More than 60 of our neighbors from Westwood, Forest Heights, Deane Hill, Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills, West Hills, and Lyons View Community Club attended the May 9th Second District-wide Neighborhood Discussion on Recode. I want to thank Bearden Village Council for co-hosting this event and the League of Women Voters for supplying the PA equipment. We had a very informative discussion and I truly appreciate that so many of our neighbors took part in the dialogue.
The takeaway: Virtually everyone in attendance from neighborhoods, large and small, wanted to keep their current zoning or its equivalency under Recode. Those present from West Hills overwhelmingly wanted to preserve the prohibition on duplexes and ADUs they currently have, those from Forest Heights were less concerned about ADUs but were concerned about duplexes, and those from Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills expressed continued concern about ADUs. All of those present wanted to restore our current zoning ordinance’s prohibition on temporary outdoor sales and temporary outdoor entertainment in residential zones. The majority also wanted the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan to apply to all property, not just residential as is in the 5th Recode draft.
After reviewing a list of changes that I have been advocating for, we discussed the audience’s remaining concerns. Following this discussion, I have drafted the following potential amendments that our neighborhoods can begin discussing as a vote on Recode approaches:
1. Page 10-4: Accessory Structures
• Issue: The removal of #7 creates an ADU without following the section and standards of an ADU.
• Amendment Purpose: Restore the language in #7 making sure that the ADU section and standards cannot be bypassed. See: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft5/chapters/Article%2010%20Site%20Development%20Standards.pdf
• Amendment Text: Page 10-4, section A, subsection 7: “No accessory structure may contain both a permanent cooking facility and plumbing unless the structure also complies with section 10.3 B.”
• Issue: The chart in #6 needs to make it clear that the primary dwelling in a residential zone is dominate to the accessory structures.
• Amendment Purpose via Example: On a 10,000 square foot lot. If we apply Recode’s 30% maximum building coverage on page 4-3, you could have a 1,200 square foot house footprint as well as two 750 square foot accessory buildings and one 300 square foot accessory building. Under the current Recode draft, so long as the footprint of dwelling and all the accessory buildings occupies less than 3,000 square feet, and no single accessory building is larger than the primary dwelling structure, you can exceed what is presently allowed under our current zoning ordinance.
• For current ordinance’s “Maximum Size of Accessory Buildings and Structures” chart, see: https://library.municode.com/tn/knoxville/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=APXBZORE_ARTVSUREAPSPSEALDI_S4ACUSBUST
• For Recode’s proposed “Maximum Building Coverage For A Single Accessory Structure” chart, see: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft5/chapters/Article%2010%20Site%20Development%20Standards.pdf
• Amendment Text: Page 10-4, section A, subsection 6 chart: restore current zoning ordinance’s chart in #6 found at Article 5, Section 4 C of current zoning ordinance. The current zoning ordinance provides more flexibility as well as control given the second and third columns in the chart and the provisions in section D.
2. Page 10-4: Accessory Dwelling Units
• Issue: Given that we are combining the current R1, R1a, and R1e zones into Recode’s RN1, we need to consider that each of these zones has different infrastructure and will have differing ability to handle ADUs.
• Amendment Purpose: Make ADUs a special use in RN1 and RN2 residential districts so that differing infrastructure in different neighborhoods can be considered by staff while making sure that all standards have been upheld. It is important to note that in Recode a Duplex needs special use approval in RN1 and RN2 in the chart on page 9-3 under Dwelling- Two Family. This amendment would give an ADU the same treatment as a duplex. See: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft5/chapters/Article%2010%20Site%20Development%20Standards.pdf
• Amendment Text: Page 10-4, section B, subsection 2: “An ADU may be located only on a lot with one single-family dwelling in EN, RN1, and RN2 with special use approval. One of the dwelling units must be occupied by the owner of the property.”
3. In Article 4: Make ADUs optional in Established Neighborhoods (EN)
• Issue: Since some, but not all, of the neighborhoods present are concerned about ADUs, a potential amendment in the EN zone could provide the neighborhood choice over these accessory structures. The existing Established Neighborhood zone under the current code in EN1 and EN2 in Article 4 section 2.1.4., the neighborhood can make decisions regarding design guidelines, etc. during the application process. Established neighborhoods have larger lot sizes around a half acre, have design guidelines, and Recode does not permit duplexes in EN.
• Amendment Purpose: EN is a neighborhood led designation, so giving neighborhoods the ability to make choices regarding ADU’s is consistent with this process. See: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft5/chapters/Article%2010%20Site%20Development%20Standards.pdf
• Amendment Text: Page 10-4, section B, subsection 2: “An ADU may be located only on a lot with one single-family dwelling in RN1 and RN2 with special use approval and shall be permitted in EN only if the neighborhood so designates in a new EN application. One of the dwelling units must be occupied by the owner of the property.”
4. Page 2-24: Temporary Outdoor Sales
• Issue: Temporary Outdoor Sales according to the matrix on page 9-6 is a temporary use in all residential zones in Recode.
• This does not refer to garage sales, rather, the definition on page 2-24 refers to “temporary structures, where goods are sold, such as consignment auctions, arts and crafts fairs, flea markets, rummage sales, temporary vehicle sales, and holiday sales.”
• The changes in draft 5, added in time limits but our current zoning ordinance, specifically references residential areas and states, “the provisions of this article do not seek to control sales by individual selling a few of their household or personal items.” So, the prohibition in our current zoning ordinance is on a flea market like environment existing in the house next door, while being permissive of a garage sale. See Article 8, section 16 of our current zoning ordinance. See: https://library.municode.com/tn/knoxville/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH16LIMIBURE_ARTVIIIPEPRSA
• The Temporary Outdoor Sales provision in Recode on page 9-31, is intended to allow sales in a residential district in events associated with and conducted by a “place of worship, educational facility, or registered neighborhood association.”
• The change in Recode over our existing zoning ordinance would allow your neighbor to operate a flea market or vehicle sales where items are acquired for the purpose of resale, so long as it is conducted by one of these entities.
• Amendment Purpose: Make Temporary Outdoor Sales allowable only on the site of place of worship or educational facility and not the house next door. See: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft5/chapters/Article%209%20Uses.pdf
• Amendment Text: Page 9-31 subsection H, number 1: “Temporary outdoor sales in the residential districts is restricted to those events associated with, conducted by, and located on the site of a place of worship or educational facility.”
5. Page 9-30: Temporary Outdoor Entertainment
• Issue: The current zoning ordinance makes it clear that carnival and circus is not allowed in residential zones as a temporary use, see Article 5, section 13. See: https://library.municode.com/tn/knoxville/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=APXBZORE_ARTVSUREAPSPSEALDI_S13TEUS
• Amendment Purpose: The changes in draft 5 added time limits and removed circus, carnival, firework show, horseshow from the definition, but we need to restore that these are not permitted in residential zones where the principal use is residential dwelling. See: https://recodeknoxville.com/documents/library/drafts/draft5/chapters/Article%209%20Uses.pdf
• Amendment Text: Page 9-30, section G, subsection 1: “Temporary outdoor entertainment in residential districts is restricted to those events associated with, conducted by, and located on the site of a place of worship or educational facility.”