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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Staff Reply:

The Map Doesn't Work

The map doesn't work. It just "spins" without loading.

Staff Reply:

Landscape Bond Article 12

Please add the following amendment to Article 12. Thank you.

In order to ensure correct installation and maintenance of landscaping, a landscape bond will be required.
No certificate of occupancy will be approved before the developer or owner has posted a landscape maintenance bond guaranteeing all landscaping materials and work for a period of two years after approval or acceptance thereof by the City in a sum established by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission. The bond will be in the amount of 110% of the estimated cost of replacing and maintaining the landscaping required by these specifications, unless otherwise specified by the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission. 
A. Performance
The developer or owner will be allowed six (6) months after a certificate of occupancy has been issued to install landscaping material according to the approved plan. This will enable planting to occur during optimal weather conditions and to ensure the availability of the approved materials. At the end of six months, the Zoning Administrator will inspect all required landscaping and certify that it has been properly installed and is in good health. If corrections are to be made the Zoning Administrator will notify the owner or developer. All unhealthy, defective or dead plant material will be replaced within three (3) months, at the end of which the Zoning Administrator will again inspect the landscaping. The bond shall be called if the required landscaping has not been installed or corrected by the end of this period, and the funds shall be applied to complete the landscaping work. Prior to release of a performance bond, a maintenance bond must be received by the City.
B. Maintenance 
Two years after a certificate of occupancy has been issued the Zoning Administrator will inspect all required landscaping and certify that it has been properly maintained. If no maintenance is required, the City will release the landscape bond. If corrections are to be made, the Zoning Administrator will notify the owner or developer and the bond company of any corrections. All unhealthy, defective or dead plant material shall be replaced within three (3) months. The Zoning Administrator will conduct a final inspection and if no further maintenance is required, the City will release the landscape bond. If deficiencies in the landscaping still exist, the bond shall be called and the funds shall be applied to complete the landscaping work.

Prepared by:
Scenic Knoxville
Trees Knoxville
The City of Knoxville Tree Board
The Knoxville Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
Sierra Club, Harvey Broome Group

Also endorsed by:
Town Hall East
Forest Heights Neighborhood Association
Community Forum
The Bearden Village Council
The Riverside 1 Condos
Historic Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Organization
Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood Association
Alice Bell Spring Hill Neighborhood Association
League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County
RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood Association

Staff Reply:

Wireless Towers

Well, with all these changes to the zoning and coding, this should make it easier for the City to put up those ugly, radiation-inducing, "cell" towers that they plan to roll out for 5G. Be prepared citizens of Knoxville, they will be everywhere and there will be no escaping them. We - humans, animals, insects, and plant life will be fried. People will be getting sick from the electromagnetic radiation EVERYWHERE. With all these changes, I'm sure somewhere in all the wording, it will be legal for them to put one in your yard. I see a class action lawsuit in the future!

Staff Reply:

Community Forum-- Response To Recode Draft 5, May 27,2019

Community Forum’s May 26, 2019, comprehensive Response to Draft 5 of Recode is attached. Our response follows Recode’s page order.

Many issues raised in this Document cover Articles 1-8 which were discussed at the City Council Special Meeting on May 14, 2019.  However, some items were either not discussed at all, or were not resolved during the Special Meeting.  City Council requested that the planning staff and/or city departments report back after further consideration and review of some issues.

Community Forum’s Response to Draft 5 addresses some issues that have been included in our previous responses to Drafts 1-4, but still need attention.  However, there are many issues regarding material appearing for the first time in Draft 5.  We look forward to discussing these issues at the May 30, 2019, Special Meeting.

Community Forum has members from many different neighborhoods in the City of Knoxville. Our members have attended many public meetings, City Council and Knox Planning meetings and workshops.  Our Community Forum members have participated in numerous meetings of our own neighborhood associations, and have often talked to residents of other neighborhoods about Recode.

One theme has arisen regarding single-family residential neighborhoods since the release of Draft 1 in March, 2018, and has persisted through Draft 5, May, 2019.

Many Knoxvillians like where they live.  They like their neighborhood and its character.  Many report having worked hard to support, strengthen, stabilize and improve their neighborhood. They are both financially and emotionally invested in where they live.  They want to keep what they presently have.  They do not think they should have to work hard, again, to keep, or get, what they have already worked to achieve. They believe they have upheld their part of the bargain as citizens of Knoxville.

They do not understand why there are proposed changes that neither they, their neighborhoods, nor their City Council members requested.  They are very frustrated because they have not heard a rationale or explanation for why these proposed changes are being made.  They do not know what problem is trying to be fixed in their own neighborhood.

They do not believe that Recode adequately addresses or acknowledges the differences among single-family residential neighborhoods or that it adequately distinguishes the urban from the suburban development pattern.  They note that Recode does, however, acknowledge and address differences among other development types.  They cite the amount of attention to detail and the increase in the number of zoning districts, sub-districts or intensity levels, for primarily non-single family residential development districts, downtown, and the commercial zoning districts. 

In contrast, Recode squeezes the majority of Knoxville's existing single-family neighborhoods, most of which are presently zoned R-1, R-1A, R-1E, into two zoning districts, RN-1 and RN-2.  To make matters worse, the proposed minimum lot area is 10,000 square feet for RN-1 and 5,000 square feet for RN-2.  That means that every single-family lot below 10,000 square feet in area suddenly falls under the new minimum lot area requirement of 5,000 square feet.  This proposed change will have a substantial negative impact on many of our neighborhoods that were developed under the decades-long minimum lot area standard of 7,500 square feet for single-family dwellings.  The minimum lot area change incentivizes the demolition of existing modest homes, the subdivision and reconfiguration of lots, and the introduction of development out of character with the remainder of the existing neighborhood development.  Replacement construction will provide less affordable housing than existing housing.

They find the Recode proposals for the residential zoning districts to be inconsistent with Camiros' July 2016, Response to the City's Request for Proposals, which states on page 11:  "In addition, distinctions will need to be made for urban versus suburban residential neighborhoods, as well as regulations for rural residential development.", and on page 14:  "Use should respond to established community values and habits.  Some neighborhoods are built around exclusive land use districts, while in other neighborhoods these relationships are more intermixed.  These differing characteristics should be integrated into the ordinance to assure desired patterns of livability and provide relative ease of review and approval." 

Many find the Recode proposals for the residential zoning districts to be inconsistent with the Recode Knoxville Technical Review & Approaches Report, which states on page 11:  "Residential districts should be refined to ensure that the character of Knoxville's neighborhoods is reflected in its residential district structure."

With that in mind, we request that you consider the following:

1.  Add additional single-family residential zoning districts.

2.  Add a single-family zoning district with a minimum lot size around 7,500 square feet. 

3.  Align the uses in the proposed single-family residential districts with the uses presently allowed in the existing zoning districts.

4.  Retain the existing Planned Residential Zoning District (RP-1, 2, 3) proposed for deletion in Recode.  Planned Residential zoning allows a variety of housing types and densities and is frequently requested.  Government can request RP zoning.  Only the owner can request the proposed Planned Development.

5.  Adopt zoning neutral maps.  Zone properties the zone closest to their existing zoning.  Use the adopted, long-standing, codified, participatory, comprehensive planning process to change the Sector Plan and One Year Plan and Zoning.

We urge you to take whatever time is necessary to end up with a Zoning Ordinance that will have the least negative impact possible on our neighborhoods throughout the City of Knoxville.

We would be happy to discuss the issues raised in our Response to Draft 5 at any time.


Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum

Staff Reply:

Recreational Vehicles

I originally submitted this comment on 5/9, but never received a confirmation e-mail and it is not showing up on the website so I'll try again. 

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, etc.

3. Why is parking behind the front building line no longer considered adequate, the new screening requirements seem excessively restrictive?

Part Deux:

I agree that RV's should be located in the interior side yard behind the front building line or rear yard, but why ten feet from a lot line? A shed can be built five feet from the lot line, but a boat has to be ten feet from it? Why the ten feet requirement?

The screening requirement is overly restrictive for the entire city. There are many lots in the city that due to many factors (lot size, topography, access, etc.) it is impossible to locate the RV somewhere that is screened from view from a right of way. To comply with the new zoning code many property owners would have to pay to store their RV somewhere else, leave it as is and risk fines, or move somewhere that does not have such restrictions. The screening requirement should be removed from Recode and be left up to HOA's and the like.

Drive through most any neighborhood in Knoxville and you will see homes with boats and campers parked next to them, West Hills, Lincoln Park, Parkridge, Marble City, Sequoyah Hills. Across the entire city you will find examples of people storing their RV's on their property without screening. 99% of those are not any more of an "eyesore" than the cars and trucks in the driveway. A full size Sprinter type van with commercial logos all over is permitted without screening, but a boat is not? There are other examples like cargo and utility trailers that would not fit in the definition of Recreational Vehicle that would also be permitted.

Staff Reply:


Dear Knoxville Planners,

Several people have asked me about RV issues in the proposed changes.  If you have a pop-up camper or other vehicle that fits the RV definition, could you still park it in your personal driveway under the proposed changes?  The people who have asked me (two different households) currently park their RVs in their driveways and have steeply sloped yards that would preclude them from parking them any other place.  

They say that the proposed changes are a solution looking for a problem, that if their RV is not bothering anyone, why should it be prohibited? A screen is pricey, etc.  

Can you help me understand this issue better?

Staff Reply:

We have received a number of comments about the proposed standards for parking of recreational vehicles in residential areas. The standards were drafted by the consultants, likely based on their experiences with other communities. I do know if RV parking is a concern in the City and will ask Peter to chime in on that question. If RV parking is not a problem, staff can propose a revision to the standards to make parking of RV's, boats, etc in residential areas easier.

Small Lots Of Record

Is there no longer a provision for Small Lots of Record in ReCode? If I want to build on a nonconforming lot (i.e. RN-4 with <50' lot width) would I need to seek a variance?

Staff Reply:

Yes. You would need to seek a variance.

Single Wide Manufactured Homes Taxation

Does Camiros realize that Tennessee TAXES ALL mobile homes, even those on LEASED land (such as in mobile home parks), as IF they were single family dwellings on permanent foundations? They are NOT licensed.

That might help. I would THINK that zoning regs and codes would need to conform seamlessly with taxing regs, especially property taxing regs.

Staff Reply:

Single Wide Manufactured Homes

On page 9-10, it says:

" H.  Dwelling - Manufactured Home 

Multi-sectional manufactured homes may be used as single-family detached dwellings provided the following development criteria are met:..."

What about SINGLE wide manufactured homes? Are they addressed somewhere else?

Staff Reply:

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