Knoxville Neighborhood Advisory

Knoxville Neighborhood Advisory – Vol. 8, No. 22 – Tuesday June 30, 2015

PDF Version: http://bit.ly/NeighborhoodNewsletterVol8No22

1. Public Forum Today on Washington Pike Project
2. Design Center to Present Parkridge Streetscape Plan
3. City to Break Ground for Suttree Landing Park
4. Forum to Highlight Transit Oriented Development
5. New MPC Director Begins Work This Week
6. Races Narrow, SKNBC Plans Forum
7. Election Commission Eyes Changes in Polling Locations
8. City Issues Urban Forest Report
9. City Offices Closed Friday
10. Neighborhood and Government Calendar

Published by the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods to report news important to Knoxville’s residential neighborhoods. News & calendar deadline: 5 p.m. Mondays.

1. Public Forum Today on Washington Pike Project

Staff from the City of Knoxville’s Engineering Department and the City’s consultants (CDM Smith) for the Washington Pike Roadway Improvements Project will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. today — Tuesday, June 30 — regarding the roadway concept design for Washington Pike from I-640 to Murphy Road.

The meeting will be held in the Harvest Park Community Center at New Harvest Park, 4775 New Harvest Lane, on Washington Pike just east of the Target store and behind Knoxville Center Mall.

As reported earlier (Advisory May 29, 2015), the Washington Pike Roadway Improvements Project is not currently scheduled for construction. However, this meeting will provide information about the project status, present the concept design for streetscape improvements and provide an opportunity for public comments and suggestions.

2. Design Center to Present Parkridge Streetscape Plan

The East Tennessee Community Design Center will present the Parkridge Streetscape Concept Plan next week at the Parkridge Community Organization’s regular monthly meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 6, at the Cansler Family YMCA, 616 Jessamine Street.

The plan will provide concepts and ideas for the possible future development of Washington Avenue between Sixth Avenue (location of the now famous underpass murals) to Winona Avenue.

Funded for such projects by the City of Knoxville’s Community Development Department using Community Development Block Grant funds, ETCDC has worked on the concept with and/or solicited ideas from PCO representatives; Washington Avenue businesses including Peace by Piece and its owner, Gigi Saunders; local developer Brian Haun; Habitat for Humanity; Napier Development; Abbey Fields Farms; KUB; and several city departments.

3. City to Break Ground for Suttree Landing Park

Mayor Madeline Rogero and members of City Council will join community members next week to launch the construction of the new Suttree Landing Park, 1101 Phillips Avenue, on the Tennessee River.

The groundbreaking event will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 7.

“We are very excited to have construction getting underway – more dirt moving! – on the South Waterfront,” the Mayor said recently. “This new 8-acre park is one of the key pieces of our South Waterfront redevelopment efforts. We were able to reuse and revitalize a former industrial site to create a premier new recreational amenity in South Knoxville that will connect park visitors to the Tennessee River.”

The park will include a festival lawn, river walk, children’s playground, an accessible boat dock, a put-in ramp, river overlooks and plenty of parking. Complementing the park will be a new 2,988-foot-long two-lane tree-lined street, Waterfront Drive, which will offer direct access to Suttree Landing Park.

Indeed, the roadbed is now in place for Waterfront Drive. “It’s an active construction zone, but you’ll be able to view work on the new road from a safe distance while celebrating the park’s ground-breaking,” the Mayor noted.

4. Forum to Highlight Transit Oriented Development

Knoxville area residents are invited to attend a public workshop on transit oriented development (TOD) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street.

TOD is a type of community development that includes a mixture of housing, office, retail and/or other amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood and located within a half-mile of quality public transportation.

The workshop will be led by representatives from Smart Growth America (www.smartgrowthamerica.org) and is part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. They will present a broad overview of strategies for implementing TOD in Knoxville and in surrounding communities, and explain how it might benefit the region.

5. New MPC Director Begins Work This Week

Gerald Green, the new executive director of the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), begins work tomorrow, July 1.

Green will be available via the main MPC phone number at 865-215-2500, and his email address is Gerald.Green@knoxmpc.org.

The new E.D. has a Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a B.A. in Urban Affairs from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He served as Principal Planner for the East Tennessee Development District from 1979-1982 and later worked as a Senior Planner and Chief Planner for the City of Asheville, N.C., and in private practice as owner of NFocus Planning and Design in Asheville.

Since 2010 he has been the planning director for Jackson County, N.C., in southwestern North Carolina (Sylva is the county seat).

Green will oversee a staff of 35, with duties that include preparing and adopting a General Plan; reviewing subdivision regulations and site plans; preparing and recommending zoning ordinances and maps to the Knox County Commission and Knoxville City Council; and reviewing proposed zoning amendments.

He was selected by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett after a six-month search process. There were more than 30 applicants for the position. Green succeeds former MPC Executive Director Mark Donaldson, who retired at the end of 2014. Jeff Welch, Executive Director of the Transportation Planning Organization, has served as interim director of MPC in the meantime.

MPC was established in 1956 by Knoxville and Knox County as the agency responsible for comprehensive county-wide planning and administration of zoning and land subdivision regulations. Except for the town of Farragut, MPC continues in this role. Funding for MPC activities comes primarily from City and County appropriations and from federal grants for specific initiatives.

6. Races Narrow, SKNBC Plans Forum

The deadline for candidate withdrawals has now come and gone in the upcoming city elections, and two previously announced candidates have stepped aside.

Madeline Rogero is now unopposed for reelection to a second four-year term as the city’s Mayor following the withdrawal of Buck Cochran. For At-Large Seat B, Councilman Marshall Stair will now face only Pete Drew; Carly Baskette decided not to pursue a race at this time.

The other races are unchanged. Councilman George Wallace faces no opposition for At-Large Seat A. Councilman Finbarr Saunders still has three opponents — Kelly Absher, Paul Bonovich, and David Williams — in the race for At-Large Seat C. Fifth District Council Member Mark Campen has one opponent, Jennifer Mirtes. Municipal Court Judge John Rosson, Jr. has no opposition.

The primary election is set for Sept. 2, and the general election is Nov. 4.

Meanwhile, the South Knoxville Neighborhood and Business Coalition (SKNBC) will sponsor a City Council Candidate Forum and Meet-and-Greet from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, at Woodlawn Christian Church, 4339 Woodlawn Pike.

The format will consist of a five-minute introductory statement by the candidiates, a short Q&A session conducted by a moderator, and a breakout time afterwards for candidates to meet and speak with attendees.

7. Election Commission Eyes Changes in Polling Locations

The Knox County Election Commission will meet Friday morning, July 10, to consider a recommendation from Clifford Rodgers, administrator of elections, to move the polling place for the 9th precinct from the Moses Center, 220 Carrick Street, to Eternal Life Harvest Center (ELHC), a church located at the corner of University and Western Avenues.

Moses Center has been a challenge for a number of years, especially with regard to accessibility for voters using wheelchairs, Rodgers said. The new owner of the building, Emerald Charter School, offered to address the issues, but Rodgers said ELHC offers street level access and plenty of parking.

Several community members, including David Gillette of the Mechanicsville Community Association, proposed the change, Rodgers said.

The commission voted last April to move the 46th precinct polling location from West Hills Elementary School, where parking was very difficult, to the activity center located behind Church of the Nazarene just down the street on Vanosdale Road. In that case, Rodgers approached West Hills Community Association President Ashley Williams, who readily endorsed the move due to the parking crunch and the disruption to the school day.

Assuming the commission endorses the 9th precinct change, the staff in August will mail postcards to both 9th and 46th precinct voters informing them of the change, which will take place in the September city primary election. Volunteers will be posted at the old locations on election day to make sure voters know about the new locations, Rodgers added.

8. City Issues Urban Forest Report

Working with the Knoxville Tree Board, the City’s Urban Forester, Kasey Krouse, has prepared a comprehensive report, “State of the Urban Forest Report,” that is now available online here:

http://knoxvilletn.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109478/File/PublicService/Trees/state_of_urban_forest2015.pdf

The report provides links to previous tree studies and plans, lists the goals and guiding principles of the Urban Forest Division of the Public Service Department, covers the city’s recently completed and in-progress tree canopy studies, outlines action items for planting and conserving trees, and much more.

In addition to this resource, individuals and neighborhood groups may wish to review “Tree FAQs,” “Trees to Consider before Planting,” and other links on the Urban Forest pages of the City of Knoxville’s website.

Also, Krouse is available to speak to neighborhood groups on a wide variety of topics related to trees. See his listing in the Guest Speakers Guide.

9. City Offices Closed Friday

General government offices for the City of Knoxville will be closed this coming Friday, July 3, for the July 4 holiday.

Waste Connections, the City of Knoxville’s household garbage and recycling collector, will follow its regular schedule this week, working on Friday.

The City’s Solid Waste Management Facility / Transfer Station, 1033 Elm St., will be closed on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, in observance of the holiday. Amnesty Saturday (the first Saturday of each month, when no fees are charged to City residents using the facility) will take place on the second Saturday, July 11, due to the facility being closed on the first Saturday.

Downtown trash and recyclables will be collected on the regular schedule this week. The city’s recycling centers will be open for recycling; however, the Goodwill Industries attendant will not be available for household goods donations on Saturday.

10. Neighborhood and Government Calendar

Include your neighborhood-related event or meeting in this space. Call 215-3456.

Visit http://knoxvilletn.gov/calendar for a complete list of meetings of various city boards and commissions.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to attend a City of Knoxville public meeting, please contact Stephanie Brewer Cook at scook@knoxvilletn.gov or 215-2034 no less than 72 hours prior to the meeting you wish to attend.

Tuesday, June 30 — 5:30 p.m.
Public Meeting
Washington Pike Roadway Improvements Project
Update on project status, presentation of concept design
New Harvest Park Community Center, 4775 New Harvest Lane

Tuesday, June 30 — 6:30 p.m.
Chilhowee Park Neighborhood Association (Last Tuesdays)
Administration Building, Knoxville Zoo
Paul Ruff, 696-6584

Wednesday, July 1 — Breakfast – 7:30 a.m. Meeting – 8 a.m.
East Towne Area Business & Professional Association (First Wednesdays)
Neighborhood Residents and Leaders encouraged to attend
New Harvest Park Community Building
Chair, Justin Sterling, JSterling@simon.com

Friday, July 3
City Fourth of July Holiday
General Government Offices are Closed

Monday, July 6 — 1:00 p.m.
East Knoxville Community Meeting (First Mondays)
Burlington Branch Library, 4614 Asheville Highway
Michael Covington, 865-274-7958, mdcov@hotmail.com

Monday, July 6 — 4 p.m.
Love Towers Fellowship Association (First Mondays except holidays)
Love Towers Community Room; 1171 Armstrong St.
Bill Jackson, 221-4402

Monday, July 6 — 6:30 p.m.
Parkridge Community Organization (First Mondays except holidays)
Cansler YMCA, 616 Jessamine St.
David Anderson, (803) 259-6289, dander19@utk.edu

Monday, July 6 — 7 p.m.
Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association (First Mondays)
Community Club House, 916 Shamrock Ave. at Henegar St.
Bill Hutton, 773-5228, s_wlhutton@yahoo.com

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