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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Zoning

I am a property owner living in fountain city. My wife and I personally love the idea of being able to attach a handicap assessible unit to our garage to help our aging, disabled parents and friend. My father-in-law is getting to point where he can't walk anymore and our close friend is already wheelchair limited. Them living near friends and family is extremely important to all of us. That's why we hope the city council would not only consider but approve of the zoning that would make this possible.
Staff Reply:

More Use/map Comments

Today’s issue: The Use Matrix does not include Educational Facilities- primary or secondary or Government Office/Facility as uses allowed in the INST zone.  This is not consistent with the INST Purpose Statement or with the proposed zoning map. There is an easy fix: make a few more Ps on the use matrix in the INST column. On the other hand, some government facilities are more industrial. Most of the City public works facility is proposed as I-H (though some is I-G), as are the two KUB wastewater treatment plants and the City solid waste facility. The County Public Works facility on Baxter, the KUB shops on Middlebrook, and the KAT shops at Fifth and Jessamine are zoned I-G. I think these facilities should have industrial zoning, but for the sake of consistency, the TDOT facility at the Strawberry Plains Pike exit, the KUB water plant (Sandis Lane), the National Guard facility on Sutherland, and the County Parks shop at the end of Booth Street should be zoned similarly (I would suggest I-G). And there are probably a few more out there.And if we take this approach, the INST Purpose Statement should be revised to exclude these industrial institutions:  “The INST Institutional District is intended to accommodate federal, state, county, and municipal governmental operations with the exception of those operations that are industrial in nature, and campus institutional uses…”
Staff Reply:

Recode Fourh & Gill

Hello. I have lived in Knoxville for 8 years and in the 4th and Gill neighborhood for the last 6. I rent a house currently with my young family, and even though we don't own a house here, I still feel a part of the neighborhood community. I love the small close feeling I get living in this neighborhood, and it is definitely the best part of its charm. It's not just the architecture but the people who live inside it, and make it home. I know that if we recode our neighborhood to have more townhomes etc, we will loose our connectedness to the people we live around. I don't want that. My neighbors don't want that either. I have lived all around in my life, from metropolitan inner city to rural small towns and the suberbs. What we have here in this neighborhood and the surrounding Old North is unique, and should be preserved for future families and individuals. It keeps Knoxville feeling small while it grows, while still being connected to the city. We need more of this, not less. The breakdown of community itself has lead to many problems in cities around our country, and will continue here in Knoxville unless this is stopped. Please do NOT vote to recode our neighborhood!
Staff Reply:

Rv's And Trailers

My comment is in regard to trailers/RV's.The current code, Article V, Section 8 C, states that:"On each lot, a total of two (2) (one (1) from any two (2) of the subsections listed below) of the following vehicles may be parked or stored per household living on the premises, and said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not exceed forty-five (45) feet in length or nine (9) feet in width; and further provided that said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not be parked or stored for more than forty-eight (48) hours unless it is located behind the front yard building line:1.Recreational vehicle.2.Hauling trailer.3.Boat trailer."In the proposed code 11.12 B"Recreational vehicles must be located within the interior side yard behind the front building line or in the rear yard. If stored in the interior side or rear yard, the recreational vehicle must be located at least ten feet from any lot line and screened from view from any public right-of-way by a solid fence or wall. If the recreational vehicle is screened by an existing structure or landscape so that it is not visible from the public right-of-way, it is considered to meet these requirements. Temporary storage tents and tarps for recreational vehicles are not considered screening and do not meet these requirements."I have a few concerns about the new code:1. There appears to be no limit to the number, or size, of RV permitted, as long as it/they are properly screened from the public ROW. 2. What about trailers that do not meet the Recode definition of a RV? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, equipment trailers, etc.3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?
Staff Reply:

Recode Draft Oct

Main items that concern us the most in our neighborhood are1. ADUs in ALL residential zones and the sizes of ADUs allowed, as well as the fact that neither home ust be owner occupied. We've been told in meetings with MPC that people for and against ADUs are equally divided, but after talking with many (over 10) large neighborhood groups across the city- I have yet to find one neighborhood group in support of ADUs. Please let us know which neighborhoods like this idea and then let's see what kind of compromise could be reached. We think ADUs destroy the fabric of established neighborhoods, increasing the density and defeats the purpose you are trying to achieve. Homes will be more expensive with a second home on the property and it is doubtful those homes will be rented to the people who you are trying to help. In essence, with property values raised- the people will be forever renters. From our research ADUs tend to work better in walkable neighborhoods with reliable close transit. Neither one of those criteria are met in many of our neighborhoods. Also, by opening it up to ALL residential districts, you have nop idea how many ADUs will be built- we can't write an ordinance on "I don't think that many people will actually build an ADU"- which is what we have heard at at least 2 meetings. Additionally, most cities have quite a few restrictions regarding ADUS, they are limited to certain zones, and especially the largest size (1200 square feet) is a much smaller requirement in other cities.2. Home occupation definition-"any commercial activity carried out for economic gain..." and (10-9 P) the removal of standards and permitted and prohibited uses from existing ordinance.3. Removal and changes in wording in MANY definitions4. We were told that "RN-1 and RN-2 are EXACTLY alike except for lot size" but that isn't accurate. RN-1 for 2-family home -requirement of 15,000 sq ft in lot size and in RN-2 for 2-family home-requirement is 10,000 sq ft. In a lot of neighborhoods homes with 10,000 sq ft are being lumped together with 5,000 sq ft lots. By right, the 10,000 sq ft lot could be subdivided and then a second home plus 2 ADUs could be built and all four homes could be rentals with no requirement for homes to be owner occupied.submitted for Tazewell Pike-Beverly Station Neighborhood (presently R-1 NC-1 overlay)
Staff Reply:

Support For Adu's And More Multi-family Housing

Knoxville needs more affordable housing! I think there is a myth that multi-family housing units bring down property values (a racist/classist belief to begin with) and the assumption is people in expensive neighborhoods will somehow rise up if an apartment building or a duplex is too close to their fancy house. I live in a fancy neighborhood in the Rocky Hill area and I want other families to be able to afford to live here too and send their kids to our excellent elementary school. I support multi-family units in this area, I support ADU's, I support duplexes built on a single lot, I support allowing developers to use vinyl siding to lower costs. My $300,000 house has vinyl siding on three sides - it looks very nice it would be fine on the whole thing.When a multi-family unit was proposed a 2-3 years ago on Wallace there was backlash and complaints of how terrible the traffic would be. Those units went in and traffic is fine but those units are still outside the price range of most families. We need options.I am a homeowner and I want to live in a city that supports all citizens and provides opportunities for lower income families to have options. Give Knoxville more orange!
Staff Reply:

Draft 3

Can a variance apply to definitions?Table 14.1 Application SubmittalsAdd Infill, Downtown DesignTable 14.2 NoticeVariance - include mailed notice.Administrative Modification- include posting a sign and mailing notice to contiguous property owners. - This provides transparency,- Allows the Zoning Administrator to knowledgeably decide compliance with Section 15.4.E.3. "without substantial detriment to public health, safety, and welfare, and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the Zoning Map and this Code." How can there be a decision regarding public welfare without notifying the public?- If there is strong concern by the neighbors, then the application should be forwarded to a hearing body.And remaining Zoning Approvals that should require notice are:- Infill Housing -- Downtown Design - - Site Plan Review (when applicable)-Signs posted for a hearing- should be clearly visible to the adjacent right-of-way and by both directions of traffic. Signs should be posted on each right-of-way. I have a photo of a sign posted directly behind a light pole and of a sign posted amidst similarly sized campaign signs.163.F Extension of Walls for Nonconforming Single-Family and Two-Family DwellingsAllowing a building wall of the principle structure to be extended horizontally or vertically when it encroaches in a minimum setback is unfair to the adjacent neighbor and should require a variance hearing. Such expansion creates a sense of crowding and loss of privacy, denigrating the purpose of light, air and open space inherent in requiring setbacks. It also attacks the purpose and foundation of the variance process as it: 1) fails to establish whether the existing intrusion is legally nonconforming, 2) fails to provide any evaluation standard and public process 3) potentially exacerbates an existing annoyance with no recourse to the impacted party, and 4) does not provide an appeal process. It also contravenes Section 16.3.D Nonconforming Structure.Accessory Dwelling Units- per today's joint MPC/CC work shop discussion there are at least two ways to provide notice alerting second generation owners of property with an ADU: 1) file notice on the property title that the Accessory Dwelling Unit may have specific ownership regulations which need to be checked in the Knoxville Zoning Code and 2) property owners are supposed to declare known encumbrances in a declaration when listing the property.Why are kennels limited to Agricultural Districts? They should also be included in some of the Industrial and possibly commercial zones if they do not directly abut residential.Home Occupation and Day Care- why is limited Day Care not considered a home occupation? Child Care, tutorial lessons, and accountants/taxes are classic home occupations involving visitation. Visits to Home Occupations should be controlled to protect the neighborhoods sense of place. However, garage sales should be limited to avoid a constant "flea marker" commercial use. The restriction of 25% floor area is easily enforced through a simple code check.Cell Towers should not be permitted in Neighborhood Commercial Use as the NC purpose is to serve and blend with residential. And Burlington commercial area should be zoned neighborhood commercial.
Staff Reply:

Adus

Standards for detached vs attached ADUs should be more stringent.The primary dwelling should be owner-occupied.There should be dedicated parking required for ADUs. Many city streets will not handle additional street parking well. On many narrow residential streets, when cars are parked on both sides of the street, it's not possible for a fire truck to pass through, setting up a dangerous situation. Street parking is also unsightly and more dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians.Minimum lot size for detached ADUs should revert to 7500 sf (or higher) as specified in Draft 1.The maximum number of bedrooms allowed should be 2.It's important to determine if the infrastructure can accommodate an additional dwelling before a permit is issued.
Staff Reply:

Residential Design Standards

In the first two Recode drafts, minimal design standards for single family homes were included (see p. 9-12, Section 9.3.J). These were inexplicably dropped from the third draft. These standards are not onerous to comply with or to enforce and should be put back into the ordinance. Many cities include design standards in residential neighborhoods, demonstrating that this is feasible.
Staff Reply:

Landscaping Standards

Many great cities have landscaping standards that are much stricter than the ones proposed in Recode. We know from their experiences that these standards are not overly onerous either to carry out or to enforce. Knoxville can and should do this, too. There are numerous environmental, economic, aesthetic and quality of life benefits to enhanced landscaping. We believe the following standards should be 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, a two-step LANDSCAPE BOND should be include. 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 would 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, we don't have a lot of confidence that it will be successful at requiring developers to replace landscaping that has died. It also places an unfair burden on citizens who would be responsible for tracking and reporting landscaping that needs to be replaced. In our experience, this often 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 diameter, 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.Scenic Knoxville
Staff Reply:

Fences

Article 10.3-J, 2(a): From five feet behind the front building line forward to the front lot line and in the corner side yard, privacy fences and walls are limited to 42 inches. Open fences do not have a limit.Consider increasing from 42" to 48". Most standard "low" fences are 48". Also, masonry coursing works quite well with 48" but not with 42".RELATED:Also, consider revising definition: (Fence - Open. A fence that has, over its entirety, more than 50% of the superficial surface consisting of regularly distributed openings.) The 50% value is representative of wrought iron type fences, but a typical wooden picket fence has 30% of the superficial surface consisting of regularly distributed openings. I think the intent here would be to allow such fences.
Staff Reply:

Adu Design - An Architect's Comments

Hello!I am a Knoxville-based Architect who has designed and developed several Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) projects in various cities throughout the country over the past decade. I have the following recommendations for the current draft ordinance in regards to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs):10.3(A)(4) : Increase the maximum height allowable for ADUs. Limiting the maximum height for all detached accessory structures (including ADUs) to 18' will effectively limit all ADUs to a single-story structure, which limits their feasibility on denser, urban lots near downtown, where they are needed most to positively affect housing variety and affordability. One alternative commonly used around the country is simply to limit the height of an ADU to that of the primary structure. This approach maintains the existing scale of residential development within neighborhoods, without limiting the ability to develop 2-story ADUs where they are appropriate and comply with all other development standards.10.3(A)(6) : Align the maximum building coverage for a single accessory structure with the maximum GFA allowed for an ADU.This provision is in practical conflict with several others. For example, on a 12,000sf lot, the maximum gross floor area (GFA) for an ADU would be 1,000sf (per 10.3(B)(7). But if the maximum height for an accessory structure is limited to 18', there is no feasible way to construct a 2-story ADU (see above). So if the maximum building coverage for a single accessory structure on that lot is limited to 750sf, the property Owner would only be able to build a 750sf ADU, missing out on 250sf of buildable area that would have been allowed otherwise.10.3(A)(7) : Allow the footprint of an accessory structure to equal the footprint of the primary structure.The previous ordinance drafts limited the footprint of a single accessory structure to the footprint of the primary structure. Draft 3.0 has reduced that to 75%. The total maximum building coverage on a lot and the maximum GFA of an ADU are already restricted by other provisions. For new development, this actually encourages builders to increase the footprint of primary structures to allow the possibility of maximizing the area of a potential ADU or other accessory structure.10.3(B)(7) : Eliminate the relationship between allowable GFA for an ADU and the GFA of the primary dwelling.Imagine two existing single-story houses adjacent to each other on identical 7,500sf lots. Existing House A = 1,600sf GFA. Existing House B = 1,000sf GFA. Based on the lot size and all other development standards, each Owner should be allowed to build an 800sf ADU. But if the GFA for an ADU is limited to 40% of the GFA of the primary dwelling, the Owner of House B would only be allowed to build a 400sf ADU on their property (which would make the project practically infeasible). If an ADU meets all other development standards, there is no logical reason to limit its size based solely on the size of the primary dwelling.Summary:On a cost-per-square-foot basis, ADUs are expensive to build. The reality is that they are a very niche building type that is not utilized often unless market forces make an area so unaffordable that ADUs present a viable alternative. In the jurisdictions where I have worked professionally, less restrictive design guidelines for ADUs did not result in a huge increase in the number of ADU projects permitted, they simply made ADUs feasible.The draft design guidelines, as written, are restrictive enough to discourage ADU development in downtown Knoxville. I believe that ADUs are a highly effective tool to sustainably increase density and stabilize housing costs as cities grow. I strongly encourage MPC and Camiros to reconsider these restrictions and to work toward creating design guidelines that are more likely to encourage ADU development in downtown Knoxville.
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Text And Draft 2 Map

On behalf of the Knox County Democratic Party (KCDP) Progressive Action Committee (PAC), we would like to submit the attached comments on ReCode Knoxville Map Draft 2 and ReCode Text Draft 3. Below is the list of contributors and/or ratifiers of these comments: Core Drafting and Research Team:Elizabeth RowlandMatt SterlingMoira ConnellyIdea/Feedback Contributors:Michael DavisSylvia WoodsRatified Final Draft:Linda Haney - KCDP Vice Chair Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee MemberMichael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee MemberSylvia Woods - PAC Steering Team Member, KCDP Executive Committee Member & Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member LaKenya Middlebrook - PAC Steering Team Member Elizabeth Rowland - PAC Steering Team MemberMoira Connelly Matt SterlingLouise SeamsterPlease let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.Thank you, Elizabeth Rowland
Staff Reply:

Rv's And Trailers

My comment is in regard to trailersThe current code, Article V, Section 8 C, states that:On each lot, a total of two (2) (one (1) from any two (2) of the subsections listed below) of the following vehicles may be parked or stored per household living on the premises, and said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not exceed forty-five (45) feet in length or nine (9) feet in width; and further provided that said trailer, or recreational vehicle, shall not be parked or stored for more than forty-eight (48) hours unless it is located behind the front yard building line:1.Recreational vehicle.2.Hauling trailer.3.Boat trailer.In the proposed code 11.12 Recreational vehicles must be located within the interior side yard behind the front building line or in the rear yard. If stored in the interior side or rear yard, the recreational vehicle must be located at least ten feet from any lot line and screened from view from any public right-of-way by a solid fence or wall. If the recreational vehicle is screened by an existing structure or landscape so that it is not visible from the public right-of-way, it is considered to meet these requirements. Temporary storage tents and tarps for recreational vehicles are not considered screening and do not meet these requirements.I have a few concerns about the new code1. There appears to be no limit to the number, or size, of RV permitted, as long as it/they are properly screened from the public ROW.2. What about trailers that do not meet the Recode definition of a RV? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, equipment trailers, etc.3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?
Staff Reply:

Home Occupation

Regarding Home Occupation and Quick Pick and Retail Goods Establishment:A smart attorney told me years ago that you cannot be restrictive by being permissive.The definition of Home Occupation is: "Any commercial activity carried out for economic gain by a resident, conducted as an accessory use in the resident's dwelling unit.""Retail Goods Establishment" is indeed a use listed in the Use Matrix. So too is "Personal Service Establishment" (beauty shop, tailor) and "Office." Just as, I assume, Recode contemplates "Personal Service Establishments" and "Offices" be allowed to operate as a Home Occupation, I think "Retail Good Establishments" would also be allowed to operate. However, all must operate within the standards for Home Occupation.The list of permitted and prohibited home occupations in the existing ordinance is helpful.I honestly think a quick pick would be allowed under the proposed ordinance.I'm also referencing a letter on a home business operation. Please see the paragraph at the end of page 1: "The actual business of the company---mechanical repair and services---is being done elsewhere, off site. If clients were dropping off equipment at this address, the equipment was being work on in the garage, and then being picked up by a client at the home after repair, that would classify as a business being run at this address. However that is not the case. The multiple inspections by Plans Review have confirmed this..."The last paragraph on page 3 acknowledges "occasional employees", etc.Never mind the fact that "Contractor's office..." is a permitted use in C-3.
Staff Reply:

Question About Previously Approved Planned Districts

My question/comment concerns Section 1.4.G. Previously Approved Planned Districts. I did not find Planned Districts in the definitions so, please update that. Also, I did not see a PD overlay included in the map or referred to in the 3rd revision. Will that be developed to identify these areas?
Staff Reply:

Recode Knoxville

Attached are the comments I (thought) were submitted to Recode Draft 1 but it scrolling through all the public comments I see it didn't take. So I thought, what the heck I'll just submit them again though some are now outdated. Consider it submitted for your reading pleasure. I'm drafting comments on application process which will be submitted by Oct 31st.
Staff Reply:

Hillside Protection Overlay

Can detail be provided on how specifically slope should be calculated for the purpose of determining Hillside Protection requirements?For example, should the slope be calculated from the lowest to the highest point of the lot, regardless of location? Or from the center of the rear lot line to the center of the front lot line? How specifically will this be evaluated and enforced by the city?For reference, I am asking because I am purchasing a vacant lot that falls under the Hillside Protection Overlay, and trying to understand what due diligence needs to be done surrounding this.Thanks for any advice you can give.
Staff Reply:

Recode Comments

Some random comments.Suggested editsOn the Use Table, the OS Parks and Open Space zone includes cemeteries, marinas, and golf courses and other private uses that are not necessarily recreational. Not all of these uses are captured in the description in 7-2. I suggest editing the description to include all of these various uses.Funeral Homes and Crematories are now separated on the Use Table, but still lumped together in the Definitions.Map commentsSomeone will probably catch this, but the only zone that allows airports is I-H (which seems appropriate to me), but Island Home Airport is zoned INST on the draft map.Probably a moot point since we have limited regulatory authority over them, but is INST the best zone for the National Guard facility on Sutherland? Because of the outdoor storage of equipment (and maybe indoor storage of munitions), seems to me like an industrial zone might be more appropriate.It seems inappropriate to locate C-N zones adjacent to other commercial zones. This has been cleaned up on Sutherland, but the intersection of Dutch Valley and Bruhin is a patchwork of commercial zones, including C-N. There is a large patch of C-N on Woodland next to C-G-2 and INST. I don't know if there are other places like this.Just My OpinionsMore of the districts that abut the river could allow marinas as special uses. RN-1 (maybe), I-H, AG, O, OP, C-H, and INST should be considered.The Definition of marina can be interpreted to include docks for individual houses (boat docking or storage with no size threshold). If that is the intent, they need to be allowed in RN-1 since they are already plentiful in some R-1areas. If that is not the intent, the definition needs to be tightened up a little to include a minimum size.Can we do something contextual with maximum heights, such as adjacent zone, topography, view shed, shade shed? This might help sell the idea of taller buildings to those who are dubious about the idea.It seems like you should be able to put a multi-story office building in an O zone. Even when used as a transition/buffer adjacent to a residential area, 3 or 4 stories might be appropriate depending on context. The current regs allow 45' non-residential buildings in O zones, so the new 35' requirement is going backwards.I think the 35' height limit is too restrictive in many cases.Townhouses in RN-6 and RN-7 (and maybe RN-4 and RN-5) should be allowed to go to three stories (45'?). Three-story townhouses are common in other cities and seem entirely compatible with a zone that allows 65' multi-family dwellings.Also, consider three-story dwelling-over-business in C-N, depending on context.C-G-1 and C-H-1 have 40' max height. Is that enough for 3 stories, or just enough for an assertive facade or high ceilings?
Staff Reply:

Recode - Adu's

I am a resident of West Hills writing to address the current draft of the recode Knoxville.A. I whole heartedly support the efforts to expand mixed use development that allows residential area above ground floor commercial property. I especially appreciate the value that mixed use development can have by bringing residential development to spaces that might otherwise have rolled up and been dead after business hours. Indeed, it was mixed use development that helped to restore the downtown to the thriving area that it is now. If similar mixed use (commercial below/residential above) growth can spread from the downtown, east, west, north and south along major arteries that would, indeed, be in the best interest of all within the city.B. I have great concern regarding the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU's.) as the code is written currently. I am not completely opposed to the ADU's, but I do feel that they must have requirements that allow protections for neighborhoods and neighbors. My concerns are outlined below.As written, Recode Section 10.3.B would allow an accessory dwelling unit to be built in every residential zone in the city. As is, a home owner could convert a two-car garage to a rental apartment; the main living space of a house into a rental unit, and add a detached ADU to the lot as a third rental. How would the potential lack of off-street parking (resident cars not fitting in the driveway) impact neighborhood traffic or neighborhood safety relating to emergency vehicles travelling through the neighborhood? How would such a change in density impact water/sewer systems? What about houses not on the city sewer system, but rather with leaching fields? Do trailers meet the designation as an ADU? What recourses would neighborhoods and property owners have if such rental situations became nuisances?C. As written the Recode Section 10.3.B provides no protections for neighborhoods with regard to the possible disruptions that might arise based upon the addition of ADU's as rentals to neighborhoods. Observations & Suggestions:1. While the provision of ADU's as proposed does not provide for owner occupancy, the current code for Air B&B's does. It makes no sense that codes for ADU's would not provide the same protections for neighborhoods and homeowners that the codes for Air B&B's do. A cities' code system is a reflection of its values and should be consistent across the policies of all city units.2. ADU's in Knoxville should be allowed only if the home is owner occupied. At the most recent West Hills neighborhood feed back session it was stated by a city recode representative that it assumed that most or all ADU's would naturally fall into this category. If that is indeed anticipated, then codify this as a requirement. An owner-occupied clause provides protections, enabling a neighbor or neighborhood to address a problem situation through the court system if needed.3. City lots with ADU's should provide adequate off-street parking for both the primary residence and ADU occupants. This should not simply be assumed, but written into the city code.4. "Supporters of owner-occupancy, which is also required in Seattle and Washington, D.C., assert that the requirement promotes community stability and property maintenance." Stanford University Study: https://law.stanford.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2018/03/infranca_25_stan._l._poly_rev_53.pdf5. The fact that many cities have placed specific guidelines on ADU's is well documented and easy to research. Examples from 11 cities are listed below. Why isn't Knoxville following their lead?For example:
  • Nashville allows ADUs only where duplexes are permitted.
  • Atlanta allows them only in duplex and multi-family zones with 750 sq. ft. max.
  • Decatur, Georgia, limits ADUs to 300 to 800 sq. ft., and to no more than two occupants.
  • Franklin, Tennessee, limits ADUs to 800 sq. ft., under the same roof as the house, and two occupants, with off-street parking; detached units only on 2+ acre lots with special use permit.
  • Memphis/Shelby County allows only 700 sq. ft. ADUs on lots from 10,000 sq. ft. to 1.5 acres; larger acreage can have bigger ADUs; must supply parking space.
  • Salt Lake City requires an affidavit that home and/or ADU is owner-occupied and prohibits them where there is an existing home occupation or business use.
  • Leadville, CO - ADU are allowed, but if they are as rentals, must rental duration must last at least 30 days.
  • Philadelphia, PA - Allows ADU's limited to 800 square feet, and requires owner occupancy.
  • Santa Cruz, CA - ADUs are allowed in designated residential zones as long as the property owner inhabits either the main house or the ADU.
  • Austin, TX - Allows ADU's. Austin requires two spaces for a detached ADU, in addition to the two spaces required for a primary dwelling.
  • Denver, CO - Allows internal or attached ADUs, as well as detached ADUs, Owner occupancy of either the ADU or the primary dwelling is required.
Staff Reply:

Zoning Concerns

Hello--I'd like to submit my concerns about the lack of multi-family home zoning (R-3 and R-4) in the ReCode Knoxville plan. In their place, almost all proposed residential zoning is single-family. Single-family zoning restrictions are intrinsically linked with redlining, gentrification, greater environmental impact, reduced walkability, reduced access to parks and schools, and inhibition of the commercial centers (like grocers and pharmacists) that make neighborhoods both desirable and accessible. Single-family zoning also reduces the options available to renters, who are a quickly growing demographic across the millennial, Gen X and Gen Z generations. As Knoxville looks for ways to retain the young professionals graduating from the University of Tennessee and other local schools, maintaining access to the kinds of "middle housing" that yopros find desirable (i.e., duplexes or courtyard apartments--not the massive complexes that college students are looking for) will be key in keeping future leaders local. Renting is also a vital option for vulnerable populations such as single moms and refugees, many of whom may not meet the credit score requirements of large housing vendors, or who should have more options besides government projects.In general, it's important for the health of cities and communities to provide the zoning to support "middle housing" market demands. The 1930s zoning code supported this, which is why neighborhoods throughout North Knoxville in particular have Depression-era duplexes and small apartment buildings--all of which are nearly constantly rented, emphasizing their desirability. Doubling the lot size requirements for R-1 and R-2 zoning is acceptable, but the new R-3 and R-4 zones must be more heavily utilized to compensate.While the formatting of these messages doesn't allow me to provide in-line links to the research that supports these claims, I'm happy to provide a bibliography.
Staff Reply:

Works For Me

At this time, I have not seen anything Recode-wise that I disagree with. We live in the Dogwood Elementary school area, and I agree with the zoning on the map (I think it was RN-2?). I lived in Atlanta for 9 years, and in my opinion, had Cobb and the surrounding metro counties done this very thing in the 1990s, Atlanta would not be the hellish Mad-Max-esque traffic sprawl wasteland that it is. As cities grow, especially around downtown, density WILL increase. So, why don't we plan for it now, so we won't be scrambling 20 years in the future? I want and need drivability, but I also want less pollution and walkability. I think we can have both.I'm also not scared by fear-mongering good ole boys who keep crowing that Recode is gonna take our cars and prop'ty away! Good grief.Thanks for your time.
Staff Reply:

Thank You

Hi Recode Team,I am a REALTOR(R) who has been a silent participant in only two of the 67 meetings you have held. But I have interacted with the website weekly and I wanted to reach out and say thank you. You have a hard job and you know very well not everyone will not be pleased, however, when answering questions through the presentation and Q & A tonight, you all did a fantastic job explaining your good intentions for our city.Being a Knoxville native who has lived on small islands and in large cities, came back to my hometown with a different perspective on community growth. I understand what you are doing and have seen what poor planning can do. Our city will definitely benefit and once the vision begins to come to life, I think we'll see a shift in the mindset of those concerned about change. The fact of the matter is that change is here and you are doing a great job preparing our city to be the best it can be! Inner city to the suburbs, you all are going to make a purposeful difference for the future of Knoxville.Thanks again for advocating for all the citizens in Knoxville and embracing public feedback during the process. I am excited to see what is next.
Staff Reply:

Open Space District Definition

Either definition of OS needs to change (Special Purpose Districts section, https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft3/chapters/Article%207-Special%20Purpose%20Districts.pdf), or you need to keep the two separate OS2 (park and open space district) and OS1 (open space preservation district) definitions and zones from the existing code.There are multiple cemeteries and historic sites (Sheildstown Cemetery, Temple Beth-El Cemetery, Odd Fellows Cemetery, James White Fort, Fort Dickerson just to name a few examples) that are important for archaeology and anthropology; these and other sites should not be defined as supporting the "passive and active park and recreational needs of the city." Cemeteries and battlefields are not "recreation sites." The new definition in ReCode is a step down in sophistication from the existing OS-1 (OS-1 open space preservation district) definition: "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 existing Open Space Preservation District also supports accessory structures, such as caretaker cottages found at Bethel Cemetery.It makes sense to zone cemeteries and other sites important to archaeology and anthropology as OS, but merging the definition of OS-1 with OS-2 to create a new definition of OS that is clearly centered on "recreational needs" is both a mistake and a step backwards for Knoxville.
Staff Reply:

Draft 3/map Draft 2 Comments Deadline

I hope that you will consider extending the deadline for comments on the recent drafts. I have reviewed the ordinances, attended events and contributed comments on the previous drafts, and I find the ReCode work to be very important. I would like to review and comment on the recent draft but I will be traveling from the 20th-30th, leaving little time for me to review and comment, and I will be unable to attend any of the community meetings. I realize this may be a personal issue I will need to work around myself, but I write because I may not be alone in finding the timeline for these comments to be very short. Thank you.
Staff Reply:
MPC staff realize that the time to submit comments in order for revisions to be recommended in the third draft of the ordinance and presented to the Planning Commission at their Nov 8 meeting may be challenging. We also realize that the involvement of the community and your comments are important. While we may not be able to include comments received after October 31 in the first compilation of comments for presentation to the Planning Commission, MPC staff will continue receiving comments and adding them to the list of comments for consideration as revisions to the draft ordinance are made. We anticipate receiving comments, and revising the draft ordinance and map, until the ordinance and map are adopted.

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