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2009 City Council Candidate Preservation Questionnaire

Recent polling by the City of Knoxville and Knox Heritage has shown an overwhelming majority of area residents support historic preservation and understand the value it can bring to our community.  Knox Heritage asked the 2009 Knoxville city council candidates to complete a survey to help us better understand thier views on issues related to historic preservation.  Below are the unedited answers from the candidates who have returned completed surveys.  We encourage our members and others interested in historic preservation to read the candidates' answers and consider them as you make your decisions for election day.  Knox Heritage thanks all the candidates who took the time to respond.

Robert Marlino – District 1

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

I have been a member of Knox Heritage for over 5 years.  I am also a past member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

2. Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville Historic Overlay Districts, either eligible or listed?

I have lived in the Old North Knoxville H-1 and still own property there.  A branch of our company, Smee Busby Development, built (3) infill houses inside the OMNI H-1 district in 2006-2007.  These houses won a Knox Heritage Preservation Award for best compatible new construction in 2007.

3.  Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville / Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission?  Have you ever attended a meeting?

I have attended many meetings of the HZC either as a concerned citizen or an applicant.  I am very aware of the purpose of the commission and support it fully.

4.  Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations.  How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

The historic preservation movement has benefited enormously from preservation tax credits and it has been a great tool in promoting investment in declining areas.  Façade improvement grants have been used very effectively in Knoxville as well, most recently with great success in the Broadway / Central area.  I think we need to continue and promote the use of these tools as a catalyst to more investment, especially in underserved areas.

6.  How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

As with many historic preservation projects, sometimes there needs to be a patchwork of funding sources to make a project viable.  However, sometimes the funding sources are there without knowledge of a developer. I believe we can use the City administration’s knowledge in sources such as the façade grant program, TIFs, New Market tax credits, NPS 20% tax credits on Register properties, as well as Historic Preservation grants from foundations and governmental sources to initiate restoration and neighborhood stability.  With the City’s expertise, we can develop an overall financial plan for important preservation projects to improve the life of the City.

7.  What are your views on the balance between the need for new development  and preservation of historic structures and neighborhoods?

I think the balance must exist.  Looking at past redevelopment efforts such as the Coliseum area where historic structures were completely eliminated makes one see the contrast with the richness of the older city.  Development in historic neighborhoods must be infill and appropriate.  We cannot lose the balance of the historic area with out of scale or out of character construction.

8.  What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 5 years which support historic preservation, downtown development, neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservation? Please be specific.

I have volunteered on the Knox Heritage Vintage Homes Committee for 5 years and worked with the project team to restore (3) homes in the Old North Knoxville neighborhood, 1618 and 1620 Washington Avenue in Parkridge, and most recently 1011 Laurel Avenue in Fort Sanders.  Our firm has worked on a number of downtown redevelopment projects (my involvement varies as to the project) including the Candy Factory Lofts, The Holston, 4 Market Square and currently 36 Market Square.  I am a part owner in a small development company which designed and constructed (3) infill homes in the Mechanicsville Historic Area in partnership with that neighborhood’s revitalization efforts. 

9.  Would you support an ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property?  Please explain your opinion.

I would support putting this ordinance in place; however, it should be done under the existing H1 guidelines. 

10.  Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods including such things as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

I would be in support of county and City funding for these improvements, especially if the proposal was backed up by listed successes of such improvements in other areas.  If we can show that the money invested by government equals a higher private investment in the neighborhoods, we have a winning issue.

11.  Given the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it?  Please list any specific initiatives that you would propose.

I am and advocate for historic preservation for many reasons, and would advocate for other elected officials who truly support its goals. As posted above, I believe investment in historic structures and neighborhoods bring larger returns from the private sector and would advocate for funding on a case by case basis. 

12.  Would you support initiatives that preserve ridge tops and scenic vistas in Knoxville? 

Yes - I fully support the recommendations of the joint City-County Task Force on Ridge, Slope, Hillside Development and Protection.

13.  How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic structures?

As posted on #7 above, the balance must be there to ensure a historical legacy is not lost.  New development first should look at renovation rather than replacement; if programmatically this will not work, then development must take into account historical significance and work towards a sensitive design.  We should allow for archeological excavations in historic zones before construction begins, or an important opportunity will be lost to gather information about our shared history.

 

Nick Pavlis – District 1

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

 No

2. Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville Historic Overlay (HZ) Districts, either eligible or listed?

As a prior Councilperson I voted for the creation of several Districts.

3. Are you aware of any HZ overlays in the area you seek to represent?

Fort Sanders, area around Fort Dickerson.

4. Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville/Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission?  Have you ever attended a meeting?

They work to preserve historic sites and also oversee activity within a historic zone. No.

5. Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations.  How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

I believe the success of Market Square Mall and the Central Avenue project are great examples.

6. How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

I was on Council and voted to support the 8.5 million investment in Market Square Mall, Millers building restoration, always supported KH in the annual budget process, and supplemented KH with my discretionary funds.

7. What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structure and neighborhoods?

My previous record exhibited protection of neighborhoods from unwanted development.

8. What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 15 years which support historic preservation downtown development neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservations?

Supported overlays as a MPC commissioner.

9. Would you support and ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property?

I would for a listed and consider each eligible property individually.

10. Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods, including things such as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

Yes I would support the above, but because of the large expense of sidewalks I would want to consider each request individually.

11. Given the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it?

Yes I think it is very beneficial to our community and a great economic development tool.  In my professional career I travel the entire state of Tennessee and Louisiana and have the chance to view preservation and its impact on various communities.  A vast majority of the time where a community is revitalizing and investing it is around preservation.  This redevelopment and preservation distinguishes the individual community and is a rallying point for investment.

12. Would you support initiatives that preserve ridgetops and scenic vistas in Knoxville?

Absolutely I will support these efforts.  I am very proud when folks visit out area and are so impressed by our natural beauty.  We must maintain that beauty or we lose out uniqueness.  In my travels when folks learn where I am from it never fails their first comment I usually, “Oh what a beautiful area”, we must work to maintain and deserve that quote.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic resources?

This is part of being a councilperson. I have a track record of being independent and considering each vote individually.  I am not beholding to any special interest group.  I would use the Dowell Springs development which I supported as an example of my support.

Duane Grieve – District 2

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

I have been a member of Knox Heritage for many years and a charter member of 1791.

2. Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville Historic Overlay (HZ) Districts, either eligible or listed?

I serve on the Knoxville Historic Zoning Commission (over 12 years).

3. Are you aware of any HZ overlays in the area you seek to represent?

Yes, Scenic Drive in Sequoyah Hills has an overlay.  Other areas in Sequoyah Hills were at one time investigating the possibility of overlays as well as in Westmoreland.

4. Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville/Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission?  Have you ever attended a meeting?

Yes.  Many.

5. Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations.  How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

I used tax credits on my buildings at Emory Place.  I think tax credits are available and are certainly an incentive to preservation efforts.

6. How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

The façade improvement grants are good examples of funding/incentives to promote investment in all areas of town.  These are grants that need to be promoted.

7. What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structure and neighborhoods?

Re-use of older buildings is “green architecture.”  However, there needs to be a balance between old and new.  The architecture, history and location of structures and neighborhoods needs to be investigated and considered as to any development.  We need to always consider sustainable, “smart” growth.

8. What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 15 years which support historic preservation downtown development neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservations?

I serve on the Knoxville Historic Zoning Commission where our decisions support historic preservation and downtown/neighborhood revitalization. I served on the Mayor’s Task Force for historic preservation and currently serve on the Façade Grants Improvement Review, and the 5th Ave/Central Ave Corridor project (which seeks to preserve and upgrade this area).  I am President of Scenic Knoxville and support the Legacy Parks Foundation, French Broad Conservancy, and other efforts to preserve our scenic resources (including farmland preservation).

9. Would you support and ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property?

I am not clear on this question.  What do you mean by certificate?

10. Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods, including things such as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

Yes, if the funds are available.

11. Given the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it?

Yes.

12. Would you support initiatives that preserve ridgetops and scenic vistas in Knoxville?

Absolutely!  As President of Scenic Knoxville, I feel strongly that preserving our ridgetops and scenic vistas is vital.  We must protect the scenic resources that we have in Knoxville and the surrounding area because these resources are what make Knoxville unique, what brings economic value to our city, what attracts visitors and residents to the city, and what improves our quality of life.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic resources?

Each situation will have to be reviewed.  I do believe that sustainable development can be achieved and balanced against our need to preserve archeological and historic resources by having better guidelines.  Hopefully, there is a meeting place where both can prosper. 

Ken Knight – District 2

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

Yes. My wife Tammy and I have been members for several years. I am on the board of the Mabry-Hazen House.

2. Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville Historic Overlay (HZ) Districts, either eligible or listed?

I’m not sure I have any.

3. Are you aware of any HZ overlays in the area you seek to represent? Are there areas you believe should be protected by local historic zoning?

No.

4. Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville/Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission? Have you ever attended a meeting?

Yes. I have attended one meeting.

5. Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations. How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

By making people aware that preservation is a financially viable option in most cases.

6. How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

While I am in favor of both, the economic realities at a particular time would dictate what actions could be taken.

7. What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structures and neighborhoods?

Both are critical to the city. New development should not come at the expense of historic structures or neighborhoods.

8. What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 5 years which support historic preservation, downtown development neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservation? Please be specific.

I have been an active board member of the Mabry-Hazen House for the last two years.

9. Would you support an ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property? Please explain your opinion.

Yes for a National Register listed property. I would need to know more about what makes a property eligible before making a decision on that.

10. Will you support county funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods, including things such as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

Yes.

11. Given the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it? Please list any specific initiatives you would propose.

Yes. Whenever appropriate.

12. Would you support initiatives that preserve ridgetops and scenic vistas in Knoxville?

The protection of our ridgetops and scenic vistas is very important, and should happen. I would like the discussion of such to include the long-term effects on density and tax rates.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic resources?

Look at each situation carefully and make the best possible decision.

Gerry W. Holman – District 3

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

No, but I am deeply aware of what Knox Heritage stands for, and the goals which makes historical preservation a viable enterprise.

2.  Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville Historic Overlay Districts, either eligible or listed?

 None. See my answer to question number 8.

3.  Are you aware of any HZ overlays in the area you seek to represent? Are there areas you believe should be protected by local historic zoning

I am not aware of any HZ overlays in the 3rd District, but there may be some that are eligible. I am aware of one place in the North Knoxville area that may qualify, and I hope to be able to address that issue after the coming election.

4.  Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville / Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission?  Have you ever attended a meeting?

Yes, I am aware of the purpose, and no, I have not attended a meeting.

5.  Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations.  How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

Since I come from a marketing background, I sincerely think that there should be more public relations and marketing efforts to draw attention to the value of the historical preservation and ongoing maintenance of these national and local treasures. Ken Burns is the best example of this process. And maybe Ken Burns would consider this area for his next series in a documentary subject. Bottom line, we need to raise public awareness. But that would have to be a part of a national campaign that would have local ties. It can be done. It needs to be done. It all starts with a discussion from a marketing point of view.  But the right discussion from marketing professionals would require funding a marketing study.

6.  How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

I think the city would be more inclined to work with private organizations and be a part of a funding mix rather than play a leading role in the funding process. Certainly, City Council could take public positions and line up our laws and ordinances so that we become a city that is very “preservation friendly.” But again, I think the marketing side of the formula for financial support is critical.  Someone from your side needs to lead. Someone from the government side needs to partner with that leadership. Incentives are possible, but only in the context of a plan that shows the whole city where all this is going long-term. Nothing happens until we are all “sold” on the vision, and that vision needs to be articulated and distributed to the max. Someone has to lead in that process, and keep the bar of public awareness raised consistently higher than it has been in the past.

7. What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structures and neighborhoods?

I have no reason to think that we can’t reach a balance between new development and the preservation of historic structures, as long as we are aware of the historical structures before any development begins.  I would think that any Council member would see the need for balancing these two efforts, and would work hard to make sure that a win-win situation would come about, in areas where there is conflict. That would certainly be a goal of mine should I get to City Council.

8.  What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 5 years which support historic preservation, downtown development, neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservation? Please be specific.

Understand, I come from a career that has been very intense in other areas of involvement. I have just retired this year. My time now is much more flexible and my involvements wider. But I am not a specialist in this area. My expertise falls in the area of marketing and advertising, and as far as I am concerned, it is the promotion of these areas, the public relations, and the public education about these areas of concern that will make the biggest difference. The downturn economically is the biggest problem for preservation. The need is simply money. And money happens when the right marketing plan takes shape.

9.  Would you support an ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property?  Please explain your opinion.

A certificate that would convey what position in the process? Could a certificate halt the process of demolition? I think that is something that would have the widest consideration on City Council, but at this point, I am not ready to say what power or powers would come from any certificate from the Historical Zoning Commission.

10. Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods including such things as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

Infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods deserve consideration. But sidewalks made of concrete can be expensive at today's prices as could reproduction street lights. My answer to questions like this would depend on the extent of the total cost in relation to other budgetary concerns.  I would like to think grants or private funding could supplement what could be funded by the city in a given year.

11. Given the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it?  Please list any specific initiatives that you would propose.

Again, I would work with others to make this city very “preservation friendly,” but exactly what can be done and what should be done would be the result of study and much deliberation. You will not find many people heading for public office who will commit to more public spending, when we will be looking for ways to keep taxes as low as possible in this economic downturn.

12.  Would you support initiatives that preserve ridge tops and scenic vistas in Knoxville?

To a degree, yes. The key to all of this is how much money is involved to preserve these areas. To me, this is the question that will always be on the table in this economy. Ridge tops and scenic vistas are important, but like everything else, there will be a cap on how much can be spent at any one time. That is the practical point of view.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic structures?

I am neutral in this perceived so-called battle between what is often considered two sides. We need both. And that would be my goal on City Council. We need to preserve and we need to develop. And at this point, I see development and economic growth as the best way in the world to bring more support to the area of historic preservation. With more tax revenue from development, in the long run, that will be an additional source of funding for historical preservation. But right now, I see the next city budget running on a thin rail, and I am not about to make promises on spending until we balance the city budget with the current tax base.

Brenda Palmer – District 3

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

Currently, I am not a member of Knox Heritage.  In the past, I was a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  In San Diego, I was involved with the excavation of Old Town in preparation for the restoration of Old Town San Diego.  In Fort Myers, where I worked with high school students, I received two National Endowment for the Arts grants to direct and research the Dunbar community, an African American neighborhood dating back to the 1800’s.  the long range plan called for preservation and restoration of some of the structures.  I earned a B.A. in history and an M.A.T. – History.  I am very interested in archaeology of sites as well as planning and preservation.

2. Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville Historic Overlay (HZ) Districts, either eligible or listed?

I am familiar with the concept of HZ districts, particularly the Tazewell Pike area, Fourth and Gill, and Park Ridge.  I have friends in all these areas and we have discussed the application of historic overlay to those neighborhoods.

3. Are you aware of any HZ overlays in the area you seek to represent?

At the present time, I am unaware of HZ overlays in the Third District.  There are some individual buildings and some neighborhoods that could qualify.  Working with Knox Heritage and MPC would be one of my goals in identifying potential overlays in the Third District.

4. Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville/Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission?  Have you ever attended a meeting?

I am aware of the purpose of the Knoxville/Knox County Historic Zoning Commission and have watched some of their meetings on CTV.

5. Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations.  How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

The façade easement donations bring a fresh face to shabby neighborhoods.  Clinton Highway in NW Knoxville is a main artery into the city.  Working with owners of properties to use facades, landscaping and other strategies would help this area recover it economic slide.  Western Avenue is also an area that needs a lift.  A number of older buildings and homes would benefit from tax credits.  Such a plan would revitalize some of the neighborhoods before they become marginalized.

6. How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

Before I can respond to how I would provide funding or incentives, I would need to examine the specific needs and choices to encourage positive investment that continues after the initial projects are completed.

7. What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structure and neighborhoods?

There is a need to balance new development with preservation of historic structures and neighborhoods.  Within the City of Knoxville, there is limited supply of never developed land.  However, there are neighborhoods where vacant lots and unoccupied dwellings that date back several decades can be redeveloped preserving the original character of the neighborhood.  The cookie cutter approach of typical subdivisions developed in the county needs to be avoided.  I have studied the Disney created Celebration city in Orlando where old ideas about neighborhoods and new construction were combined to create a new old village.  There has been considerable criticism about attempting to rebuild Ozzie and Harriet’s town but there are valuable lesions to be learned and applied.  There are other examples besides Celebration, Florida that could be used.

8. What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 15 years which support historic preservation downtown development neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservations?

For the past five years, I have been the sole caregiver for my mother who battled dementia.  There was no time to get involved in the issues this question asks.  That doesn’t mean I was not interested and did not follow events.  My priority was my family and their immediate needs.  That priority has changed with the passing of the family members in need.

9. Would you support and ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property?

I would support an ordinance requiring a certificate prior to a demolition permit for a National Register property.  However, I know from the struggles with the home on Lyons View at Cherokee Country Club and other locations in the city, it is wise to pick the battles.  Lengthy and expensive litigation brought on by such an ordinance might not be realistic if revenues to the city are not on a level to maintain expected services that taxpayers support.  That line between preservation and public expectation is very thin, particularly if cuts in service become necessary.

10. Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods, including things such as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

I would certainly support city funding for infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods.  The banner poles, distinctive street signs, reproduction street lights etc are what make the neighborhood unique and contribute to the patchwork quilt design of the City of Knoxville.  One a personal level, I enjoy those indentifying markers and would see no reason why they cannot be used as opposed to the sterile lights, street name signs; etc that are easy and look like a cookie cutter was used.

11. Given the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it?

I would certainly support historic preservation with funding, ordinances, policy, appointments, etc.  That does not mean I would be willing to give a black check with taxpayer dollars.  I would encourage partnerships between private and public agencies to meet our historic preservation needs.

12. Would you support initiatives that preserve ridgetops and scenic vistas in Knoxville?

Ridge top preservation and scenic vistas are essential for Knoxville to maintain its identity.  The city surrounded by trees on ridge tops and hillsides that could blend construction with the environment is very attainable.  It will require a massive effort to work with developers and builders to change habits and attitudes about construction.  However, this is a good time for that to happen as the pressure for energy efficient structures increases and builders will have to adapt to buyer expectations, public law, and attitudes about the environment.  This task will not be easy or attainable overnight but with patience and massive amounts of groundwork, it can happen.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic resources?

The balance between development pressures and preservation is probably the trickiest road legislators at both the city and county levels face.  There seems to be an imbalance, particularly in the county between these interests.  I am not anti-development because we need to manage our resources to meet the needs of newcomers and veterans of Knoxville.  I do expect to work with all stakeholders to create a win-win outcome.  The integrity and future of not only the City of Knoxville but also the surrounding area depends on such an outcome. 

Ray Abbas – District 4

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic organization?

 I am not a member of Knox Heritage however I am an Old North Knoxville, Inc. board Member, an organization designed to “preserve, promote and protect the Old North Knoxville neighborhood.”

2.  Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville HZ Districts, either eligible or listed?

The time I have spent in the Old North Knoxville neighborhood as well as serving on it’s board has given me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the HZ districts.

3. Are you aware of any HZ overlays in the area you seek to represent? Are there areas you believe should be protected by local historic zoning?

Two of the neighborhoods I seek to represent are in the HZ overlays, Old North and 4th and Gill. It is my belief that the balance of Old North Knoxville should also be included in the HZ overlay.

4. Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville/Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission? Have you ever attended a meeting?

I am aware of the purpose of the Historic Zoning Commission. I have not personally attended meetings however a member of the ONK board routinely represents the neighborhood at Commission meetings.

5.  Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations. How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

I think the tax credits can be utilized to convert old mills, schools and other structures into mixed use facilities. Tax credits have proven to be successful in projects that are viable and cost effective.

6.  How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

The key to providing funding and encouraging investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown is to see the value in preservation and making it a priority as the budget is developed each year. I recognize the necessity to fund preservation and will advocate for it in a fiscally responsible manner.

7.  What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structures and neighborhoods? 

I am firmly in favor of preserving historic structures and not jeopardizing the integrity of our historic neighborhoods. There will always be a need for new development but it must be undertaken responsibly and only after all options are explored. 

8.  What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 5 yearwhich support historic preservation, downtown development, neighborhood  revitalization and farmland preservation? Please be specific.

I serve on the Old North Knoxville H-1 Overlay committee that is working to expand the boundaries of the H-1 designation to the rest of ONK. In addition, I serve on the Park Committee helping construct a pocket park located within the H-1 district.

9.  Would you support an ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a  National Register listed or eligible property? Please explain your opinion. 

I would be in support of an ordinance that requires a certificate from the HZC before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property. This will allow for the ultimate preservation of the property in cases in which the HZC deems it to be warranted.

10.  Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods, including things such as banner poles, distinctive street signs,  sidewalks and reproduction street lights?

I would be in favor of city funding in concert with the neighborhood to support infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods. I believe the cost of such improvements need to be shared by both the city and neighborhood.

11.   Given the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it? Please list any specific initiatives you would propose.

I would be a strong advocate for historic preservation and that will be reflected in my actions, including but not limited to,  funding support, laws, policy and appointments. In terms of specific initiatives, I would refer you to some of my previous answers including assisting neighborhoods with infrastructure improvements, requiring demolition permits for properties listed on the National Register and utilizing historic tax credits to restore old structures.

12.   Would you support initiatives that preserve ridgetops and scenic vistas in Knoxville? 

I am committed to adopting fair policies that will allow us to balance the need for development and the conservation of ridgetops and scenic vistas while ensuring the natural beauty of the region is not compromised.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic resources?

Each instance is unique; however I would certainly tend to lean toward the continued preservation of archeological and historic resources w

Nick Della Volpe – District 4

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

My wife Donna and I have been members of the Early American Society because of our appreciation of older homes and lifestyles.  We regularly visit historic structures when we travel to admire their design and construction materials and techniques.  In 1974 we purchased and have been working on our older home in Holston Hills neighorhood.  The subdivision was platted in the late 1920s.  The house was built in the early 1940s.

2. Please relate any experiences of information you have about the City of Knoxville Historic Overlay (HZ) Districts, either eligible or listed?

Our community group, Town Hall East, had been working on such an overlay for several years, doing research on the homes, but met with some resistance from homeowners who did not want to be hamstrung on renovating or expanding their older homes.  Working with MPC, Holston Hills choose to be the first neighborhood to come under the R-1EN zone, which we think will protect the single family home characteristics of the community, and help preserve its unique character.

3. Are you aware of any historic overlay zones in the area you seek to represent?  Are there areas you believe should be protected by local historic zoning?

The 4th District is blessed with many older subdivisions and houses, as it covers historic residential areas like Fountain City, Old North Knox, 4th & Gill, North Hills, Holston Hills, Alice Bell and Spring Hill, to name the most prominent ones.  Choices on specific types of protective measures should be made primarily by the homeowner and neighborhood groups after airing their wishes and examining all available options and costs.

4. Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville/Knox County's Historic Zoning Commission?  Have you ever attended a meeting?

Yes

5. Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductable facade easement donations.  How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

Such incentives enable homeowners and business structure owners to make repairs and to restore structures that might otherwise be too cost intensive to tackle when views solely on a square footage or replacement cost evaluation basis.  Often such work is more labor intensive and costly than new construction.

6. How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

I will work with City Council on this, but don't have any set ideas.  I do not think it would be proper to prejudge particular issues or commit city funding in advance of reasonable public deliberations on the budget and/or specific items that come before the governmental body.  Knoxville Heritage would be invited and welcomed to make presentations how they think council should address specific issues or plans.

7. What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structures and neighborhoods?

I believe we need to incentivize restoration of our inner city housing, and encourage infill housing on vacant lots that matches the style and era of existing housing.  These older neighborhoods and structures are part of the charm of our city.  This subject is discussed in more detail on my website www.electnickd.com (click on "Issues" tab).

8. What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 5 years which support historic preservation, downtown development neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservation?

I support historic preservation by talking to my elected representatives, supporting the downtown businesses and venues that embody our past, and by paying my property taxes which enables government to act on preservation matters.  I initiated and circulated the citizen's petition that there be "No New Billboards" permitted in Knoxville and attended City Council meetings and pressed for the adoption of the city ordinance to that effect.

9. Would you support an ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a domolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property? Explain.

Generally, that sounds like a good idea.  I would want to examine the specifics of any such an ordinance, consider what burdens it places on the property owner and the community, and how it treats the property owner's constitutionally protected property rights.  This area involves a balance between public and private interests.  The public incentives should be weighted towards preservation.

10. Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods, including such things as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

I would be favor of community identity preservation and display banners and signage, and complementary infrastructure like sidewalks and greenways, consistent with budget constraints.  I am active member of the Mayor's Greenway Commission and have raised volunteer crews to clear and mark greenway and park trails.

11. Given the large amount of public support for the historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy, and appointments that encourage it?  Please list any specific initiatives you would propose.

Generally yes.  Specific actions must be evaluated in the contect in which they arise and the budget constraints that exist at the time.

12. Would you support initiatives that preserve ridge tops and scenic vistas in Knoxville?

Yes, our scenic beauty is importent and one of our city's most importent natural legacies.  Such scenic preservation actions must balance these community desires with constitutional respect for private property rights of affected land owners.  If private property is effectively "taken" in a particular case, where restrictions hinder reasonable use, we may be required to compensate the landowner.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic resources?

Listen to the landowner and the community, gather and weigh the facts, debate the issue in public meetings, and apply the best judgement I can on behalf of the entire community to preserve our heritage.  Typically, archeological resources need to be examined, catalogued and preserved before construction disturbs the site.  UT has experts that can assist in these archeological efforts.

Daniel Brown – District 6

1. Are you a member of Knox Heritage or any other historic preservation organization?

Former board member of African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Historical Society from 1996 – 2008.  Tennessee Conference of the AME Zion Church Co-Historian.

2. Please relate any experiences or information you have about City of Knoxville Historic Overlay (HZ) Districts, either eligible or listed?

News stories and visual inspection of various sites, such as the Cal Johnson Building on State Street, Knoxville College buildings and cemetery.

3. Are you aware of any HZ overlays in the area you seek to represent?

Yes, various buildings on the campus of Knoxville College.  The Park City area and Odd Fellows cemetery.  The former site of Warner Tabernacle AME Zion Church Underground Railroad station.

4. Are you aware of the purpose of Knoxville/Knox County’s Historic Zoning Commission?  Have you ever attended a meeting?

The purpose is to work with owners of historic property to preserve those properties.  I have not attended any meetings.

5. Various financial incentives are available for historic preservation, including historic preservation tax credits and tax deductible façade easement donations.  How do you think these can be used to promote preservation?

These types of incentives may be used to encourage owners of historic properties to preserve them.

6. How will you provide funding and/or incentives to promote investment in historic neighborhoods and downtown?

Attempt to find funds available in the budget as well as other sources, grants, etc. to promote these properties.

7. What are your views on the balance between the need for new development and preservation of historic structure and neighborhoods?

As a student of history, I am well aware of the need to preserve historical properties for future generations.

8. What specific events or actions have you supported or undertaken in the last 15 years which support historic preservation downtown development neighborhood revitalization and farmland preservations?

Worked on cleanup of the Odd Fellows cemetery on Bethel Avenue and the historic African-American cemetery on Fuller Street in East Knoxville.  Helped to apply for a grant for funding the maintenance of the Odd Fellows cemetery through Dandridge Avenue Neighborhood Association.

9. Would you support and ordinance that requires a certificate from the Historic Zoning Commission before a demolition permit can be issued for a National Register listed or eligible property?

Yes, once a building, home, or other historic properties are destroyed, it can never be replaced.

10. Will you support city funding of infrastructure improvements in historic neighborhoods, including things such as banner poles, distinctive street signs, sidewalks, and reproduction street lights?

Given the present economic crisis if there are funds available I would support those types of improvements.

11. the large amount of public support for historic preservation, will you support funding, laws, policy and appointments that encourage it?

I would support funding, if funding sources are available and seek to appoint those individuals who have a proven track record of interest in historic preservation.

12. Would you support initiatives that preserve ridgetops and scenic vistas in Knoxville?

I would listen to both sides on those initiatives and make an informed decision based on the facts; however, preserving ridgetops and scenic vistas is of great importance.

13. How will you balance development pressures against the need to preserve archeological and historic resources?

A councilperson will have to listen to information from developers as well as respect the need to preserve our historical resources.  After weighing that information I will attempt to make an intelligent and informed decision or vote based on these considerations.

Charles A. Frazier – District 6

No response

 

               

 

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Knox Heritage, Inc.
P.O. Box 1242
Knoxville, TN 37901

Tele: (865)523-8008
Fax: (865)523-0938
info@knoxheritage.org