Edgewood/Park City: H-1 Expansion Meeting Summary

A community meeting was held on January 19 at the O’Connor Senior Center to discuss the proposed expansion of the existing Edgewood-Park City Historic District H-1 Zoning Overlay.

MPC staff presented information and then answered questions from among approximately 105 community members in attendance. Linda Rust, City of Knoxville Community Development Administrator, was also available to answer questions on neighborhood assistance programs.

Potentially affected property owners expressed concern that extra costs would be associated with materials, labor, property taxes, and permit fees within a historic district overlay. Further discussion centered around the concern that wooden replacement windows would cost more than vinyl ones. However, it was noted that there is opportunity with the design guidelines update to consider materials other than wood in certain instances, at a lesser cost. The Historic Zoning Commission can also offer technical assistance on ways to reduce material and labor costs.

It was also noted that much renovation is occurring in the expansion area which is not within the existing overlay, so increased demand in the area and improvements will contribute to increased sales values, even without establishing the H-1 overlay.

According to the Knoxville’s Director of Tax Assessments (DTA), property taxes will increase only gradually as the area revitalizes  It has taken forty years for other historic areas of the city to revitalize and achieve overall higher assessments. Also, according to the DTA, there would be no automatic property tax increase due to the H-1 overlay.

An H-1 overlay will help guide investments to ensure they do not detract from the special character of the neighborhood which makes it a highly desirable place to live. Community Development programs were noted that will also be essential to helping the area revitalize. Ultimately, the overall question of those present was this: Is the extra time, and sometimes extra cost, involved worth the benefits of protecting property values, historic character, and features of the neighborhood that make it so attractive and desirable?

A draft map of the potential expanded district boundaries, including 529 properties, can be found here. A video of the entire meeting is also available.

Design Guidelines

The design guidelines at the following link were drafted in 2015 by Cultural Resource Consultants as a template for updates for all of the city's historic districts. The design guideline updates were the result of a federal grant which was awarded to MPC by the Tennessee Historical Commission. Given that an expansion of the historic district zoning overlay is being studied by MPC, there is opportunity for property owners in both the existing and the proposed expansion area to provide input to tailor these design guidelines to your neighborhood. Please click on the following link to see a copy of the draft and a format where you can provide your comments on these guidelines.Your input on this effort is valued!

Draft Design Guidelines Join the Discussion. Submit your Comments