As we approach the end of 2018, change is all around us. Some of the most notable changes include a major office renovation and an agency rebrand. If you stop by our office or spend time on our website, you’ll notice that we’re now calling ourselves Knoxville-Knox County Planning, we have a new logo, and we've reconfigured our workspace.
People often assume MPC’s work is limited to things like rezonings and sector plans. Not only is the work coming out of our office more diverse than that, much of it is integral to projects and programs happening throughout the area. Find out more about a recent effort of our GIS and Addressing staff that serves as an example of one of these low-profile, high impact projects.
You’re invited to a public presentation given by Seth LaJeunesse. Seth is the Assistant Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, an organization that focuses on improving the safety of children walking and bicycling to school. He is a Research Associate with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center, where he evaluates behavioral interventions designed to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety and access, and designs studies that draw from psychology, sociology, and systems science. He primarily focuses on studying youth traffic safety and finding better ways to share effective road safety practices. His presentation will focus on how we can begin to put an end to traffic deaths.
Knoxville is growing and will continue to do so. In the next few decades, we expect thousands of new residents to call our city home. The update of the city’s zoning ordinance will help prepare the community for that growth, striking a balance between protecting valued traits of existing neighborhoods and creating vibrant new communities to accommodate all residents.
MPC is working with a consultant on the newly adopted City of Knoxville and Knox County Wireless Communications Facilities ordinances. Read on to find out more.
After a one-year grace period, the use of the 10th edition ITE Trip Generation Manual for any Traffic Impact Study (TIS) submitted for a development reviewed by MPC is now required. Per MPC policy, traffic access and impact studies must be submitted along with applications for concept subdivision plan, use-on-review, and development plan requests which fall within certain 24-hour trip generation ranges. More information about these requirements, when it is appropriate to use fitted curve instead of average rate, and the deadline to submit a TIS can be found in this memo.
MPC bid a fond farewell to five colleagues in September – three retired, and two others are moving on to new endeavors. Combined, the departing staff members had 129 years of experience. While we are already missing their expertise and camaraderie, we are excited for them as they start new chapters.
A second community meeting was held on Sunday, September 9, at SoKno Market to review the recommendations of the John Sevier Scenic Highway Corridor Study. Approximately 30 people attended and provided their input on the current draft recommendations for the study.
The Planning Commission is an advisory board made up of citizens appointed by City and County Mayors, serving four-year terms without compensation. These volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and represent a broad spectrum of community interests and concerns. June 30, 2018 marked the start of three new Commissioners.
MPC recently completed an update to the Major Road Plan, a tool used to coordinate and regulate land use. The document exists to ensure that the public’s investment in roadway infrastructure is protected as development occurs by preserving roadway facilities for their intended purpose. A presentation on the update that is open to the public will be given in September, and comments are now being accepted.
MPC is working with several community groups throughout the City of Knoxville and will share information about the second draft of the updated zoning ordinance at a series of upcoming meetings.
We encourage you to attend one of these meetings to learn more about the project! If you are unable to attend, please be sure to check out the Recode Knoxville website. Information presented at the meetings will be shared on the website. You can also submit comments online! Get in touch with us here or email us at email@example.com.
Residential growth in downtown Knoxville started slowly in the early 2000s. Within about five years it was starting to gain traction and has accelerated more recently. This resurgence started with the conversion of historic non-residential buildings like Sterchi Lofts, a building constructed to serve as the Sterchi Brothers Furniture Company headquarters in 1920 and renovated into 100 apartments in 2002.
MPC Commissioners and staff recently visited Cincinnati to learn about development in the Over the Rhine neighborhood and around the Bengals and Reds stadiums. While the two projects are very different, there are some similarities in the development approaches being used for both.
At the June MPC meeting, staff adopted an amendment to the Administrative Rules to stop accepting concept subdivision plans and use on review requests up until the extended (double fee) deadline. This change would mean that these applications would need to be submitted by the standard application deadline.
Join Active Knox for a public presentation on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, with Ben Crenshaw, senior vice president over design at Southern Land Company. He has vast experience creating quality mixed-use communities with affordable housing components.
The local construction industry had another big year in 2017, according to MPC’s recently released Development Activity Report. Knox County saw residential building activity top the 3,100-unit mark, and non-residential projects totaled 133. Building gains extended a trend of near-steady growth since the housing crisis took its toll on local activity earlier in the decade – the homebuilding market hit bottom in 2011 when only 997 units were built.
Jana Lynott of AARP’s Livable Communities Team recently visited Knoxville as part of the Active Knox speaker series. Jana discussed AARP’s interest in making sure that communities design their streets and neighborhoods so that seniors can enjoy transportation choices and age in place if they choose.
The initial draft is more transparent, predictable and consistent than the current ordinance, which was achieved through updates to the document’s organization, processes, and procedures. Neighborhoods, community groups and professionals are invited to attend community meetings and share their feedback on the first of three drafts.
Three meetings were held in February to let all city residents join the conversation.
MPC is facilitating a study of Gov. John Sevier Scenic Highway to protect rich historic assets, rural character and scenic qualities of the corridor. A stakeholder committee has formed and the first community meeting is scheduled for early March.
MPC planners recently met with residents from West and Northwest areas of the city to talk about upcoming changes to the One Year Plan.
MPC has some map housekeeping to take care of. A series of changes that replaces outdated Slope Protection and Stream Protection data will complete a modernization process that began in 2011.
Welcome to our new AmeriCorps member, Susan Shin. Susan is not new to AmeriCorps or to the City-County Building. She served with City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods in 2015-2016. Susan has a degree in Global Studies from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.
The Knoxville Regional TPO is celebrating its 40th anniversary as the region’s metropolitan planning organization. The TPO was established in May 1977 through the appointment of an Executive Board by the Governor of Tennessee. The urbanized area initially included just the City of Knoxville and a portion of Knox County.