Hundreds of public meetings, five different drafts, mailers to every resident in the city and the Recode Knoxville saga still isn't over.
As discussion went on into late Tuesday night, Knoxville City Council went back and forth Tuesday on whether to consider action or postpone the vote yet again.
Ultimately, the city was able to vote 7-2 in favor of the first reading on the text of the Recode Knoxville documentation, but could not decide on the actual zoning map. The city postponed a vote on the map until July 30.
Two and a half years since the process began, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero held a press conference earlier Tuesday to clear up misconceptions about the massive overhaul of the city's zoning rules.
- The vast majority of properties will be subject to the same rules under the new code as they are under the present code, but the name of the zoning code will be different.
- Where a property's zone has changed, it's typically been because an owner asked for it, to protect the integrity of a neighborhood, or to bring zoning in line with current use.
- No property owner will be forced to change a property's use.
- Recode will not raise taxes.
Still, she said she understands the opposition.
"Zoning by its very nature is contentious," she said. "Zoning considers your rights as a property owner to use and enjoy your property and balances your rights with the rights of your neighbors to not be negatively impacted."
Others have urged councilmembers to vote no on the ordinance.
Daniel Herrera organized a group to go to Tuesday's Council meeting.
"This is probably the largest ordinance that we have seen in front of the City Council that some of heard about it most don’t know what’s in," he said. "This isn’t just the rezoning ordinance of a certain part of the city. This is the entire City of Knoxville and people just don’t understand or know how it’s going to affect them directly."
The mayor argued the process has been open and transparent every step of the way. She said after 50 years without a zoning rule overhaul, it's time for Knoxville to pass the Recode project.
"Times have changed and people want more choices like mixed-use developments along corridors," she said.