Knoxville/Knox County definition of ‘family’ awaits public input

The Knoxville/Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) deferred a vote scheduled for Thursday, April 13, and called for the establishment of a task force charged with studying the issues surrounding the definition of “family” for zoning purposes.

Complaints originating from the South Knoxville area regarding housing rented to University of Tennessee students initiated the move to refine the requirements for single-family zoning. Other complaints were also directed at migrant worker housing, with residents noting an inordinate number of people per rental unit for temporary construction workers in their area.

Previous interactions with the MPC indicated that the Belle Terre model for family definition had been suggested by area residents and was under consideration by certain commission members.

The Belle Terre definition prohibits more than two unrelated people per household in areas zoned as single-family residential. The United States Supreme Court upheld this definition in 1974 in the Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas case.

“Since by law they cannot marry, members of Knoxville’s gay and lesbian community feel this would be writing discrimination into the housing code,” asserts Robbie Arrington, member of the Greater Knoxville LGBTQ Leadership Council (GKLLC)’s Public Policy Committee. “We have heard some encouraging comments from the Knox County Commission regarding their willingness to accept same-sex couples as spouses for zoning purposes.”

More than 150 people attended the April 13 MPC general meeting during which the predicted task force formation was officially initiated. GKLLC Public Policy Committee members Robbie Arrington and Donna Hankins signed on to represent the GLBT community.

“I look forward to insuring the GLBT community’s voice is heard in decisions like this, that are sure to affect our families. I hope to eventually see that we have a seat at the table,” Arrington said.

Interested community members may contact the Leadership Council for further information. Visit their Web site at or write

The push to bring the definition of family to the public arena is not isolated to Knoxville or East Tennessee. National statistics show a population that is rapidly moving away from a traditional definition of a family unit.

The MPC is composed of officials from both the City of Knoxville and Knox County. They regulate zoning and land subdivision, providing oversight for comprehensive development in the Knox County area. Funding for MPC activities comes from both local and federal sources; however, the 15 members serve as volunteers. Regular business meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room, City-County Building. Their annual meeting is normally held in October of each year.

In addition to the volunteer commission members, an executive director and a staff of forty work in the following designated areas: comprehensive planning, development services, information services and transportation planning in addition to their work with the Knox County and Knoxville Historic Zoning Commissions.

See the Metropolitan Planning Commission’s Web site for updates. You will find them online at
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less