City of Reno

Staff Report

Staff Report (For Possible Action): Presentation, discussion and initiation of a Reno Municipal Code text amendment regarding changes to allow for additional Public Meal/Homeless Services Providers, including but not limited to appropriate zoning, definitions, processes, locations and standards.


Department:Community DevelopmentSponsors:

Recommendation and Proposed Motion

Recommendation: Staff recommends Council initiate a text amendment to Title 18 in order to allow for additional public meal provider/homeless services, locations and modification of associated standards.


Proposed Motion: I move to initiate a text amendment to Title 18 in order to allow for additional public meal provider/homeless services, locations and modification of associated standards.



Staff Report Formal Body

Summary: Following discussion of expanded homeless services within the City, staff is seeking direction from Council to initiate a text amendment to Title 18 to amend zoning standards related to public meal/homeless services.


Background: In 2002, the City entered into a settlement agreement with several downtown casino entities and university groups. The agreement requires that the City: 1) develop a permanent homeless services center outside of the redevelopment district (RDA 1); 2) close and relocate all existing public meal/homeless service providers outside of the redevelopment district; and 3) adopt regulations to ensure that public meal/homeless services do not occur within the redevelopment district. Accordingly, in 2004 the City Council adopted amendments to the Reno-Sparks Corridor Specific Plan District (RSC-SPD) to assign a public facility area near Record Street in order to allow for the collocation of various homeless services. Prior to this amendment, services were dispersed throughout the City. The amendment to the SPD Handbook established operational standards that limited the number of meal providers to one, required an internal lobby and bathrooms for meal providers, and required screening of any queue line from public view.


From 2005-2007 various homeless service centers were built in this area, including the Community Assistance Center, Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission, and the St. Vincent’s Dining Hall. All of these facilities were constructed and permitted under the RSC-SPD zoning standards. In 2006, the SPD Handbook was replaced by the Downtown Reno Regional Center and East Fourth Street Transit Oriented Development plans and corresponding Mixed Use (MU) zoning and zoning overlays. Adoption of these plans resulted in additional zoning regulations for public meal/homeless service uses and remain the currently adopted standards to date. A summary of these standards is listed below:


         Public Meal Providers:

        Limit one within City limits

        Must have internal lobby

        Must have internal bathrooms

        Must be associated with on-site homeless service


         Homeless Services and Public Meal Providers:

        Queuing must be out of public view

        Must be 600 feet away from a school, residential zoning, or child care

        Must be away from an arterial and outside the redevelopment district (RDA 1)

        There must be a business license for all providers, including nonprofits


         Homeless Services:

        No men’s/mentally ill facilities within 600 feet of a public park

        Only one facility of each type allowed in City limits (men’s, women’s, mentally ill)


Code restricts the location of public meal provider/homeless services to the Wells district of the Downtown Reno Regional Center plan with approval of a special use permit, and in the Industrial (I) zone by right (without a special use permit). Under the current standards, no additional public meal provider/homeless services may be permitted without an amendment to Title 18.


Discussion: Following direction from Council, staff will revisit public meal provider/homeless services zoning standards, including: the appropriate number of public meal/homeless service facilities within the City, the appropriate land use approval process, and the appropriate zoning designation for public meal/homeless service facilities. Proposed amendments would be reviewed by applicable Neighborhood Advisory Boards and the Reno Planning Commission prior to returning to Council for a decision.


Financial Implications: None at this time


Legal Implications: Legal review completed for compliance with City procedures and Nevada Law.

Meeting History

Nov 8, 2017 12:00 PM Video Reno City Council Regular