Knoxville zoning survey underway: Weigh in

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A new public survey about the city’s zoning ordinance update was posted today by the city of Knoxville and the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

The survey, which should take 5-10 minutes to complete, will remain open through July 7. Feedback from will be used in MPC’s effort to review and overhaul the city’s zoning ordinance for the first time in 60 years, and the changes will likely shape the city and its neighborhoods for the next two to four decades, according to MPC director Gerald Green.

“Knox County is projected to add 170,000 residents by 2040, and this update of the City’s zoning ordinance will help prepare the community for that growth by striking a balance between protecting historic characteristics of neighborhoods and creating standards that encourage dynamic growth,” a city press release stated.

The Recode Knoxville website states that the current code is inconsistent and portions are “so obsolete that they hinder quality sustainable development.” Among the guiding principals of the project is an effort to increase connections between neighborhoods, downtown, and trails and parks – and without assuming that all that travel will (or should) happen by car.

In December, MPC tabled a Bearden mixed-use zoning plan it had been developing for more than a year, after City Council asked that it be folded into this comprehensive zoning ordinance update instead. It will likely affect a number of high-profile redevelopment efforts, including the Bearden, North Broadway and Magnolia corridors.

The next scheduled Recode Knoxville meeting will be the Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting, which is open to the public, at 10 a.m. July 19 in the Small Assembly Room of the City County Building.

S. Heather Duncan has won numerous awards for her feature writing and coverage of the environment, government, education, business and local history during her 15-year reporting career. Originally from Western North Carolina, Heather has worked for Radio Free Europe, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in London, and several daily newspapers. Heather spent almost a dozen years at The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., where she spent most of her time covering the environment or writing project-investigations that provoked changes such as new laws related to day care and the protection of environmentally-sensitive lands. You can reach Heather at

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