A meeting to discuss a historic overlay district for a portion of the Oakwood Neighborhood has been scheduled for Jan. 30, 2020. The meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Emerald Youth Foundation at 1718 N. Central St. The meeting location can be accessed on the side of the building fronting E. Oak Hill Avenue. The area in question is defined by the boundaries of E. Morelia Avenue, Harvey Street, E. Oldham Avenue and N. Central Street.
The Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood added an Infill Housing Design Guideline Overlay in 2007 in an attempt to help preserve the area, but it does not protect historic structures from being demolished, nor guide exterior rehabilitation on existing houses. In the fall of 2016, Knoxville City Council requested that Knoxville-Knox County Planning make a recommendation for an overlay for the neighborhood to help preserve and protect it. Additional public meetings have been held by both planning staff and the Oakwood Design Overlay Committee since the spring of 2018.
The Oakwood Design Overlay Committee has been working with Knox Planning staff to draft design guidelines that are intentionally flexible and were written specifically to fit the range of architectural styles and construction materials used in the neighborhood. For the past two months, the committee has hosted four open house meetings to include more people from the neighborhood in the process. This workshop will build off those efforts, providing residents with an opportunity to learn more about the design guidelines and offer input.
Under a Historic Overlay, a Certificate of Appropriateness would be required to obtain building permits for new construction, additions, demolition, and exterior rehabilitation work. The proposed overlay will be reviewed by the Knoxville Historic Zoning Commission, Planning Commission, and City Council in the coming months.
The draft design guidelines may also be reviewed on the project page.
Ally Ketron is a communications and outreach specialist for Knoxville-Knox County Planning.