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Gov. John Sevier Scenic Highway Corridor Community Meeting

March 12, 2018 | More News

More than 70 people came out on Sunday, March 4, to SoKno Market off Governor John Sevier Highway to a community meeting regarding the scenic nature of the corridor.

The highway has been designated as part of the State of Tennessee’s Scenic Highways since 1971. However, the standards of the statute only pertain to building height, signage, and junkyards within 1,000 and 2,000 feet of the highway. Increasing population growth, traffic concerns and development along the highway prompted community members to ask Knox County Commissioner Carson Dailey to seek a resolution asking the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) to study the corridor in June of 2017. As part of this process, an 18-member stakeholder committee was formed and has met four times to discuss the challenges in the corridor. The Sunday meeting was an opportunity for more community members to get involved in the conversation and provide ideas for maintaining the scenic character of the corridor in the future.

MPC staff reviewed development and transportation trends in the corridor, as well as existing land use recommendations from the 2013 South County Sector Plan. . Recommendations both for the future 2034 Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) road widening project and for design guidelines as part of a previously recommended corridor zoning overlay were addressed.

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Community members were polled during the presentation and the majority of respondents reported that they have lived in the area more than 20 years. When asked to list the top three things that make Governor John Sevier Highway scenic respondents noted the following:

  • Trees along the highway,
  • Farms and open space, and
  • Historic structures and areas.

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When asked to name the best way to keep the corridor scenic the top choices were:

  • Keep existing trees and plant new ones,
  • Create standards for the look of new buildings, and
  • Start a property and business owner association.

After the presentation, meeting attendees were encouraged to visit stations to ask additional questions.Staff from TDOT and MPC were available to discuss transportation concerns, historic resources, planning and zoning, and specific comments that were recorded on a large format map of the corridor.

Community members are encouraged to continue submitting comments to MPC and the John Sevier Scenic Highway Stakeholder Committee. There are several options for submitting comments - email Liz Albertson at liz.albertson@knoxmpc.org or call 865-215-3804. Comments may also be submitted on the project page.

The next steps for the project include a stakeholder committee meeting to review comments received from the community and a second community meeting to discuss recommendations and get additional feedback. Ultimately, recommendations will be presented to MPC and the Knox County Commission for their review and to determine next steps toward implementation of those recommendations.


Related news:

Community Coming Together to Discuss the John Sevier Scenic Highway Corridor

John Sevier Scenic Highway Corridor Stakeholder Committee Meeting Summary