A Note from Lauren Rider on the Issues

Hi, I'm Lauren Rider. I'm running for the 4th district council seat after years of urging by neighbors and business leaders across the city.

For the past 12 years, I have been dedicated to improving our community. I've been a hands on leader, collaborating with neighborhoods and businesses to make Knoxville better and meet challenges when they arise.

As a neighborhood President and 2 term member of the Neighborhood Advisory Council, I've listened and learned about what challenges concern neighborhoods and how to advocate for changes when needed. I've built important relationships in the community and with city departments- this will help me be your advocate on council.

I've helped build parks, clean-up greenways, brought neighbors together to address concerns; I led my neighborhood fundraiser for 10 years and doubled our funds enabling us to support neighbors in need through donations to other charities.

I've spoken out for the community at meetings held by Metropolitan Planning Commission, Knoxville City Council, and Board of Zoning Appeals. I have also tackled tough blighted property problems by organizing neighbors to address problems the city could not.

I don't take No for an answer- when the community has a challenge- I ask, how do we solve this. If there is a solution, I'll be your voice on council and your advocate to get there.

These are the key issues on which Lauren will focus her campaign:


Redevelopment and Revitalization

Several areas in the 4th district would benefit from mixed use development along commercial corridors. Broadway from Central through Fountain City; Asheville Highway; the East Mall redevelopment.

Mixed Use development projects along these corridors would provide greater density and live/work/play neighborhood connections.

Public infrastructure enhancements such as greenways and improved crosswalks/sidewalks are needed to tie some of the neighborhood-commercial centers together.

She helped initiate and co-chair the Broadway Corridor Task Force which went through a public input process to create the Broadway Corridor Enhancement Plan which provides a visioning template for mixed use and better connectivity.

Recoding

The recode effort is a primary interest of Lauren’s and critically important to continued quality development along commercial corridors.

With future population growth expected, mixed use provides additional, higher density residential. Viable redevelopment projects are currently delayed and burdened with added expenses as owners work through Special Exceptions and variances.

Strong leadership with both a knowledge of development and community-mindedness is needed on council to facilitate an optimal Recode process. This is an opportunity to modernize our land use and shape the future.

Walkability

Well designed, walkable communities are healthier and desirable, which in turn attracts future economic opportunity. Lauren supports the walkability ordinance and strongly encourages sidewalks as possible with development.

Public policy is a balancing act that must look at pros/cons. The health and social benefits of quality, walkable communities are a positive that create economic vitality and create more networked, safer communities.

Short term rentals

Balancing the interests of residents, whose primary residence is often their largest life investment, and neighboring property owners is important. Some neighborhood feedback is to not allow short term rentals in R-1 zones. Lauren thinks that could be a possible compromise to the proposed ordinance.

Lauren has concerns with regulating STR's (short term rentals) and not LTR's (long term rentals). If one is required to have business licenses and registration, then the other should be considered. STR can take units off the LTR market, and that is a consideration in a tight housing market.

Violence in our Community

Addressing the violence in our community is multifaceted and positively impacted by job opportunities, education/job training and safe/stable neighborhoods. Supporting and partnering with KPD, education providers and social service providers is a strategy to addressing violence and its root causes.

Trust and partnership with KPD is essential, as is training for officers in de escalation and awareness of community partners for those needing help. Currently, we are short officers and are training only 39 to fill vacant positions. Efforts to recruit new qualified candidates and train them to be excellent officers and community partners is essential.