Important – Please Read
As you may recall, this year
Northshore Corridor Association leaders joined with community leaders from across the county to form the Knox County Planning Alliance – to address the lack of effective growth planning in Knox County in the face of a puch by the development community to weaken or eliminate existing planning law.
The Alliance has worked very hard to impact the Mayor Jacobs effort to change – and we believe, to weaken, without a replacement in place – the very important state law which controls planning and protects remaining undeveloped land in our county.
This week, after months of work, and several presentations to the Coordinating Committee that the Mayor was required by state law to convene to consider change to the planning law, the Alliance, with much concern, sent this message to the press.
Knox County Planning Alliance Urges Robust Discussion about Proposed Amendment by Growth Plan Coordinating Committee
Knoxville, TN – Sep 30, 2019 – The Growth Plan Coordinating Committee will meet at 5PM on Monday, Sept 30th, in the Main Assembly Room vote on Mayor Jacob’s proposed Growth Plan Amendment. Knox County Planning Alliance (“KCPA”) urges the committee members to engage in a robust discussion, since this is the first opportunity in almost 20 years to address growth issues in Knox County.
The Knox County Growth Policy Plan determines where future growth of the city and county will occur, identifies areas for agricultural and environmental conservation, and sets high-level policies for development in those areas, including housing density and the types of development allowed. The county is divided into three major areas: Urban, Planned Growth Area, and Rural Area. The proposed amendment removes all density and use restrictions from the Rural Area.
Committee members have mentioned the need to address pollution caused by development and for development to pay the full share of the infrastructure and public services costs. Pollution – noise, light, air, stormwater runoff, litter – will get worse with more development. The existing noise, light, and litter ordinances are weak and frequently violated, and there is no proposal to address the inevitable increased pollution consequences of adopting this proposed amendment. Determining the cumulative fiscal impact of development on transportation, utilities, schools, emergency services, and parks is critical for community leaders, but fiscal impact is not addressed in the proposed amendment. Nor is a mechanism provided to collect these costs from property developers. This will result in the taxpayers continuing to provide substantial subsidies for development.
If the proposed Growth Plan amendment is adopted, it is imperative that the Knox County Commission proceed with an update to the Knoxville – Knox County General Plan, The General Plan was adopted in 2003 and is best-known for the twelve (12) Sector Plans, which are periodically updated with detailed background information and proposed land use. A streamlined and updated General Plan, requiring Sector Plan reinforcement, will be even more critical if developmental policies are removed from the Growth Plan by the proposed amendment.
Kevin Murphy, KCPA chair, said, “KCPA spent hundreds of hours preparing and presenting background material and testimony at public hearings to the Growth Plan Coordinating Committee. We would like the committee to take the first opportunity since 2001 to address the development impact, aligning the growth of public services to growth demands and development. We urge the committee to engage in a robust discussion and not vote on the amendment until they have determined how to deal with the inevitable follow-up consequences of the amendment – pollution, and increased infrastructure and public service costs.”
On Monday the Mayor’s committee passed his proposed amendment that many believe was effectively crafted by the development and construction industries. Now the fate of the County rests with Knox County Commission. We urge you to acquaint yourself with the above information and talk to your commissioner.