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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Adus And Owner Occupancy

I would like to see the matter of an owner-occupancy requirement for ADUs given more discussion, at the very least for EN, RN-1, and RN-2 neighborhoods. Previously we have been told that this is not enforceable, but many other cities do enforce this requirement or at least have it on the books. Not doing so opens up our neighborhoods to opportunistic developers who may or may not care about the impact they have on neighbors. Citizens who chose to make the biggest investment of their lives in the city did not expect their beautiful "single family dwelling" neighborhoods to be potentially doubled (or more) in density by a mere stroke of the pen. In my opinion, this issue alone should be put to a referendum, but I understand this is highly unlikely. I make this appeal here to ask that you please give further thought to allowing the taxpayers a little more control in protecting their investment in this city, both monetary and sentimental.Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Proposed Residential Zoning Changes

I am writing as a long-time resident of the West Hills Community. I have lived in West Hills for more than 50 years. I value the historical and cultural significance of our community and am hoping you will take steps to preserve our zoning.Please don't allow my neighbors to build structures for alternative housing in their back yards. Please don't allow my neighbors to park their motor homes in their driveways.Please don't open us up to greater housing density.West Hills is an important part of the West Knoxville community. We need your help in preserving the continuity of our well-kept neighborhood with its large spacious lots, mature trees and play areas.Thanks for your help!
Staff Reply:

Lot Size Distribution (by Width)

In the presentation used at the City Council worksop, the distribution of residential lot sizes by square footage shows that most lots are conforming based on minimum area. Although this is great, it does not tell the entire story of how many lots will be non-conforming. Can you please put together a distribution of lot sizes by width? There are many lots in the inner city that are smaller than the minimum 50' width. Many homes in Beaumont, Mechanicsville, Lonsdale have small lot sizes, and homes that use a very large percentage of the lot width. With the required side setbacks in the draft, we are setting ourselves up to build skinny homes that do not fit the neighborhood, and also result in less incentive to build on smaller lots because. I suggest something that looks at, for currently existing lots, allowing minimum side setbacks of the primary structure in residential areas, to take into account the average of the blackface. Or make setbacks a % of the lot if the width is within 35-50'. Something that will reduce the number of nonconforming lots when taking into account width. These type of lots are in some of the poorest of our neighborhoods and we can't afford to create disincentive to invest in new structures. Not everyone will have the time/money to jump through hoops of BZA to get setbacks waived on small lots.
Staff Reply:

Camper

Will we be able to have our 16 foot camper parked in our driveway? Also, is the land in front of our house going to be developed, it's full of sink holes. One final question, is Rohar Road going to be extended, right now it's a dead end. We like the way our street is now. Thank you for reading my comments.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your interest in Recode and for your questions. You will still be able to park your camper in your driveway but you may have to screen it with landscaping from the street. The development of the land in front of your house is dependent upon the desires of the property owner. If the owner did desire decide to pursue development of the property, all applicable standards would have to be met. The zoning ordinance does not dictate nor does it propose street extensions. The City Engineering Department may know if there are plans to extend the street.

Public Comments From Business Owner

Hello, I recently attended a meeting and am following up with some comments. My family and I work, live, worship, and attend school in the vicinity of the Magnolia corridor. I have a few suggestions below based on our experience of living life, operating a business, and owning commercial property in the area. I greatly appreciate your consideration of "industrial craft" designations. We looked for a year before finding an affordable building for our business size. In two months we have already added two full time positions and plan to add more within the year. We would be classified as industrial craft and would have been unable to afford (and didn't need) anything in an industrial park. At the same time, our business is in high demand. There are construction projects in Knoxville that cannot find highly skilled workers to meet their demand. Not considering the needs for skilled trade businesses and workers, would be detrimental to Knoxville's economy. The final document should consider how the zoning code affects businesses employing highly skilled workers (especially those with 1-10 employees). I would like to see lot coverage in the downtown neighborhoods increased from 30% to approximately 50%. I believe many existing single family parcels and the historical development pattern more closely resemble a 50% lot coverage. I know a number of people who have been prevented from building accessory structures such as sheds because of the 30% limitation. However, their neighbors have the original shed or carriage house and in combination with their principal structure, the lot coverage is at least 50% if not more. I support allowing accessory dwelling units. The infrastructure for high density is already in place and it should be taken advantage of. I believe parking concerns can be mitigated through limitations. On my street, we have several houses that have only one or two cars with two dwelling units on the lot. We also have a SF house with 7 cars (it has been this way for 10 years). This is an enforcement issue. Lastly, I wonder how the new zoning regulations will affect schools. Funding for urban schools should not be decreased due to "publicly funded sprawl." I hope that this zoning code does not overextend schools that are already at capacity and not supporting schools that are under capacity. I know this is a large, complicated, multifaceted issue, but still it's one to consider.I appreciate the time and effort placed in this process and look forward to the final product in a timely manner.
Staff Reply:

Good afternoon - I have read draft 3 of the proposed zoning code regarding proposed sections 10.3 C.1 and 10.3 C.2.I am again bringing the below issue to your attention.As written, and as I have informed you in previous emails referenced below, the zoning proposal as written is in contravention of Tennessee state law regarding the installation and use of amateur radio antennas in residential areas.Local zoning laws must comply with the Federal PRB-1 ruling, per Tennessee state code.  The proposed ordinances, as written, DO NOT COMPLY.  Please review the information below I provided to you in August.  I was told by email "I will be back to you with a reply soon" on August 16.  There has been no reply, and you have made no changes to the proposed regulations. There have been numerous court challenges over the past 30+ years regarding municipalities who have enacted regulations in contravention to PRB-1.  In fact, this is the very reason Tennessee code 6-54-130 exists: to prevent this from happening at the local level.Please have someone educate themselves about this issue.  The easiest path forward for Recode is to look at what other municipalities have done.  Most often they have language in the zoning code that mentions no specifics like heights, aesthetics, etc and says only that amateur radio antenna installations have to conform to PRB-1.
Staff Reply:

TOPIC 3.27:  HP HILLSIDE PROTECTION OVERLAY ZONING DISTRICT:  8.5, B., Applicability, page 8-8.  "These regulations apply to all lots within the HP Overlay District, with the exception of existing single-family homes and existing lots of record for a single-family dwelling existing as of the effective date of this Code." REQUEST:  Define "lots of record".QUESTION:  Does the underlined language, which was added in Draft 3, provide a large loop-hole?  Does it mean that, for instance, a 10-acre lot zoned RN-1 (R-1), with a Hillside Protection Overlay at the effective date of the code, is exempt from the regulations, and can be excavated without regard to Hillside Protection?  Following excavation, can the 10-acre lot be subdivided into smaller lots? If so, there would be no meaningful hillside protection of large residential parcels.  What is the rationale for this significant change?8.5, A., Purpose, Page 8-8.REQUEST:  The “Purpose” statement refers to the word “development.”  In order to make it explicitly clear what is meant by “development” and how the Hillside Protection Overlay Zoning District applies to the protection of property, please add to the end of the Purpose section 8.5, A. the entire definition of Development as defined in Article 2, 2.3, Page 2-6 as follows:  “Development.  The construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation, or enlargement of any structure, any mining, excavation, landfill or land disturbance, or any alteration of land.”8.5, D. Site Plan Review, page 8-8.  "All development of property zoned residential within the HP Overlay District is subject to site plan review per Section 15.5."QUESTION:  Is site plan review intended to only apply to property zoned "residential", and not to property zoned office, commercial or industrial?Please see Community Forum comments regarding Section 15.5, Site plan review TOPIC 3.18, 10-31-18.TOPIC 3.28:  GENERAL DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS:  10.1, E., Utility and Maintenance Easements, page 10-1. REQUEST:  Define "utility and maintenance easements"  QUESTION:  What is prohibited?  All structures--principal and accessory?  Are temporary structures permitted? QUESTION:  What is a "stormwater pond"?  Are all stormwater facilities prohibited or just retention and detention ponds?TOPIC 3.29:  ACCESSORY STRUCTURES AND USES:  10.3, T., Outdoor Sales and Display (Accessory), page 10-11. QUESTION:  "These regulations apply only to outdoor sales and display located on the lot."    Should it say "....on the lot with the principal use." T. 1. applies to all Retail Goods Establishments in all nonresidential zoning districts, as long as the merchandise is customarily sold on the premises.The outdoor sale and display of merchandise in the C-N (Neighborhood Commercial) and C-G (General Commercial) zoning districts should be more tightly regulated. REQUEST:  Consider limiting Outdoor Sales and Display (Accessory), in both the N-C and C-G zoning districts.  Consider adding language similar to T. 5. c. and d, for N-C and C-G zoning districts.The existing C-3, General Commercial zoning district, which lines many of Knoxville's arterials, does not allow outdoor display of merchandise (Article IV, 2.2.6, D. 8) and the language specifically regulating each use makes clear that the C-3 zoning district is meant to be indoor retail and uses.  (Article IV, 2.2.6).  In fact, that is the clear difference between C-3 and C-4 (Article IV, 2.2.7) zoning districts.  The C-1 zoning district limits the range of commercial uses. (Article IV, 2.2.4).Related to TOPIC 3.29:  PURPOSE STATEMENTS, ARTICLE 5, 5.1, A. Commercial Districts, page 5-1.REQUEST/QUESTION:  A. 1.  C-N:  Define "commercial uses" and "service uses".   Is it supposed to say "retail and personal service" as stated in C-G?A.2. C-G:  The Purpose Statement should make clear that indoor uses are intended in this district.We would be happy to discuss these topics along with anything in our previously submitted responses at any time.Sincerely,Larry Silverstein, ChairpersonCommunity Forum
Staff Reply:

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