As City Council begins considering changes to the final draft of Recode, I wanted to take a moment to review some of the proposed changes and how they would impact our District 2 neighborhoods.

City Council Residential Recode Workshop
Wednesday, February 20th at 5:30 PM
City County Building – Main Assembly Room

District 2 Zones:

Currently, the predominate neighborhood zone in the 2nd District is R1 and R1E. Under the changes proposed in Recode, R1 and R1E are combined into RN1, which would become the primary neighborhood zone in the 2nd District. To review your current zone and compare potential changes under Recode, visit: Recode Map select Map 3 and then Compare Existing/Proposed Maps.

Minimum Lot Size:

Currently, the minimum lot size is 7,500 square feet. Within a RN1 zone, that minimum lot size is increased to 10,000 square feet for a single-family home and 15,000 for a two-family home. This increase in minimum lot size makes it more difficult to subdivide lots in most of the District’s RN1 neighborhoods as many of our lots are larger than the current minimum lot size.

Duplexes and ADUs:

A duplex would be allowed in RN1 under Recode as a special use. Duplexes are presently prohibited in R1E zones (like West Hills, Forest Heights, and Westwood) but allowed in R1 zones (like Sequoyah Hills, Westmoreland, and Deane Hill) as a use on review. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) would be allowed in all residential zones, however, either the primary or accessory structure would have to be occupied by the owner.

Home Occupations:

The home occupation next door is another significant change under Recode in all residential zones. Currently, home occupations are limited to no more than 25% of the dwelling unit and require use on review approval. Under the present code, there is a list of permitted occupations: artist, barber/beauty shop, professional office, teaching/tutoring, computer programming, telephone answering, and cooking. There is also a list of prohibited occupations, including tea room, tourist home, real estate office, convalescent home, funeral establishment, animal hospital, repair shop, and catering service. For complete list please see Article V, Section 12 Home Occupations and Home Offices.

Under Recode, Home Occupations would not require use on review (or special use) approval. Furthermore, the limitation of the 25% rule is eliminated as to are the lists of prohibited and permitted home occupations. In our existing ordinance it very clear that home occupations are not allowed in accessory buildings and that off-street parking is required, but these requirements are not in Recode. Further, the catch all that “stores, trades, or business of any kind not herein excepted shall not be deemed to be home occupations” has also been removed under Recode. All provisions governing home office which is a permitted use in R1E, but not in R1, have also been removed in Recode.

The Day Care In The House Next Door:

Under our current zoning ordinance, up to five (5) children who don’t live on the property can be cared for in a private home in all residential zoning districts, including R1 and R1E, as a right, without use on review approval. Under Recode, the number of children who can be cared for in a home is increased from 5 to 7 unrelated individuals who don’t live in the home. This could result in many more children than 7 being cared for in house next door because related children not living in the house could be cared for but not counted in the 7. It is important to note that under Recode a Day Care Home does not include caring for children from a single household. The off-street parking requirements under Article 5 section 7 are the same in the current zoning ordinance as in Recode.

The community is invited to attend each upcoming Recode workshop. If you have specific questions regarding District 2, I can be reached at aroberto@knoxvilletn.gov.

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