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Knoxville City Council approves new zoning ordinances for downtown stadium

City council also voted to provide $125,000 from ARPA funds to expand services in mental health therapy, helping residents recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville City Council met on Tuesday to discuss several resolutions and ordinances that would provide more money for some services, and change the zoning in some locations as they prepare for a new downtown stadium to be built.

Ordinances were read that would change areas in Campbell Avenue, Patton Street and Willow Avenue. They were passed 7-1, with councilwoman Amelia Parker voting against them. She also said that she was concerned that utilities in the area would need to be moved as construction continues on the stadium.

Without a guarantee that the company would pay for moving the utilities, she said that the city could be left to pay for removing them despite a previous agreement with developers of the stadium that they would pay for it. 

She said she needed that guarantee before she could support the changes.

She also spoke out about concerns related to closing a right-of-way adjacent to First Creek, between a western intersection with Willow Avenue.

She said that her overarching concern was that, with negotiations still underway, there was a possibility that public land could end up in the hands of a company or other private entities if the city defaults on the agreement.

Finally, she said that she was worried about parking lot development plans at 205 Patton Street that would give developers exceptions to some requirements, despite lacking a more recent parking survey than one conducted in 2020.

She said she wanted a more recent study conducted for the parking lot plans before it was approved.

"It only seems logical, to me," she said.

They also said $125,000 from American Rescue Plan Act funds would go to help expand existing mental health services in the city, helping people recover and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.