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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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!

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.

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.

Medical Dental Office

Why did medical/dental office get changed from P to S in C-N?
Staff Reply:
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.

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".

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

(no Title)

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

(no Title)

Preservation for older neighborhoods is important to me for OLPNA
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)

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)

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:

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:

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:

Du/ac

DU/Ac Should be defined in the ordinance
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:

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:

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:

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:

Lack Of Affordable And Accessible Housing

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

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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 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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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 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:

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