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MPC Hosts Community Drop-In to Gather Input on Standards for Proposed Bearden Mixed-Use District 
MPC staff discusses standards for a proposed Bearden mixed-use district.

Over four hours Thursday, Metropolitan Planning Commission staff shared ideas and listened to what residents, property owners and business owners said they wanted in a proposed Bearden mixed-use district for existing commercial areas.

The 3-7 p.m. gathering, in the back room at Panera Bread, 4855 Kingston Pike, was informative and casual. (And, an aside: The refreshments were tasty as well.)

MPC staff wants to make it convenient for people to ask questions about and comment on standards for the proposed mixed-use district. How tall should buildings be? What sorts of frontages should be allowed to make the Bearden commercial corridor more livable, walkable and aesthetically pleasing as new businesses are constructed?

First, a little background, and then a look ahead.

The aim is to create the sense of place and community as recommended in the Bearden Village Opportunities Plan, developed in 2001. The plan focuses on three goals:

-Enhance pedestrian activity and access;
-Enhance the sense of place and community;
-Build upon Bearden's urban character and unique atmosphere.

The plan recommends transforming Bearden into an "urban village," a complete and integrated community of housing, shops, workplaces, schools, parks and civic facilities within easy walking distance of each other. Last year, Knoxville City Council requested that MPC staff consider options for moving the concept forward.

There are examples of mixed-use zoning already in place in Knoxville. Downtown is the most obvious example, where residents are able to easily walk to entertainment amenities, retail, commercial and office locations.

The next steps for the proposed Bearden mixed-use district zoning include further revising the draft regulations and zoning map based on comments and input on what style of development is desired in specific areas of Bearden.

Another public meeting will be held in mid to late August. Frontage types will be further explained and discussed at the August meeting, although MPC staff can accept comments and is available to answer questions at any time.

For the most up-to-date information regarding the proposed mixed-use district zoning for Bearden, please visit: 

Vice Mayor Duane Grieve, whose 2nd District includes the Bearden area, and Director of Transit Dawn Distler attended Thursday's MPC drop-in discussion about a Bearden mixed-use district.

MPC offered lots of maps and reference materials at the July 28 drop-in on a potential mixed-use Bearden district.

Posted by evreeland On 29 July, 2016 at 1:57 PM