Protect our city park land from development!

Protect our city park land from development!

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Christopher Salmons started this petition to Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knoxville City Council

This petition has been created as an effort to save our public park land from development. 

On May 2, the Board of the Parkridge Community Organization was presented with a plan by the Rev Dr. Bruce Spangler of Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) to convert three parcels facing E 5th Ave, that are currently part of Caswell Park into a 3 story - 30 unit housing project for the "chronic homeless." According to the presentation VMC has drawn up plans for site development at the direction of Becky Wade, Director of Community Development with the city of Knoxville, and the plan includes transfer of public park lands to the private non-profit and the closure of a section of Myrtle Street in order to accommodate staff parking for the facility. 

The three parcels in question were purchased by the city in 2001 for $237,000 as part of the Caswell Baseball fields development. This section of the park is one of the few areas that may be utilized by the public as the Ball Fields are gated and require paid admission when in use. 

In October 2010 the Knoxville City Council passed the Open Space (OS) zoning code in an effort led by former councilman Duane Grieve. The OS zoning was created to protect all city park land from development and was a direct response to public outcry over MPC's attempt to subvert part of Lakeshore Park as homeless housing. Ideally the OS zoning code would still protect all of Caswell Park, even through the Recode Knoxville process, but as of the latest revision - Revision 4 published on May 1, these three parcels are suddenly labeled as RN-3 which removes OS protections allowing for development of the public park land.

 Please join me in protesting this backhanded plan by city officials to gift public park lands to private entities. This petition is not about the appropriateness of much needed housing for chronic homelessness, but about the illegal land transfer of tax payer purchased property to private entities for development. Our city is in no short supply of under utilized or under developed properties to address housing needs; sacrificing our parks is NOT an option!

Sign the petition, write the Mayor and Council, and leave your comments on the Recode Knoxville Map by going to the following website, searching 1605 E 5th Ave and posting feedback. https://maps.knoxmpc.org/MapSeries/recode.html?appid=f7142a5ae437424a9458bc8e8242f1d3

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!