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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Showing 29-56 comments of 126

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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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!
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Street Trees

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

Do you have a facebook page or other Social Media that can keep me updated as to what's being built in the area? or what is going on in the area? I often do not hear of anything going on along Rutledge Pike. Would be nice if "noise makers" i.e. KPD can provide notice when they are going through a recruiting class at the Cement Plant Road location. It seems that our area gets overlooked a lot!
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Sidewalks

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

Existing houses and buildings should have their amount of sunlight protected from new buildings either in front or behind them, therefore a new building across the street should not interfere with the amount of sunlight your house gets. A good example is the big apt. complex on the 1700 block of White avenue blocking the winter sunlight from coming in the windows of the old 'Hawkeyes" building across the street.Also, I would be in favor of 'low light' regulations for nighttime lighting both public and private. Flagstaff, AZ has done a good job at this.Thanks!
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(no Title)

As zoning laws should be more neighborhood specific and more strict... It should all be more transparent, easier to understand, with less red tape for small business. In my history, I have watched small businesses (including myself) walk into projects blindly and pay dearly. Information and clarity should be more easily available to the business community.
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Survey Follow-up

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

I think this is a great effort! I was chair of the city's BZA a few years back and the Code does need to be thrown out and replaced in whole. During my tenure we gave variances for add-ons in Fourth and Gill simply because the owner would otherwise be obligated to follow setbacks designed for West Hills. We granted a number of reduced parking variances that have had no adverse consequences in the intervening years. The variance process, however, is ultimately not a good method for getting the right results for the city. It is expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable. I'm glad the city is undertaking this important initiative.
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