May 24 2020
03:35 pm
By: michael kaplan

A 'slice' indeed: slice the ridge, remove the trees, pave over the site for parking. Just what South Knoxville needs.


earlnemo's picture

Please elaborate.

I have seen several people comment on social media that they are shocked and surprised by the extent of deforestation and grading that has been done at the Kerns site. There are multiple recent examples on the same scope and scale all over town (closest to that site -the new apartment box behind Shoneys/Bojangles). Why is this one particularly troubling?

earlnemo's picture


I am genuinely asking for my own edification, and not challenging anyones values related to development.

michael kaplan's picture

They are all troubling for

They are all troubling for various reasons, and many of these developments were criticized when proposed. When the South Waterfront development was first proposed, the city hired planners from outside Knoxville (Boston?) to develop a master plan and 'form-based code' for these new projects. One might have expected better than what we got. The Kern's Bakery development (at least, the residential component of it) is just the latest in a series of poorly sited projects.

The 'affordable' housing project on Young High is another example: many of the units face due West or due East, not desirable orientations in this climate. Those that face East overlook the large USPS parking lot. And about half the units in the 'affordable' project behind Bojangles on Chapman also face due West, overlook the dumpsters of the fast food restaurants, and are exposed to heavy commercial traffic (noise and air pollution) along Chapman, forcing future residents to keep their windows closed and use their air-conditioning systems.

A form-based code is a land development regulation that fosters predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code.

bizgrrl's picture

The 'affordable' housing

The 'affordable' housing project on Young High

I was wondering what was being built at the SoKno post office.

I agree that it is very sad that green space is not in the plan for many of these projects. Whatta ya gonna do? It's a lost cause. That and the lack of any interesting design to the buildings.

michael kaplan's picture

I completely agree. To

I completely agree. To replace green space with surface parking lots is IMO irresponsible. Yes, the city can add numbers to its affordable housing inventory, but at what human and environmental cost? One only has to look to similar projects in Sweden or Denmark (or any number of other countries) to see what is possible. On the other hand, if those lucky recipients of new affordable housing don't demand better, this is what they will get.

BTW, a former UT architecture student who no longer lives in Knoxville made the following comments about the Kern's project:

Peer review of projects before they are completed would hopefully catch some of these poor decisions.

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