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Archive Material - Data Not CurrentFIFTH-BROADWAY COMMITTEE
Fifth-Broadway Committee
June 22, 2006 - Committee to focus on Broadway/Fifth Avenue area
September 28, 2006 Meeting
September 7, 2006 Meeting
August 17, 2006 Meeting
August 3, 2006 Meeting
July 21, 2006 Meeting
July 6, 2006 Meeting
June 20, 2006 Meeting
June 8, 2006 Meeting
Next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 12th at 12 noon at St. John's Lutheran Church.
Broadway-Fifth Task Force Meeting Notes

August 3, 2006
St. John's Lutheran Church

Task Force members present:

Councilman Chris Woodhull, Bill Lyons, Mark Hipshire, Patrick McInturf, Bob, Alvin Nance, Mike Dunthorn, Gordon Catlett, Steve Meisienheimer, Cathy Chesney, Burt Rosen, Ginny Weatherstone, David Nix, Daniel Schuh, Renee Davis

Others present:

Councilman Bob Becker,David Hutchins, Ann Schneider.Amanda Rich Kim Trent, Thea Peterson, Pan Walker, Bob Whetsel, Dan Hughes, Tina Rosling

Chris Woodhull opened the meeting asking if anyone had anything to bring up of a general nature. Tina Rosling commented on the recent 4th and Gill Neighborhood meeting with Burt Rosen that the people the neighborhoods are discussing who are causing problems do not seem to be the same people that the shelters talk about that they are helping. She noted that this gap in understanding still needs to be bridged.

Daniel Schuh asked if there is a means of tracking who is in the various shelters and programs, and if the City envisions hiring outreach caseworkers who will work aggressively to get the homeless off the streets. Mike Dunthorn commented that the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness calls for the use of a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a multi-agency database that allows shelters and services to log and share information on their services and on homeless clients. The HMIS is currently being rolled out in cooperation with the UT College of Social Work. Mike also said that the Ten Year Plan calls for more outreach caseworkers, but that they are not necessarily anticipated to be City employees. While that option is possible, resources would have to be allocated and approved to carry that out.

Chris Woodhull then reviewed the work and discussions of the past five meetings, and noted that there may be some frustration among committee members who wonder "when are we going to do something?" Chris noted that there are both short term and long-term solutions to be considered. He proposed a mission statement for the Task Force as follows:

The Purpose of the initiative is to create within the city of Knoxville a livable, enjoyable and sustainable environment of homeless care, business growth, and strong neighborhoods within the reaches of the 5th and Broadway intersection. This initiative will be presented to the Mayor in the form of a written plan. The 5th and Broadway Task Force will continue to meet on a monthly basis to create a feedback loop for the plan. This plan is rooted in shared interest and common sense. The success of this initiative depends upon all parties operating in good faith ways that honor the shared struggles of the entire community.

Chris suggested a "medical model" for looking at the solutions: "inhibit the inhibitors and jumpstart the resources." Chris suggested that there are technical problems which can be `fixed,' and adaptive problems which require a larger change.

Woodhull proposed that the Task Force approach the problems in four areas, as `four legs of a stool.'

The four areas are:

  • Unified homeless strategy, shift culture
  • Redevelopment plan
  • City service support
  • Neighborhood strength

    The group discussed these areas and agreed that the four areas should be pursued simultaneously.

    Chris also noted a number of action items that can be pursued in the near term:

    1. Lights under the interstate
    2. Panhandling and loitering ordinance
    3. Trash pickup
    4. Delivery lane
    5. Old Grey Surveillance
    6. Turn lane in front of adult bookstore
    7. Midway building
    8. KICCUP support
    9. Pull homeless off the street under the interstate
    10. Tactical police support in key areas: drug and prostitution on the east side of Old Gray; Broadway, area underneath interstate and adjoining neighborhoods
    11. 20 people plan (proposed by Burt Rosen)

    Burt explained the "20 people plan." At the last meeting, Captain Catlett had a list of the 20 most frequent repeat offenders, people who were picked up by the police in the area on a routine basis. KARM did a cross-check of those names on their database, and found that some had been there only once, others many times in that last year. Burt spoke to the Attorney General about the possibility of a program of alternative sentencing for these individuals. Rather than sentencing them to jail for repeat misdemeanors, sentence them to a residential program at KARM for 30 days, where they would have to engage in self-improvement programs. Some might stay and continue after their sentence, while others would leave as soon as possible. For those who stay, something better has happened, for those who leave, the community is no worse off that if they were coming back out of jail. Further discussions of the idea with both the Attorney General and the Public Defender will proceed to see if the idea is viable.

    Bill Lyons said he is arranging meetings with TDOT to seek better solutions for the areas under the interstate. Since this portion of the interstate is scheduled for major work, the opportunity is there for improvements in usage and design for the areas under the elevated highway. This includes both lighting and creative designs for various uses.

    Bill also noted that the Ten Year Plan task force is a separate group, and that while there is overlap between that group and this one, that group will be developing and implementing the long-term strategies to improve the problems of homelessness.

    Bill also discussed the concept of a redevelopment plan for the area. Such an initiative can help to not cede the area to be `just where homeless people are.' A redevelopment plan would be structured to incentivize a defined vision of land use and growth for the area. The 100-Block of Gay Street was cited as an example of a successful area where homeless services coexist with new residential and commercial growth.

    Alvin Nance of KCDC discussed the process for establishing a redevelopment area. This group and the community would make a recommendation to the Mayor that a plan be considered. The Mayor would then take that to City Council. If Council approved the measure, they would formally request KCDC to create the plan. KCDC would them enter into a public process to engage residents and businesses in the area to seek input into the overall goals of such a plan and to establish a boundary. Following that public process, the plan would come back to City Council for adoption. An adopted plan would then provide to this area the special tools and incentives available only within redevelopment areas.

    Bill and Alvin discussed some of those tools and incentives they allow such as Tax Increment Financing (TIFs). They also noted that some property owners resist the establishment of redevelopment areas, because of the KCDC's power of eminent domain in such areas. While that tool is useful to clear titles for abandoned properties and similar issues, many property owners will want reassurance that the uses of such a tool would be well defined in the plan. It was noted that this process does give residents and business owners the opportunity to have a greater say in the long-term land use plan for their community, and that property values of those who remain in place are improved by the work that happens as a result of a plan.

    Mechanicsville was cited as a local example of a neighborhood that wasimproved through this process.

    Renee Davis discussed MPC's current work on a "small area plan" for the area. This is not a redevelopment plan, but does look at land use and zoning issues and make recommendations. While this plan is still under development, Renee noted three concepts that could improve the area under study: 1. Continue an urban fabric moving up Broadway and Central from downtown; 2. As TDOT does the work on the Interstate, there are new opportunities to have defined gateways into the neighborhoods as you cross under the highway from downtown; and 3.

    There are opportunities to reconnect the different neighborhoods North along Broadway with improved land use and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes.

    The next meeting of this task force is scheduled for noon, August 17,2006 at St. John's Lutheran Church.
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