New zoning rules reshaping the future of Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville City Council passed "Recode Knoxville" Tuesday night, which will change the 50-year-old zoning rules and maps across the city.

The project is 400 pages long, and it's pushing a city-wide debate.

The goal is to continue using resources efficiently and build a strong, sustainable, walk-able community.

Folks in the community tell WVLT they have three key concerns.

First thing is commercial parking. Fewer large surface parking lots will be built. Plus, parking lots will be behind businesses, making more room for walkers and bikers.

Another change is what the city is calling a live/work structures. That would allow an apartment complex and a restaurant to be in the same building.

It's a change that's peaking some interest.

"That will help reduce sprawl. It will reduce traffic congestion that comes from that traffic congestion," Elizabeth Rowland, a resident said.

Homeowners will be able to add Accessory Dwelling Units, which is like backyard tiny homes or a grandmother's suite.

One realtor said that could put a dent in your pockets.

"Once they go to sell it, it's considered multiple property and they will not be able to get an FHA, USDA, or THTA loan. The only thing they'll be able to get would be a conventional loan, with 20-percent down," Debbie Phillips said.

The council also voted to pass the new mapping zones that corresponds to the 400-page text.

Council member Seema Singh said somethings needed to be changed. She said, for example, some high schools have been changed from agricultural to an institutional zone.

Singh also said the stack is just a framework of new codes. The public still has a voice to make a change.

For questions or concerns, the public can call 3-1-1.

You can also research the entire document by clicking here.

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