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Meeting Recap September 18, 2018: Oakwood Neighborhood Overlay

September 26, 2018 | More News

MPC staff hosted a public meeting at the Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Clubhouse on Tuesday, September 18, to discuss design review overlay options for a portion of the Oakwood neighborhood.

There were approximately 30 attendees, including members of the Metropolitan Planning Commission and Knoxville City Council.

MPC Historic Preservation Planner Kaye Graybeal outlined details on two options for establishing a design review overlay: Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (NC-1) and Historic Zoning Overlay (H-1). Within an NC-1 Overlay, only new construction and demolitions are reviewed by the Historic Zoning Commission. Within an H-1 Overlay, changes to existing structures are also reviewed. Additional information about the process and criteria for establishing each was discussed, as well as the level and scope of review that each would entail.

Attendees were interested in the overall differences, and some specific questions were presented. It was asked if demolitions could be prohibited within the area of the existing IH-1 Overlay that is not proposed to be covered by an additional overlay. It was explained that this safeguard could only be provided to areas within an NC-1 or H-1 Overlay.

Also addressed were questions about how Recode Knoxville and the North Central Street projects might affect the area.

MPC Executive Director Gerald Green discussed the proposed zoning designation for the neighborhood, stating that an RN-2 zoning designation would be applied to most of the neighborhood in response to a City Council resolution directing MPC to protect the single family character of the neighborhood.

He also noted that duplexes would be permitted as a Special use, requiring Planning Commission approval, anywhere in the RN-2 zone provided the minimum lot size requirement was provided and that specified design standards were met. Mr. Green also said that areas for small scale multi-family development may be designated at the edges of the neighborhood. A map showing a side-by-side comparison of the current zoning and proposed zoning is available on the Recode website. A chart comparing current residential zones to those being proposed for Recode are also available.

The next step in this process is for the neighborhood to form a design guideline sub-committee. This group will recommend which characteristics of the neighborhood are important to protect and, using examples from other neighborhoods as a model, prepare a preliminary draft of design guidelines. MPC staff will assist in the initial subcommittee meeting to provide insight on how the design guidelines may be applied in various scenarios. The draft outline of the guidelines will be presented at a future neighborhood meeting so that affected property owners can provide input on the level of design review they support within an overlay district.