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Nile, 37909
May 12, 2022

We hear the cry of affordable housing from developers and MPC throughout Knoxville. But the City's/MPCs only solution appears to be remove zoning codes and adopt an "anything goes anywhere" approach to land use. Zoning is what makes Cities great. Europe has strict zoning regulations, and the best American cities as well. We can easily provide new market housing while preserving neighborhoods and the best parts about Knoxville. Businesses and people do not relocate to Knoxville because we've got a bunch of giant apartment bldgs and to say so is a bold lie. They come because of character, green spaces, and natural beauty as well as opportunity. There are LOADs of under utilized commercial land lots throughout the City and County and they're all on Major thoroughfares already. Instead of pushing through poorly thought through rezone attempts on every inch of available land, which destroys character and existing property value and creating traffic nightmares - think differently! Use real long term vision. Develop these ugly strip malls on Kingston, Clinton, Western, Middlebrook etc etc into large density multi spaces. They haven't been renovated or changed in decades. Require developers that want to do large projects like these to use existing land use lots or pay an assessment fee. This is not a zero sum equation


Kellie, 37920
May 11, 2022

I would like to encourage mixed residential and retails buildings (retail on the bottom floor is ideal) if apartments/condos are built because that setup makes a community more livable and interesting rather than just having apartments/condos by themselves. But I also still highly desire limiting urban sprawl.
Other suggestions:
- use semi-impervious surfaces for public areas, developments, parks (limit the over-use of concrete) to allow groundwater infiltration from rain
- education and schools should be a priority, along with public parks and public spaces
- affordable housing should be built all over to discourage gentrification of some areas (like how West Knox is more wealthy than East Knox as an example)

Lastly, it would great if Advance Knox could do more with their advertising, maybe holding public events or having people visit colleges/schools, be a guest speaker on NPR, etc. because I only accidentally discovered Advance Knox. Many of the people I know had never heard of it either. This just limits the range of people that can publicly participate.


Marion, 37721
May 9, 2022

Update to my 5/1/2022 comment: a fine, educated, country boy, who is part of the Advance Knox spider web of bureaucracy, called me today (5/9/2022), at 9:30 AM on the dot. We talked 45 minutes. I am impressed and encouraged. My opinion now is that Advance Knox is doing all that it can, to prevent urban sprawl into mostly rural areas and to use wisdom for new growth in the county. The gentleman is welcome to arrange a face-to-face visit with me. I'd like to look him in the eye and tell him thanks, in person! Advance Knox, y'all keep on doing right, for us! Thank you. See my 5/9/2022 article, on my website, Appalachian Irishman.


Marion, 37721
May 6, 2022

See my 5/1/2022 comment. On 5/3/2022, a gentleman left me voice mail, when I could not answer. On 5/4/2022, I left the gentleman two voice mails. On 5/5/22, I emailed the gentleman. On 5/6/2022, I received a generic email from Advance Knox (which was probably sent to many). Later, on 5/6/2022, I replied to the Advance Knox email, with copy to the gentleman, whose "read receipt" I have seen. SO, WHEN WILL ANYONE CALL ME, again, for a CONVERSATION BY PHONE? Crickets still chirp. My "Appalachian Irishman" website may write about this -- if I have the interest to do so. I have local and international readers. My website started in 03/2006.


Marion, 37721
May 1, 2022

From a section in my website (appalachianirishman.com) article, 5/1/22: "On 4/4/22, I replied to the 4/4/22 email that I had received, from contact@advanceknox.org. I stated, as I had requested, in the 3/29/22 virtual meeting, that I was still awaiting a phone call from those folks. I had and have requested phone conversation with Advance Knox. As of this date, Advance Knox has not called me. The crickets chirp only."

Read the section in my 5/1/22 article for my full comments on this topic. Will y'all ever get around to calling me? I want to talk by phone, not emails!


Ernest, 37922
April 22, 2022

I want to strongly encourage the idea to keep the South Knoxville river front a community area with parks that all of Knoxville can enjoy. I am worried that the land will only go to developers (including the University) and the rest of the community will be left out.

There are so many successful riverfront developments that benefit the community and become a magnet for the city. Knoxville has that opportunity in front of it. Let's make Knoxville's south riverfront world class.


Kellie, 37920
April 17, 2022

There are many high density housing projects going up around the waterfront in South Knox, such as condos and apartments. However, too many of these is taking away from community space, areas, and an overall tight-knit atmosphere and is turning some neighborhoods into urban centers instead. Even with the new high density living spaces, there is not enough accompanying business and entertainment space. The main restaurant options are fast food instead of individually owned, healthy, and unique restaurants. Many of the new developments in South Knox do not have any new business or restaurants, which could help improve the area. There needs to be a focus on making South Knox bikable and walkable instead of car and highway focused as that tends to fracture neighboords and community. More waterfront parks should be planned for the areas where industry currently are along the South Knox waterfront near Blount Ave instead of having more high density living. The waterfront area is valuable and should be a community resource rather than sold to investors for them alone to make a profit and enjoy the area. South Knox also needs more sidewalks and greenways to make it more bikeabke and walkable.


John, 37920
April 14, 2022

UT is proposing a $55 million dollar bridge from Thompson Bowling Arena to the Scottish Pike Neighborhood. As most of the student housing is up a windy road at the Bluffs, they can only really gain in building a bridge if they plan on raising the Scottish Pike neighborhood and building high density housing.

I think that money would be better spent purchasing the industrial land and converting it into parks, open space, and some moderate mixed use development (resultants, cafes, entertainment), creating interconnecting community spaces from Vestal Park to Ijams.

I think there is a greater intrinsic value of shared community space for the broader community. The riverfront, being a limited natural resource, should be accessible for everybody. Development projects by UT or by large development organizations like Dominion are more likely to be in line with the current condos and apartment complexes that cut off the riverfront and dominate the scenery (likely tearing down a lot of the existing neighborhood to do so).


Rachel, 37920
April 5, 2022

Expanding short-term rental regulations throughout the county would be a positive step. These units destroy a sense of community in a neighborhood, lead to increased crime, noise, and traffic, and exacerbate the housing shortage. I wouldn't choose to buy a house next to a hotel or inn, but have no recourse when one opens next door, despite being zoned as a residential area. If the rental is not owner occupied, it should only be allowed to operate in an area zoned for business.


MARTIN, 37918
April 3, 2022

CONNECTIVITY
Unfortunately, some planners and designers want to use a tributary model for the road layout, rather than a network, with the resulting traffic congestion forcing people to go out of their way. Private sector market forces cannot solve these problems. All developments of any geographical extent need to have multiple ways in and out, even if it requires some demolition of existing structures.
Related are car-trap parking lots. All commercial operations with parking need to have connectivity with each other ' a way through the hedges and barricades put up between them. That way people can go next door, or turn into the "wrong" parking lot when that is the best option.


MARTIN, 37918
April 2, 2022

General Comment # 2

CONNECTIVITY
Unfortunately, some planners and designers want to use a tributary model for the road layout, rather than a network, with the resulting traffic congestion forcing people to go out of their way. Private sector market forces cannot solve these problems. All developments of any geographical extent need to have multiple ways in and out, even if it requires some demolition of existing structures.
Related are car-trap parking lots. All commercial operations with parking need to have connectivity with each other ' a way through the hedges and barricades put up between them. That way people can go next door, or turn into the "wrong" parking lot when that is the best option.


Martin, 37918
April 2, 2022

To amplify a general comment I put in on the virtual meeting.

SOLAR FARMS
Solar farms in our region of the country will require constant mowing or herbicide application to keep down vegetation that otherwise takes over. Otherwise, they will have to pave the area, and how environmental is that? And add to that the cost of the infrastructure, the lines and right-of-way to bring the power from the solar farm to where it's used.

This may be unrealistic, but we need to have solar cells erected over roofs and parking lots before we go out and cover potential productive farmland with them. For support over parking lots. erect a grid of 16 - 20 ft. tall poles, the whole thing stabilized with horizontal cables anchored as guy wires around the perimeter. Then the solar panels provide shade in the summer, and the power would need little or no new distribution infrastructure. After roofs and parking lots, we need to utilize all these existing high voltage powerline right-of-ways where they already need to keep the vegetation down.


Subrina, 37914
March 30, 2022

When I 1st moved to Knoxville from Cincinnati over 20 years ago right out of high school. I caught the bus to the mall and missed the bus on the way back. The next bus didn't come until an hour later. I said I would never catch the bus again because it takes so long for another bus to arrive. Knoxville is already a city where walking to the nearest store or park is not feasible, due to lack of sidewalks and roads that are not safe to walk on; therefore public transportation should be more readily and frequently available. I think more bus stops and coverage area needs to be implemented. Aslo, all across the state investers are buying up land and creating one way in, one way out crowded subdivisions to make as much money as possible. Some people still cherish and value having land. If creating a subdivision is necessary, create one that is not one way in, one way out and not so crowded. Let the lots in those subdivisons be spacious to create that country, southern feel while actually being close to or in the city.


P, 37922
March 28, 2022

Strict density and development control needs to be implemented/maintained in rural residential areas. Slope and ridge top protections need to be codified, like the city of Knoxville has done.

The County SECTOR Plans should be retained, also. Sector PLANS provide the context for Zoning Decisions and serve as a BRIDGE between the policies of the General Plan and ZONING.

The Zoning Process should in NO WAY, be streamlined as this would alienate the public. Numerous steps need to be involved so those that have a real vested interest: we drive the roads, we live in the area, we sit in the congested traffic, we endure flooding roads - can participate. Reducing time and steps involved in the Zoning process will NOT benefit the citizenry of this County.


Mark, 37918
March 28, 2022

I hope there will be a solid review of past planning efforts and future plans for Knox County will include ideas, input and general community agreements resulting from Nine Counties One Vision, PlanET and East Tennessee Quality Growth.


Jeni, 37932
March 28, 2022

With the growth in Hardin Valley, there needs to be more focus on zoning land for use other than residential. Specifically there is a dire need for an additional educational system. The Hardin Valley system is already grossly overcrowded, and there are still many planned residential communities to be built within the district. There is a need for a K-12 system near the Watt Road area to address the growth. There also needs to be more commercial zoning within the area for business development to support the community.


Ann, 37919
March 28, 2022

Many cities, including Chattanooga, Memphis and Birmingham are using a microtransit on-demand service to solve some of the transportation problems we have here in Knoxville. Our problems include;
First last mile walks to a bus
Pedestrians hit by cars walking to bus
Long wait and commute times especially if transfers are necessary
Buses can’t get people to 2nd and 3rd shift
jobs
Many jobs are outside the KAT routes
Please consider an on-demand microtransit system for Knox county!


William, 37938
March 24, 2022

I don't understand why the rights of way and access the County already has to utilities like the property around power transmission lines isn't used for hiking, dog walking, bicycling, etc. Power lines already cross the county for dozens if not hundreds of miles and would provide wooded, pastoral, and city outdoor exercise opportunities. Contractors already have and need periodic access so its there just waiting to be used and already developed in many areas. It could be implemented tomorrow.


Keith, 37919
March 20, 2022

Facilitating pedestrian, bicycle, and other non-motorized traffic within school zones is paramount. Knox County must provide a safe path for every student to commute from/to their zoned schools, no matter the vehicle traffic load at any particular time of day. This type of initiative would both increase property values and provide incentives for high paying employers to relocate to Knox County.