Knox Commerce

Recode Knoxville Kicks Off at Chamber; Effort Aims to Streamline Zoning Process

BY: AMY NOLAN

When the city of Knoxville’s zoning ordinance is rewritten in its entirety, the process for obtaining and permitting new projects should be more predictable, consistent, and timely.

That was one of the messages delivered by Gerald Green, executive director of the Metropolitan Planning Commission, at a Knoxville Chamber presentation that kicked off Recode Knoxville, the effort to create a new city zoning code that will govern the use and development of private property; addresses all aspects of site development, including accessory structures, temporary uses and landscaping; and establishes the administrative process for zoning approvals.

Aristra Strungys, a consultant hired to assist MPC in the effort, said her firm has found in its preliminary work that the current code requires too much interpretation, makes mixed-use development difficult, is missing key elements, and creates roadblocks to sustainable development.

“Our approach is to find out what your issues and problems are and to identify solutions,” said Strungys, who leads the zoning practice at Camiros Ltd., a Chicago-based planning, zoning, and urban design firm.

The kick-off at the Knoxville Chamber is the first of numerous ways members can stay engaged in the process and provide feedback to planners.

A website, recodeknoxville.com, contains more information on the project and will continue to be updated. Additional workshops will also be scheduled after the completion of a technical report and several drafts over the next 18 months.