Design Review Board

Oakwood/Lincoln Park Infill Housing Overlay District


Staff Recommendation

Staff recommends approval of Certificate 8-G-23-IH, subject to the following conditions:

1) Final site plan and parking areas to meet City Engineering standards;
2) Any parking areas fronting Oswald Street to receive landscaping and screening to meet design guidelines;
3) Final drawings to meet standards of the I-MU zone and principal use standards for multi-family dwellings;
4) Specifications for final materials to be submitted to staff for approval.

Applicant Request

New Primary Structure

1. The new building will be aligned in general front setback with the new single-family houses. The facades of the new multi-family building will continue the new streetscape along Oswald Street created by the three new single-family houses, reflecting the existing front yard space of the new houses and the two existing houses on the south end of the block (3419 and 3415 Oswald Street). Walkways are provided from the front door of each unit that fronts Oswald Street to the future proposed sidewalk.

2. Guidelines recommend new housing to be proportional to the dimensions of the lot and other houses on the block. Guidelines also note that multi-family housing should be comparable in height to traditional single-family houses along the street. While the multi-family form necessitates an increase in height from the one-story Minimal Traditional and Queen Anne cottage at the end of the block, a two-story building will not detract from the overall streetscape or neighborhood context. They will be comparable in height to the existing new construction single-family houses. The third-story penthouse is recessed from the primary roofline to reduce the visual impact.

3. Interior rear and side setbacks from the existing single-family houses are relatively narrow. Site plan revisions may be necessary to meet fire separation standards, pending building code input from Plans Review and Inspections.

4. Parking is noted as a proposed future parking lot, located south of the building, separated by a future building. Any parking area immediately adjoining Oswald Street should incorporate landscaping and screening from the street as necessary. The final site plan should meet City Engineering standards. Any revisions to parking may require further staff or Board review.

5. The building is larger in height and scale than the surrounding neighborhood context, as a multi-family structure. The design incorporates projecting bays and covered stoops to break up the façade and side elevation massings into proportions compatible with adjacent houses. The elevated brick-clad foundation is comparable to historic foundation heights. The west massing fronting the existing houses' rear is relatively flat in massing, but it will be minimally visible from the right-of-way.

6. Guidelines for multi-family buildings recommend they "continue the architectural rhythm of the block. In addition to the same 'build-to line,' porches, bays and breaks in the front façade should be created to mimic the look of older homes when looking down the block." Guidelines also recommend "dividing the building into separate sections that are proportionally similar to original houses on the block." The curved projecting bays helps create massings similar to the adjacent houses.

7. The design incorporates small porches or stoops on all entries facing Oswald Street. The stoops are more narrow than the 8'-12' recommended for porches in the design guidelines, but the stoop is appropriate for a townhouse-form building.

8. Overall, the proposal incorporates sufficient windows in a consistent pattern of alignment, avoiding large swaths of siding with no transparency. Similar to the single-family houses, glass block massings will be present on the rear elevation of the west massing, not visible from the right-of-way. The Board may also choose to discuss the single-light casement windows in comparison with the window recommendations in the design guidelines.

9. The building incorporates low-pitch roofs with parapets, comparable to historic townhouse buildings in Knoxville. The roof materials will not be visible from the right-of-way.

10. The predominate exterior materials include thin brick veneer and metal panel or fiber cement siding, which meet the design guidelines. The guidelines do note "vertical siding and other non-historic materials should not be used in building new houses." The applicant should provide final specifications for brick veneer and metal panel or fiber cement siding to staff for approval in advance of permitting.

11. The final drawings should meet the design standards of the I-MU zone, including transparency requirements, and the principal use standards for multi-family dwellings (9.3.I).

Site Info

New multi-family building, part of a broader mixed-use development on an approximately 8-acre property in Lincoln Park which previously held manufacturing facilities and other industrial uses. The applicant rezoned the property from I-H (Heavy Industrial) to I-MU (Industrial Mixed-Use) to allow for compatible commercial, single-family residential, and multi-family residential uses. Three single-family houses have been constructed on the property, fronting Oswald Street (8-B-21-IH).

The new building is C-shaped and two- and three-stories tall, featuring a flat roof, an exterior clad in brick and metal panel or fiber cement siding, and a brick-clad foundation. The C-shaped building wraps around the three single-family houses, with one two-story (with a third-story penthouse element) massing on the north side of the houses, a two-story massing on the west side of the houses, and a two-story massing with a recessed third-story penthouse on the south side of the houses.

The north and south massings are predominately clad in brick veneer, featuring a series of projecting bays. Windows are evenly spaced along the facades (east elevations), aligned on first and second stories, using single-light metal casements with flat brick arches and sills. Similar patterns wrap around the north and south elevations. Full-light entry doors are accessed via concrete steps. The south massing features two second-story balconies towards the left side of the façade. On the south massing, a smaller third-story penthouse is recessed from the primary roofline, featuring a flat roof and a series of single-light windows.

The center massing is clad in metal panel or fiber cement siding, with pass-throughs to access future adjacent pedestrian alley, featuring glass block adjacent to lower-level pass-throughs. Windows on the center massing are 2' by 4' and 4' by 3' metal casement and fixed windows.

The site plan includes walkways from doors to the street. Parking is planned for shared parking lots located south and west of the buildings.

The application includes phased construction for the north, center, and south massings.

The application was postponed at the August 2023 meeting. Revisions to the design include minor modifications to the building footprint and revisions to setbacks (including moving the buildings closer to the street, to align with the single-family houses). The roofline of the third-story penthouse has been modified. Window placement on secondary elevations has been modified.


Logan Higgins Heyoh Design and Development

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: 865-215-3795
3527 Oswald St.

Arlington Downs Partnership, LLC