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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Showing 11-20 comments of 39

Landscape, Lighting And Design Standards

Hello Recode Team,My understanding is that stronger standards for landscaping and lighting are not being included because of enforcement concerns. I would like to suggest that MPC take over that role because it makes a lot of sense for them to do it.I hope you will reinstate design standards for residential areas as well.
Staff Reply:

Kcdp Pac Comment Submission On Recode Knoxville Draft 3 Map And Draft 4 Text

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 3 and ReCode Text Draft 4.

We would especially like to point out our recommendation that the Planning staff seek out more lots to designate as RN-3 or RN-4, focusing on lots within a quarter-mile of core and local bus route stops that have no structures and/or that have non-historic structures that were built more recently, for example since 1980. We would be happy to partner with you and neighborhood groups to find such lots suitable for RN-3 or RN-4, and we look forward to following up with you about this.

Below is the list of PAC members that ratified this comment submission:

Emily Gregg - KCDP Chair & TNDP Executive Committee Member

Allie Cohn - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Secretary and Executive Committee Member

Michael Davis - PAC Co-Chair & KCDP Executive Committee Member

Sylvia 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 Member

Moira Connelly - PAC Steering Team Member

Matt Sterling - PAC Member

Please let us know if you or your team members have any questions on our submission.

Staff Reply:

0 E Fifth Ave Is Not Community Garden

I have commented on the last two maps without response and hope to receive it this third time. The empty lot (0 e fifth Ave) next to 2080 e fifth Ave is incorrectly labeled as the Parkridge Community Garden. The garden is across the street in the open lot, which has been given the correct proposed zoning for such a space. As the owner of the incorrectly labeled lot, I am concerned about liability on my property if something were to happen to someone who mistook it for public use.
Staff Reply:

Recode Timing Is Way To Fast

Why is the comment period so short and over the Holidays? Is Donald Trump now our Mayor and we'll just push this through lickety-split while no one is watching? I've read a few comments on draft #4 with its over 700 changes and one theme appears over and over and over again: there hasn't been enough time to read it! This isn't Congress, this isn't the Trump Administration--this is LOCAL. We need more time to discuss such huge changes. An H1 effort in Parkridge spanned FIVE YEARS of continual meetings, planning, debates, door-to-door knocking, mailers, flyers, everything short of writing it in the sky with an airplane (which Councilman Brown insisted would still result in someone saying they never heard about it) and yet it was smacked down by Mayor Rogero for needing "more discussion time". If FIVE YEARS isn't long enough for a neighborhood of a few hundred acres, how is the measly 7 months this has been public (since the June 2018 release of the maps--everything before that wasn't very useful for the public) long enough for a city encompassing 104.2 square miles? The obvious answer is that either the public doesn't know what it wants and the City needs to tell us what we want or the public wants something contrary to what the Mayor, Mr. Lyons, and the political/developer machine want.What's the rush? Parkridge was told that we have plenty of time to go block-by-block over many years to protect affordable housing; Knoxville already has a zoning code that's worked well enough for 50 years so there's no desperate need to install a zoning code. City Council didn't have a problem pushing the Parkridge H1 off onto a new Council but now the excuse for the rush is so that the next council won't have to deal with it. A project this monumental should take place over several sitting City Councils. I am saddened that is has become just a political plum for an outgoing administration.
Staff Reply:

Rn-2 Density

Though patches of RN-3 and RN-4 now occur on the map in the outer rings of downtown, most existing neighborhoods remain RN-2. I feel these neighborhoods should be zoned a higher density, like RN-3. However, if they are to remain RN-2, I believe they should permit duplex development by right. I suggest RN-2 AND RN-1 be modified to permit duplex development because they would allow increased (from that currently proposed) housing opportunities. The ReCode team has consistently proposed lower density in these neighborhoods than is currently permitted, which counter-acts many well-researched studies demonstrating that the "missing middle" housing is at the core of our nation's housing crisis. If this code is to be sustainably productive, it should permit some "missing middle" opportunity in these neighborhoods (Mechanicsville, Oakwood/Lincoln Park, etc).
Staff Reply:

Please Do Not Zone Historic Eligible Blocks Higher Density

On the 1400 block of Woodbine, a few of the "last" shotgun houses in Knoxville still stand. Zoning these RN-4 invites demolition. There has been a request to please avoid placing higher density zoning on areas eligible for historic districts, because higher density base zoning could create an incentive to demolish historic single family homes where H or NC zoning has not been enacted. The 1400 block is eligible for H or NC overlay, as per the 2016 MPC Study on Edgewood-Park City Historic District. Please see: and
Staff Reply:

Plans Review By Mpc Staff

Due to staffing levels devoted to the review and enforcement of zoning codes, the review of plans and their subsequent enforcement is a heavy lift for many municipal governments. Like most cities, Knoxville has opted to reduce this burden by reducing standards and operating on a complaint driven system. Another option would be to reduce the burden by allocating some of these responsibilities to qualified MPC staff. MPC staff already review design guidelines in certain zones. They are also willing to take on the review of landscape plans.This would make it easier to restore basic design standards for single family dwellings and for landscape standards to be upgraded to include more landscaping in smaller parking lots, a 2-year landscape bond and a tree bank.
Staff Reply:

Recode Effect On East Knoxville

I hope that MPC and the City really think hard about how this recoding of Knoxville will ultimately effect the people that live on the east side(Park City).Just to create density for the sake of more housing may do more harm than good. East of downtown has at this time very little to offer anyone that is low income.There are few jobs and the ones that are available are minimum wage, which at the rate of cost of living two people making minimum wage can not afford housing. There are no grocery stores, its a food desert, unless you have your own transportation. And now that St Mary's has closed there is no medical provider on the east side of town. And none of this is going to change because for any business to locate in any area they are going to look at the median income, so if the city keeps concentrating low income in the 6th district we are not going to attract any future businesses. The city and county need to spread out the low income density across the area so these people will have the availability to be able to help themselves out of their current situations. there was a study done to test the effect of the zip code inwhich you were born, born in a poor zip code you are pretty much doomed.MPC and City, think long and hard about what your are about to do, the effects will last for decades!
Staff Reply:

Recode, Zone Map

I attended the last work shop on 1/3/19 for the recode, I do have some issues with the latest draft. My area has been rezoned back to RN2, but the lot size for a duplex has been lowered from 10,000 sqft of lot space to 7,500 which is the standard size lot in most historic neighborhoods. I do not have an issue with someone wanting to build a NEW duplex that would fit into the character of the neighborhood. But my fear is that we will go back decades inwhich every foot of building space will be converted into "living" area, porches and balconies, will be converted into bedrooms and bathrooms as in the past. We here in Parkridge have spent years trying to over come this exact same type of over crowding and destruction of the historic fabric of our neighborhood. With only small portion of Parkridge protected by a historic overlay and no in fill housing guidelines, we would be damned to repeat our very bad past history. Parkridge would is better suited for RN3 like other historic neighborhoods like 4th and Gill.Also on a technical note, I noticed that under the minimum interior side setback has been changed to a minimum of 20', on a 50' wide lot, as in most cases in historic neighborhoods that would limit the buildable area of 30' wide. I think as it stands now, the minimum is 5', and minimum of 12' combined.
Staff Reply:

Very Old Houses & Multifamily Zoning

While the current Recode map is improved, there are some issues that still need to be addressed in the oldest neighborhoods (those with houses 100± years old). If houses in these neighborhoods are slated to be made into multi-family units, there MUST be required oversight from professionals who have demonstrated knowledge with older home construction. It is in no one's best interest to continue to demolish houses that become condemned because of "renovations" made by using construction techniques that are not adequate or appropriate for these older homes. The current flurry of "renovation" activity by "flippers" in these neighborhoods (Parkridge is one example) is showing that City codes enforcement is not able to prevent structural damage to older homes. There already is a proposed lawsuit because the exterior walls are collapsing on a house in which the framework was compromised by removing load bearing walls and collar ties.Not only is this problem frightening for the new occupants/owners of such unsafe houses, it is frightening for the older neighborhoods that have struggled to rebound from serious blight created by derelict and condemned houses. The history of neighborhood decline that led to condemnation and subsequent demolition of many older homes was directly related to dividing these older homes into multiple apartments. The structural integrity of houses often was compromised by cutting holes in floor joists and rafters for the sake of running multiple pipes, vents, and wiring to accommodate multiple bathrooms, kitchens, and HVAC systems in houses that originally were built without these kinds of modern conveniences - even for one family. Floor plans also were changed to make apartments, porches were enclosed (even sleeping porches, aka balconies), and additions tacked on to make additional rooms. Anyone who has seen, or worked on, one of these houses knows that there either was little to no oversight from codes enforcement, or adequate codes did not exist when such changes were made.A requirement that before a building permit is issued, an architect or engineer (or both) has to sign off on any plans that propose dividing a house that was constructed as single family home and is 80 or more years old, or is a contributing structure in a National Register of Historic Places District, is one way these problems might be lessened. There simply MUST be a process for someone with demonstrated knowledge about older house construction to review plans (including a site visit) proposed for the substantial changes that have to be made to safely create multiple apartments in these very old houses. In addition, there is a need for opinions from two engineers as to whether or not one of these old homes has to be demolished. Very few of them were built with the kinds of foundations that are used today and some are being unnecessarily demolished because some engineers do not know about the older methods.
Staff Reply:

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