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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4th And Gill Zoning

I really believe we should keep the 4th and Gill neighborhood zones for single family and duplexes. Ours is a unique neighborhood that would be lost if it is flooded with apartments and condos.
Staff Reply:

Apartments And Infrastructure

When new apartment complexes, subdivisions, or other large projects are considered, PLEASE take into account the existing infrastructure. I live off of Bluerass Road in west Knoxville. In the past couple of years, we have had a large subdivision put in on Mourfield Rd, which caused damage to that road (small, 2 lane, no shoulder, windy, and steep), and caused us to go from only having power outages in weather situations to having weekly and occasionally daily power outages while they were building that subdivision. Now there is an apartment complex going in on Emory Church Road that is causing even more issues. We have frequent power outages during construction. Emory Church Road is not a large enough road to accommodate the traffic. The road has almost been destroyed by the construction equipment, and they are in the process of adding a traffic light because of the increase in traffic. That traffic light project has been TERRIBLE. My child attends preschool at West Emory Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Emory Church Road and Westland Dr. The project took over 2 months, rules were not followed, the parking lot was destroyed and partially blocked for nearly a month, and the workers were just plain rude. The light still isn't up, but the turn lane on Westland has been re-painted to accommodate when the light is in effect, making it very difficult to turn left onto Westland. All this to say....the infrastructure should have been addressed BEFORE any of these projects were approved and started. The LCUB substation on Westland Dr. needs to be larger to accommodate the new buildings so that existing customers didn't have to experience 2 years of frequent power outages. The roads should have been widened and supported before construction equipment destroyed them. The light should have been installed before construction on the building projects began.
Staff Reply:

Section 10.3 & 10.4 - Accessory Structures And Uses

I believe that there should be more consistency between section 10.3 (F) CARPORTS and section 10.3 (N) GARAGE, DETACHED. First, does section 10.3 (F) apply to detached carports only, or attached and detached carports? Clarification there would be beneficial.Second, why must a carport be set back from side lot lines 10 feet whereas a detached garage requires no setback from side lot lines? I would think application of setbacks for these structures would be consistent with each other. It may be that each could be addressed in a consistent manner with regard to Table 10-1, Permitted Encroachments as unenclosed porches (similar to a carport) and sheds (similar to a detached garage).Thanks
Staff Reply:

Streetscape Section In The Sw District

The entire streetscapes section has been deleted, with a note that it "should" be moved to the subdivision ROW standards. What if any plans have been made to do this? I acknowledge that this section has problems, but a better solution would be to leave it in Recode and then come back and rework it as needed rather than to just delete it with a vague promise that it will go elsewhere.
Staff Reply:
The streetscape standards section of the SW District has been deleted from the zoning. It addressed things like ROW width, movement type, design speed, pedestrian crossing time, curb radius, etc. These are things that ultimately don't belong in the zoning code, and should be incorporated into the subdivision ordinance. More specifically, the recommendation is that they should be moved to the streets and right-of-way standards in the subdivision, where these types of elements are already being addressed (Section 3.04 of the City/County Subdivision Ordinance, for reference).The subdivision ordinance would need to be amended to include these standards.

Recode's Impact On South Waterfront Form-based Code

I am writing you with dismay about how the current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville handles the long studied, community-based, community-requested South Waterfront Form-based Code. I participated in the public discussions and feedback as part of the Round 1 of Recode Knoxville. At that time I was told explicitly in a public meeting in regards to a question about the current, existing form-based codes used in Knoxville that there wouldn't be major changes to current form-based codes used in Knoxville, only clean-up on the edges where ideas hadn't solidly been hammered out in the code.The current 2nd round draft of Recode Knoxville does not appear to hold to the statement made at that meeting. I'm concerned to see major changes being proposed, including some that go against the very intent of what the SW code was set-up to accomplish.Form-based code districts should be dealt with individually if any changes are made. That's the very nature of form-based districts. They're customized, specialized and unique. The form-based code for each district is meant to "fit like a glove" to address the particular development opportunities for that district, and has to be handled accordingly at every step. That clearly includes revisions. A board, sweeping update to the entire Code, such as Recode Knoxville, is not the appropriate place to dig into the guts, the thrust of the South Waterfront Form-based Code and muck around.The South Waterfront Form-based Vision Plan and Code included months of work and community involved meetings. The community was engaged in the process and had embraced the adoption of the code at it's completion. The public was endorsing an urban, pedestrian-friendly connected community that provided public access to the river. Below are a few examples of how the 2nd Round of Recode Knoxville glosses over these facts and preverts the intention of the South Waterfront Form-based Code:The prohibited-use section has been deleted. We need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial. This is critical to a successfully grown community where people want to live and engage.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities go against the intent of the South Waterfront Form-based Code's goals of an urban, pedestrian friendly, community with a sense of place. Gated communities negatively impact connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the South Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The off-street parking section has been deleted and replaced with a reference to the general parking section in the Recode document. Unless that section includes a prohibition on parking lots in the front, which I doubt, this prohibition needs to remain in the code. Front parking lots are not part of an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code deletes the different parking max/mins for each of the seven South Waterfront districts. We need those in the South Waterfront code because parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use in a form-based code.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are not what the South Waterfront code intended to build an urban, pedestrian-friendly community. Superblocks have a negative impact on connectivity, and can diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer has been deleted. This was strongly supported by the community and well-vetted before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted. If we are treating the South Waterfront streetscapes like all other streetscapes in Knoxville, then the South Waterfront will lose it's opportunity to be a unique district with it's own pull and character to help strengthen and diversify Knoxville. This section need to remain.
Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I have a concern which was identified in the first draft of the RECODE Knoxville that could impact West Hills. The concern is regarding the changing of the zone for the area on Middlebrook where Tennova was to build. The recode Knoxville seems to be a backhanded way to change allowed land usages without input from impacted neighborhoods. Several other concerns with the recode draft include:- Less restrictive Accessary dwelling unit (ADU) requirement in residential neighborhoods.- Zoning changes without specific notice of changes.- Expanded allowable land uses in certain zones.- Increased administrative challenges for impacted citizens and neighborhoods to challenge proposed changes to allowed land use.- A rush to obtain city council approval of the recode to meet an arbitrary project schedule at the sacrifice of resolution of identified issues.I am opposed to the changing of the Zoning of the hospital property from “Office" to "Office Park” for the reasons identified above.
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

To follow up on our meeting two weeks ago, we have attached a revised draft of the ReCODE language concerning Mobile Food Unit Parks. Most of the revisions came from combining the previous MPC draft ordinance and the ReCODE public draft v2.0. We also removed any redundancies and brought the terminology in line with the City's existing MFU Ordinance.The only substantial changes we have suggested are:1.) Removing the min/max lot size requirement from the MPC draft ordinance. The maximum number of MFUs per parcel should sufficiently regulate the density of MFUs and the types of lots that would be viable.2.) Removing the requirement for MFUs to leave the park at the end of each day from the ReCODE draft. The existing MFU ordinance already requires MFUs parked on private property to leave each day, and does not require MFUs to visit a commissary. The only instance where an MFU could legally remain on the private property where it operates would be at a permitted MFU Park, which will have been reviewed, inspected, and permitted by the office of Plans Review and Inspections. There will be a designated operator on site during all hours of operation to address any concerns or complaints. The health, safety, and welfare concerns of each MFU's food service operation are already regulated by the Health Department. We feel very strongly that the ability to offer longer term leases to individual MFUs within a permitted MFU Park is critical to their financial viability. 3.) Adding a requirement for all MFU Parks to provide shore power for all MFUs. We feel like this has been incredibly successful in eliminating any neighborhood concerns about these types of projects becoming a nuisance. Eliminating mobile generators keeps this use much more in line with the other uses permitted in commercial zoning districts and the development cost of providing the power should not be prohibitive. Please review and let us know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks again for taking the time to hear us out.
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

To follow up on our meeting two weeks ago, we have attached a revised draft of the ReCODE language concerning Mobile Food Unit Parks. Most of the revisions came from combining the previous MPC draft ordinance and the ReCODE public draft v2.0. We also removed any redundancies and brought the terminology in line with the City's existing MFU Ordinance.The only substantial changes we have suggested are:1.) Removing the min/max lot size requirement from the MPC draft ordinance. The maximum number of MFUs per parcel should sufficiently regulate the density of MFUs and the types of lots that would be viable.2.) Removing the requirement for MFUs to leave the park at the end of each day from the ReCODE draft. The existing MFU ordinance already requires MFUs parked on private property to leave each day, and does not require MFUs to visit a commissary. The only instance where an MFU could legally remain on the private property where it operates would be at a permitted MFU Park, which will have been reviewed, inspected, and permitted by the office of Plans Review and Inspections. There will be a designated operator on site during all hours of operation to address any concerns or complaints. The health, safety, and welfare concerns of each MFU's food service operation are already regulated by the Health Department. We feel very strongly that the ability to offer longer term leases to individual MFUs within a permitted MFU Park is critical to their financial viability. 3.) Adding a requirement for all MFU Parks to provide shore power for all MFUs. We feel like this has been incredibly successful in eliminating any neighborhood concerns about these types of projects becoming a nuisance. Eliminating mobile generators keeps this use much more in line with the other uses permitted in commercial zoning districts and the development cost of providing the power should not be prohibitive. Please review and let us know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks again for taking the time to hear us out.
Staff Reply:

Taxes

How will the recoding affect taxes? Will they go up, even if we choose not to construct an ADU on our property? Will our current infrastructure be able to handle the increased usage of ADUs in residential neighborhoods? How will this affect property values in neighborhoods? What kind of standards will these ADUs be held to? There are quite a few questions that this website doesn't answer
Staff Reply:

Comments On South Waterfront Portion Of Recode, Version 2

First, thank you all for all the hard work on Recode. Knoxville has needed this for quite a while and I'm delighted to see it finally moving forward.I'm a resident of south Knoxville and a former member of the South Waterfront Advisory Committee who was very involved in the creation of the South Waterfront Vision Plan and Code. For weeks, I've had various people tell me that Recode wasn't going to make major changes to the SW code, so I've really not paid much attention to that section of the proposed new code. However, after reviewing Recode version 2, I'm very concerned to see that there are indeed major changes being proposed including some that violate the entire spirit of what the SW code was intended to accomplish.The creation of the Vision Plan and code included months of work and more meetings than I can count. The community was very engaged in this process. A lot of south Knoxvillians were originally wary of the entire endeavor but by the end of the process had embraced the adoption of the code. They were endorsing an urban (rather than suburban), pedestrian-friendly (rather than car-centric) connected community that provided maximum public access to the river. Most of my concerns about changes relate to these goals.
  • The entire first section on prohibited uses has been deleted. Granted, we wanted a form-based rather than a use-base code, with maximum mixed usage. But we need to keep the few prohibitions listed in this section, such as heavy industrial.
  • The prohibition on gated communities has been deleted. Gated communities are not urban, they are not pedestrian friendly, they don't create a sense of community, they negatively impact connectivity, and depending on where they are located they may diminish access to the river. This prohibition was strongly supported by the south Knoxville community and needs to remain in the code.
  • The entire section on off-street parking has been deleted and replaced with a reference to the general parking section in the Recode document. Unless that section includes a prohibition on parking lots in the front, which I doubt, this prohibition needs to remain in the code. Front parking lots are not urban and they are not pedestrian-friendly. Also, the original code has different parking max/mins for each of the seven SW districts. Deleting all the parking-related code presumably deletes these differing standards as well. We need those in the SW code because since it's form-based, parking min/max requirements can't be determined by use.
  • The provision setting the maximum block size perimeter at 1400 feet has been deleted. This provision was included to prevent superblocks, which are absolutely not what the Vision Plan envisions. Again, superblocks are not urban, they're not pedestrian friendly, they have a negative impact on connectivity, and depending on their location could diminish access to the river. This provison needs to stay in the code.
  • The 70 foot river buffer (measured from the riverbank) has been deleted. This was thoroughly debated before the code was adopted and needs to remain.
  • The entire streetscapes section has been deleted, with a note that it should be moved to the subdivision ROW standards. What if any plans have been made to do this? I acknowledge that this section has problems, but a better solution would be to leave it in Recode and then come back and rework it as needed rather than to just delete it with a vague promise that it will go elsewhere.
  • The SW5 and SW7 front setbacks have been changed. I personally am okay with this change but it's one the community should be aware of.
  • The entire signage section has been deleted. Perhaps most of this is covered adequately in the new sign ordinance which was adopted after the SW code. But again, the community should be aware of this and there should be a point by point comparison to make sure that nothing crucial has been deleted
Finally, I plan to share my comments with my south Knoxville neighbors who may not be aware of what's proposed. I also strongly suggest that a meeting in south Knoxville should be scheduled to go over all the proposed changes to the SW code since these are indeed major changes.Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
Staff Reply:

Increasing Housing Density

I want to see far more density in this zoning Recode. We need far more housing, especially within the 4 mile radius of downtown. Increasing building heights, and adding ADU's in existing neighborhoods is vital in order to achieve this. Moving to single family only perpetuates segregation within our city. Thank for your efforts, but we.need. more. Housing options!
Staff Reply:

Rezoning

Affordable housing is at crisis point for many people in Knoxville. Homelessness is on the rise in our city due to a lack of affordable housing. "Bring Back the Orange! in our core neighborhoods by utilizing RN-3,4, and 5 zones to allow for a greater range of housing choices in walkable, bus-friendly neighborhoods. Please adopt appropriate zoning & standards to encourage good design, scale, and development in a manner that will protect our neighborhoods while still allowing them to evolve."
Staff Reply:

Article 4.1 Purpose Statements

At the end of every Residential Neighborhood Purpose Statement is the sentence: Limited nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of the district may also be permitted. I can not find anywhere in this draft where the elements that make up the "character" of the district are defined nor the weight that would be applied to each of those elements when/if a permit for a nonresidential use is applied for. Such a broad statement with no definition is exactly what citizens fear and have been accustomed to as uses that do not appear to be compatible encroach into residential and non-residential zoning districts alike. Character, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. If you are unable to define it, you are not afforded the luxury of making up the rules as you go along!
Staff Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review the draft ordinance! The character of each district is defined in multiple ways within the ordinance:
  • The purpose statement for each district, which identifies the intent of the regulations, and outlines a general character for each of the districts through descriptive language like “exhibiting a predominantdevelopment pattern of single-family homes on relatively large lots and with generous setbacks,”(RN-1) or “comprising a heterogeneous mix of single-family, two-family, townhouse, and multi-family dwellings.” (RN-5)
  • The dimensional standards for each district, which establish the physical parameters for development in the districts, and as such are probably the most explicit means of defining the character of each district.
  • Design standards (where applicable), for the EN district, or for pocket neighborhoods in the RN-4 add further detail to the character of those districts.
  • Site Development Standards, Use Standards, Landscape, etc. All work together to further define character â€" through lighting standards that vary based on location and district, to accessory structure regulations that acknowledge the physical size of lots, use standards with varying applicability by district and lot size, etc.
Finally, when we’re talking about nonresidential uses that are compatible with the character of these districts, the things permitted as compatible are uses like parks, community centers, daycare homes, etc. If there’s anything that potentially has greater impacts, they have been made special uses, which would necessitate review to ensure that they meet the approval standards for a special use. The allowable uses for each district can be found in this section. If you have any further questions or comments please let us know.

Bring Back R3 And R4

Hi,I recently was reviewing the prosed recode map and I have some great concern over the removal of the orange on the map. Duplexes and multifamily complexes create affordable housing and without them, it will greatly hurt our city. Fixed supply with growing demand will increase property values to the point where they are no longer affordable. This will hurt 2 groups in particular. Those new to the work force graduating college and the creative class. College students graduate from UT every semester and consider staying in our city and calling it home. The city is trying to attract new businesses to our town. It creates jobs, brings in new tax dollars and helps all in our city thrive. Without affordable housing for the new work force, many will consider a new city to move to and without that work force, businesses will find our city less attractive to call home. Our amazing creative class also needs a place to call home. We have embraced the maker's city branding and would like to create a space for creatives and makers. They need affordable housing close to their businesses downtown and R3 and R4 do that. Please consider bringing back the orange to the map.
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments From The Knoxville Area Association Of Realtors

City Council Members:Please find attached materials outlining feedback from our association and our residential and commercial Realtor members.1. ADU memo - MLS stats and research on other municipality's ADU ordinances and experiences2. Missing Middle Housing - a global issue in Recode residential zones where current R-2 zones have been downzoned to proposed RN-2. Current R-2 should be rezoned to proposed RN-5, as stated in the Recode Residential Comparison Chart, to keep existing uses available in those areas. Also, the Recode map needs to be looked at critically across all residential zones in Knoxville to return these middle-housing opportunities to those areas (A local example included in the handout is the Magnolia corridor where current R-2 was downzoned to RN-2.).3. Keep Knoxville Affordable - a handout I received from Matt Sterling, with input from other groups who are concerned about downzoning and lack of affordable housing (not govt subsidized housing, but rather, housing a larger segment of our population can afford). Population projections suggest that the larger Knoxville/Knox County area will need to add (conservatively) upwards of 3-5 housing units per day to meet these growth needs. 4. Residential Top Issues - compares the proposed RN districts and asks the question why do we have 7 residential districts? (this is not meant to be a comprehensive list but some of the most important issues)5. Commercial & Industrial Top Issues - a bullet point list of key issues found in commercial, industrial, and other non-residential zones (this is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but a list of the most important issues we've collected from the active Realtor and developer community). Also, the Use Matrix in Section 9.2 should be looked at more closely to ensure we are not creating a greater number of nonconforming uses in these zones. Many comments I have received concern not where Recode Permits or allows Special Use, but where it does not allow either of these. Look at the blanks, where there is not a "P" or "S" use listed, ask why that box is blank and should it be filled; what problems are we creating by leaving out "P" and "S" uses in various zones? The design standards in Recode are protective enough that areas around commercial development will be protected, the building and lot will function well and have an acceptable appearance no matter the use inside the structure, to a large extent.Recode is quite an undertaking and I appreciate your tireless work on this project. Sorry for sending this so close to the workshop time; informational gathering for Recode has been a tremendous effort as I know you are aware. I am happy to address any concerns and questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me anytime.Best,Jennifer Roche, JD, RCEGovernmental Affairs DirectorKnoxville Area Association of Realtors609 Weisgarber Road, Knoxville, TN 37919
Staff Reply:

The Lack Of Duplexes

In response to the general consensus circulating... "If duplexes aren't being built, the market doesn't want/need them, so why are we trying to allow more of them?"For R1: Duplex allowed on Review w/ lot size minimum of 15,000 sq.ft.Most R1 neighborhoods are typically auto-oriented (non transit friendly) & suburban with larger homes on larger lots. The need for duplexes in those areas is low and naturally their occurrence is low. The assumption that the market signals are influencing the development of duplexes is likely true in most suburban R-1 zones.On the contrary, Oakwood, a walkable & transit-friendly neighborhood, is a mixture of R1 (IH-1) & R2. Lot sizes range from < 5000 sq.ft. to 7500+ sq.ft. A new duplex would require multiple lots, therefore they aren't done. There are however, many older duplexes that exist currently as represented by the"checker-board" of R1/R2 on the current zoning map. Building new would require up-zoning, special approval, and variances... therefore they aren't being built. For Oakwood, the market's need & desire has no way to respond because a duplex is, by-default, prohibited.[Moving forward RN-3 more appropriately represents the development pattern of Oakwood, and would allow more by right development & less special use approval for duplexes.]- - -R1-A: Duplex permitted by right w/ lot size minimum of 10,000 sq.ft.This district is well represented in our central-city neighborhoods. It is specified as"low to medium density" but"nearly 70% of lots [Zoned R1-A] do not meet the required 7,500 sq.ft. minimum lot area." (pg. 12 ReCode Technical Review Report) So although a duplex IS permitted on paper, it is prohibited in practice... as we see with Old North. Old North is another walkable & transit friendly neighborhood, with the the majority of lots being under the 10,000 sq.ft. required for a duplex. Again, the market's need & desire is unable to respond because a duplex is, by-default, prohibited.An abundance of multi-family structures at various scales exist currently in most of our R1-A transit friendly neighborhoods. These areas need a closer look and a smaller paintbrush to more appropriately zone them to reflect the development patterns that currently exist within them. We must ensure that our central-city neighborhoods are not a static ecosystem, but rather a dynamic one. We must ensure they're able to evolve over time, not radically, but incrementally.. to ensure they're meeting the needs of those who are currently there as well as those who will be there in the future.- - -R-2: Req'd lot size is 7500 sq.ft. for the first dwelling + 1500 sq.ft for each additional dwelling. Therefore a duplex would require 9000 sq.ft.This district is "medium-density" yet still not conducive for a duplex. "50% of the lot sizes within the R-2 district do NOT meet the required 7500 sq.ft. minimum lot standard." (pg. 12 - ReCode Technical Review Report) so very rarely would we see 9000 sq.ft. available for duplex construction. Again, duplexes aren't (and cannot be) built without special circumstance or multiple lot aquisitions, at which point it's more favorable to build two single family homes.A duplex is Small-Scale Development 101... an incremental step towards meeting the demand for housing within our transit-friendly neighborhoods. They're as easy to build & finance as a single family home (from a codes & lending standpoint). A duplex even provides opportunity & incentive for owner-occupancy, empowering more folks to invest & live in the neighborhoods they love. A duplex easily blends in with it's surroundings and provides housing opportunities at a scale that currently isn't available (and hasn't been allowed) within our transit friendly neighborhoods.The lack of recent Duplex construction/conversion is not based on market trends, citizen desires, or lack of profitability. This deficiency is directly tied to our present Zoning & Lot size requirements. To move Knoxville in a positive direction, it's imperative that we allow this age old tool of incremental development to be used once again within our transit friendly neighborhoods. ...and do so without a 2 space per unit parking minimum!Thank you for the consideration,
Staff Reply:

Application Of Rn-3 + Rn-4

As noted on page 13 in the Technical Review Report,The purpose of the RN-2 District is to, "accommodate development of single family homes on mid-size lots, with specific standards for duplexes as special use."The purpose of the RN-3 District is to, "accommodate single & two family residential development on smaller lots; multi-family permitted as special use."- - -In Draft 2, the minimum lot size for RN-2 was reduced to 5000 sq.ft. (respectively, a small lot size) to reduce the amount of non-conformities.Rather than more accurately representing many of our existing R-2 neighborhoods with RN-3, these neighborhoods were down-zoned and a special reduction in lot size was made to "make them conform" to a zoning designation that does not well represent what we see on the ground (a mix of single + two family dwellings as well as small-scale multi-family permitted as special use).A better reflection of the true development pattern & lot size of many of our current R-2 neighborhoods would be the application of RN-3.As written, this creates more instances requiring special use approval and limits by right development, both which are in direct opposition to "help facilitate more by-right development [and] reduce reliance on special approvals." (Technical Report Pg. 11)
Staff Reply:

Lighting Standards - Lumens At Lot Line?

10.2 - Exterior Lighting only specifies that fixtures must be a 75 degree cut-off luminaire and shield the light source from an observer 3.5 ft above the ground along an abutting lot line.This doesn't regulate the intensity (lumens or footcandle) of the light that comes across lot line. Intense lighting (say a couple of candlepower) would cross the lot line at a 15 degree down angle and then reflect off the ground surface. Even grass reflects that light some, but other surfaces such as a light concrete would significantly reflect the light up. This would put the burden on the adjacent lot owner to install non-reflective surfaces within the 13.5' area next to the lot line that a light source crossing 3.5' above the ground at the lot line would reach.By neglecting to specify a light intensity that crosses the lot line, another issue is caused. There is nothing that prohibits a brightly lit interior light source of a building from emitting light out and not being considered a luminaire. There's also nothing that prohibits a bright wall (say the lightly colored metal wall of a Dollar General store) to have a wall-pack light installed on it that reflects off the wall and causes a great deal of light trespass to adjacent lots.The ordinance should specify light trespass standards for all districts, not just SW districts.There needs to be a definition for "luminaire" in the definitions section as well, to ensure that it includes all exterior lighting, and not just luminaires mounted on poles. Example: wall mounted lighting, floodlights, etc. should be explicitly included in the definition.
Staff Reply:

Broadway Corridor Task Force - General Comments

The Broadway Corridor Task Force respectfully submits our general comments/requests regarding the Zoning Code below. We have compiled a formal document (which may be more legible with diagrams and text formatting) that also include our parcel and/or "area specific" comments which have been submitted/requested within the Draft 1 map over the past few weeks. We will send this complete document via email this evening (September 20th), once complete. Thank you, James Ryan & Kyle Anne Lang, BCTF Co-ChairsCOMMENTS OF SUPPORT:We support:- The allowance of mixed-use (residential over commercial/office) along the Broadway Corridor. - Build-To-Zones along Broadway in order to encourage a more 'urban edge' along the corridor, as well as force parking to be located at the side, or more preferably the rear of buildings.- Current landscape buffering requirements between commercial and residential properties. - Commercial Design Standards (especially in relation to the Broadway Corridor)- CN designation for properties along E Woodland, across from Physician's Regional Medical Center. (904 E Woodland; 1034 E Woodland)- CN designation used as a buffer between high density (and/or DK zoning) and single family residences, as well as appropriate pockets along a commercial corridor.- Reduced parking requirements for pedestrian-oriented zones (however request additional reductions, see below)GENERAL COMMENTS: Parking Requirements related to Transit and/or Transit Oriented DevelopmentIn addition to current parking requirement reductions as associated with C-N and certain C-G zones, we would ask MPC and Recode to consider a parking reduction for developments within a certain distance to a public transportation stop/center (IE the Broadway Shopping Center) to encourage more Transit-Oriented and Mixed-Use Development.? Office Space Inconsistent Setbacks, Change to C-G-2Office zoning along Broadway (and other urban corridors) should have minimum front, side, and rear setbacks that match adjacent Commercial parcels. C-N, and C-G-1, 2 and 3 all allow no minimum front setback or 0' - which would create strange conditions along corridor where one parcel may be Commercial and an adjacent one Office. This would not allow for a consistent 'urban edge' along the street, where one building may have a 0' setback, and then the adjacent building is required to step back 15' just because it is Office zoning. In looking further into the differences between Office and C-G-2 zoning, we see no reason why Office zoning is necessary along Broadway, and even noticed some non-compliance with proposed Office Zoning (for example, Independent Living facilities zoned Office that does not allow this use). Therefore, we request all currently proposed Office zoning along Broadway be zoned as C-G-2. In general, the BCTF questions whether an Office zone is a redundant zone to the new OP zone, since Offices are a compliant use within the C-G zones.If for some reason this change is not possible, we suggest an Office Zone subsidiary for urban corridors (such as O-2 or O-Urban) that has no minimum front setback, to allow for office zoning adjacent to C-N or C-G parcels to have the same setback, as well as allow no minimum interior side setback to allow for zero-lot lines when adjacent to Commercial zoning. We also request that the build-to zone match any neighboring property - in Broadway's case, generally C-G-2 - therefore a 0' to 10' build-to-zone. Potential allowances could/should be made for existing churches and historic residences that have been converted to office functions - however this may need to require historic overlays.Affected Office Properties Along Broadway (and Woodland):815 N Broadway; 215 Bearden Place (current use noncompliant as office); 901 N Broadway; 949 N Broadway; 826 N Broadway; 830 N Broadway; 834 N Broadway; 1207 N Broadway; 1216 N Broadway; 1303 N Broadway; 1323 N Broadway; 2909 N Broadway; 3101 N Broadway; 3111 N Broadway; 3127 N Broadway; 818 E Woodland; 1306 N Broadway; 2921 N BroadwayInstitutional ZoningCurrently institutional zoning does not have a 'build-to' requirement, and requires a 20' front and corner/side setback. This creates a similar condition to the above-mentioned Office zoning setbacks. For institutional parcels within an urban area or along an urban core (such as N Broadway) we request an institutional zone that has no front setback, but a 'build-to' requirement that would force new construction to align with the building face of adjacent C-G or Office properties. This would also force parking to occur behind or to the side of a building, as opposed to in front of it.Additionally, the Task Force has reservations related to the allowance of Homeless Shelters on Institutional-Zoned parcels. Due to the nuances related to N Broadway with relation to the Homeless, we request that Institutional Properties along N Broadway (especially the current Physician's Regional property) prohibit homeless shelters. Height Restrictions & Step-Back RequirementsWe believe maximum building height should be less related to zone (as in O, C-G, C-H), but where a parcel is located on the map, IE distance from downtown. In general, we would recommend that the maximum building height remain taller (or unlimited) downtown, and then step down outward from downtown accordingly.We recommend adding a height restriction to CG-3, perhaps 85' with review process if requesting over 85' and 130' maximum with review. The gap between C-G-2's 70' maximum height and C-G-3's unlimited maximum height seems too extreme. An intermediate is necessary, while limiting the unlimited height restriction to DK zones seems more appropriate.We request C-G-2 (or anything above 4-5 stories, or an appropriate height) to have a 'step-back' requirement, similar to the Cumberland District - whereas any floors above a certain height are required to step back. This will avoid the 'tunneling affect' along the corridor, and is similar to what larger cities like New York City enacted.I-MU Design StandardsI-MU should require Commercial Design Standards when redeveloped as mixed-use properties. Not allowing such standards would create a loop-hole for I-MU properties developed as mixed use as opposed to CG or DK zones. We recommend landscape screening requirements for commercial and/or office zones where the rear of the property abut a residential district. We recommend requiring infill commercial to align with existing building frontage/datum established by existing urban (pre-1950s) development.Parking Requirements related to C-G-2 and C-G-3Currently proposed is parking requirement reductions for pedestrian-oriented zones, which we agree with. However currently there is a 10% parking reduction for C-G-2, and a 20% parking reduction for G-G-3. We have requested and agreed with current proposals for C-G-2 along N Broadway namely due to the reduced height restraint - which is more in-keeping with a pedestrian oriented zone as opposed to unlimited (or taller) height restraints. If anything, these taller buildings will require more parking to serve their uses adequately, so it seems the reduction percentages are backwards - in that C-G-2 should allow a higher reduction than C-G-3, or it not at least the same.Therefore, we request C-G-2 allows for a 20% parking reduction to be equal to C-G-3. If this is not possible, we would request a separate C-G-3 subsidiary zone that maintains the higher parking reduction, while creating a lower height restriction.Homeless Shelters within C-G ZonesWe request the removal of Homeless shelters from the C-G zones, believing that their allowance within C-G and C-R zones is sufficient, if not more appropriate.Floodway Overlay ZoningThe current 'Floodway Overlay Zoning District' is noted as being "established to meet the needs of the streams to carry floodwaters of a 500-year frequency flood," however the map overlay district does not reflect the 500-year flood plain. We ask that you update your map to show the accurate 500-yr flood overlay (see below) to allow current and future property owners an accurate representation of where they will be able to construct new buildings and/or renovate existing structures that may be within the 500-year floodplain. Because a large portion of properties along the Broadway Corridor are within the 500-year floodplain, we ask the MPC, ReCode, and the City of Knoxville to create and/or utilize any possible zoning or administrative tools to allow for redevelopment within the flood zone, or at least more effectively communicate to property owners the restrictions they are faced with.As a result of potential miscommunication between the City, FEMA, and property owners, many are easily confused regarding current regulations, since their properties may have been constructed before the 500-yr floodplains (and therefore current restrictions) were established.
Staff Reply:

Recode Second Draft Comments

Section 5.4: Design Standards- Issue: What does 'substantial repair or rehabilitation' mean? "The following design standards apply tosubstantial repair or rehabilitation meant to remedy damage or deterioration of exterior façade"- Remedy: more clearly define when design standards would come into play; define 'substantial repair or rehabilitation'Table 5-2: Commercial Site Design- Issue: Surface parking location requirements are incompatible with current and reuse/redevelopment of many lots in O, C-N, C-G-2, C-G-3 districts (ex: L-shaped commercial strips, businesses that need loading/truck facilities on the rear of the lot). "Surface parking may not be located between the principal building and the front lot line. Parking must be located to the side or rear of the principal building [in O, C-n, C-G-2, C-G-3 districts]."- Remedy: Remove this as a requirement and instead use it as a possible incentive in Section 5.3.B and other incentive sections. Staff has recommended incorporating current parking requirements without change; this would be a significant change.8.4 Hillside Protection Overlay Zoning District- In order to facilitate reuse and redevelopment of small-scale and larger-scale commercial/industrial areas, apply this overlay only to residential zones.Table 9-1: Use Matrix- Issue: "Bar" and "Restaurant" were combined into "Eating and Drinking Establishment" and "Restaurant" was removed as "P" in O and C-N districts. This will transform numerous restaurants from "P" to "S" in C-N (ex: Plaid Apron in C-N, Sequoyah Hills neighborhood) and create nonconformities in O district. It could create more pushback when an "Eating and Drinking Establishment" is requesting "S" in C-N in the future.- Remedy: Remove "Eating and Drinking Establishment" and reestablish "Bar" and "Restaurant" as separate uses.- Issue: "Medical/Dental Office" was downzoned from "P" to "S" in C-N. These are currently "P" in C-N.- Remedy: Return to "P" use in C-N.Parking and Landscaping- Please keep with staff recommendation that existing parking and landscaping requirements be incorporated into Recode, and that the landscaping bond be removed.15.D.3.h Planned Development- Issue: More clearly define "affordable housing" set-asides.- Remedy: Provide a threshold of rental or purchase price based on existing market and population data or government guidelines. Do not require "affordable housing" to be government-approved/subsidized.16.2.D Nonconforming Use- Issue: "Discontinuation or Abandonment" as it currently reads is unclear and does not reflect general market conditions for reuse and redevelopment of real property.- Remedy: Provide a definition for "Discontinuation or Abandonment", increase "six months" period to at least 18 months to reflect commercial property general market conditions, and add in a language that being "actively marketed for lease or sale" is not considered "Discontinuation or Abandonment".Thanks for considering my comments. This is not an easy task.
Staff Reply:

Recode Project

I am concerned that zoning districts which allow for affordable housing have deceased in the new rezoning plan. I especially would like to see more areas which allow for RN3 and RN4 zoning, two new categories created during the ReCode process but not used in the proposed map. This type of housing avoids problems associated with huge housing profects. The RN3 and RN4 units foster more personal and close knit communities and allow for residents to be a part of regular neighborhoods. These units are also a good size which provide smaller developer companies opportunities to build them. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Regarding commercial buildings along the main corridors, glass should be highly transparent on the main floor, and non-residential use should be either required or highly encouraged using whatever zoning tools are available. The buildings should be at least built in such a way as to allow non-residential use on the main levels in the future.Required materials should be durable and sustainable. No vinyl and especially no vinyl windows.I do not think the use of paint colors should be addressed in the code (see 5.4B). There are plenty of examples of monochromatic buildings that are beautiful and interesting because of varying types of building materials, etc. In fact, the new apartment buildings at the south end of the Henley St. Bridge (not the orange and gray one, the one across the street on the east side) vary in color so much that from afar it looks very busy, even though the colors are not bold. Furthermore paint colors can be changed and thus shouldn't be considered a part of the structure.Bike racks should be required for commercial and multifamily residential.Multifamily courtyard apartments such as common in Chicago on city corners should be allowed (there are actually also many examples of these in Fort Sanders and East Knoxville) in high and moderate density neighborhoods, with high quality of materials (brick mostly) and good form so it is a contributor to the neighborhood fabric.Thanks to MPC for all your work on this.
Staff Reply:

Put The Orange Back! Add The Tan!

We need MORE affordable housing in Knoxville, particularly RN3 and RN4! We have over 20,000 of our families paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs. I'm hopeful that as our community leaders, you recognize we clearly have a crisis in affordable housing in our community. Instead of being a responsive, conscience-centric approach, the new proposed map from the ReCode process appears to actually reduce the potential to build affordable housing in Knoxville!! Please, please redesign the map! Let's Recode in a manner that honors our community and seeks to serve all of our citizens. RN3 and RN4 would encourage more affordable housing in already-existing neighborhoods, which would be a GOOD approach. Thank you for including the Orange along the more accessible corridors, however we still need more of the higher-density zoning, too. Knoxville is a wonderful place to live, let's make that true for all of our families.
Staff Reply:

Comments On Some Survey Questions

Not just new but renovated buildings along any corridor should be required to have a buffer whether trees, bushes, or a well maintained attractive fence. Alley ways between buildings and residential are usually unkept. Some vegetation, trellis work or partial fencing could help between residential and other uses. Strict regulation of noise from both music, parties or food trucks generators, commercial docks and smoke from any source that intrudes into residential should not be allowed.There are some reuses that should not be allowed in old buildings. But, a restaurant is a more intrusive use than a warehouse just in looking at the operating hours. While a homeowner may work during the day and not notice a warehouse during the day. The restaurant business hours of operation occur during the residents evening down time or kids bedtime. Anytime alcohol is part of the picture there is high likelihood of loud voices and inappropriate language. Lighting is becoming an issue as added street lighting occurs along with signage and lighting added as decoration at night. Car noise, fumes, and parking with people coming and going is intrusive to a family quiet time so operating hours should be restricted. The type of business is very crucial to residential stability.The reuse of an existing building should fit with the neighborhoods character. This does not mean there should be a bar on every corner. No industrial. Enough parking to stop parking carryover on to residential streets. if code requires a building height of 4 stories there should be a clause that 4 is a recommendation but if development wants less height say 2 story that would be allowed, but not higher. Supporting infrastructure, sidewalks are the developer's responsibility since many want TIFs or PILOT breaks for 20-30 years at taxpayer expence on pensions, road maintenance and other services.ADUs and STR should be restricted to only homeowner occupied with off street parking. in EN, RN-1, RN-2, and SW-1. With no subletting greater than the allowable number on the lease per unit or fire code/ occupancy limit.
Staff Reply:

Recode: Draft 2 Comments

Bring back the Orange by better utilizing the newly created RN-3 & RN-4 (as well as RN-5 where appropriate) districts that more appropriately represent the existing development patterns of the neighborhoods where it was removed. Projected population growth will necessitate "Orange" neighborhoods along corridors & with access to transit.This is inline with ReCode Section 1.2 Purpose statement - to promote economic development that balances the needs of current & future economy; utilize existing infrastructure & resources. Down-zoning current R-2 to proposed RN-2 reduces options for medium density redevelopment and doesn't reflect the existing development patterns. This reduction also further promotes financially irresponsible development patterns, leading to more sprawl, traffic, and infrastructure expenses without increasing the tax base to support it. This reduction goes against the vast amount of experts that have been brought into our community as speaker. (i.e. Joe Minicozzi, Chuck Marohn, Jana Lynott, Jeff Randoph, and more). Dwelling Design Standards: Single & Two-FamilyAs written, we're moving in the right direction. Standards MUST be objective & easy to understand and navigate. There are still some subjective wording within the standards that should be clarified. A Design Standard "Checklist" would be helpful. The Downtown Design Review Board could be used as a model to be duplicated for areas with Historical significance comprised of unbiased professionals.ParkingToo restrictive for Duplex (as written requires 2 spaces/du = 4 spaces). Requirement should consider number of bedrooms I.e. Duplex w/ a 2 bedroom unit + 1 efficiency unit. How does the code interpret a 40' single-width driveway.. 3 spaces? Need more clarification for what will actually be required to meet residential parking space requirements.ADUsAs written, Lot area minimum of 5000 sq.ft. is excellent & best practice. As written, Allowing attached or detached is excellent & best practice. Side setback of 8' and rear setback of 10' are too restrictive for small lots. In areas where ADUs are most needed (in or near transit-oriented development) residential lots often range from 50 x 100-150 feet. A 10' setback requirement makes detached ADU placement extremely challenging on small lots. In walkable urban neighborhoods, setback requirements should be kept to a minimum to enable detached ADU development: 5 feet is a reasonable setback requirement for such lots. As written, ADU setbacks are more restrictive than the setback for other comparable accessory structures, such as garages. Setback regulations for detached accessory structures may also consider tiered standards based on the detached structure's height, to protect light and air for adjacent lots. Basic design standards such as no low windows or doors are allowed within the sides of the structures that are within 5 feet of the property line. This nuanced, tiered setback approach protects neighboring properties' light, air, and privacy while affording smaller lots the same development entitlements as larger lots. It is the same development standard that applies to garages and other accessory structures.Limits to Max gross floor area.Capping ADU size is useful at responding to market needs for smaller dwellings. A reasonable cap should be smaller than the primary structure. However, adequate cap size would allow for two people to comfortably live. We need to ensure that ADUs can be at least up to 600 sq. ft. Many cities have a floor area ratio between the main house and the ADU that restricts the ADU to 300â€" 400 sq. ft. That does not work for someone who is fifty-five and has lived in a single-family home for decades. 300-400 sq.ft. doesn't work for a couple who is going to have a kid and going to live a normal life with friends and family that come and visit. A home that is 600 sq. ft. can function as a real home by the standards of what people want & expect from a home. The cap SHOULD NOT be tied to the existing floor area ratio of the primary structure.For example, a standard 800 sq.ft. post-war cottage (abundant in our urban neighborhoods) shouldn't be restricted to a 320 sq.ft. ADU. With current building codes not allowing sleeping lofts, it's quite difficult to adequately provide all that is necessary for a dwelling within such a small space. The cap SHOULD BE tied to Lot Size (as written) not to exceed the primary dwelling. A 600 sq.ft. ADU should be allowed on a 5000 sq.ft. lot even with an 800 sq.ft. primary structure. The 40% cap of primary dwelling should be removed from the code.Omit or clarify the subjective statement #9. The ADU must be designed so that the appearance of the primary structure remains that of a house.As written, no additional parking requirement is excellent & best practice.
Staff Reply:

Climate Knoxville Recode Knoxville Comments

Climate Knoxville submits comments and background information on the current draft of Recode Knoxville.Louise GorenfloClimate Knoxville
Staff Reply:

Please find the attached position letter from AIA East Tennessee. We would appreciate your consideration on these issues.John Sanders, FAIARecode Knoxville Advisory Committee Representative for AIA ETN
Staff Reply:

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.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Please put back the orange. Keep it. We need flexibility for affordable housing. I wish everyone could have the option of single family dwellings. However that is not possible nor wanted. We need zoning maintained for duplexes, four plexus, etc. as well as developments with 100's of units for affordable housing.
Staff Reply:

Park City Preservation Alliance

The Park City Preservation Alliance (PCPA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the places, stories, history, and culture of the people of, in, and near Historic Park City, Tennessee.The PCPA Board of Directors have agreed on the following recommendations for ReCode:1. OS-1 should be retained as an option to conserve historic, archaeological, and cultural values of open space, rather than merged into the new OS that does not reflect these important land uses.2. The Historic Zoning Commission should be granted authority to allow variances for rehabilitation and habitation of documented historic accessory structures that may be non-conforming under new zoning ordinances.3. The Historic Zoning Commission should be granted authority to allow variances to permit re-building of the foundations of lost, documented historic accessory structures to allow future, code compliant construction of habitable accessory dwelling units.Sincerely,Park City Preservation Alliance Board of DirectorsPresident, Greta SchmoyerVice President, James WaldrupTreasurer, Ed StricklandSecretary, Tanner Jessel
Staff Reply:

Comments On Recode Knoxville

Having looked over the Recode book available at the library, here are my comments, in order of the numbers at the bottom of the page.4.4 EN zone - requires more than one finished floor, this ignores retirees who want to be in an estate type neighborhood and seek one level living. I understand specifications of more than 4 wall sections but feel 6 is a sufficient minimum if the variation is visible from the street.5.26 SW3 - Do not remove the section about "existing buildings will be encouraged for reuse". This is consistent with the march 2003 Vision Plan "feeling like a Main street and serving folks on both sides of the river, providing a place to buy a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, meet friends for coffee..." "small markets and shops..." (page 30). I like the eclectic nature of the businesses on Sevier Ave and fear that new construction would have rents so high they would only house chain establishments. 5.27 SW2 - Your draft shows a minimum of 0 and maximum of 10 for the front setback. There is a section of SW2 on Scottish Pike east of the railroad that fronts onto a SW1 zone. A development with these setbacks would harm the "small town neighborhood atmosphere" found in SW1. I am requesting that the front build-to zone be changed to a minimum of 15' and a maximum of 20' in this area. The minimum build-to frontage is much higher than the other zones and should be reduced to 50 or 60%.8.3 NC district. I am glad you retained this as well as the historic overlay. 9.6 and 9.7 - I am very concerned about restrictions on vinyl siding to 15% for townhouse and apartment developments. Furthermore the materials on the front must wrap around to the sides. We need affordable housing for people to buy or rent without being restricted to subsidized housing. New construction is a way to provide energy efficient unsubsidized housing but it needs to use affordable materials. The effect of these restrictions is that entry level multi housing will be constructed outside the city limits, furthering traffic congestion. I have heard people say that supply and demand will create affordability. My mailbox is filled every week with letters and postcards from flippers wanting to turn affordable housing into unaffordable housing. If aesthetics are a concern along the corridors, that can be addressed in the corridor plans. 10.4 ADUs - I am generally in favor of ADUs but there are valid concerns about ADUs in the RN1 district. I am OK with ADUs in the EN district as these are owners most likely to have a housekeeper, caregiver or au-pair. I am fine with ADUs in the RN2, RN3, etc districts but they need to be counted as an additional unit and parking issues need to be considered, will there be enough street parking, etc. 12.4 to 12.6 - I like trees in parking areas and would prefer 1 tree to 20 spaces as opposed to 1 tree per 30 for the interior rows. The requirement of an island being exactly the size of a space is too restrictive, better to specify a minimum s.f. per tree in an island. Peremeter trees are good, I am concerned about shrubs on the peremiter making a parking area feel less safe. Groundcover in the islands is likely to look ratty and should not be required. Installation sizes of 4' evergreens and 1.2" caliper will give the trees a better chance of survival.12.9 - I like very much that you are encouraging existing trees to be saved.- 20% is a big change in grade. That needs to be redefined. Thank you for your consideration
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments - Broadway Corridor Task Force

Good EveningThanks again for meeting with Kyle and me a few weeks ago to discuss ReCode and its affect on the Broadway Corridor. As you may have seen, we have been submitting map-related comments over the past few weeks. However as we discussed in our meeting, we compiled a document with all of our general code and map-related comments, and attached that document to this email.If possible, would you mind having someone on your team go through the attached document to make sure each of the comments (specifically, the map related comments) were submitted and/or taken care of? We spent a good amount of time getting all of these comments together and they developed over time so some of our previous comments may need to be updated, and we would hate for some of the comments to be lost (it became hard keeping track of what was submitted, and what was not).Thanks again for all of your hard work in coordinating this effort, and we apologize that we are submitting these comments right up against the deadline! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me.Sincerely,Jimmy RyanKyle Anne LangBroadway Corridor Task Force
Staff Reply:

Comments On Public Draft Version 2.0

We have evaluated the current draft and respectfully submit the following comments regarding office development in the City of Knoxville:The document would be easier to navigate if all the office districts were collocated; preferably in the commercial district.Clinics and medical office buildings should be a permitted land use within the OP district.Thanks for the opportunity to comment,
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 2 Text And Draft 1 Map

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 1 and ReCode Text Draft 2.Below is the list contributors and/or ratifiers of these comments: Core Drafting & Research Team:Elizabeth RowlandMatt SterlingMoira ConnellyIdea/Feedback Contributors:Michael DavisBryan Hill CharLee HowardRatified Final Draft:Linda Haney - KCDP Vice Chair Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee MemberMichael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee MemberSylvia Woods - PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member & Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team MemberMoira Connelly - PAC Steering Team MemberMatt SterlingLouise SeamsterBryan HillWe'd also like to bring to your attention a Democratic Television (DTV) episode that we did explaining ReCode Knoxville to viewers.Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Elizabeth Rowland
Staff Reply:

Adjacent Average Grade

Please review the calculation of Adjacent Average Grade, used in defining building height in section 2.4D1. The calculation of this grade is ambiguous and Peter Ahrens suggested at a recent Recode meeting to submit a comment for MPC staff to shore up this definition. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Draft 2 Ordinance Comments

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following is a list of comments submitted by a Neighborhood Focus Group composed of neighborhood leaders from many different areas within the City:1. 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)2. Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.3. Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section from “consider” to accurately reflect the public’s intent to align these changes to the land use plans.4. For non-residential reuse properties, off-street parking is not required. They are not required to have on-premise parking. We recommend that MPC work with the Codes Department to address this issue, especially in older neighborhoods where there is no driveway or garages and residents are dependent on street parking for their vehicles.5. Planned Developments (Section 15.7): For neighborhoods which includes a multi-family development within its boundaries, traffic from these developments can create issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.6. Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): We were apprehensive of allowing ADUs as a right in all residential neighborhoods. We unanimously agreed that allowing a detached ADU as a “special use” as opposed to a use by right would alleviate the concerns of the group and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. We support this change to the zoning ordinance. Furthermore, 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.The following is a list of participants: Rob Glass - Harrell Hills (Northeast Knoxville), Jennifer Reynolds - Timbercrest (West Knoxville), Molly Conoway - Oakwood Lincoln Park (North Central Knoxville), Amy Midis - Forest Heights Neighborhood (West Knoxville), Anna Compton - Cumberland Estates (Northwest Knoxville)Thank you!
Staff Reply:

Forest Heights Neighborhood Comments: Draft 2

Dear Director Green and MPC Staff:The following are recommendations submitted from a Focus Group from Forest Heights Neighborhood. Thank you for your commitment to this project: Accessory Dwelling Units (Section 10.3B): Like many residents across Knoxville, the FHNA Focus Group was divided on the issue of whether ADUs should be allowed as a use by right in all residential districts. A majority of the group does not feel there will be many detached ADUs constructed in our neighborhood, and those homeowners who choose to add them will be situations where the homeowner would use the ADU for a dependent family member. The members of the focus group who oppose the ADU would be accepting of allowing the detached ADU being a “special use” as opposed to a use by right. Allowing these as a special use would alleviate the fears of our neighbors and possibly the fears of many other Knoxville residents. Therefore, we ask MPC to consider changing the ordinance allowing only detached ADUs as a special use in all residential districts.Flagpoles (Section 10.3K): The current draft allows three illuminated flagpoles at a height of 35”. We propose limiting the number of flagpoles to 1 per residence at a maximum height of 18”.Home Occupations (Section 10.3P): In Article V, Section 12 of the current City of Knoxville zoning ordinance, both home office and home occupations are defined. Our current R1-E zoning ordinance allows by right, home offices but not home occupations. We recommend that the zoning code add the definition of home office and differentiate between both uses, allowing only Home Offices as a use by right in all residential districts.Bed and Breakfast (Section 9.3B): The ordinance allows one parking space for each rented guest bedroom. It does not allow for off-street parking in front of the building. We appreciate these conditions, however, if a homeowner has 5 bedrooms available to rent, but only 3 parking spaces, the business will be restricted to renting only 3 bedrooms. How can codes enforce that only three bedrooms are being rented? Can the code’s department enforce a restriction on off-street parking being used by the operator’s guests? The Codes department has had little involvement in this area since there is only one bed and breakfast currently operating within the City. We request that the Codes department research further how to enforce restrictions on the number of rooms allowed to rent.Animals for Control of Invasive Species (Section 9.4A): We inquired over 5 years ago about the use of goats to control a steep section of our neighborhood where Kudzu has taken over and is impossible to control. This was not possible at the time, and we hope by adding this section into the zoning ordinance, it will give our neighbors a feasible option to control the kudzu on their property.Commercial properties along Kingston Pike in Bearden have new standards promoting parking in the back of the building. Our group supports the concept of parking being behind the buildings. It promotes slower traffic and more walkability in Bearden. In addition, in most cases, it is more attractive looking at a building than an empty parking lot!Approval Standards for Map Amendments (Section 15.1E): Line 3E reads that the “Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council must consider the following standards …The consistency of the proposed amendment with the General Plan and any adopted land use policies”. City Charter requires that all zoning and map changes be consistent with the General and Sector plans. Our group insists that the wording be changed in this section to accurately reflect the public’s decision to align these changes to the land use plans.Planned Developments (Section 15.7): Our neighborhood includes a multi-family development within its boundaries. Traffic from this development has created issues for residents living on these cut-through streets as well as limiting the walkability of our neighborhood due to fast traffic on narrow streets. This development is aging and will need to be redeveloped within the next twenty years. We ask MPC to add language to limit the approval of planned residential developments whose traffic flow will ingress or egress onto interior residential streets.Submitted by: Leslie Badaines, Jarrod Chapman, Amy Hathaway, Joe Hickman, Jim Pryor, Amy Midis, John Ulmer, and Martie Ulmer
Staff Reply:

Proposed Zoning Changes: Connectivity With Environmental Compliance, Opportunities For Blighted Properties, Green Spaces, Ridge Tops, And Established Neighborhoods

By and large I am in support of the efforts to implement form-based code in the City. It seems the design standards as they read for the more dense areas of our city are geared towards encouraging the development of great urban spaces. It is visionary, and by and large I am supportive. I do hear the criticism regarding Affordable Housing, Accessory Dwellings, Environmental Overlay, and the Public Input Process. I hope the MPC takes these concerns to heart and considers how the changes will impact specific neighborhoods in each of these cases. Some questions:Can Ridgetop Protection get codified in this 'round? This is just guidance now, right? Can the new code also include provision for commercial areas on hillsides that are unsuitable for development? Can hillside preservation be incentivised? How lot size will impact development on steep slopes is still unclear to me. Along similar lines, where are the incentives for LID (Low Impact Design) and how might the code be coordinated with stormwater regulations/incentives for LID?Is there adequate provision for accommodating innovative land use of blighted properties? (Side lots, abandoned lots, community gardens, pocket parks, etc)Can you quantify in GIS the land area within the new classifications that can potentially be used for multi-family housing or affordable housing? How does this compare with the existing code? I think Mixed Use would incorporate some of the 'orange' that appears to be eliminated in the draft, but I am unsure since this may relate more to developer incentives (still relatively 'black box'). What exactly happens to Sector and Community Plans? And related, the public input process? I understand the MPC's interest in streamlining/efficiency, etc...it just seems once something leaves MPC with blessings it doesn't get much revisit from Council or Commission. I am often discouraged by how routine the Sector Plans are amended to accommodate development. Can you diagram the proposed public input process for the "new" code?Thank you again.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Requirements

Several recommendations were made regarding landscaping requirements in response to the first draft, but unfortunately they weren't incorporated into the second draft. Adequate landscaping provides numerous environmental, economic, health (physical and mental), aesthetic and social benefits to a community.We would like to see the following provisions included in the new ordinance:Interior Landscaping of Parking LotsThe 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.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. The city of Chattanooga successfully employs this process. 1. PERFORMANCE BOND: This 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 and to assure reasonable growth conditions. 2. MAINTENANCE BOND: This would be applicable during the two-year period following the project's completion and include a reasonable time period for proper landscape care to assure healthy plant material. The Maintenance Bond is released after two years, contingent on satisfactory inspection by a qualified professional, such as a landscape architect licensed in Tennessee and familiar with the design intent. Without a maintenance bond a lot of landscaping will not be adequately cared for and will die. Two years of proper care will greatly increase the survival of installed landscaping.Since the city operates on a complaint driven system and is chronically short staffed when it comes to enforcement, I don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In my experience, this also requires follow-up phone calls and emails by the citizen. Mitigation Fund or Tree BankRecode should include 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.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Lack Of Affordable And Accessible Housing

Put back the orange! and prioritize poor and working class people.
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:

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:

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:

Affordable Housing

Please, we need affordable housing! vote for help!
Staff Reply:

Downtown Island Airport

Yesterday I became aware that City of Knoxville is doing a project called "Knoxville Recode." If I understand, this is a project to update the zoning ordinances for the city. If this is true, I would like to talk with you or whomever would be the proper person to ensure Downtown Island Airport has an "Air Overlay Zone" identified in the update. Has Downtown Island Airport already been considered in the project? If not, the Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to have proper planning and zoning around their facility. This project seems to be the right time to add an Air Overlay Zone in the ordinance.
Staff Reply:

Institutional Bias?

Dear MPC Members:Few are aware that they inadvertently employ institutional bias, so when I look at the proposed changes, I am afraid that unwitting, unintended biases against those who desperately need decent, affordable housing will prevail for too long a period of time. Since it has been a near-50-year zoning period prior to this recoding effort, likely what happens now will be adversely affecting, and clearly, evidently, perhaps cruelly marginalizing those most in need of decent housing opportunities. A family with two minimum-wage-earning adults able to actually work 40 hours per week, has an annual income about $36,440 less than the median family income. Financial advisors say to spend only 25-30% of your income for housing monthly. That means $628-$754 per month for the most basic housing available. That leaves just about $400 per week (at 4.3 weeks per month) for food, transportation, minimal medical expenses, possible day care, school supplies, and clothing. Forget about entertainment, books to read, trips to the Great smoky Mountains: survival is all that is possible and there are very few, if any decent abodes for a small family that are just $628-$754 per month. The map I just saw of where and how much "ORANGE" appears on your map is shocking and just plain wrong. Please, please, please!: Let us NOT keep the NEXT generation trapped in the loop of poverty and feeling that one must always live at the base of the housing pyramid. Please, please, please, PUT BACK THE ORANGE and do not be guilty of keeping generations marginalized by unintended bias. Thank you
Staff Reply:

Draft 2 Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the second draft of Recode Knoxville. Many of the regulations in the proposed code succeed in streamlining the permitting process and providing design flexibility. The proposed code should also: protect and promote residential character; establish a transparent, interactive development review process; and ensure that our overall community is attractive.Ensure that existing and proposed residential development promotes a sense of community.1. Home Occupation - in addition to the proposed regulations there should be a size limit (25% of habitable floor area) and a limit on public visits (by appointment only which can be achieved by not advertising the address). There is no restriction on the number of public visits. No stipulation as to adverse impacts (noise, light, smell, vibration)2. Day Care Homes - the standards in the existing code should be maintained. As written there is no limit on # of children and no requirement to maintain residential appearance or character. 3. Kennels - the typical limit of five dogs/cats prevents residential animal hoarding. As proposed, there is no limit.4. Accessory Dwelling Units - as written, this standard will entice investors to bid on properties, construct a second dwelling unit, then rent both units out thereby driving up the market price of residential property and degrading the stability and social fabric of neighborhood community. This escalating value of real estate lessens the availability of affordable/workforce houses. By requiring the homeowner to live on the property, the home owner has a revenue stream (helpful for moderate or low-income families) or lodging for family or caretakers, close control of the property, an on-site contact for neighbors should complaints arise, and disincentivizes rapid increase of market rates (investors would not want to live on the property).5. Multi-family - provide simple design standards to avoid a shoe box appearance; such as façade modulation, variation in texture or color, and porches/balconies/decks.6. Consistency - EN has a minimum lot size of 22,000 sq. ft. per Table 4-1. EN with a HP overlay has a minimum lot size of 7,200 sq. ft. (6 du per acre) Table 8-1. "Table 8-1: Density and Land Disturbance Limitation establishes the maximum residential density ." Why would HP allow greater density?7. Garage Sales - how frequently can an owner have a garage sale until it becomes a business?Establish a transparent, interactive development review process.1. Expand the flow charts to include appeals.2. Require posted signs to be clearly visible by two-way traffic on each right-of-way contiguous to the property.3. The required 12 days for sign posting should not include holidays as people are more likely to be away.4. Provide notice to neighborhood associations.5. Special Use Conditions should also be able to address use impacts such as hours of operation, noise, etc.6. Provide mailed notice of applications for Administrative Decisions to contiguous property owners and post a yard sign.7. For Special Use approval note that this does not set a precedence.8. For Variance Approval Standards add: The Applicant did not create the situation; and, Other options involving a lesser variance has been considered.9. Extending nonconforming walls should require a variance processEnsure that our overall community is attractive.1. Cell Towers should not be a permitted use in the Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District. This district is "intended to provide for an environment of integrated residential development and small-scale commercial and service uses, predominantly serving nearby residential neighborhoods." Town Hall East was able to successfully deter a proposed cell tower in the Burlington commercial center due to notice of public hearing process.2. Increase the likelihood that required landscaping will survive either through a two-year landscape maintenance bond or irrigation.
Staff Reply:

Re-code Comment

As a Knoxville resident living in a transitional area that is undergoing gentrification, I am very concerned about the future of racial and economic diversity in our neighborhoods. It is absolutely imperative that any zoning changes resulting from the recode process accommodate the need for increased housing density that would be necessary to preserve socioeconomic diversity.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

PUT BACK THE ORANGE. Knoxville needs more multi family housing not less. You are prioritizing higher income folks and not pushing Knoxville to be a city that prioritizes the vast need for affordable housing. I've been to meetings and you are always citing comments from West Hills or Sequoya Hills, or Fountain City and not referring to comments made at the Urban League meetings from Burlington residents from East Knoxville residents and you actively tell them you are not recording their comments despite the fact that a forum or meeting could be their only way to provide a comment. PUT BACK THE ORANGE and stop excluding low income folks' comments.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

Please put back the orange! More, not less, affordable housing is needed. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I commented earlier on my objections in the new codes proposal. At that time, I was not aware of the proposal to reduce the minimum lot size to 5000 square ft. It was well hidden even when I was looking for it after it was called to my attention. This would open the door to rampant tear downs and small new subdivisions in Sequoyah Hills and some other neighborhoods. You would make this more financially attractive thus destroying the beauty and consistency of neighborhoods and take away our ability to oppose it. Part of the recoding seems to be against maintaining the integrity of existing neighborhoods. I am told it would make it easier for BZA and MPC reducing variances, etc. One size cannot fit all and you are paid to do these jobs by we, the taxpayers. Please reconsider this. I failed also to object to unlimited heights on the Scenic Hwy, Kingston Pike. I believe the current standard is adequate and we do not want a tunnel down the pike like Cumberland Ave. What you done there is a tragic mistake not only visually, but making negotiating traffic nearly impossible. I hate to think of ambulances trying to get in after struggling recently to get to an appointment at Ft. Sanders! Thanks for extending the comment period.
Staff Reply:

Downtown Residential Uses

Hello,Thank you for your effort.I am concerned that the proposed code seems to totally override existing residential uses downtown.Section 5.2.B. of the code states that multi-family dwellings are allowed only in the DK-B subdistrict of downtown?? Am I missing something? There is multi-family dwelling all over the downtown area. (Very little housing exists in DK-B, incidentally.) Encouraging people to live downtown has been a cornerstone of economic development for the past two decades. It's a key of how creative people and academics choose to relocate to Knoxville. What happens to the hundreds of families who live in proposed DK-W, DK-G, and DK-H sub-districts? I am a resident just north of downtown in The Mews Development on Magnolia, where I live with my husband and toddler. In the current plan, our development will be zoned DK-W. (Search 110 W Magnolia.) Prior to moving here, my husband and I lived for 10 years in a mixed-use development on Summit Hill drive--now proposed as DK-G. I'm just really confused. Thanks for any clarification you can share.
Staff Reply:
The wording of this provision of the draft zoning code update is a bit confusing. The intent was to limit single use residential buildings to certain sub-districts of the downtown, requiring mixed use (residential and commercial, etc) in all other sub-districts. There has been a good bit of discussion with regard to restricting single use residential buildings in any area of downtown, and the standards for this likely will change in the next draft. At any rate, the wording will be clearer!

Comments On Recode 2 From City Of Knoxville Tree Board

The Knoxville Tree Board has had an opportunity to review the second draft of Recode Knoxville and we appreciate your incorporating some of our past comments in the redraft. Below are the comments that the Tree Board is providing on the second draft. The Tree Board looks forward to working with you on incorporating these comments as Recode moves forward. We have also had an opportunity to review the technical comments provided by Knoxville's Urban Forester and fully support these comments.City of Knoxville Tree Board Comments for Recode Knoxville Draft 2 1. Article 12 still needs to have an individual within the green industry (Landscape architect, Certified arborist, horticulture specialist, etc.) review plans and insure compliance. This is a position that many communities such as Nashville and Chattanooga has in place. The purpose of having this position is not to ensure aesthetics of the landscaping but to minimize costs of having to replace improper landscaping, ensure the economic and community benefits of landscaping are achieved through the design, and prevent unnecessary costs to utilities and the City from improper designs. This position allows engineering and building inspectors to review items of their expertise and allow the landscaping being review by the right professional as well. 2. 12.2.D Alternative compliance measure should include measure to allow mitigation or compliance off site if determined significant hardships exist to get compliance. This is likely something that all parties would agree to and is not considered any additional regulation or reduction in regulation. Many communities allow developers to pay into a bank to have trees or landscaping installed in alternative locations to meet the public and environmental benefits of landscaping.3. Section 12.9 should have similar language as the Tree Protection ordinance in defining the Tree Preservation Zone. 4. 12.9 Focus of preservation should be about groups of trees and not individuals. See purpose of this entire zoning code. Article 1.2.G "Preserve open space and natural areas, reduce traffic congestion, utilize existing infrastructure and resources, and preserve quality of life". 5. 12.9.B should allow for 100% of the screening to be form existing trees if conserved. This would allow for groupings of trees to be preserved on sites, while still meeting the objectives. Need to stop thinking only about aesthetics. 6. 12.9 How do you ensure survivability if bonds are being removed from the Article. If landscape is not bonded, can bonding requirement be shifted over from other parts of a development to ensure compliance?7. Is there any reference to the Tree Protection Ordinance? This should occur as there are also requirements within a development that occur in the TPO that all need addressed and overlap this zoning code.
Staff Reply:

Strengthen Our Outdoor Lighting Ordinance

Knoxville and our surrounding neighbors would greatly benefit from a stronger lighting code. Light pollution obscures the natural beauty of our skies and wastes so much energy. Let's position our city as a leader, not only for our local regain but in the Southeast as well, protecting the night skies and reducing energy consumption by including stronger restrictions in the outdoor lighting section. As we continue to develop the Urban Wilderness, this facet of our zoning code is something we must consider.One of the best model ordinances is the Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code, a model ordinance proven to reduce light pollution and energy use. Help Knoxville lead our region in reducing lighting pollution! The Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code can be found here: http://www.flagstaffdarkskies.org/WPdev/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CBL-POLC-standard-v2.0.pdf
Staff Reply:

New Zoning Recode

Please consider the impact recoding the Knoxville new zoning code upon low income housing and families. A diverse Knoxville will be a healthy Knoxville for all. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I am very excited about, and completely support, this effort. Communication of over-arching goals needs to be stronger: Maybe you need a preface or rationale that isn't there. Rationale for ReCODE KnoxvileThe population in Knoxville and Knox County is projected to grow by 30% in the next 20 years: does this mean 30% more sprawl? 30% more roads? Knoxville needs to have new ways of accommodating growth, with more diverse residential and housing options. Current zoning codes are outdated! Right now in a neighborhood center such as Fountain City or Bearden, a four story mixed use building with a ground floor commercial use, such as a restaurant or hair salon, and upper level condos is against the current zoning codes. The big change in ReCODE Knoxville is to allow "mixed use" buildings (with commercial tenants and residential units) on specific "nodes" or "corridors" in existing Knoxville neighborhoods.ReCODE Knoxville also allows for a much greater diversity of residential and housing options: mixed use commercial and residential zones in exisiting neighborhood centers, smaller minimum lot sizes in some areas, accessory units (granny flat, loft rental) in some areas, and more flexibility in set-back and encroachment requirements for some areas. Explain why form based codes are a good idea? COMMENTS ON THE PUBLIC DRAFTPage 1-1 Purpose:ADD: "Provide for a greater diversity of residential / housing options"Page 5-1 C-N: Neighborhood Commercial Zoning DistrictCould you call this C-N: NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL MIXED USE ZONING DISTRICT? (or even MU-N: Mixed Use Neighborhood Zoning District). "Commercial" is a single-use concept, with subset definitions, from the 1950's zoning approach. Mixed use is the BIG MESSAGE, C-G: General Commercial Zoning DistrictCould you call this C-G: GENERAL COMMERCIAL MIXED USE ZONING DISTRICT? (or even MU-G: Mixed Use General Zoning District) "Commercial" is a single-use concept, with subset definitions, from the 1950's zoning approach. Mixed use is the BIG MESSAGE, Page 5-13 MaterialsThis is highly problematic. I think other architects will weigh in on this, The majority of new structures are based on panel systems, with insulated aluminun panels, terracotta, innovative cement-based materials, innovative synthetic materials. Are these "metal sidings? exposed aggregate / concrete / Plastic .Review process:I have been a member of the Downtown Review Board and feel that the workshops and approval process has resulted in a flexible approach to interpreting basic standards and in improving the quality of permanent new structures in our downtown.I support MPC Staff Review for ReCODE Knoxville . However, I believe that the staff should be empowered to refer some decisions to a "Mixed Use Review Board". Further, ALL projects that exceed $4,000,000 or 4 stories for neighborhoods or commercial centers (C-N / MU-N or C-G / MU-G) should be mandated to present to a "Knoxville Mixed Use Review Board"---This is NOT the Downtown Review Board, but similar. Based on my experience on the Downtown Review Board, this will result in better projects. Any perceived "delay" because of the time needed for these reviews should be understood in the context of approving new construction that might easily last for the next 30-50 years. Another few months for review insures good decisions for the long term. There is so much detail in the proposal, it is hard for the average citizen to understand the big picture and the implication of all the detailsSPECIFIC SITESKingston Pike corridor in BeardenThe "anchors" of the Kingston Pike corridor in Bearden, Western Plaza and the intersection with Northshore, should remain as CG-3.The area south of Kingston Pike (Ashes Wine, Krogers, Aldi's, Talbotts, Buddy's BBQ, etc, should remain as CG-3The area north of Kingston Pike between the "nodes" of Western Plaza and Northshore, should be CG-2. These properties about low scale development along Sutherland Avenue. Most of Sutherland Avenue is now CG-2, and this area should be as well.
Staff Reply:

Accessory Dwelling Units

I would encourage you all to share more information on the recode site about the future issues we are facing. With independent studies about likely population growth of our City (not the county) if we assume the status quo. Make sure a majority of the people agree there is a problem before you ask us to approve your solution. Many of the proposed solutions will promote increased density that is is apparent but we should not assume that is a goal of the residents of this city.My immediate issue is with ADU. If allowed they should not be allowed without the owner living on the property. If that is not enforceable then they should not be allowed.
Staff Reply:

Excessive Bureaucracy

I wish to address the vague terms used throughout the draft and the authority of MPC to decide on a case by case basis how these restriction apply. Modern technology can measure noise, light, and other environmental conditions with precision. Throughout the draft, noise, glare, vibration, and other environmental conditions are restricted based on "what is detectable by normal senses outside the lot or unit." Knoxville should follow most modern cities by measuring noise limits using decibels and light limits measured by lumens or foot-candles. Another issue is the micromanagement of building design. Throughout the draft, commercial and residential building are restricted by: building materials permitted, location of primary entrance, minimum windows required, garage location, and much more. Residents located in a Historic Overlay are hampered by the bureaucracy of a government board instead of a community association. Great historic cities such as Charleston, SC and Savanna, GA are sustained by community associations using deed restrictions, not government bureaucracy. Primary entrances for residents in mixed use zones must face the primary street while parking must be located in the rear of the building. Property owners should have the option of locating entrances to satisfy tenants desires. Carrying groceries from a back parking lot to a front entrance can be a struggle for residents, especially during severe weather. A minimum amount of transparency (windows) is required on front facade of buildings. This conflicts with energy conservations standards which recommends window size be based on building orientation to the sun. Some businesses may desire an interior view much different from the outside.In closing, our codes need updating, but more time for public vetting would ensure the system will work. Spending a year to draft over 200 pages behind closed doors and expecting the public to review it in a few weeks is unreasonable.
Staff Reply:

Tazewell Pike-beverly Station Neighbohood Draft 2 Comments

These comments are submitted regarding the second draft of Recode Knoxville. Please refer to the attached letter.We agree totally with the comments and recommendations of the Community Forum and are providing an additional copy of those as well.Sincerely,Jamie Rowe
Staff Reply:

Recode And Successful Transit

Amy and Gerald,Please see the attached comments regarding the current Recode proposal, and my thoughts on its potential impact on successful transit service in Knoxville. Let me know of any questions.Thanks very much-Belinda Woodiel-BrillDirector of Communications and Service Development,Knoxville Area Transit
Staff Reply:

Fountain City Town Hall Letter Re: Recode

Good morning,Please find attached a letter on behalf of Fountain City Town Hall regarding ReCode Knoxville. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and as always for the work you do on behalf of the Knoxville community. Kelly EllenburgBoard Chair, Fountain City Town Hall
Staff Reply:

Loss Of Open Space Preservation District (os-1) In Recode

It appears OS-1 is being dropped from ReCode. I think that means we are losing a valuable type of zoning that conserves cultural landscapes and archaeological sites. OS-1 is notably different from OS-2 and what it's being replaced with (OS). While OS-1 so far primarily been applied to golf courses and interstate medians, it has a lot of potential that someone not coming from a historic preservation / natural resources conservation perspective would miss. It is not as restrictive as a "Natural Area" and not limited to parcels of 1 acre or more. It is also appropriate for and compatible with low-density residential parcels that intersect the hilltop protection overlay, such as the home I live at on Chestnut Ridge. Current definition from Municode - note item 5 in bold (my emphasis added):This open space preservation district is established to provide areas in which the principal use of land is devoted to the preservation and protection of recreational and conservation open space. The district is intended to preserve, and enhance land as permanent open space that contributes to the creation of a network of lands that provide safe and enjoyable areas and routes for non-intensive recreational opportunities, is protective of natural resources, and is compatible with surrounding land uses. The district is consistent with and intended to implement the Park, Public Institutional, Open Space and Environmental Protection land use classifications of the Knoxville - Knox County General Plan 2033 , or its successor documents.B. Permitted principal and accessory uses and structures. The following uses shall be permitted in the OS-1 (open space preservation) district:1.Horticulture, floriculture, forests and woods, community gardens.2.Houses.3.Recreational open space, such as parks, playgrounds, golf courses and country clubs, cycling, hiking and equestrian trails, parkways, hunting preserves, camps and resorts, fishing lakes, and greenway and blueway corridors.4.Conservation open space, such as watershed protection areas, public water supply points, lakes and reservoirs, wildlife management areas, and significant natural areas.5.Historic and archeological sites.6.Accessory buildings, structures and uses.7.Wireless communications facilities, subject to the provisions of article V, section 20.OS-1 is entirely appropriate for cemeteries and other archaeological sites. The new "OS" drops out recognition of the value of landscape conservation and archaeological sites.The new "OS" zone combines the "old" OS-2 primarily intended for parks (and incompatible with housing, and indifferent to archeological sites or cultural and scenic landscape values):The OS Parks and Open Space Zoning District is intended to create, preserve, and enhance public open space to meet the passive and active park and recreational needs of the City. The OS District provides for both improved and unimproved park and recreation lands. Facilities may include, but are not limited to, structures or other active, playoriented facilities such as playgrounds, recreational fields, ball-fields, sport courts, and dog parks, cultural facilities such as museums and libraries, and associated accessory facilities such as recreation and community centers, park administrative offices, and restroom facilities.Source: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft2/chapters/Article%207-Special%20Purpose%20Districts.pdfYou can see below there is an improvement where "OS" has been applied to Cemeteries in Park City (incidentally, some cemeteries such as Shieldstown Cemetery at 1933 Linden Ave, Stephens Cemetery at 1405 McCalla, Vance Cemetery on Bethel, Good Citizens Cemetery at 830 Addison, ad Eastport Cemetery off Wilder Pl on Fuller have been forgotten (Eastport is not marked in KGIS Parks layer, although an "underground railroad site" at 1021 Fuller is. I can individually comment on those using the "feedback" utility on those specific parcels (I in fact already commented on the Shieldstown lot) but it will take quite a lot of work and I thought it would be easier just to talk to you about these parcels.It's possible to look at the "Parks" map on KGIS to find all these hidden parcels / historic sites. It looks like Temple Beth-El cemetery at Linden and Winona has both H1 and OS zoning, but the underground railroad site at 1021 Fuller only has H1. Even with the new OS zoning, as currently defined its utility seems centered on parks and ball fields. It drops out the earlier language and uses from OS-1 concerning landscape and natural area and archaeological site preservation. While it goes without saying a cemetery is not a ball field, the new zoning code should not try to merge these two distinct land uses (see below - Dr. Walter P Hardy Park merged with Mt Calvary Cemetery, Bethel Civil War Cemetery, Potters Field Cemetery, and Odd Fellows Cemetery.I'd like to get your thoughts on this and possibly run it by Carol Evans with Legacy Parks and maybe other environmental conservation oriented civic groups.I have submitted feedback on my own home (zoned RN2 in recode and intersecting the hilltop protection overlay) the following comment:Parcel is in the hilltop protection overlay should be zoned OS-1 under the existing code, "The district is intended to preserve, and enhance land as permanent open space that contributes to the creation of a network of lands that provide safe and enjoyable areas and routes for non-intensive recreational opportunities, is protective of natural resources, and is compatible with surrounding land uses. " An OS-1 equivalent should be made available to conserve natural resources in the hilltop protection overlay while also permitting existing uses and compatible uses as permitted under existing OS-1.This also relates to Chestnut Ridge's history as "Chestnut View Park," important to African American heritage, and to the scenic values of our forested ridgetops.I feel this is something Park City Preservation Alliance can formally offer a position on. Ideally, a join statement with other conservation-oriented groups could be formulated. However, I wanted to run these initial ideas by you as I feel there is a strong connection between OS-1 and cultural resources and landscape values that are connected to historic preservation. I believe it would be a mistake to merge "OS-2" focused on recreation and "OS-1" that has the potential to reflect landscape, cultural resource, and historic preservation values. OS-1 has not been used to its full potential; the full potential will be lost if it is merged with OS-2 as "OS" in ReCode.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville Comments And A Request For More Debate

Mr. Green,Attached please find follow-up comments to your August 24th meeting with members of Fountain City community organizations and a request for more debate on Recode Knoxville. We on Gibbs Drive and others throughout the Fountain City community look forward to working with MPC staff and city representatives on producing the best possible zoning ordinances for Knoxville's future.Sincerely,Gibbs Drive Historic Neighborhood Association
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

I am concerned with the speed that this is moving forward and I have not been able to attend any meetings. I am opposed to in the proposed code is the idea of removing planned zones and allowing developers to negotiate with MPC staff without a public process. This should not be allowed to happen. This feels like it is being railroaded through without enough discussion or explanation to the public.
Staff Reply:

Recode Concerns

I am concerned with the speed that this is moving forward. Due to traveling for work, I have not been able to attend any meetings but based on what I have read, I think it needs further discussion and input. Some specific areas of concern I have include: removing the requirement to comply with long range and other plans, especially removing the Hillside plan requirements from zones other than residential. There are many areas in the city where slope is a concern on industrial and commercial sites and I am opposed to removing the Hillside plan from these zones. Also, it should not be up to legislative discretion as to whether or not to comply with the plans. This will cause a great deal of difficulty for anyone trying to appeal a zoning or Use on Review in court. Another area of concern is accessory units - these should be required for either the main home or the accessory unit to be owner-occupied. While I am supportive of the idea, I believe it is a necessity that the person renting out the accessory building be living on the property. Another area I am opposed to in the proposed new code is the idea of removing planned zones and allowing developers to negotiate with MPC staff without a public process. This should not be allowed to happen.
Staff Reply:

Draft 2.0 Of Knoxville's Proposed Zoning Code

September 13, 2018Dear City Council Members:We are writing on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC), an organization with more than 200 members. Our comments address Draft 2.0 of the proposed zoning code, using the League's adopted principles and positions as their basis. We don't address Draft 1 of the zoning map, other than to say that technically it is well-done and easy to use. LWVKKC supports this much-needed zoning code update, with its streamlined reorganization and concise presentation of complex material. The League also supports two key goals implicit in the proposed code: (1) addressing the growing need for affordable housing in Knoxville, and (2) encouraging less reliance on personal vehicles for mobility.Nevertheless, LWVKKC has two significant concerns with the proposed code: (1) Although affordable housing and vibrant, stable neighborhoods are supposedly part of the vision for Knoxville, some measures in the proposed code - unless revised - may work against that vision. (2) In an effort to achieve greater administrative efficiency, short shrift is being given to citizen's right to know about and comment on land use decisions that affect them.Our specific comments are summarized below. Detailed versions of these comments are attached, organized by the articles in which they occur. ______________________________Hillside Protection Overlay. The HP Overlay should apply to all types of districts - residential and non-residential - as it did in the 2011 Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan adopted by City Council. Infill Housing Overlay. To foster affordable, compatible housing in older neighborhoods scattered around the city, we should keep the Infill Housing overlay.Accessory Dwelling Units. To add to the stock of affordable housing in Knoxville while minimizing disruption of stable neighborhoods, ADUs should have two restrictions: (1) their use as short-term rentals should be prohibited, and (2) in EN, RN-1, and RN-2 neighborhoods, they should be limited to owner-occupied properties. Required Notice of Public Hearings and Meetings. Required notice of a public hearing/meeting should include information on how to submit written comments.Administrative Modifications. The Zoning Administrator should send notice of a request for an administrative modification to abutting and adjacent property owners, allowing them 10 business days to comment before the decision is made. Immediately after the decision is reached, they should be advised of (a) the decision made, and (b) their right to appeal it. Planned Developments. Neighborhood associations, business associations, potentially affected property owners, and other members of the public should get notice of the proposed project early in the process, as soon as a concept plan has been developed. Their opportunity for comment should not be limited to the preliminary plan stage. They also should get notice of the staff review for "substantial compliance" prior to MPC's review and approval of the final plan. __________________________While still a work in progress, the proposed code is an important step forward. Thank you for all your effort on this monumental task.Sincerely,Linda MaccabePresident, LWVKKCMary EnglishLand Use and Environment Chair, LWVKKC
Staff Reply:

Community Forum's Response To Recode Knoxville, Draft 2, 9-13-18

Community Forum is an organization with representatives from many City of Knoxville and Knox County neighborhoods.On May 10, 2018, Community Forum submitted its initial response to the First Draft of Recode Knoxville. It included material on 13 topics. On May 17, 2018, we submitted additional material on our Topic # 14 regarding the Office Zoning District. On August 14, 2018, Community Forum submitted a Response regarding standards for Approval of Rezoning in Article 15. That topic is also covered in this response. See Topic 18.Attached is Community Forum's September 13, 2018, response to the Second Draft of Recode Knoxville.Part 1: Includes material on 11 New Topics, numbered 15-25. Part 2: Includes material to Update the 14 topics, numbered 1-14, covered in our May 10 and May 17, 2018, responses to the First Draft.While we have not repeated in Part 2 everything previously submitted, we wish to call to your attention once again these very important issues which have largely not been addressed in the Second Draft. An example is the proposed entirely new concept of Planned Development and the process for using it. In our May 10 comments, we devoted 9 pages to this subject, and no changes have been made since the First Draft, and there has been no public discussion of it that we are aware of. We have received no response on this topic or on many others.For your convenience we have also attached a Compilation of our previous submissions.We wish to reiterate our earlier stated position regarding our support of Recode Knoxville. We have attended many public meetings, City Council workshops, and Stakeholder Committee meetings. Our members have talked with many members of the community, especially in our own neighborhoods, but also in others. We are doing our best to inform others about what is being proposed and what it means for our community. We are urging that others become engaged in the process. Our objective remains the same: to work with others to improve the proposed Ordinance, by comparing it to our existing Ordinance, and examining the impact proposed changes will have on our neighborhoods.We would like to discuss at your convenience, these issues as well as some non-policy, technical issues which we believe are also very important. It would be much more efficient to attempt to resolve any differences of opinion on these issues before the Third Draft is issued, and rather than having to try to do it when the entire proposed Ordinance comes before MPC and City Council in the future.Sincerely,Ms. Sue Mauer, ChairpersonLarry Silverstein, Secretary-Treasurer
Staff Reply:

16.2 Nonconforming Use, D. Discontinuation And Abandoment

D. Discontinuation or Abandonment If a nonconforming use is discontinued for a continuous period of six* months**, the nonconforming use terminates automatically. Any subsequent use of such land or structure must comply with all regulations of the zoning district in which the structure or land is located. * strike "six" and insert "18"insert ", and is not actively marketed,"Add definition for "actively marketed" to 2.3 Definitions sections:Property is marketed continuously online through professional multiple listing services (example, Realtor.com, FlexMLS, Knoxville Area Associaton of Realtors Commercial Information Exchange, LoopNet, Costar, Zillow, etc) and/or signage indicating that property is for sale or lease.
Staff Reply:
MPC and City staff will work with our consultants to make the changes noted to the non-conforming use section and the addition of a definition for "actively marketed".

Recode

This is way too complicated. The sheer length of the Design Standards alone will drive away development and prolong the ability of staff to make timely decisions.I find it hard to believe that we're going to have Design Standards for single-family housing and fences now. The 34 pages of Design Standards has already run off a potential developer for a small M-F project in an O-1 zone. This is not realistic and the design standards being used work in high-density, heavily populated urban environments, where the additional cost can be justified by higher prices and rents, but not in this market. Nice job Knoxville...nothing brings a booming economic expansion to a grinding halt like new regulations...and right now, it is just painting a picture of uncertainty. No one can move forward with purchases for new developments, because they're unsure of what they may get hit with, when it comes time to develop the property.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I heard that the developers will fight back about design standards. Please hold strong because the city needs to be more beautiful to match the surrounding hills and valleys. I encourage trees and landscaping at all new projects, less parking and parking in the BACK of buildings, buffers between buildings and between roads and buildings or parking, open spaces in all zones, and required landscaping.I believe affordable housing is important so I encourage duplexes in residential zones. ADUs should be allowed with proper setbacks and design standards. Vinyl should be allowed because it is a cheaper material. I support re-use of existing buildings including allowing offices in residential homes and other mixed-uses. I'm very glad to see the hillside/ridgetop included in this draft and want it kept and perhaps strengthened. I want sidewalks required in new developments. I want alternative transportation encouraged because I cannot currently walk easily to any store, especially on Chapman Highway. I want commercial zoning on the main arteries in Knoxville to have design standards that will increase the aesthetics of the city. We have way too many cheap looking strip malls and individual stores with large parking lots that are seldom used.I am concerned about the variance and approval process. It looks like the Zoning Administrator has a lot of power to make final decisions. I want community and neighborhood input to be seriously considered when changes are needed to this new zoning. I heard that massage services were forced out of my neighborhood years ago and I think that type of service should be allowed. For my Lake Forest neighborhood, I don't understand why the minimum lot size is suggested to be increased to 10,000. I like our small lots. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Adus

I'm concerned about maintaining the existing character of residential neighborhoods. I'm particularly concerned about detached ADUs. I think the requirements for detached ADUs should be much stricter than those for attached or incorporated ADUs. The minimum lot size should be triple or 4 times as large. I also think the maximum dwelling size proposed should be smaller than 1000 sq ft and the maximum number of bedrooms allowed should be one or two rather than three. A minimum of one additional dedicated parking space should also be required.I understand the need for additional affordable housing in the city, I think that existing ADUs should be grandfathered as they are more likely to be used for affordable housing. New construction of detached ADUs is less likely to become affordable housing and more likely to become short term rentals. This would change the character of the neighborhood and might reduce the property values of adjacent properties. More research Is needed to determine if this has happened in other cities before these are allowed.Many older neighborhoods have homes set further back on the property. I think over time these older homes will be torn down and rebuilt closer to the front of the property to accommodate construction of an ADU in the back. Although some of these ADUs might become affordable housing and some will house family members, many will become short term rentals.Changing the setback and additional ADUs will change the existing character of the neighborhood.Increased density can be achieved through other means, such as through mixed used.
Staff Reply:

Comments

p. 5-2 C. #1 run-on sentence (FYI)general question: Can we require sidewalks for new and/or redesigned commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings?p. 5-24 D. 5. b. "period of up to one year" Why do they need a whole year? If the problem is the wrong season or bad weather for planting or perhaps the plants aren't available, having up to one year is excessive. I believe six months is adequate, which roughly equates to two seasons. I was imagining if I lived across the street from the new construction that had a whole year to put up vegetation buffers, and I waited through all the seasons without any forward progress. p. 8.8 8.5 C. Is it customary to use the 500-year flood levels as the standard for how new construction might contribute to flooding now? Why not use a more recent standard, such as 100-year? p. 9-3 A. 3. "Animal care facilities must be located?" The sentence needs to be corrected.p. 10-6 G. Since you are referring to a city code, you may want to keep the same language found in the code (domesticated chickens, henhouse, chicken pen). Personally, I call them "backyard chickens" and a "coop."
Staff Reply:

Concern About Adus In Sequoyah

I am very concerned about the ADU and duplex provisions in the recode project relative to the Sequoyah Hills area where I live. I believe that these provisions will in the long term have a substantial negative effect on the character of the neighborhood and associated reduced property values. On-street parking increase is very negative and a special concern. I support the Sequoyah-Kingston Pike Neighborhood Association position on the recode in our area.thank you.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville 2nd Draft

I have reviewed the 2nd draft of recode Knoxville and think that there is a need to bring a couple of technical issues to the forefront. These are specific technical issues that I have identified and may cause issues during the regulatory phase for both those who have to review the policy and those implementing the policy on their projects. I understand that according to the “Policy Issues” document that it is proposed not to change or increase any more landscaping requirements, but these items listed below should be simple technical items that need addressed to make the code work.The following are items for amendment in Article 12. Landscape Public Draft 2.0 that should be considered.12.3.A.3 The use of species native or naturalized is required. Drought tolerant species are encouraged. I would suggest that this reads “The use of native and drought tolerant species are encouraged.” Invasive species are addressed in the following line and the recommended species list has trees that are not native but are also considered non-invasive. By keeping the line as is, we eliminate many of the plants on the recommended species list and move towards more difficult regulatory policy. “Naturalized” species in the green industry and in ecology tends to have more of an “invasive” meaning (such as the Bradford pear) and should be eliminated. This should place emphasis on native but still allowing those non-invasive exotics to be used in tough environmental conditions.12.3.B.2 No plantings may be installed to impede waterflow. This doesn’t make sense and I don’t know where to begin. The main reason to have landscaping is for water quality and quantity control. I read this and it seems to be counterintuitive to the purpose of landscaping code. If a stormwater concern, maybe best to be addressed in a stormwater regulation and probably already is. My recommendation would be to remove.12.4.A Need to delete the word “diameter.” This section is strictly discussing caliper which is a measurement of diameter and those in the landscape industry should understand. The last part of the section “ANSI accredited Horticultural Standards” should read “American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1)”12.9.C.1 Within the drip line of any protected tree, there may be no cut or fill over a four inch depth unless a qualified arborist or forester has evaluated and approved the disturbance. This sentence disqualifies the entire section of “Preservation”. If 4 inches is graded or filled the tree dies. You may be able to disturb about 20% depending on the species, health, etc. but allowing up to 4 inches of either grade or fill is completely off from any literature or peer-reviewed research. First, we need to define the “Tree Protection Zone” of a tree (see next comment). The sentence should read “Within the tree protection zone of a tree, there may be no cut or fill material unless a Certified Arborist has evaluated and approved the disturbance will not impact the health of the tree. The term “forester” needs to be removed as it is a very general term without any professional credentials or experience to back up an understanding of tree preservation.12.9.C.2….and no closer than 6 feet from the trunk or one-half of the drip line, whichever is greater. This again is not accurate and not enough to preserve a tree. This is very vague and cannot work across all trees of different sizes and species. I good analogy would be requiring all people to run an 8 minute mile in order to keep their driver license. It just does not make sense. I would delete this phrase and define the “Tree Protection Zone” in a separate section prior to 12.9.C.1.12.9.C (section needs added) Tree Preservation includes the preservation of the trees root system within the Tree Protection Zone. (this can be defined in definitions or as follow). The Tree Protection Zone is determined by measuring 1 foot in radius away from the trunk of the tree for every inch in diameter at 4.5 feet in height. No more than 10% of the Tree Protection Zone may be disturbed with fill or grading work. Any impervious area within the existing Tree Protection Zone does not need to be included in preservation measures.Also, I met with the Tree Board and am working on pulling together a list of comments and will forward them as soon as they are complete. Most are not technical issues, but some may overlap the above and others are in addition. Please let me know if there are any questions.Kasey KrouseUrban ForesterCity of Knoxville, TN
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

We are the Owners of Central Filling Station - the existing food truck park on N Central. We recently had a chance to review the second draft of the ordinance, specifically the portion regulating "Food Truck Parks" - Article 9.3 (L). As written, there are several provisions in direct conflict with our existing operations and the new requirements are considerably different from MPC's previous draft of an ordinance for a "Mobile Food Unit Park", which guided the development and approval of our project last year.We are concerned not only for our existing business, but also the ability for future "non-conforming" businesses to have a path to compliance. We have attended several of the public meetings about ReCode, so we're up to speed on the process.Is someone from MPC able to meet with us to discuss our concerns?
Staff Reply:

Recode - Food Truck Parks

We recently had a chance to review the second draft of the ordinance, specifically the portion regulating "Food Truck Parks" - Article 9.3 (L). As written, there are several provisions in direct conflict with our existing operations and the new requirements are considerably different from MPC's previous draft of an ordinance for a "Mobile Food Unit Park", which guided the development and approval of our project last year.We are concerned not only for our existing business, but also the ability for future "non-conforming" businesses to have a path to compliance. We have attended several of the public meetings about ReCode, so we're up to speed on the process.
Staff Reply:

Please Give More Time...

My concern is that there are still many city residents that are just not aware of Recode and how it will impact them when the changes are finally made. I respectfully ask that instead of trying to push it thru in December, that City Council make the wrap up date sometime in March or April of 2019. That gives City residents more time to get involved and give input. I also ask that the Infill Design Guidelines be kept to help preserve the character of our fragile older neighborhoods.
Staff Reply:

Recode

I do not understand the need for some of these drastic changes and especially the need to push it though at full speed. I fear many do not yet know about it or do not understand it. I have lived in Sequoyah Hills for 50 years and am a longtime active member of the Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Association. Over the years we have fought off many threats to the neighborhood at great expense of time and money. These new codes will be very destructive to R1 neighborhoods. I can't believe anyone thinks it would be good to be like Green Hills in Nashville with tear downs rampant and new little subdivisions on every lot. The traffic there is unbearable. Knoxville is very affordable comparatively and we are surrounded by counties with low populations. Is this all about money?? My husband and I fully support the letter sent to you from KPSHA. Specifically,I don't support ADUs and especially if the principal residence is not owner occupied and no provision for off street parking( 1 space, per BR in ADU). Duplexes should not be allowed in R1 neighborhoods. I have been told the minimum lot size would be changed to 5000 sq ft. Surely, that can't be true. I do not feel you have the interests of neighborhoods and their citizens at heart. Please reconsider some of these things and stop the rush to change.
Staff Reply:

Riverscape & Stream Buffers

Love the inclusion of Riverscape Standards and Stream Buffers in the South Waterfront (SW) district. Since the Tennessee River is such an important natural asset to our community, wouldn't it make sense to apply similar standards for all riverscape and streams in the City? Most streams have unfortunately already been developed, but applying these type of standards across the City would provide a means of protecting our waterways during future development/redevelopment, and a vision for caring for our natural resources. It is also just a smart development practice from an aesthetic standpoint to allow public access to river frontage instead of cutting people off with streets and buildings.
Staff Reply:

Affordable Housing

We need more affordable housing in Knoxville not less. Someone who thinks that we need less is truly out of touch.
Staff Reply:

Conflict/questions

1. Conflict: Table 10-1, Deck says "Prohibited in front yard", but just above says "Max of 5' into front setback, and the table shows Y(permitted) in Front Setback. Aren't these in conflict?2.Question: Table 10-1, how are steps leading up to a porch or stoop classified? Are they a portion of the stoop or porch, or in addition to it? The existing zoning code calls these out specifically.3. Question: Table 10-1, as defined in the code, a Stoop and an Unenclosed Porch are essentially the same thing when covered. Why are the requirements for a stoop different? Why not combine the two sections into Unenclosed Porch / Stoop, or make the requirements match?4. Section 2.4.B 1&2 read "...line/area on a lot, measured parallel from...". Would be clearer if they said "...line/area on a lot, parallel to the...." Or it could read "line/area on a lot, parallel and offset from the..." to indicate that it is setback from the lot line.
Staff Reply:

Typos

Check 10-14 in the Draft 2.0, Section Z.2 c & d for typos. See below...c. Maximum height is the total height of the turbine system as measured from the base of the tower to the top. For [horizontal] axis turbines, the maximum vertical height of the turbine blades is measured as the length of a prop at maximum vertical rotation.d. No portion of exposed turbine blades (vertical [axis] wind turbine) may be within 20 feet of the ground. Unexposed turbine blades (horizontal [axis] wind turbine) may be within ten feet of the ground.
Staff Reply:

Du/ac

DU/Ac Should be defined in the ordinance
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

On the Recode handout of the zoning overview for neighborhood B. Commercial Districts (9.5% of land use) 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 as A. Residential District even though the % of land use is not equal. If listed under commercial - this will be abused & is questionable in this code. This comment has been made several times in public meetings. Homeowner living in SW-1
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I would like to see lower minimum lot sizes across the residential zones to increase density & affordability; I would also like to see the number of family units allowed in each zone increased to allow more density & affordability. I would specifically like to see the RN-1 lot size NOT increased to 10,000 ft. I'm in favor of the mixed-use proposals.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Thank you for hosting the event in Burlington & providing opportunity for input. I live in Holston Hills & what I see in version 2/draft 2 on ridgetop protection is not developed enough. We need to take advantage of the canopy & habitat of these ridges. As development intensifies this will be even more important.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for OLPNA
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

How can putting more unity in small spaces be accommodated? i.e. home villages
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville - Lighting Ordinance

I'm writing because of your role on the Recode Knoxville Advisory Committee. Have you looked up in the night sky lately and noticed how few stars are visible? Light pollution obscures the natural beauty of our skies and wastes so much energy. Knoxville's initiative to redo the zoning code is the perfect opportunity to create zoning restrictions that position us as a leader in protecting the night skies and saving energy. As we continue to develop the Urban Wilderness, this facet of our zoning code is something we must consider.Will you propose to the Advisory Committee, City leaders, and the City Council that Knoxville's new zoning include a section based on the Pattern Outdoor Lighting Code (POLC), helping Knoxville to lead our region in reducing lighting pollution?Thanks for your time. I look forward to your response!
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:

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:

How can putting more units in small space be accomodated? ie. home villages. How can affordable housing units be offered.
Staff Reply:

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for the OLPNA.
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:

Olp Diversity (5x5 Blocks)

Good morning,Thanks again for all you both are doing, just wanted to share a quick snapshot of my neighborhood, Oakwood-Lincoln Park.I walked a 5x5 Block of OLP, looking specifically at Housing Diversity. It's abundant (see attached pdf).Not including the 62 units of Oakwood Senior Center, there are 40+ small-scale multifamily units.I'm reminded of the Strong Town's Strength Test as it pertains to this 5x5 Block...3.) Imagine your favorite street in town didn't exist. Could it be built today if the construction had to follow your local rules?4.) Is an owner of a single family home able to get permission to add a small rental unit onto their property without any real hassle?7.) Are there neighborhoods where three generations of a family could reasonably find a place to live, all within walking distance of each other?Currently, the answer to these questions is YES.With the proposed zoning + map.. the answer is NO.It's not hard to determine what pricing & affordability would look like in my neighborhood if these existing units didn't exist... and it's easy to imagine what pricing & affordability in my neighborhood will look like if we're not allowed to create more of them in the future.I suspect that similar results will be found in a majority of other blocks, both in OLP and the other neighborhoods that have been covered in the single family only blanket.I know this is difficult, but we cannot afford to move backwards with our zoning if we intend to move our city forward.
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:

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:

Clarifications For Zoning Ordinance

I have some general feedback about Draft 2 that I want to share. 1.) I would like to see some basic community planner terminology added to the definitions list to make the document more readable for average citizens. Terms like corridor, node, overlay, and mixed-use development are not normal conversational terms and using them without defining them makes the document less accessible to the public.2.) I am also curious why CU and SW are their own special zones? This sets a precedent where each mixed-use development or corridor development would get a unique zone. I know one of the goals is to simplify the current ordinance and so I do not understand why these properties could not be zoned as SD (Special District) or something more generic like that. 3.) I hope the updated ordinance will make it easier for people to walk or use public transportation. I would love to see a change made to our current policies so that new bus stops are built with safety and dignity in mind. There are several bus stops in my neighborhood where people waiting to catch the bus must stand in a ditch. I would love to see new development built with public transportation and pedestrian infrastructure in mind. A covered waiting area that is handicap-accessible would make a big difference in the perception/attitudes around our public transportation system. 4.) I think the addition of the Institutional zone and the Hillside Protection overlay are two great additions to the current ordinance. They make the map easier to use and understand. Thank you for all of your hard work! I am excited to see the final product!
Staff Reply:

Attached Garage Setback In A Rn1 Zone

The section 3. b. below requires front-loaded garages to be setback from the front facade no less than four feet in a RN1 zone. I know of many houses that have garages in front of the front facade. I don't see the need for this requirement. Would the hundreds of houses that don't meet this requirement be grandfathered in the adoption language of the ordinance when adopted?3. Garagesa. Front-loaded attached garages are limited to 40% of the width of the front building line. Garage width is measure between garage doors; in the case of garages designed with multiple garage doors the distance is measure between the edges of the outmost doors.b. Attached garages with front facing garage door openings must be set back from the front façade of the structure no less than four feet.
Staff Reply:

Nonconforming Uses And Structures

First, I would like to say that I am in support of the effort to overhaul the City's zoning ordinance. And, I appreciate the effort that has gone into that process to this point. I appreciate the solicitation of public input on many levels. I think many of the changes being pursued are good. I do think there are some critical issues that are not getting the attention they disserve.The vast majority of the City is already developed and will be "grandfathered" under prior codes, meaning the requirements of the new code will not apply to most current uses and structures in the City, except to the extent the new code requires compliance at some point in the future. I believe that fact is underappreciated by just about everyone involved in this process. I believe the mechanisms by which grandfathered properties will be brought into compliance in the future needs much more discussion and consideration, including the following:1. The triggers in the proposed code for eliminating nonconformity are not clear enough. The concepts of "change of use," "abandonment," creation of a "new nonconformity," and "increase in the degree" of a nonconformity all need much better definition. 2. Almost everyone can agree on a preference for more greenspace, more trails, beautiful landscaping, wider roads, sidewalks everywhere, aesthetically pleasing facades, fewer signs and billboards, larger setbacks, etc. They are all desirable goals. But they have a very substantial cost. Imposing these requirements on properties that are not yet developed might be reasonable - at least those owners understand the costs before they make an investment decision. But, in the case of previously developed property (again, the vast majority of the property in the City is developed), the cost of compliance is being imposed upon them. I have heard no conversation in this process about the potential cost over a period of years of bringing nonconforming properties into compliance with the new code. Surely that cost will be in the billions of dollars. How could decisions like these be made without ever even considering the cost and how that cost should be allocated? I would urge a thorough evaluation of the cost implications, and an open dialogue about how they should be allocated within the community to achieve the desired change.3. Without careful consideration, the requirements of the new code may very well have significant impacts exactly opposite those intended. If the cost of compliance with the new code is excessive, owners of previously developed properties will work hard to avoid triggering those requirements. That will result in worn out properties remaining stagnant longer. The new code should allow owners to make incremental, reasonable, cost effective steps toward compliance. If full compliance is mandated, it will almost certainly result in less properties being improved, and very likely an overall lesser quality of commercial property inventory than would have resulted if the code were not revised.4. Historical patterns of development were very different from those envisioned by the proposed code. In most cases, making fundamental changes in parking, buffer zones, significant increases in landscaping, building setbacks and building orientation will be extremely difficult to change, and in some cases impossible without completely demolishing all of the existing improvements. The new code should explicitly accommodate those and similar realities, while incentivizing incremental movement toward the new requirements.Addressing these issues will require a significant amount of additional time and effort. I believe that failing to address them could be much more costly for our community.
Staff Reply:

Medical Dental Office

Why did medical/dental office get changed from P to S in C-N?
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P is for "Permitted use" and S is for "Special use", which is essentially equivalent to the current use on review process. Medical office was changed from permitted to special use in neighborhood commercial because it is currently not allowed at all in the C-1 zone. Some medical offices can be big operations that may not be appropriate for all neighborhood oriented locations.

Adus- Hot Topic

Hello, I attended the meeting last night and was saddened to see so many people asking questions in an aggressive and combative way. I think this is largely fear-based and would like to find out what we can do to allow property owners the freedom to have ADUs, even for personal use or for family, while addressing the (often overblown) concerns some have for "doubling the population density", etc. Is it possible to include restrictions such as "Main dwelling is owner occupied only", and also implement some parking restrictions so our narrow streets don't become congested. We're already dealing with several traffic issues as it is in Sequoyah Hills. Would these restrictions fall under the zoning that you are doing, or would that be something for another department? I know people are focusing on STRs, but I see ADUs as beneficial. It would allow someone to rent out a garage apartment to a grad-student or a young couple to help maintain an older home. While I'm not opposed to STRs, I think that that is an issue that should be discussed separately, as one doesn't automatically mean the other. This "fear of strangers" in our neighborhoods is a little ridiculous, but requiring "owner occupied" would help, because most people don't want to deal with strangers in their backyards, basements, etc. Thank you for all you're doing in helping Knoxville prepare for the future.
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R-! Changes

I am strongly against the proposed changes to the R-1 zoning. Especially as it relates to ADU's and "Design Facade Requirements". I built my home in a low density single family neighborhood because thats how I prefer to live. Allowing multiple dwellings on a single lot will double the density and congestion in my neighborhood with increased number of cars parked on the streets. It would turn the neighborhood into an Air B&B context with complete strangers coming and going at all times potentially effecting our safety. I thought the city was supposed to "provide safety and security". If the city wants to propose such radical changes it should be put to a public vote or referendum. Let the neighborhoods decide for themselves and not some government bureaucrat !
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C-g-3 District: Maximum Building Height

In Draft 2 of the code, the maximum building height for C-G-3 districts was changed to Unlimited. The Bearden Village Council has discussed this change and is strongly opposed to it. We request that you restore the 85' maximum shown in Draft 1. Virtually all of the commercial corridor through Bearden Village, from Western Plaza to Northshore Drive, is designated as C-G-3 in Draft 1 of the zoning map - a much larger concentration of C-G-3 zoning than anywhere else in the city. We think an 85' maximum building height will adequately accommodate dense development while retaining some of the current character of Bearden. If a taller project with special features comes along, the "planned development" approach described in the draft code remains an option. Mary EnglishPresidentThe Bearden Village Council
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Current Zoning Proposal Violates Of Fcc Ruling Prb-1

The current Knoxville zoning proposal in section 10.3 C.1 and C.2 regarding the regulation by municipal authorities of Amateur Radio antenna height and support structure height is in contravention of the Memorandum Opinion and Order in FCC PRB-1, issued 9/16/85. The legal cite is 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985) and it can be found on the FCC Web page:PRB - 1 (1985) (https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/amateur-radio-service/prb-1-1985)To summarize: FCC regulations have the force and effect of federal statutes and are binding on the states as well as agencies of local government, including local zoning authorities. These regulations contain three general requirements: 1) local zoning authorities may not prohibit Amateur Radio communications and 2) local zoning authorities must provide reasonable accommodation for Amateur Radio antenna requests; and 3) local land use regulations affecting Amateur Radio antenna facilities must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish a legitimate municipal purpose.Limiting an antenna support structure height based on the height of a building where the tower is located is in contravention to PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.Limiting an Amateur Radio antenna to a specific height above the roof of a building it is installed on is in contravention of PRB-1, as proposed in the Knoxville zoning document.The drafters of the proposed ordinance need to have some one from the city law office read and understand PRB-1. There have been numerous challenges brought in court versus municipalities that have been successfully decided in favor of Amateur Radio operators in the intervening years as a result. An example from 1987, where a municipality was successfully sued by a resident re: PRB-1 violation and not only won the right to erect his antenna system, was awarded $13,800 as plaintiff:Thernes vs. Lakeside Park-Consent Decree, Order and Final Judgement (http://www.qsl.net/k3qk/thernes2.html)Many municipalities have solved this by including language in zoning regulations that says antenna towers or support structures or antenna heights in residential must conform to FCC PRB-1 or have even adopted it as part of zoning regulations. 23 states have adopted PRB-1 laws so far - as have numerous local governments. A Bing or Google search for PRB-1 will bring up relevant information.
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville "housing"

I feel that a variety of types of housing is necessary to accommodate people, but consideration should be taken in where they are placed. For example, I would not want a duplex or apartment building next to my house.
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