Design Review Board

Edgewood Park Infill Housing Overlay District


Staff Recommendation

Staff recommends approval of Certificate 3-D-24-IH, subject to the following conditions: 1) meeting all relevant standards of Section 4.6, Middle Housing Standards, or receiving the necessary administrative variation or variance; 2) meeting all City Engineering standards; 3) meeting the transparency requirements of the base zoning; noting that major revisions to site plan, parking, or building design would require further review and approval by the DRB.

Applicant Request

New Primary Structure

1. The property, currently two vacant parcels, is zoned RN-4. The surrounding area is characterized by small-scale commercial properties (zoned C-N) at the intersection of Washington Pike and Whittle Springs, and single-family residential houses (zoned RN-2) along Money Place.

2. The applicant intends to use Section 4.6 of the zoning code, the Middle Housing Standards, which are "intended to promote the development of neighborhood-scale housing forms which are compatible with existing housing in the surrounding area," and may "allow more flexible development of land than is possible under the base district zoning regulations," subject to additional dimensional, design, and parking standards. Middle Housing review occurs separately through Planning staff; the DRB review focuses on how the project meets the Infill Housing guidelines. However, some elements of Middle Housing review may trigger site plan and building elevation revisions, which would require additional review and approval by the DRB, as the design would change.

3. On Money Place, the proposed front setback from the property line is 10'. The average of the blockface is 40.3'. Middle Housing standards require front setbacks to be the average of the blockface, plus or minus five feet, in no case less than 10'. Administrative variations may be granted "a decrease up to 50 percent, provided the setback is consistent with the blockface." The applicant may also request a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Revised designs, unit counts, or building placement and arrangement may require additional review and approval by the DRB.

4. The proposed parking meets the Infill Housing design guidelines, as it is located behind the primary buildings and accessed from an alley. In its current configuration, the proposed parking is approvable. City Engineering has commented that the alley is non-functional, with a substantial grade as it approaches the street; City Engineering would recommend closure of the alley and the creation of a driveway to the street where the curb cut exists on Whittle Springs. Middle Housing standards feature units counts based on the existence of an alley, as properties can use a secondary means of access to the property/parking, access the parking from the rear, and not create a new curb cut at the façade. If the site plan must be revised to access the parking from a new driveway off Money Place, fewer units may be permitted. The inability to close the alley and create a drive in the current configuration would require site plan revisions and a return to the DRB.

5. The guidelines for multi-unit housing recommend that new multi-family buildings "be designed in scale and context with the early architectural features of the neighborhood." The property is a corner lot and a transition from small-scale commercial development fronting Whittle Springs, to single-family houses on Money Place and further into the Edgewood Park neighborhood. The houses on Money Place are modest one-story Minimal Traditionals and infill construction, with low-pitched, front gable roofs, front porches, and simple details. The townhouses are aligned with the surrounding residential construction via gable roofs, double-hung windows, lap siding, and modest architectural detail.

6. Guidelines recommend that the height of new housing be similar to similar houses along the street. While the multi-unit townhouse form necessitates an additional story beyond the height of the one-story single-family houses along the street, the townhouses are not overly tall, or disproportionately out of scale with the context. The more narrow units, within a smaller building of three units instead of four, front Money Place, while the larger building and units front Whittle Springs Road.

7. The proposed designs use "porches, bays, and breaks in the front façade" on both units that "continue the architectural rhythm of the block." The individual units are "divided into separate sections that are proportionally similar to original houses on the block."

8. Porches: both buildings incorporate recessed entry stoops; the Money Place building includes full-length, 4' wide stoops. The Money Place porch design is compatible with the original porches on the surrounding block, which mostly feature narrow recessed entry stoops or smaller corner porches.

9. Windows and doors: guidelines recommend that windows and door styles be similar to historic houses on the block, with similar proportions and positioning, and similar ratio of solid to void. Overall, the proposed window design and placement is compatible with the block and surrounding neighborhood; the design incorporates a symmetrical fenestration pattern on both the Money Place and Whittle Springs buildings, double-hung windows connect the design with the single-family houses in the neighborhood, and existing adjacent mid-century houses feature a fixed single-light window flanked by double-hung windows. The design avoids large swaths of siding with no transparency, and doors meet the Infill Housing design guidelines. Final elevations should meet the base zoning code's transparency requirements for townhouses.

10. Roof pitches and rooflines: the rooflines on Money Place have comparable pitches to the existing houses on the block; the existing houses feature lower pitches like 5/12 and 6/12. The Whittle Springs building incorporates the irregular roof pitches, a contemporary design element incorporated in multiple design overlays in Knoxville in the last two years. In this design, the irregularly-pitched massings are secondary to the overall side-gable roofline, and serve to delineate the individual units. In this application, the irregular roof pitches are appropriate for the overall design.

11. Siding materials: the buildings are proposed to be clad in a 4" fiber cement lap siding, with vertical details adjoining the windows, which meets the design guidelines. While basic CMU is discouraged in the Infill Housing guidelines, the proposed application will mirror the design of brick veneer and contributes additional complexity to the building.

12. The application includes landscaping elements which are generally compatible with the Infill Housing design guidelines. A final landscape plan may be required for permitting.

Site Info

Two new townhouse buildings: building fronting Money Place contains three units; building fronting Whittle Springs Road contains four units. On Money Place, the townhouses are set 10' from the front property line; on Whittle Springs Ave, the units are set 12' from the front property line.

Parking is proposed for a "public alley or drive" accessible from Whittle Springs road, featuring 7 parking spots in a parking area recessed behind both buildings.

The Money Place building ("Building B") is two stories tall, featuring a cross-gable roofline, with 6/12-pitch front-gable roof massings projecting towards the façade. The units are 17' wide, with the building a maximum of 51' wide, and measure 22'-3" deep including the front and rear entry stoops. The building will feature an asphalt shingle roof, fiber cement lap siding with a 4-inch exposure, and a CMU veneer foundation. The façade features a second story cantilevered above a 4'-deep, full-length entry stoop, supported by 4" steel posts. The rear elevation features cantilevered massings projecting from the second story's right side, a secondary entry, and a CMU veneer knee wall delineating a dooryard area. Windows include fixed single-light and double-hung, and doors are full-light entries.

The building fronting Whittle Springs Road ("Building A") is two stories tall, featuring a cross-gable roofline, with irregular pitched front-gable rooflines on each individual unit. The roof pitches vary on the left and right slopes, at 4/12 and 8/12. The building will be clad in fiber cement lap siding, fiber cement vertical v-groove siding (in panels adjacent to second-story windows), and CMU veneer. The building features recessed full-light entries below flat-roof metal canopies, and fixed single-light windows adjoining double-hung windows. The north elevation of Building A will front Money Place; the elevation features two bays of windows on each story, a section of CMU veneer cladding, and a combination of fiber cement lap and vertical panel siding.


Jared Hueter Ally Architecture

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: 865-215-3795
2330 Money Place

Parker Bartholomew