Throughout the project, we’ll post questions and comments that have been submitted on comment cards collected at community meetings, sent via email or submitted via the website.

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Showing 51-100 comments of 106

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:

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:

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:

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:

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