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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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.

Waterfront code SW2 isn’t supposed to be only residential. Please review SW vision document & drafts language for consistency.
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:

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:

Rn-4 Puts E. Fifth Ave.'s Nrhp At Risk

This comment pertains to E. Fifth Ave. in Park City, which is part of Knoxville's largest national register of historic places. I want to see increased density in this area, but without design guidelines to protect our historic structures, I believe RN-4 is an inappropriate zoning as it leaves the historic homes vulnerable to demolition and inappropriate alterations and the community with little voice for development of empty lots. I would fully support RN-4 if H-1 were also put in place. I would also support H-1 guidelines that provide an easy path for multi-family infill housing.
Staff Reply:

Public Review Period

The public currently has access to Draft 3 of the ordinance and map with an understanding that MPC workshops are being held in November to make changes to that draft. I think it is in the interest of transparency, due process, and the public benefit to allow at least 3 weeks for the public to review a subsequent draft before the MPC votes to push the recode plan to City Council. In addition, I believe it's both reasonable and necessary to offer 3 public meetings during this 3 week period for the public to ask questions and voice concerns about the next draft.
Staff Reply:

Rn3 And Rn4 Designations

Thank you for the very informative meeting last night (11/26), it is apparent that many hours have been spent on this project. I am the VP of Edgewood Park Neighborhood Association (EPNA), and we currently have 7 apartment complexes and 1 condominium complex within our boundaries. In addition to these, there are several duplexes and quads interspersed. My opinion is that EPNA is currently maintaining a neighborhood with a plentiful supply of multi-family homes and I ask that we don't add any more.However, as an Atlanta transplant, I see the value of mixed-use projects along our corridors and I endorse them with your wise oversight. Same goes for the many industrial spaces that are vacant.Thanks for your efforts, I personally understand your struggles.
Staff Reply:

General Comments

Thank you for taking comments! I have only been able to attend one meeting, and have only quickly reviewed the draft - so I have limited comments to offer...but I appreciate being able to do so. I think mixed use makes sense in many areas, especially when run-down commercially zoned buildings could/would be a viable option for housing - hopefully that doesn't mean traffic jams for neighborhoods or trashy parking/eye sores. It would be nice if green-scaping were required for more of the commercially zoned buildings and multi-unit residential buildings. I love sidewalks, trees, and small businesses. and...this may be more of a side-note, but the abandoned Walmart/Shoe Shoe/Cato strip malls with massive parking lots distress me...they are everywhere, I know, and other businesses try and come in to the space, but it still just leaves a sad crater in the areas where they land. ...that and all the easy money/check into cash joints littering Chapman Highway & Broadway, keeping folks in a debt spiral... can we zone those out of all areas, all towns...everywhere? ! :Thank you for the space to comment!
Staff Reply:

Roof Design

T 5-2 and T 6.2 (maybe other places?) Roof design in the table eliminates roof surfaces that produce glare. This is not well defined or described. For a low slope roof, we should want, encourage or even require a roofing material with a Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of at least 78 to reduce Urban Heat Gain and increase energy efficiency. To achieve this with a membrane roof, one will need to use a white or possibly tan roof. On low slope roofs we need to allow white. On steep slope roofs > 2:12 we may want to encourage a much lower SRI of at least 29. I suggest removal of the "reflective roof surfaces that produce glare are prohibited."
Staff Reply:

South Waterfront Districts

SW-1 should still be listed in residential district ??? tableSouth Waterfront districtsPg. 7-37.5SW District std.A.  Subdistricts established1.  SW-1 subdistrict (residential only) please add insert2.  SW-2 subdistrict add (residential only)Pg. 7-5B.  UsesOn 1. C.  the subdistrict SW-1 should not be allowed in SW-1 as educational facilities, preschool/kindergarten is traffic & more cars than allowed as an example for an office during the meeting.Only signage allowed in SW-1 is house address & also in SW-2 no electronic signs are allowed stationary or on vehicles!
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:

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:

Minimum Lots Sizes In Rn-2, 3, 4 For Multi

Since the majority of lots in the RN-2, 3, & 4 areas do not meet the minimum lot sizes in RN-2, 3, & 4 for multifamily 2-4 units, the new zones should reduce the minimum lots sizes. Existing lots should be able to be developed with 2-4 unit buildings with the new zoning.
Staff Reply:

Residential Design Standards – Single Family

Restore design-standards for single family residential.  These are not overly onerous to comply with or to enforceMany communities require these and more
Staff Reply:

Adus

Require dedicated parkingMore stringent standards for detached vs. attached ADU’sRestore minimum lot size to 7500 sf for detached ADU’sMaximum number of bedrooms for detached should be 2 bedroomsOwner occupancy of primary dwelling
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:

Rn-2

R-2 “right” should be retained in older, poorer neighborhoods like Vestal, rather than go to RN-2 “special use” by permit, which could require impractical design criteria.
Staff Reply:

Multi-family Housing

Put back the Orange! Multifamily housing should be a prominent part of our city's future - multifamily housing tends to be more affordable, it is environmentally more responsible than building more suburban sprawl, and it allows for density levels that do more to support walkable communities and thriving neighborhood businesses. Taking out multifamily zoning would be a step back for Knoxville; 21st-century cities NEED residential density.
Staff Reply:

4th & Gill

Please review the concept that there are many multi-family houses in 4th & Gill.  As an example when I search under my address at 1015 Luttrell St. 4 apartment units show which has no been the case since 2005.  Also if you search 1003 Luttrell or 942 Luttrell St. the database shows multiple apartment units which has not been the case since 1990-92 time frame.  In the early 80’s 4th & Gill worked with MPC to change our zoning from R2 to RIA to encourage the development of single family restored properties in the emerging historic district.  We have made tremendous progress since that time.  The proposed change to RN4 puts us back to where we were zoning wise 30 years ago.  RN-2 as originally proposed in earlier drafts is the appropriate zone for the Fourth & Gill historic district.  Place multi-family on the corridors on the edges.
Staff Reply:

Single Family Dwelling Design Standards And Interior Landscaping Standards For Recode Knoxville

Please re-instate design standards for single family dwellings (on lots of one acre or less) that were recommended in an earlier draft of ReCode. Raising the standards would make a substantial difference in the aesthetics of new neighborhood development. Landscaping requirements for parking lots is another area of concern. It appears that some of the proposed landscaping requirements in ReCode have now been deleted. Please consider how important landscaping is to the appearance of large areas of asphalt! A good example of landscaping done well is the WestTown Mall parking area. Many years ago a local woman with vision, Maria Compere, advocated for the planting of many trees around the perimeter, in the medians, and other areas of the parking lot. Without her determination on this issue, the Mall would not have the beautiful mature trees that it now has - something which has helped to soften and beautify the hard edges of the rectangular-shaped buildings. Please consider the importance of improved landscaping requirements and consider the Landscape Bond provision which would require 2 years of proper care by the developer, once trees and other vegetation are planted. The Bond would insure that plantings would receive adequate care, so they can get established and thrive. Improved ReCode standards is Knoxville's BIG chance to improve the look of our city for a long time to come. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Adu

Please consider taking ADU issue off the table & get the basic ordinance passed.  Then re-visit ADU’s later.
Staff Reply:

Good Landscaping And Design Standards For Neighborhoods

People definitely care about good landscaping and design standards where they live. These have been omitted and they are important. A house needs to be seen as a house from the street--windows, porches, other details. Front loaded garages need to be limited to 60% or less. We are a city that wants good design, landscaping, lighting that shows we care. Thank you.
Staff Reply:

Community Forum's Supplemental Response To Recode Draft 3-- November 16, 2018

On October 31, 2018, Community Forum submitted its initial response to Draft 3 of Recode Knoxville. It included Comments on 23 topics. The deadline to submit comments on Draft 3, for consideration for Draft 4, was subsequently extended until November 16, 2018.

Attached, is Community Forum's Supplemental Response to Draft 3, which contains Comments on three additional topics numbered 3.24, 3.25. and 3.26. These topics involve Accessory Structures and Uses, Outdoor Storage of Commercial Vehicles, and Outdoor Storage of Recreational Vehicles.We would be happy to discuss these additional Draft 3 topics, along with any of our previously raised topics, at any time.Sincerely,Larry Silverstein, Chairperson

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:

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:

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:

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:

Article 12: Landscaping

Most large to medium cities have stricter landscaping standards than what Recode is proposing. Those standards are not difficult to enforce. Stricter landscape standards will be a benefit to Knoxville economically, environmentally, and socially.Native and Drought Tolerant species should be required, not encouraged. No one does the "encourage" line items. The line has no teeth.All parking lots over 5,000 sf should have perimeter landscaping requirements.Lots of 10,000 sf or greater should have interior landscaped islands.A mitigation fund or tree bank should be required. If existing trees of a certain caliper are destroyed in development, X number of 2" cal. trees need to be planted on site or given to the city for planting.A landscaping bond similar to Chattanooga's should be required.
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:

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:

Landscape Standards

LANDSCAPING STANDARDSMany 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.
Staff Reply:

Various Aspects Of Recode

LandscapingI would like to wholeheartedly endorse the call by Scenic Knoxville for stricter landscaping standards in the new zoning code. Parking lots are a necessity, but the kind of visual ugliness they introduce into the urban scene can be ameliorated by islands of vegetation and the plantings help to balance out the negative environmental effects of the automobiles parked there. Likewise their recommendation of Performance and Maintenance Bonds is sound, since without such guarantees there is no protection against substandard installation work or neglect of maintenance. Last year Town Hall East secured an agreement with Dollar General that they would install landscaping at their new store of Boyds Bridge Pike. They spent money on installation but do not seem to have expended a penny on upkeep since then, and crabgrass obscures the low growing shrubs. Transparency.I am concerned that issues surrounding notification of neighbors for use on review that have been raised by the Community Forum and League of Women Voters have not been resolved in a way that insures the greatest transparency and a required degree of community participation in reaching a decision.Accessory Dwelling UnitsPlease continue to push for the automatic right to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit as included in Draft 3. Owner occupancy of one of the units would be an acceptable limitation.Thank you for your hard work in this process.
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:

Recode Koxville Comments

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:A two-step LANDSCAPE BOND should be included. 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.Storm Water SystemsGenerally, and specifically as pertains to Chapter 7.G. Storm Water systems should be required to conform to TDEC's MS4 NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Runoff, i.e., developments should retain the first 1" of rain within the site.Hillside ProtectionRecode should include at least a reference to the city-adopted Hillside Protection Plan.
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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:

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:

Recode Knoxville

If the zoning changes to allow extra residencies in an existing residence, will there be any oversight on how the rental properties are run?   Ex. If you have Section 8 housing voucher, your proposed space is inspected before signing the lease and biannually after that.  If I am not using a voucher, how will I not be taken advantage of by a terrible landlord who keeps a house in terrible condition, but I can’t afford anything else?
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Policy On Rvs

I've lived in Knoxville most of my life. I grew up there, my parents live there, and a lot of my family, and I'm a land owner. Together we all own about 50 properties through Knoxville, and we are all adamant RVers.There's no greater way to get out and explore the country in my mind, and some of the best times of my life were travelling with my family throughout the country, which is why it is so painful for me to see so much animosity towards the RVing community.And I get it. A lot of RVs are unmaintained, and sometimes they are used by people whose only other option is to live on the street. It's an aesthetic thing where you don't want a shanty town, but that is changing.Millenials are moving towards tiny houses, tiny houses on wheels, and more and more jobs are becoming remote as we become a more and more digital society.This is especially true in California, where I am typing this right now actually for the weather. People are trending more and more toward a mobile lifestyle, and I have to say, it's quite amazing to be in your 20's travelling the country with a mobile office.So, this is why I'm asking to reduce the prejudice towards RVs in legislation. In my humble opinion, RV laws should be lessened, not tightened, and this will keep Knoxville on the cutting edge, like so many of the improvements that have been made already. There are so many good things in the Recode Knoxville that I'm excited about, which is why it is so devastating to see the laws towards RVs.If certain HOAs want to ban RVs or make them covered, I can understand that, but I ask that you please not make that a city law. In fact, it would be great if more areas and parks were designated to allow RVs and street parking.This will bring in tourism and attract people who are curious about living in Knoxville, but need to see more before they make the move.All in all, I think it will draw a diverse crowd of interesting people that add so much color to the city and the cities I've seen. There are lots of artists, photographers, videographers that I've met who travel the country in an RV or a conversion van who are very friendly and interesting people and generally avoid cities with a less than friendly attitude towards RV/van tourists.But if there must be restrictions, I would propose they be applied to older, not well maintained RV's. For instance maybe have a special permit required for RV's over 15 years old, which is what a lot of RV parks do anyway. There are retro and restored RVs that are older and still look really good. Have sections of public land dedicated for RVers so they don't crowd the streets. Allow RVs on commercial property, so there are more appropriate places for them to go, and maybe, if it's a problem require privacy fencing be built around it.As I said, many of the "trendy" cities are becoming more and more tolerant of a mobile lifestyle, and from what I've seen and experienced, it doesn't seem to have an adverse effect on the city. In fact, on the contrary, it seems to give the city new life kitsch value that has become the signature of Knoxville. In the past day, I've met 3 artists and one content creator "van life-ing", and one worked for a company called "outdoorsy.com" which operates almost as an AirBnb for RVs. The opens up a whole new tourism market that would otherwise be nonexistent, and Knoxville could be a part of that, just as one example of the creativity and diversity RVs/vans bring to the table.So, it is my utmost hope that the new ordinances for RVs will be completely redone if not removed, and I know I'm not the only one.
Staff Reply:

Food Policy Council - Recode Knoxville Comments

I've attached the official comments from the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council regarding ReCode, please let me know if anything needs clarification. Thanks for all your work on this!
Staff Reply:

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:

Design Standards

I was disappointed to see that design standards had been removed from the Recode proposal. Most other cities have design standards for single family homes. What was initially proposed is not unduly burdensome and really makes a lot of sense to maintain the beauty and compatible development in our community. Design standards protect existing homeowners as well as new developments. Please consider reinstating design standards for single family homes and other residential zones.Further, I would like to see stricter landscaping standards codified in Recode as endorsed by Scenic Knoxville and other organizations and individuals.
Staff Reply:

(no Title)

I think it is ridiculous that you would change the rules for boat storage. It is already very hard to find a place to keep your boats and doing this affects lower income people substantially. Leave this up to the HOA's. If they think it is a problem, then let them address it, and RVs. Also, this seems to be a little short sighted when your consider all of the boat manufacturers that are headquartered in and around Knoxville. Seems like we would do everything in our power to support this industry and jobs. Making boat ownership increasingly difficult does not support this industry. I see no problem with the way the laws are now.
Staff Reply:

Commercial Areas

I suggest that all new commercial buildings be required to be LEED Silver certified in order to be constructed. This requirement would follow other major cities in creating green standards that other cities will soon emulate. I would also encourage amending section 10.3 K to encourage/mandate the use of renewable energy in supplying power to electric vehicle charging stations.
Staff Reply:

I really appreciate the change being proposed for my home/lot section of the neighborhood.  It is, in effect, a ‘down-zoning’ from R-2 to RN-2.  My neighborhood, South Haven, has a lot of variety in housing choices – multi-family to single family which I appreciate.  However, I don’t want all small, relatively affordable, single family houses to disappear, just because the lots are less expensive & may be easier to develop large, multi-family housing on.  Thank you!
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.

C-g-2 Code / Multi-tenant Housing Numbers

I have a question regarding multi-tenant housing numbers. According to the code C-G-2, how many people can reside in an apartment of the same family-last name? If not the same family-last name?Thank you.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your interest in the Knoxville zoning code update. In response to your comment:I have a question regarding multi-tenant housing numbers. According to the code C-G-2, how many people can reside in an apartment of the same family-last name? If not the same family-last name?Zoning ordinances can address the development density (number of dwelling units per acre, etc) but generally do not address the number of persons, related or unrelated, who can reside in a dwelling unit. The proposed update of the City of Knoxville zoning ordinance does not establish a density (number of dwelling units per acre) cap in the C-G-2 zone. Density in this proposed district would be addressed by building height, lot size, need for parking etc. The building code does establish standards for minimum square footage per occupant.

Rv Parking

I do not believe that a city should be a HOA. Restricting RV parking to the side yard is, I assume, because of how it might look to a neighbor. I can say that a beautiful Winnebago is prettier to me than someone's Hummer or minivan or fancy car. It can't be for obstructing views, because your language indicates that if it's screened then that is just fine. So what I'm hearing is that if you have a ton of money it's okay, but if you are middle class you can't have the same pleasure of going out camping for the weekend. Please rethink this legislation and provide some reasonable opportunity for all to have the ability to welcome rver's to their properties. I'm currently caring for a family member for a month while they recover from surgery. Your 7 day requirement and not allowing me to hookup to public utilities would make it difficult to keep my cats warm and housed in the RV, while caring for my family.
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:

Clairborne St

I am very much against the proposed RN-4 zoning for Claiborne Place that would allow low rise multi family structures. If allowed, these buildings would be out of character for that street as there are mostly bungalows with beautiful architectural features. The only way these multi family structures could be built is to tear these beautiful historic homes. The Edgewood Park Neighborhood is doing a wonderful job of preserving & revitalizing this area, so it would be most helpful if the City would encourage our effort to stand with us to preserve homes/areas like Claiborne Place . If this zoning RN-4 is kept, the incentive would be to tear down these unique houses. My family and neighbors want to do all we can to protect the beautiful structures in this area- these type structures are why our area is so desirable! We need your help to make it RN-1.
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:

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