.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Enforcement/compliance

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

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?!?
Staff Reply:

Residential-use Properties Zoned As Nonresidential

There are numerous pockets of residential in North Knoxville that contain viable low-mod income/ 1920s-1940s more affordable housing stock that are zoned Industrial, Commercial or Office. A quick scan of the Sector Plans show that these pockets are recommended to be utilized as MU or TDR or remain as LI. However, the largest area of intact housing zoned non-residential is just north of Parkridge between Hoitt and I-40, which is recommended by both the Sector Plan and the One-Year plan to be utilized as Heavy IndustriaI (HI). It is a residential cluster surrounded by warehouses. There is a shortage of low-to-mod income housing. Many of the industrially-zoned residential areas are zoned with an IH-1 Overlay- -which implies that there is an intent to protect the residential character within the industrial zones.Additionally, there are also some important contributing resources within the National Register and local historic districts that are zoned for non-residential use, possibly because they abut other commercial uses/districts or are utilized for multi-family, but most are being used for single-family housing. The properties include those located within the Old North Knox, Fourth and Gill, Mechanicsville and Edgewood-Park City H-1 overlays and the Fort Sanders NC-1 Overlay. Following is an internal link to the file that contains GIS maps of all these areas: G:shared1-HZCZoning Code updatesResidential uses zoned as non-residential in NorthKnox
Staff Reply:

Drive-through Facility

Consider allowing Drive-Through Facilities in C-N as a Permitted (P) or at least Special (S) use. Given that restaurants, financial institutions, and personal service establishments (I'm thinking of dry cleaners) are allowed in C-N there will certainly be instances when a drive through could make sense.
Staff Reply:

More Affordable Housing

The recode should include More Affordable Housing.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Comments On The 1st Draft

Thanks for your work on this draft, I am generally supportive of the new language and structure, and hope it will help promote sustainable and equitable growth for years to come. As a Public Health Educator focusing on food access in Knox County, most of my comments have to do with food-system related uses and language.Food Pantries: I would like to see them permitted in more districts as a principal use. Restricting them as an ancillary use to places of worship, social service centers, etc. hampers their ability to combat food insecurity in nimble, efficient ways.Food Truck Parks: I approve of this new principal use, though it would be nice to see it permitted in additional districts, either flat-out, or by special use.Market Gardens: Please make it easier to locate market gardens in residential districts, either by allowing them as a principal use, or making the special use conditions/fees more manageable. The majority of market gardens will inevitably spring up in residential areas (backyards, vacant lots, etc), but a cumbersome special use application process will deter many would-be urban farmers. I fully support the environmental performance standards, but I think many of the concerns regarding the occurrence of market gardens in residential areas have to do with traffic generated by on-site sales, which should be covered under the Farmstand temporary use permit. We need to encourage the production of food and the generation of small-scale local economy and business everywhere we can! Codes enforcement can keep these sites in compliance without creating so many hoops for these gardeners to jump through on the front-end.Neighborhood Nonresidential Reuse: I am very supportive of this addition because of its potential to help address food access in residential areas, and to stimulate innovative and convenient mixed-use neighborhoods.Farmers Market: I approve of this new temporary use, though it would be nice to see it permitted in additional districts.Farmstand: I approve of this new temporary use, but would like to see it allow year-round sales, either by allowing a 12 month permit period, or allowing for re-application immediately following permit expiration. Season-extension equipment (referenced in this draft) and a generally temperate climate make year-round vegetable production a viable, and often vital, practice. This is evidenced by the proliferation of winter-season farmers markets, and year-round CSAs offered by local growers. These benefits should be extended to urban producers and market gardeners as well.Composting: I recognize that much of this language is dictated by state regulations, but wherever possible, I would like to see composting made more accessible and convenient on both the residential and municipal scale. Food waste is America's dumbest problem, and language that can promote, or at the least get out of the way of, composting activities should be supported. Item 4 "enclosed or contained" in the composting section is contradictory to the previous three items "bins or piles". Piles are a viable and convenient method of composting but are not "enclosed of contained".I am supportive of the language regarding: Apiaries, Aquaponics and Hydroponics, Chicken Coops (though I would like to see the hen ordinance made less expensive and complicated), High Tunnels and Greenhouses, and Low Tunnels and Cold Frames.I am very supportive of the addition of Accessory Dwelling Units to the code. In light of the affordable housing crisis both locally and nationally, ADU's offer a great alternative option for affordable housing in a market that is swiftly pushing out many low-income renters, as well as offering income generation for homeowners and increasing urban density.I am very supportive of the landscaping requirements for new development.I almost certainly did not cover all the topics in this draft that affect food access, but hope that any changes to the code promote a healthy and sustainable food system in Knoxville and Knox County.
Staff Reply:

Solar Power

Recode Knoxville Since your favorite word is "sustainability," how about you implement the total opposite of what FPL is doing in Florida with Solar. FPL is not allowing homeowners to own their own solar power. Homeowners have to connect it to FPL. This is a bunch of hog wash. You nor anyone else owns the power of sun. Since the City of Knoxville and KUB are really the same org. You have the power to do this. I'll see what you guys have come up with at your next public meeting.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange!

I am very concerned about the proposed recode of the MPC. The proposed changes will make it even more difficult for moderate income folks to build affordable housing. It is unacceptable for folks to spend 50% or more on housing in our community. Thank you for giving my concerns serious consideration.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

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?
Staff Reply:

General Comments

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

Min Lot Width Prevents New Housing In Rn-4

There is an issue with minimum lot sizes not matching existing lot sizes in the city. RN-3 and RN-4 are the densest residential zones near the corridors, and they are less dense than the historic city grid. There has been much talk about zoning by current use so that these houses will be conforming to the new code, but if you look at the only swathes of RN-3 and RN-4 just north of downtown and well within walking distance (surrounding Baxter @ Central and West end of Gill), the lot widths are 40', 42', 37', 30', (even 22'!) etc. Even in Fourth and Gill there are many lots less than 50' and are thus nonconforming. RN-3 and RN-4 both require 50' minimum for a single family. So as it exists, what appears to be the densest housing areas near downtown and within walking distance to jobs do not permit even single family development. I own a lot on Hinton Ave, on which I currently plan to build a duplex. With the current proposal, I could build no housing at all. I know of another planned development in this area, a quad-plex, which is currently permitted but would not be under the proposed ReCode. Even on this property, a block in from Central and over 60' wide, a maximum of only three units can be built. This result seems both counterproductive and contrary to the goals of your research. I have not reviewed this condition in other areas of the city, so please look closer at this issue elsewhere. It is difficult enough to find one lot for purchase in the area, so anticipating the combination of lots for greater opportunity is not viable. One solution may be to match the required minimum lot width with the existing grid in city neighborhoods, or allowing for an exception for historic widths. Another thought is that these areas near the intersection of Broadway and Central could become a commercial or I-MU district, which has no minimum width and now permits single-family, and matches the historic use of this area. Also, while checking the I-MU district for applicability in these areas, I noticed that single family and multi-family are permitted, but townhouses and duplexes are not. Is there a reason to dis-incentive the middle-density options?
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Requirements

I strongly support very rigorous, mandatory landscaping requirements. This is a wonderful NPR podcast that outlines the public health and safety benefits of green and trees: https://www.npr.org/2018/09/10/646413667/our-better-nature-how-the-great-outdoors-can-improve-your-life.
Staff Reply:

Kub Comment On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Proposed Zoning Map

Per my voice message, we believe the property (Parcel ID 095KA01002) that we own at 2106 Mohawk Avenue should be shown as I-H instead of MPC’s proposed I-MU. This zoning would then match our adjacent MBW Water Plant current property zoning. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I apologize for not having the time to give more specific feedback, but I wanted to send a few comments. I support the allowance of ADUs in the zoning. They are an important, responsible, and effective means to increase density and provide affordable housing stock. I support the landscape requirements as I feel they are important to improving/maintaining life quality in our city. I support the neighborhood commercial zone, particularly because it may open up opportunities for increased food access in areas that currently may have poor access to quality food options. I hope to be able to offer more specific feedback on the next draft. Thank you for your efforts. I am generally pleased with the direction of ReCode Knoxville. One area of concern is the potential elimination of the Downtown Design Review Board. I think this board process allows public input into projects that might otherwise have little public notice or oversight. I would prefer to see the DDRB continue to exist.
Staff Reply:

Manufactured Homes

They apparently deleted completely the non-conforming paragraphs about manufactured homes in Article 17, but they left in THIS:

'On Page 9-10, it refers to Nonconforming Manufactured homes being found in Article 16, when it was in Article 17.

"... 3. Nonconforming Manufactured Homes See Article 16 for regulations regarding nonconforming manufactured homes, including single-wide manufactured homes. ..." '

NOW, NON-CONFORMING MANUFACTURED HOMES ARE NOT FOUND IN EITHER ARTICLE! Neither 16 nor 17.

PLEASE DELETE number 3 on page 9-10.

They also left in the "skirting" type required on manufactured homes.... EVEN THOUGH IT DOES NOT APPLY DOWN HERE. (Page 9-10, 2b)

Okaaaaaay! But trust me, mobile home communities are REQUIRING many owners to replace their skirting this year! Good luck fielding all of THOSE requests to be allowed to replace vinyl skirting with just vinyl skirting again instead! Bwahahaha

Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Comment On Rezoning

I am concerned that it appears that areas for multi-family housing is being greatly reduced. In a city that is struggling with affordable housing for everyone, it seems that this is counter-productive. Please allow more room for multi-family housing, not less.
Staff Reply:

Single Wide Manufactured Homes

On page 9-10, it says:

" H.  Dwelling - Manufactured Home 

Multi-sectional manufactured homes may be used as single-family detached dwellings provided the following development criteria are met:..."

What about SINGLE wide manufactured homes? Are they addressed somewhere else?

Staff Reply:

Opposition To Adu And Restaurants In Office Zone

I live in a historic neighborhood in Fountain City currently zoned R-1 where permissive rezoning rules have allowed commercial encroachment. significantly increased traffic, and detrimentally altered the way of life on my street. Therefore, I am voicing opposition to allowing accessory dwelling units in R-1, even under the special use permission. I am also voicing opposition to permitting restaurants in office zones as outlined below.1. Accessory Dwelling Units- After attending the recent Recode Knoxville open house, I learned that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are proposed for current zones R-1 (new zone RN-1). At a minimum, new ADUs should be prohibited from RN-1 as they have a extremely high likelihood of altering the character and driveability of single-family neighborhoods. As has been shown in the past, garage apartments, mother-in law suites and similar ADUs become permanent structures once the capital expenditure to build or renovate accessory space has been made. This means a permanent increase to housing density and a permanent increase to traffic and possibly to on-street parking. A temporary structure for special needs cases would be acceptable, but not rezoning to permit ADUs. Tennessee law currently allows for TEMPORARY housing to be constructed on any qualifying residentially zoned land to care for an elderly/needy relative. Once the need no longer exists, the law requires such special needs structures to be decommissioned. 2. Our neighborhood supported office zone O-1 for some structures to be used as a buffer and transition between more heavily used commercial and our residential neighborhood. There are more than sufficient suitable locations for restaurants in Knox County without jeopardizing residential areas by allowing restaurants in an office zone. Restaurants have significantly higher traffic throughput and extended business hours in evenings and weekends than offices and would, therefore, not provide an adequate buffer to residential neighborhoods. Please do NOT allow restaurants in the office zone. This would not provide an improvement to the zoning in Knoxville. Quite the opposite!
Staff Reply:

Single Wide Manufactured Homes Taxation

Does Camiros realize that Tennessee TAXES ALL mobile homes, even those on LEASED land (such as in mobile home parks), as IF they were single family dwellings on permanent foundations? They are NOT licensed.

That might help. I would THINK that zoning regs and codes would need to conform seamlessly with taxing regs, especially property taxing regs.

Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Sequoyah Hills

I want to commend Recode for the work it has done and express my support for what it has proposed for Sequoyah Hills. I've lived in the neighborhood for approximately 25 years and at one time was an officer on the neighborhood board and I think Recode strikes a great balance between preservation and thoughtful and deliberate change.
Staff Reply:

Compliance With Landscape Ordinance Requirements

LANDSCAPE BOND:In regard to compliance with Landscape Ordinance requirements, based on discussion with those professionally qualified to understand both the value of proper landscaping for any development and the challenge of achieving compliance, the two-step LANDSCAPE BOND makes a lot of sense. 1. PERFORMANCE BOND: It essentially allows developers six months after issuance of the C O to install landscaping, to offset the disadvantage of completing projects in late spring or summer months, to assure reasonable growth conditions and released upon satisfactory compliance, as determined by a landscape architect familiar with the design intent. 2. MAINTENANCE BOND: Applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and including a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material following that period. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by qualified professional, a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

I am an urban farmer in East KnoxvilleURBANAG: The current permit is $100 for a farmstand for a 9-month season. We have food access issues in Knoxville, and in order to make food more accessible ? lay farmers/backyard farmers should be able to set up a stand to sell for free. Wave a profit requirement ? if you gross> $500(?) you have to pay, but let hobby farmers provide food to their neighbors. Consider incentives for food production in urban neighborhoods. Not just community gardens, but market gardens. Consider property tax breaks for people growing food in the city, similar to how rural areas have agricultural designations. Particularly on empty lots that are purchased from the city.H1 (historic overly and design guide) My neighborhood is in this process of approval by MPC/City Council. Should the process be suspended until this Recode is complete? They seem very duplicative. We are spending great amounts of time, money, & energy resources to create/debate something that may be changed significantly. I have a lot of questions about the AG special purpose district! ?Farmland? is now inside residential areas in urban settings!
Staff Reply:

Feedback From A Discussion At The Food Policy Council

The Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council has NOT voted on a recommendation at this time and date. They individually have provided some general feedback to some City and County in advance of the deadline which I am summarizing below:They are supportive and in favor of changes regarding food, farmers markets, and urban agriculture as included. There were concerns about ambiguity of farm stands/seasonal produce stands and ensuring the language is clear and consistent in references. They also felt like it may be beneficial to have a presentation from the consultant on specific food-related items in the next phase.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

I am concerned that multi-family housing is being decreased in the Recode process and encourage city council and the MPC to redesign the map and Put the Orange Back.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Shouldn?t use categories be separated by impact not type: retail establishment & convenience store (with gas) has a very diff visual & traffic impact than book stores.PUD ? consider formal approval of concept plan so developer has some certainty before committing $ to prelim plan.Very glad code is being reworked. It?s impossible to figure out! Re-subdivided lots vs tax parcels. See past Planning magazine article.
Staff Reply:

The presentation demonstrates a strong move in the right direction. Thank you for your time. I will be keeping up to date with further updates and I look forward to the change. If I think of any ideas or if I see any potential issues, then I will contact your organization and let you know. Thanks again!
Staff Reply:

Olpna Comments

I'm forwarding the comments we've come up with for submission from the Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhoods Association. (View Comments) We would also like to suggest that the comment posting be open for another few weeks as many residents are just now hearing about Recode and are still trying to assimilate all the information. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Thank you for working to make the zoning & code easier to understand. The presentation was very helpful & clear. Good work! I am particularly interested in protecting residential areas from industrial buildings (maybe with more than just buffer green spaces) & revising buildings. I hope the new zoning code can help with fragmentation in the cityl. I am also concerned with what it would look like if the community wanted to fight a PUD. How easy would that be? I hope easy. Thank you!
Staff Reply:

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
Staff Reply:

Lot Size Distribution (by Width)

In the presentation used at the City Council worksop, the distribution of residential lot sizes by square footage shows that most lots are conforming based on minimum area. Although this is great, it does not tell the entire story of how many lots will be non-conforming. Can you please put together a distribution of lot sizes by width? There are many lots in the inner city that are smaller than the minimum 50' width. Many homes in Beaumont, Mechanicsville, Lonsdale have small lot sizes, and homes that use a very large percentage of the lot width. With the required side setbacks in the draft, we are setting ourselves up to build skinny homes that do not fit the neighborhood, and also result in less incentive to build on smaller lots because. I suggest something that looks at, for currently existing lots, allowing minimum side setbacks of the primary structure in residential areas, to take into account the average of the blackface. Or make setbacks a % of the lot if the width is within 35-50'. Something that will reduce the number of nonconforming lots when taking into account width. These type of lots are in some of the poorest of our neighborhoods and we can't afford to create disincentive to invest in new structures. Not everyone will have the time/money to jump through hoops of BZA to get setbacks waived on small lots.
Staff Reply:

I think these changes will make everything easier and more clear. I wish I had some constructive criticism, but everything looks great.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back

It is well known that we are not just in need but are desperately in need of affordable housing in Knoxville. Please put the Orange Back on our map to increase areas for affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

(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.
Staff Reply:

Naacp Recode Knoxville Comments

Attached please find comments from the Knoxville Chapter of NAACP on the 1st draft of Recode. Amy Brooks informed us that we could submit our comments by the end of this week for consideration before the 2nd draft. If you have trouble opening the attachment, please let me know. Thank you so much for your consideration. Sincerely,LaKenya MiddlebrookNAACP, Knoxville BranchHousing Committee
Staff Reply:

A Perfect Summary

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

Recode - Adus

I would like to write in favor of ADUs being allowed in the Recode plan. They can provide alternatives to affordable housing, which we so desperately need in Knoxville.
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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 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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Density

Allowing more density in my north Knoxville neighborhood is a mistake. There are several changes that would allow more density, but allowing asscessory dwelling units is the most damaging to our neighborhood. Please don't allow this. We want more green space throughout the neighborhood, not less!
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Public Comments From Business Owner

Hello, I recently attended a meeting and am following up with some comments. My family and I work, live, worship, and attend school in the vicinity of the Magnolia corridor. I have a few suggestions below based on our experience of living life, operating a business, and owning commercial property in the area. I greatly appreciate your consideration of "industrial craft" designations. We looked for a year before finding an affordable building for our business size. In two months we have already added two full time positions and plan to add more within the year. We would be classified as industrial craft and would have been unable to afford (and didn't need) anything in an industrial park. At the same time, our business is in high demand. There are construction projects in Knoxville that cannot find highly skilled workers to meet their demand. Not considering the needs for skilled trade businesses and workers, would be detrimental to Knoxville's economy. The final document should consider how the zoning code affects businesses employing highly skilled workers (especially those with 1-10 employees). I would like to see lot coverage in the downtown neighborhoods increased from 30% to approximately 50%. I believe many existing single family parcels and the historical development pattern more closely resemble a 50% lot coverage. I know a number of people who have been prevented from building accessory structures such as sheds because of the 30% limitation. However, their neighbors have the original shed or carriage house and in combination with their principal structure, the lot coverage is at least 50% if not more. I support allowing accessory dwelling units. The infrastructure for high density is already in place and it should be taken advantage of. I believe parking concerns can be mitigated through limitations. On my street, we have several houses that have only one or two cars with two dwelling units on the lot. We also have a SF house with 7 cars (it has been this way for 10 years). This is an enforcement issue. Lastly, I wonder how the new zoning regulations will affect schools. Funding for urban schools should not be decreased due to "publicly funded sprawl." I hope that this zoning code does not overextend schools that are already at capacity and not supporting schools that are under capacity. I know this is a large, complicated, multifaceted issue, but still it's one to consider.I appreciate the time and effort placed in this process and look forward to the final product in a timely manner.
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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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Infill Housing

Besides density concerns and keeping green space on property lots, I would like to see the infill housing overlay remain in place for Edgewood Park, Lincoln Park, Oakwood and Lonsdale to help preserve the integrity of our neighborhood. This design requirement has helped in many ways.
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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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Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 1

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party Progressive Action Committee, we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Draft One.Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Progressive Action CommitteeKnox County Democratic Party
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Zone Correction

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

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

I live in South Knoxville, and I want to voice my robust support for allowing accessory dwelling units on existing properties.
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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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Recode

Thanks for speaking with me at the Saturday Recode community meeting. As per your request I am sending you an email regarding my questions and points. I indicated to you I had read the entire draft ordinance and generally liked it, but did not think any one zone encompassed the full amount of current uses and desirable future uses in some of the current central city sector plan zones, specifically I am talking about some of the MU-SD districts that currently have a mix of what would be considered RN-4 to RN-6, O Office, and C-N Neighborhood Commercial uses under the new ordinance. I indicated I thought it was desirable for the city and the property owners for this to continue. I like the idea of fostering small neighborhood markets or cafés which makes the neighborhood nicer and gives the residents the ability to walk to some small scale basic retail services. I suggested a simple solution would be to make some of those MU-SD districts RN-6/C-N neighborhood commercial, for example, as it would cover the existing uses and control future growth according to the design standards in the new ordinance. You would not need to change anything regarding the proposed table 9-1: USE MATRIX as in my theoretical district you would look down the RN-6 column and C-N column and those are the permissible uses, of course you would need to meet all of the design requirements for the use you wanted. I chose C-N because according to the Matrix everything allowed in O Office is allowed in C-N so those current and future uses are covered. As I have consistently stated I like the idea of redoing the zoning ordinance code to make it more simple and clear and don't mind design standards but do not support decreasing my current property uses or future uses that I am allowed under the current zoning ordinance, I don't think that is good for me or the City as it looks to the future.We also discussed Table 4-1 and that RN-4 had a minimum lot width of 50 feet but RN-5 and RN-6 had a minimum lot width of 60 feet. Perhaps it is a typo, but in any event, I stated they should all be 50 feet. Additionally, we discussed section 4.3 that requires multi family housing in RN-4 zones to be on only corner lots. Knoxville already has successful examples of where multi family dwellings are in the middle of a block amongst single and 2 family dwellings and are less obtrusive overall for the block then a corner location. Knoxville will benefit from fostering a heterogeneous mix of dwelling units ranging from single family to multi family within these MU-SD districts, which I recognize each has different characteristics and will require different variations. These varied housing types will attract and provide housing to a wide socio-economic range of people, plus the density will help support C-N businesses. Having traveled to other cities these types of neighborhoods are dynamic, very attractive, and walkable. Having design standards, as the new ordinance does, will make these varied uses fit together in an aesthetically pleasing manner.Thank you and the planning group for your consideration of my prospective. I look forward to any feedback you and the group can give me.
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Adus And Owner Occupancy

I would like to see the matter of an owner-occupancy requirement for ADUs given more discussion, at the very least for EN, RN-1, and RN-2 neighborhoods. Previously we have been told that this is not enforceable, but many other cities do enforce this requirement or at least have it on the books. Not doing so opens up our neighborhoods to opportunistic developers who may or may not care about the impact they have on neighbors. Citizens who chose to make the biggest investment of their lives in the city did not expect their beautiful "single family dwelling" neighborhoods to be potentially doubled (or more) in density by a mere stroke of the pen. In my opinion, this issue alone should be put to a referendum, but I understand this is highly unlikely. I make this appeal here to ask that you please give further thought to allowing the taxpayers a little more control in protecting their investment in this city, both monetary and sentimental.Thank you.
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C-3

One concern I have coming out of the recent presentation is the recommendation for keep the general commercial code for both suburban and urban development. I am not exactly sure how to do it, but I think we need an urban commercial code for places like Central, potentially MLK, Sevier, Sutherland, parts of Kingston Pike and Broadway, which would be significantly different than the traditional C3 suburban code. I would appreciate your thoughts.This article highlights the problem. http://insideofknoxville.com/2017/09/a-plea-for-preservation-of-a-building-and-a-struggle-for-the-soul-of-central/An historic overlay probably would not be appropriate for Central, but we need some type of guidelines to keep it developing in an urban style, rather than suburban. How can a one size fits all approach work?Marshall StairCouncil Member
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Naacp Recode Comments

Please find attached the Knoxville Branch NAACP comments on the Recode Knoxville zoning map, as approved by the Executive Committee on 8/28/18.
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Proposed Residential Zoning Changes

I am writing as a long-time resident of the West Hills Community. I have lived in West Hills for more than 50 years. I value the historical and cultural significance of our community and am hoping you will take steps to preserve our zoning.Please don't allow my neighbors to build structures for alternative housing in their back yards. Please don't allow my neighbors to park their motor homes in their driveways.Please don't open us up to greater housing density.West Hills is an important part of the West Knoxville community. We need your help in preserving the continuity of our well-kept neighborhood with its large spacious lots, mature trees and play areas.Thanks for your help!
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