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Developers Roundtable: Encouraging Investment in the City 
One of Mayor Indya Kincannon's pledges as a candidate was that she'd make it easier for people to do business with the City and encourage investment in their properties.

With the pandemic finally on the wane, look for a big step forward coming by the end of this summer when the Mayor creates her Developers Roundtable.

"Knoxvillians want to renovate their homes and expand their businesses," Mayor Kincannon said. "We're a city of entrepreneurs and community builders who think big and do big things.

"I'm proud that the City has always worked hard to help property owners achieve their dreams. I also know that some people, especially those new to development, struggle to navigate the various requirements. Getting input from a wide variety of stakeholders will help us make sure our regulations are clear, predictable and as common sense as possible.

"We want to continue to modernize and streamline how we deliver services. Most of all, we want to always be clear and consistent in everything we say and do."

That doesn't mean cutting corners or being lax, said Deputy to the Mayor and Chief Operating Officer David Brace.

"We want to make investing in Knoxville predictable and customer-focused," he said. "That doesn't mean we are not enforcing all of our incredibly important health and safety codes, but it does mean that our processes are clear and our City staff are 100 percent responsive and respectful of those investing in our city.

"We want our rules and expectations to be easy to understand, reasonable and consistent. Better means smoother, more responsive and more predictable."

Brace's team of operations directors are looking top to bottom at common-sense ways to tweak or sometimes revamp the systems that have been in place for decades.

The Developers Roundtable will bring fresh local outside perspective.

"We want to hear from the design professionals, including architects, landscape architects and engineers as well as contractors and developers," Brace said. "What do we do that's working? What's not working well?"

Next, an outside consultant will be hired to offer an independent third-party look. What other cities provide the best-practices models?

"This will be getting underway by the end of summer," Brace said. "We'll look at the short-term low-hanging fruit, but also the long-term issues: Our software, our systems, how are we organizationally. This will be a mix of operations and economic development."

Posted by evreeland On 27 May, 2021 at 9:52 PM