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 Knoxville -- Op Zoning Districts 10-8-18

Hi:I am a resident of West Hills and frequently travel on Middlebrook Pike, Weisgarber, and Lonas.In looking at Draft 1 of the proposed Maps for Middlebrook Pike, Weisgarber, and Lonas areas, I noticed that there are many parcels with a proposed OP (Office Park) zoning district. This includes the large parcel of vacant land which Tennova had planned to build a hospital, vacant parcels across Middlebrook Pike, and other nearby parcels that are either vacant land or have already been developed as offices. The Recode Use Matrix, Article 9.2 shows the Permitted Uses for the OP zoning district. OP includes Eating and Drinking Establishments, Retail Goods Establishments, and Food Truck Parks, among other things as Permitted Uses. Gas Stations are allowed as a Special Use. These uses are very different from what is presently allowed in Office zoning districts in our existing Ordinance.These types of developments would increase traffic considerably, and add additional noise and bright lights which will adversely affect West Hills properties which are adjacent to or nearby the Tennova property, and will adversely affect many West HIlls residents and others who use the already heavily traveled Middlebrook Pike/Weisgarber corridors.Office zoned properties have long been used as a buffer between residential and commercial properties and that should be maintained for these type properties under Recode.Therefore, I request that Eating and Drinking Establishments, Retail Goods Sales, Food Truck Parks and Gas Stations be removed as Permitted Uses or Special Uses in the Office Park zoning districts. In addition, Eating and Drinking Establishments should be allowed only as Accessory Uses to serve the employees and clients of that office building, along with standards that the restaurant not be a free-standing building. It should only be accessible from within the building.Thank you for your consideration.
Staff Reply:

Ag Designations

Can the AG designation be reviewed to break down uses when surrounded by RN-1,2,3? Lot sided by. Size of plot. AG-1, AG-2?
Staff Reply:

Process Of Reaching The Citizens

I have now been to two of your public meetings. Both meetings combined had maybe 90 people. When I talk with my neighbors almost 100% are completely unaware of this radical transformation of the city. Even if they would find out, the complexities of the code changes preclude comprehension for the average citizen. No hard data is presented about the impact of these changes on property values and city services. The presentation team "sells" the concept and obfuscation rules. If they were to spell out explicitly that the "Single Family Residence" will be dead throughout the city after these changes and that all residential properties will be zoned as "duplex," the majority of tax payers would be outraged.
Staff Reply:
First, the R-1 (Low Density Residential) zone currently allows duplexes as a Use on Review. This can be viewed in the City's Code of Ordinances, Appendix B, Section IV, Section 2.1.1. Part C.10. A review of the City's older zoning ordinances shows that the provision for two-family housing units was introduced as an amendment in mid-1960's (Ordinance 3616, September 22, 1964). It should be further noted that the Established Neighborhood districts (EN-1 and EN-2) also permit duplexes as Use on Review, although with a specification that they property be located on a lot with two-street frontages. At present, if a property owner in an R-1, EN-1 or EN-2 zoned area wished to construct a duplex, an application is made to the MPC and a public hearing would be held. The new RN-1 and RN-2 districts propose a continuation of a similar procedure with the issuance of a building permit contingent upon a public hearing being held and approval by the Planning Commission.Second, an examination of MPC records for the period from 1992 to present show only a handful of instances where owners sought to construct duplexes within the R-1 zone. Over that 27-year period, there were a total of 54 applications with 32 ultimately receiving approval. On average, that equates to a little more than 1 duplex a year being approved in R-1 districts. Since 2015, only two applications have been made and both were withdrawn prior to the hearing. For reference, the R-1 district covers over 33,000 parcels in the City and represents about 53% of all residentially-zoned parcels.Third, in zoning districts were duplexes are permitted by right (without the requirement for a public hearing) new construction of this style of housing is slightly more common, but still represents a fraction of the housing stock constructed in the City. These zones include the R-1A and R-2 district where, on average, about 18 duplexes have been constructed annually over the period from 2005 to present.

Multi-family Housing Zoning

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

All C-2 Zonings

We have intentionally applied and been granted re-zonings of a number of properties around the downtown perimeter from C-3 to C-2. The proposed zoning is C-G-3. The reason we had these properties re-zoned was due to no to insufficient parking. These properties need to be zoned DK requiring no parking. Examples are 300 West Fifth Ave. and 3 through 23 Emory Place. Please comment. Thank you,
Staff Reply:
In response to the concerns identified in your email and in conversations with you, we are drafting proposed standards for a Downtown 2 (Downtown "Lite") zone, with standards that would be appropriate for areas immediately adjacent to the downtown core that have developed in an urban fashion with little or no parking, mixed uses, and no setbacks.

3812 Boyds Bridge Pike

3812 Boyds Bridge Pike is proposed C-N from C-1. I think you stated that this area should not be a C-1 designation in our last meeting. Which zoning would you deem most appropriate?
Staff Reply:
Given the location of 3812 Boyd's Bridge Pike at the edge of several neighborhoods and that it is accessed primarily by autos, C-G-2 may be a more appropriate designation than C-N. We will look at this zoning option.

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:

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:

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:

Recoding

BRING THE ORANGE BACK !
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:

(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:

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:

More Affordable Housing

The recode should include More Affordable Housing.
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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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)
Staff Reply:

Northwest Hills Proposed Zone Rn-2?

To whom this may concern:As a home owner in Northwest Hills, I'd like to understand the reasoning behind switching the zoning from single-family homes to RN-2, especially considering surrounding areas are zoned RN-1.Already, homes are being rented to college students and people are parking on both sides of the street, basically restricting it to one-way traffic.The street is less than 30ft wide, which per city code 1962, 26-1307 suggests that street parking be limited to one side of the street.
Staff Reply:
The RN-2 district is a single family designation which permits the same uses as the RN-1 district, as noted on the attached table. The difference between the RN-1 district and the RN-2 district is the minimum lot size. In the RN-1 district it is proposed to be 10,000 square feet while in the RN-2 district it is proposed to be 5,000 square feet. MPC staff is evaluating the need for another single family residential district with a minimum lot size of 7,000 to 7,500 square feet.

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.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back

Due to the amount of homeless people in our communities, I ask that you do a second draft of the map that includes more opportunities for affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

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 of eviction. 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 returning 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:

Bring Back The Orange

Knoxville needs more affordable housing, not less. I urge the City Council and the MPC to returning 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. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Affordable housing creates diverse neighborhoods. Diverse neighborhoods create a vibrant, diverse city where people are respected regardless of skin color, sexual identity, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs and other individual differences. Please, put back the orange.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange.

Knoxville needs more, not less affordable housing. Please restore the orange zone.
Staff Reply:

Grate Street Zoning

I think the 3 houses on Gratz St. between Gill and Caswell should be zoned historic residential instead of commercial. They face inward towards the neighborhood and would provide more of a buffer. In fact, all the historic property along Gratz should be zoned residential to provide more of a buffer between Broadway and the neighborhood, in my opinion.
Staff Reply:

Drop-down Subject Feedback...

For zoning map comments, consider better wording for drop down options for "nature of your comment." The phrases containing "zone too intense/not intense enough" is ambiguous and the meaning of either is unclear. Are we talking about Intense regarding too much or not enough density... intense regarding too much or not enough restrictions?
Staff Reply:

Put Back The Orange

And also add the other 2 Re-Code areas for multi-family, low cost housing. Too many people are unable to find affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

New Knoxville Recode Map

I am concerned about the current proposed rezoning map. It looks like there is a lot less area allowing multi-unit dwellings. I can understand why people might object to huge apartment buildings and massive development, but where are the RN3 and RN4 zoning areas. Buildings with small numbers of units would fit into neighborhoods very easily, without changing their character. They would also allow more houses that could be affordable to hard working people whose wages are closer to the minimum wage.
Staff Reply:

Difficulty In Determining Actual Change And Objection To This Proposal

I represent the Norwood Homeowners Association. At the meeting of 9/18/18 the general discussion centered on the effort to gerrymander Zoning changes to allow developers to increase apartments in already over represented areas. The changes appear to be intended to limit input of concerned persons whom will be living among these changed areas. As an attorney I am aware that once the zone changes to allow the project, developers will not be limited or controlled. Indeed the number one issue is that promises made at the MPC level by developers are not enforced by MPC with no mandatory finish dates. Highlighting problems is the inconsistent application of variances based on personalities vice rational defended process. At this time my organization is not supporting the changes as the entire effort to create "affordable housing" is undercut by zones designed to maintain high cost housing and focus apartments to limited areas which are deficient in infrastructure, roads, utilities, and schools.As imperfect as the existing system is, the citizenry has some concept of the process. This new program appears to be an effort to ultimately limit ability of small individual tax payers to object to damage to their ownership rights. This is the unsaid result of an apartment complex constructed beside your home, all the intended outcome as stated at this site.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back

Knoxville needs more affordable housing. Do not change the zoning.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

If you cannot tell by the current homeless crisis in this city, the elimination of multi-family housing is definitely not what we need. The new zoning code needs the same or more amount of space for these types of dwellings so that we may be able to get people off the streets and into a home. Put back the orange.
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

PUT THE ORANGE BACK!
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Put Back to Orange
Staff Reply:

Rezoning Of Kesterson Road

I was made aware that the street I live on is being considered for re-zoning. I would like to express my concern about this change. I am opposed to the change of changing Kesterson road to RN-2. . I do not want my street to be changed from RN -1 to RN-2. I feel that the change will decrease my property values, as well as the possibility of homes being converted into apartment buildings. One of things my neighbors are proud of is that we are single dwelling homes. I feel that I live in a very safe neighborhood, but if homes are able to be multiple dwellings, I feel that safety could be a concern. Please consider not changing our street & neighborhood zone.
Staff Reply:
The RN-2 district is a single family designation which permits the same uses as the RN-1 district. The difference between the RN-1 district and the RN-2 district is the minimum lot size. In the RN-1 district it is proposed to be 10,000 square feet while in the RN-2 district it is proposed to be 5,000 square feet. MPC staff is evaluating the need for another single family residential district with a minimum lot size of 7,000 to 7,500 square feet.

Multi-family Housing In The Rezone Plan

Bring back the orange in the Knoxville rezoning map. More ability to provide affordable housing is needed - not less.
Staff Reply:

Deb33immel@gmail.com

Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association Recode ConcernsDraft 2 text, Draft 1 MapSeptember 17, 2018Oakwood and Lincoln Park (OLP) are historic trolley-line suburbs originally developed in the early 1900s with single-family homes. The streets are narrow and many lots do not have driveways. As a result, streets are further constricted by on-street parking. With the majority of lot sizes ranging from 5000-7500 square feet, RN-2 is clearly the most suitable designation for this area, particularly for the interior section of the neighborhood. OLP currently has a diverse mix of Single-Family and Multi-Family housing that will be grandfathered in with the new code. With the new Mixed Use Zoning along commercial corridors, more Multi-Family housing can be accommodated along the neighborhood perimeter. Zoning designations such as RN-3 or above in existing small lot neighborhoods have the potential to cause more parking and traffic issues, as well as worsening storm-water problems. Some streets already experience storm water issues, such as East Springdale Avenue, Banks Avenue, Henegar Street, and Watauga Avenue at Freemason Street. Additionally, it was noted over 12 years ago that the corrugated metal culvert west of Central Street has a limited life span. Increasing density without upgrading infrastructure will further stress our aging storm-water systems. Please see the Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Plan at https://archive.knoxmpc.org/plans/smallarea/ow_lp2006.pdf, page 22). OLPNA board members are in agreement with the Neighborhood Advisory Council Focus Group that a 5,000 square foot lot size is too small for ADUs. This could be changed to 7,000 or 7,500 square feet minimum lot size. Many OLPNA members have expressed concerns about ADUs in general, with one neighbor suggesting ADUs belong only on owner-occupied lots as a best practice. Neighborhood members are also concerned about the timing of the next phases of the Recode project. While Recode has been discussed for many months, it was only recently that the maps came out for comparison. It is important that the hearings regarding Recode not go before the governing bodies of MPC and City Council during the holidays when there will be minimal public interest or input. Since the original focus of Recode was commercial, with a later addition of residential codes, it is time to slow down the process so that residents of Knoxville may be fully informed going forward. Thank you for the extension of the comment period and your consideration of the above concerns.Sincerely,Deborah Thomas President, Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association
Staff Reply:

Proposed Rezoning

Put the orange back in!! We need more and not less.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange!

I am concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Knoxville. We need more opportunities for housing that meets a variety of needs and budgets. Please, please consider bringing back the orange. We need creative solutions to the housing crisis - not more of what we already doesn't address the issue.Please bring back the orange.
Staff Reply:

Bring Back The Orange

Affordable family housing needs to stay in Knoxville. This is so important to many people who cannot afford other housing. Do not force people to be homeless by getting rid of the orange housing zoning.
Staff Reply:

Olp And Recode

Hello,As I understand it, Recode will remove the infill Housing Guidelines protecting my neighborhood, Oakwood-Lincoln Park. The guidelines that protect my neighborhood from improper building styles and help to protect the historic integrity of the neighborhood rather than blindly increasing density by decreasing lot size. This is a historic neighborhood with large trees and many large lots. It's on the rebound and it has some struggling areas, but we should protect it. This neighborhood should be protected under RN 2.
Staff Reply:

Put Back The Orange

Put Back the Orange, Put Back the Orange, Put Back the Orange...we need more - not less - affordable multi-family housing in Knoxville. Put Back the Orange.
Staff Reply:

No Inflill For Oakwood-lincoln Park

We need to preserve our neighborhood. Please follow the informed recommendations of the OLPNA.
Staff Reply:

Please Put Back The Orange

Please put back the orange areas on the map. This is supposed to be VOL country right? Need more orange. Thanks!!
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

I am firmly against the rezoning of any R1 neghiborhoods being rezoned to the new R2 zoning. You stated that the only difference in the new classification was lot sizes. I seriously doubt that is the only reason this change is needed. Reclassification for property tax hike maybe. Leave our neghiborhoods alone.
Staff Reply:

Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Association

KP-SHA board has adopted the following positions on the ReCode proposals. KP-SHA represents one of the oldest established neighborhoods in Knoxville. We support the maintenance and improvement of the residential qualities of the Kingston Pike-Sequoyah Hills community, including immediately adjacent areas of Knoxville.KP-SHA bylaws mandate cooperating with governmental units and civic organizations to further community interests, maintain the integrity of the Scenic Highway concept, promote appropriate zoning and deed restrictions, and oppose community deterioration and development of multi-family dwellings.The ongoing ReCode initiative offers many positive opportunities for Knoxville's future growth and development. Members of the neighborhood and the KP-SHA Board of Directors are actively participating in the ReCode process. However, some of the changes in ReCode appear to threaten the character of the KPSHA neighborhood and raise concerns that are important to the KPSHA community.The following positions identify these concerns and represent the views of the KP-SHA Board of Directors:- The KP-SHA neighborhood should retain the existing character of the present R1 zoning definition as a low density, single family neighborhood.- The KP-SHA area should be considered for EN (Established Residential Neighborhood) zoning.- The KP-SHA neighborhood should be zoned to exclude the introduction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).- The KP-SHA neighborhood should be zoned to exclude the introduction of two family dwellings (duplexes), regardless of lot size.- Zoning along the Western Plaza to Northshore corridor should not allow unlimited height buildings.
Staff Reply:
In response to comments regarding the proposed unlimited height in the CG-3 zone, staff will be recommending a maximum height of 120 feet for the CG-3 district and the CG-2 district has a proposed maximum height of 70 feet.Staff is not recommending new EN districts as part of the zoning code update. The neighborhood could ask for this designation following the general code update. In response to such a request, MPC and the City would evaluate the request and the appropriateness of that designation for the neighborhood. Duplexes are permitted through a use on review by the current R-1 zoning of the neighborhood; the change with the proposed zoning would increase the minimum lot size required and add design standards for duplexes. Staff has heard a mix of comments regarding ADU's and this will be an issue on which City Council will have provide direction.

Recode

I am concerned that the new map has less affordable housing when more is needed. Please reconsider and add the orange areas back.
Staff Reply:

Recode Schedule

I would like to see the comment period extended for this phase. There is still a meeting scheduled in October for the Five Points Community. I think neighbors need more time to view the maps and learn about zoning. I am also concerned about the timing of the passage of Recode. I do not think it should be going to City Council until after the holidays.
Staff Reply:

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