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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Rv Parking And "screening"

I've just reviewed the section regarding RV parking (at a residence) and wonder if anyone on the commission owns an RV? Although I do not store my 13'2" tall RV on my property as it won't fit, I have neighbors that can and do. Based on the requirement to "screen" RVs from public view (from the right-of-way) you are going to require VERY TALL FENCES/WALLS not to mention expensive. Are the commissioners the owners of fencing/wall companies??? The typical travel trailer is about 12' tall and would require at least a 12' tall fence/wall - either that or "hide" the RV in a storage facility (owner of those as well?) or sell it (RV or house). I'm fortunate to be able to afford such luxury of indoor storage, but I doubt the typical RV owner can or is willing to do so. My issue is more with what my(our) neighborhood is going to look like with, say at least half-dozen, homes with 12' tall fencing, just to hide their RV. I'm sorry, but I'd rather you hide some of the ugly cars from sight than a well cared for RV. Since my home is "down the hill" from a right-of-way street, my back yard can be seen from above and would require, by my estimation, a 40-50 foot tall fence/wall to "hide" an RV from view. I and others feel you are trying to weed out RVs and/or RV owners from Knoxville in an effort to beautify Knoxville residential areas. Again, I do not store my RV at home, although I would rather do so. I have thought about relocating to a home where I could expand and store the RV at home, and am now seriously considering it, HOWEVER, I am no longer looking in/around Knoxville or Knox County - our politicians have run me off. I'm glad Knoxville is looking to tell America that RVs, RV owners, and the like are not welcome here - I'll spread the word from a more RV friendly county. Regards!
Staff Reply:

Established Form Base Code Changes

In attending several of the meetings, it was mentioned that there would be no changes to the Cumberland and South waterfront codes since they had both been newly created and publicly vetted. However, there have been changes and I feel the property owners should be alerted to those changes so they could see what impact it may have on development / investment plans. Why not leave them as they were? At quick glance it appears height, set backs and even sign ordinances have changed and I haven't had time to delve into all the details so it leads me to believe there is enough reason to send out postcard alerts to those affected so there may be more feedback since these areas where thought to be not changing at all.
Staff Reply:
Any changes in the form district code that may have shown up in the drafts were inadvertent and the result of trying different approaches to formatting the standards. We have incorporated the form district codes (Cumberland Avenue and South Waterfront) into one article, article 7, and are working to make sure all parts of the form district codes are included and unchanged. We likely will put the parking standards for the form districts in article 12, which has all parking standards, rather in the form code article.Thanks for your interest in the community and in Recode.

Parcel 119dd003 / 0 Mars Hill

I own the parcel above and do not want it rezoned RN1. It borders a high traffic road so it will not support single family homes but will need townhomes or some other type of higher density product to be viable. We purchased the property under RP1 designation which allows for 23 units on this property. Rezoning as proposed will negatively affect value of the land.
Staff Reply:
According to the official zoning map of the City of Knoxville, the property at 0 Mars Hill Road is currently zoned RP-1 at less than 6 dwelling units per acre (see attached). The RN-1 designation would allow 4 dwelling units per acre, which would be a reduction n density. We will change the proposed designation to RN-2, which would permit up to 8 dwelling units an acre (an increase in density).Upon approval of the updated zoning ordinance, you may wish to consider requesting RN-4 designation for the property. This change would require a zoning amendment, a sector plan amendment, and a one year plan amendment.

Min Lot Width Prevents New Housing In Rn-4

There is an issue with minimum lot sizes not matching existing lot sizes in the city. RN-3 and RN-4 are the densest residential zones near the corridors, and they are less dense than the historic city grid. There has been much talk about zoning by current use so that these houses will be conforming to the new code, but if you look at the only swathes of RN-3 and RN-4 just north of downtown and well within walking distance (surrounding Baxter @ Central and West end of Gill), the lot widths are 40', 42', 37', 30', (even 22'!) etc. Even in Fourth and Gill there are many lots less than 50' and are thus nonconforming. RN-3 and RN-4 both require 50' minimum for a single family. So as it exists, what appears to be the densest housing areas near downtown and within walking distance to jobs do not permit even single family development. I own a lot on Hinton Ave, on which I currently plan to build a duplex. With the current proposal, I could build no housing at all. I know of another planned development in this area, a quad-plex, which is currently permitted but would not be under the proposed ReCode. Even on this property, a block in from Central and over 60' wide, a maximum of only three units can be built. This result seems both counterproductive and contrary to the goals of your research. I have not reviewed this condition in other areas of the city, so please look closer at this issue elsewhere. It is difficult enough to find one lot for purchase in the area, so anticipating the combination of lots for greater opportunity is not viable. One solution may be to match the required minimum lot width with the existing grid in city neighborhoods, or allowing for an exception for historic widths. Another thought is that these areas near the intersection of Broadway and Central could become a commercial or I-MU district, which has no minimum width and now permits single-family, and matches the historic use of this area. Also, while checking the I-MU district for applicability in these areas, I noticed that single family and multi-family are permitted, but townhouses and duplexes are not. Is there a reason to dis-incentive the middle-density options?
Staff Reply:

Sw Parking Lots In Recode

We have lost the requirement that surface lots in the SW must be in the rear.  This was missing in the July draft.  I commented about it and it was included in the October draft.  Now it's gone again - compare page 11-4 in the Oct. and Dec. drafts.

This, as you know, is a major deal.

Honestly, I wasn't reviewing the current draft to see if corrections made had been unmade.  However, it looks like that kind of review is necessary.

Staff Reply:
Thanks for catching this. I will forward to the consultants and make sure they correct it and do a thorough review of the entire SW code.Regards,Gerald

Accessory Dwelling Units

I live in South Knoxville, and I want to voice my robust support for allowing accessory dwelling units on existing properties.
Staff Reply:

Sw1 Removing Edu. Facility From The Last Draft

I hope the input to remove the educational facility from SW1 at the north neighborhood meeting was addressed in this last draft to MPC. Each SW 1 area has a school near or just outside of the areas. SW 1 only protection is to solely be residential as in the vision plan.

Staff Reply:

Adu Clarification

"An ADU may be located only on a lot with one single-family dwelling. One of the dwelling units must be occupied by the owner of the property."Does this apply to the use of an ADU once it has been built or is it just a requirement to be met in order to obtain a building permit? The wording seems unnecessarly vague. Also, what power does the City have to enforce this? What are the potential penalties for violating the code? How will the city handle a situation where there is a violation and the renter has a binding contract to occupy the premise?
Staff Reply:

Please halt any zoning change to allow multi level structures in residential areas, like Clairborne st in Edgewood park neighborhood. The only way these structures can be built is to tear down some beautiful vintage houses along Claiborne tp make room for these structures and parking lots. This is a horrible idea to change the code to allow this. This code is very unfriendly to areas that are not designated historic zones. Those areas are protected from tiny lots & tiny buildings too. Isn't this discrimination to allow code changes like this in non historic zones? This density model needs to stay downtown where those who want density can live. Others like me prefer to have more green space from my neighbor.
Staff Reply:
Thanks for your interest in Recode. In response to your comment:Please halt any zoning change to allow multi level structures in residential areas, like Clairborne st in Edgewood park neighborhood. The only way these structures can be built is to tear down some beautiful vintage houses along Claiborne tp make room for these structures and parking lots. This is a horrible idea to change the code to allow this. This code is very unfriendly to areas that are not designated historic zones. Those areas are protected from tiny lots & tiny buildings too. Isn't this discrimination to allow code changes like this in non historic zones? This density model needs to stay downtown where those who want density can live. Others like me prefer to have more green space from my neighbor. The Claiborne Place neighborhood and most of the Edgewood Park neighborhood, with the exception of existing multi-family developments, are designated RN-2 (single family residential zone) on the 3rd draft of the proposed zoning map. One of your neighbors (sorry I cannot remember her name) attended some meetings and also emailed to make us aware of the desire for single-family designation for the neighborhood. Thanks for your concern for your neighborhood.

Community Forum-- Request For Deadline Extension For Responses To Recode Draft 4 And Maps Draft 3-- 12-19-18

Community Forum requests that the deadline for comments to Recode Draft 4 and Maps Draft 3 be extended from January 4, 2019, to at least February 1 or February 15, 2019.  Furthermore, we request that any decision regarding an extension be made quickly so that interested citizens can plan their holiday schedules.

Draft 4 to Recode and Draft 3 of the Maps went on line on Monday afternoon, December 17, 2018.  The document is 287 pages long, and hard copies are not yet available.

We are concerned that the stated deadline for submitting comments for Draft 4 is January 4, 2019.  There are two holidays and only 18 days between the December 17, online release of Draft 4 and the January 4, 2019, deadline.   This timetable is not practical and makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for the public to review Draft 4 of Recode and Draft 3 of the Maps, and to submit comprehensive responses.

Community Forum, to date, has submitted timely and comprehensive responses to each Draft of Recode, totaling 55 topics, plus updated responses on the 14 original topics identified in Draft 1.  We have made important contributions to this entire process.  This is particularly true since March 21, 2018, when the first draft became available. Our Responses and extensive participation at public meetings and workshops have brought attention to many issues, both small and large, and have resulted in positive changes.

Most recently, we submitted a Response to Draft 3 on October 31, 2018, the original deadline for responses to be considered in preparation of Draft 4.  Our response covered 23 topics, but was produced in a very rushed manner to meet the deadline, which was less than two weeks after we had a hard copy to work with.

The deadline was then extended to November 16, and we continued our review of Draft 3.  We submitted a Supplemental Response on three additional topics on November 16.  Continued review resulted in a second Supplemental Response on three more topics on December 5.

Our very quick on line review of Draft 4 shows an incredible amount of additions, deletions, and modifications from Draft 3.  There is red and blue ink on many pages.  It will take considerable time just to note the differences from Draft 3, not to mention the time required to compare changes from previous drafts and changes from the existing Ordinance and other documents.  We need to determine whether our previously submitted topics have been adequately addressed in Draft 4.  To produce a comprehensive written response on many new topics, similar to what we have done previously, will take considerably more time.

A January 4, 2019, deadline for comments to Draft 4, is just not realistic, if the objective is to allow adequate time for meaningful input.   We urge that a more reasonable date of no sooner than February 1, 2019, be set to receive comments from the public.  The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on January 3, 2019.  There are no other workshops or public meetings currently scheduled, to the best of my knowledge, to discuss what is in Draft 4 before the January 4, 2019, deadline.

The Community Design Center’s workshop is tentatively scheduled for February 1, 2019, with a snow date of February 5, 2019.   I would expect that there will be many very important comments submitted on Draft 4 after that workshop.  That alone would be a strong reason to set a comments deadline of February 15, 2019.  It would seem prudent for City Council to delay holding its workshops until after revisions are made to Draft 4.  The content of Recode continues to be a moving target with substantial changes appearing in each succeeding Draft.

Community Forum wrote to City Council on October 9, 2018, to share our concerns about the existing timetable that had Recode going to MPC in November for their recommendation, and to City Council in December for their consideration of adoption.  See attached.  That letter followed remarks that I made at the September 20, 2018, City Council workshop.  At that time, the public had not even seen Draft 3.  Thankfully, a consensus was quickly reached to change that timetable.  Since that time, two more drafts to Recode and the Maps have been made public.  There has been much public discussion and input since then, and that must continue.

It is clear that there is still much more work to be done by all who are involved with this massive undertaking to replace the Zoning Ordinance.  An orderly process is required and cannot be rushed if we are to avoid total chaos going forward.  The current timetable needs to be changed immediately.

Community Forum looks forward to working with City Council members and others, as we work together to produce a Zoning Ordinance that will have the support of the citizens of Knoxville.  To achieve that objective, there must be meaningful community input and extensive discussion and debate on very specific topics.

Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request to extend the deadline for submitting comments to Recode Draft 4 and Maps Draft 3, and so that we can all have more time to observe and celebrate the upcoming holidays.

We look forward to a timely response to our request.


Larry Silverstein, Chairperson, Community Forum

Staff Reply:

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