Recode Knoxville passes 7-2 on first reading

Sandra ClarkOur Town Leaders

Update: Knoxville City Council voted 7-2 to adopt Recode Knoxville on first reading. The July 16 meeting again went past midnight with much discussion and amendments adopted by the council. A vote on the zoning map was postponed until council’s July 30 meeting, at which time the council is scheduled to vote on Recode on second reading.

Voting no were council members Seema Singh and Mark Campen.

Campen urged delay to allow the community to “digest what we’ve done here tonight.” He asked, “What’s the rush?”

Singh was upset by the council’s adoption of an amendment by Andrew Roberto which set up a procedure for neighborhoods to opt out of zoning which allows accessory dwelling units. Her voice broke as she explained her vote: “In one fell swoop a well-to-do neighborhood found a way to opt out. The map itself has lost a lot of multi-family housing. It feels like the same old thing. People who do well want to preserve what they have and we have given in to that. And we’re not making spaces for people who aren’t here tonight, who don’t have much.

“West Hills choosing to opt out really upsets me. It’s not fair to the rest of the city.”

Original story: Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero met the press Tuesday morning to make the best case for Recode Knoxville. It’s on the agenda for today’s 6 p.m. meeting of Knoxville City Council which could vote to adopt it on first reading. My reading is that Rogero has the necessary votes, albeit from some lame ducks who may never again face voters.

Several candidates have asked the council to delay the vote, letting new council members decide the contentious rezoning plan. But Rogero says it’s been thoroughly vetted and there isn’t another city council more prepared to deal with these issues or more committed to a careful review and balanced solution.

The mayor’s full statement: Rogero Statement on Recode Knoxville

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